press release

Dejan Kaludjerović. Conversations
26.10.2017 - 30.09.2018
Opening: October 25, 8:30pm–1am

On the occasion of its reopening, the Weltmuseum Wien is delighted to present Dejan Kaludjerović’s latest large scale installation Conversations (2017).

“Dejan Kaludjerović (born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia) makes drawings, paintings, installations and research-based projects. The installation Conversations is one such project, culminating as a kind of overview of multi-year research and production. Between the years 2013 and 2017, Kaludjerović interviewed children (6-10 years old) from different socioeconomic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds with a set of simple but provocative questions.

Each set of interviews took place in the context of artist residencies that the artist held in Russia, Azerbaijan, Israel, Iran and his “home countries” of Austria and Serbia. These interviews were recorded then fused into recordings presented in exhibitions in each context, as sound installations. The interviews have been edited together in this exhibition, bringing all the material together as an overall analysis. Each prop that the artist made for each original context (sandbox, marbles, cubes, etc.) is also re-made and re-presented in this exhibition, presented together in an unsettling playground that stages some sort of invisible performance.

Within a stream of often naïve responses, in these recordings appear from time to time curious absurdities, humorous outbursts, frightful musings, and absolute profundities as emited by these children. The entire work takes on the format of an unusual sociological research, apparently with no direct or pragmatic results. The viewer is left to himself / herself to make conclusions. However, the artist is certainly concerned with the origins of ideological, philosophical and political thinking as they manifest within various communities and cultures. This work presents these concerns within an apparent framework of childhood innocence, uneasily re-orienting familiar symbols and dialogue into a grander mirror of collective thinking.

Adjacent to the installation is an Information Lounge, where conversations that the artist has encouraged further elaborate on the content and reception of the overall project.”
–Séamus Kealy

Curator: Mandana Roozpeikar
Exhibition architecture: Anton Stein
Graphic design: Monika Lang

A full-color catalogue Conversations in English will accompany the exhibition featuring original essays by Ilya Budraitskis, Séamus Kealy, Jelena Petrović, Mohammad Salemy and Klaus Speidel, together with short texts by Anastasia Blokhina, Zoran Erić, Beral Madra and Maayan Sheleff. The book will be published by VERLAG FÜR MODERNE KUNST, designed by Monika Lang.

“Even though the implications of Kaludjerović’s Conversations are manifold and seem to diverge, together they share the tendency to reconcile and complicate significant dualities that have continually haunted the production of knowledge. Thus, the presence of the artist is crucial as the acting body linking the dualities with which the exhibition grapples. At the heart of Conversations is an artist’s attempt to deal with the binaries of quantity versus quality, objectivity versus subjectivity, universal versus particular, and overall, scientific and artistic inquiries. Conversations cleverly sketches the co-dependent topologies of these opposites and proposes a roadmap as to how these complex distances can be navigated.” –Excerpt from the text "Child of the Universe: Objectivity at the Threshold of Individuation" by Mohammad Salemy

“The Conversations: Hula Hoops, Elastics, Marbles and Sand project (2013–present) brings before us the fact that the knowledge of the power mechanisms that regulate social relations is deeply rooted in childhood. The project faces us with the realization that these mechanisms originate in the family as the nuclear unit of civil society, the foundations for and basic functioning principles of which were set by the union between patriarchy and capitalism a long time ago (the so-called bourgeois family). Built as an ethically untouchable biopolitical construct, the family has to this day preserved its status of an apolitical and private socio-economic organization, notwithstanding some minor disturbances caused by the ideology of the October Revolution in the first half of the 20th century.” –Excerpt from the text "I don’t know what freedom is, not at all…" by Jelena Petrović

About the artist
Dejan Kaludjerović has graduated from Belgrade Academy of Fine Arts. He lives and works in Vienna.