My family history, linked to migration and the historical and political consequences of the Wars in the Balkans and Europe during the twentieth century, for me, except for a few stories to which my father added a mythic dimension, has largely remained unclear and hazy − an uncharted territory.
In a project called History Repeats Itself, I am attempting to present the emptiness which is part of my family identity and memory. It is representative of the absence of facts and people that have been missing in my life due to tragic events, both personal and historical. At the end of the twentieth century, due to the breakup of my homeland (SFRY) and my departure from Sarajevo, the city of my childhood and my youth, the feeling of emptiness was growing.
It is for this reason that in my work I use cold, industrial, raw elements: metal, plastic, neon lighting, electrical cables, plexiglass boards. They are given an absurd task − to light up shelves that carry nothing. Emptied of every content, they suggest absence. The lights go on and off at a slow pace (the neon tubes are switched on at certain intervals and at one point they are all either on or off) as if they were counting or counting down, but there are no elements inside the installation to suggest what it is about. The work is realized in an interactive relationship between the form and the openness of the work of art (through the eyes of Umberto Eco) and stays open for discussions and different interpretations and perspectives. The main idea could be replaced with a different semantic concept.
History Repeats Itself
steel shelves, LED neon tubes and lighting, electrical cables, plexiglass boards, elements for programming lighting (Arduino, relays, wiring)
200 x 320 x 40 cm (approximately)
Lighting designer: Boris Butorac
Dragan Vojvodić (1965) started his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo and graduated from the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad. In his artistic practice, he uses various media – performance, art action, installation, in situ works, video, photography, sculpture, painting. For some years now, Dragan Vojvodić has been the recipient of numerous research grants (from the University of Illinois at Chicago; EU-Japan Fest in Tokyo; Novi Sad ECoC 2021 in Novi Sad; DEPO2015 in Pilsen etc.) and residency projects (the SIM Residency in Reykjavik; USF Verftet in Bergen; University of Illinois at Chicago; Cité internationale des arts in Paris; Titanik Gallery in Turku; Kamov Residency at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Rijeka in Rijeka; Koli Residency in Joensuu; Konstepidemin in Gothenburg; NCCA – St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg etc).
He has participated in international festivals of performance in Croatia, Hungary and Italy and presented performances at the Rogaland Kunstsenter in Stavanger; Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Rijeka in Rijeka; Museum of Contemporary Art of Istria in Pula; Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina in Novi Sad etc.
He has presented the country of Serbia and province of Vojvodina in many exhibitions in Japan, Iceland, France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia etc.
He has exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina in Novi Sad; Cultural Centre of Belgrade in Belgrade; Goethe-Institut in Belgrade; O3ONE Art Space in Belgrade; National Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo; National Museum of Montenegro / Art Gallery Dado in Cetinje; Vienna Künstlerhaus in Vienna; Nelimarkka Museum – Regional Art Museum of Southern Ostrobothnia in Alajärvi, Finland; Centre culturel de Serbie (Cultural Centre of Serbia) in Paris etc.
He has participated in numerous international art projects and biennales such as: the Art Encounters Biennial Timişoara in Timişoara; October Salon in Belgrade; Risk Change project in Novi Sad; Danube Dialogues in Novi Sad; 700 IS International Video Art Festival in Egilsstadir, Iceland etc.
His works are part of the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina in Novi Sad; Sarajevo Storage – Collection Pierre Courtin in Sarajevo; Nelimarkka Museum – Regional Art Museum of Southern Ostrobothnia in Alajärvi, Finland; 700 IS International Video Art Festival in Egilsstadir, Iceland; Gallery of Matica Srpska in Novi Sad; Terra International Sculpture Symposium in Kikinda; Foundation Obras in Estremoz, Portugal; DEPO 2015 in Pilsen etc.
He has delivered presentations, artist talks, lectures and workshops at the Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina in Novi Sad; Goethe-Institut in Belgrade; University of Eastern Finland in Joensuu; Academy of Arts Novi Sad in Novi Sad; Cultural Centre of Belgrade in Belgrade; Prozori Gallery in Zagreb; DEPO 2015 Pilsen in Pilsen; Nelimarrka Museum – Regional Art Museum of Southern Ostrobothnia in Alajärvi, Finland etc.
Dragan Vojvodić is a member of SULUV (League of Associations of Fine Artists of Vojvodina) and ULUS (Association of Fine Artists of Serbia).
He lives and works in Novi Sad.