Stroom Den Haag (3 Sept. – 16 Oct. 2022) & public programme on 15 Oct.
Anna Dasović’s exhibition grounds for denial stems from fieldwork Dasović has carried out in the entity of Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina, part of her ongoing research in which she focuses on structures that make genocidal violence (in)visible and also on those structures deployed to obscure the politically inconvenient aspects of such conflicts.
In Republika Srpska, the representation of Serbian nationalism is increasingly taking shape in the public space: graffiti, murals and daubed monuments represent the denial of the genocidal violence that took place in the 1990s; these visual landmarks also symbolise the mythologisation of the political ideal of a Greater Serbia. By presenting this new video work, Dasović raises the paradoxical question of whether and how it is possible to sketch an image of something that is structurally denied and therefore invisible.
‘Grounds for denial’ is a legal term and refers to the reasons for denying a claim. Dasović uses it as a metaphor for historical revisionism: that history—as it is usually told—is not accurate and can therefore be subject to revision. ‘Grounds for denial’ specifically refers to a growing historical revisionism of the systematic genocide of Bosniaks in Bosnia and Herzegovina – as established by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague.
On 15 October, as part of grounds for denial, Stroom Den Haag will present a public programme around the theme of ‘re-enactment’, an artistic method of recreating historical events. The programme includes contributions from filmmaker Didem Pekun, artists Bassem Saad and Sanja Grozdanić and forensic researcher Maksym Rokmaniko.
Anna Dasović: grounds of denial is the final exhibition of the Special Project 2020/21.
More about the artist
With a background in photography, Dasović now uses an interdisciplinary approach including archival research, fieldwork, and interviews. Her work, often the result of long-term engagements, result in installations, video montages, photography, sound or text-based works.
Through her work, Anna Dasović raises questions such as: What are representations of such extreme violence intended to communicate despite their original intentions? Or: What ideological narratives do such representations participate in on a structural level?
Central to her work is an exploration into the figure of the bystander and the ways in which the unimaginable and the unrepresentable—categories produced by the discourse on genocide—are evoked to reject the responsibility of witnessing through representation. Dasović is interested in that rejection and in the exclusion of knowledge that is held in the body but denied by society’s authorising structures.
Her work has been exhibited in the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, Framer Framed, Stedelijk Museum and SMBA in Amsterdam, Survival Kit Latvia, Bergen Assembly, Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart, Kunstverein Braunschweig, Museum for Modern and contemporary art (MAMA) Algiers and the Museum of Yugoslav History in Belgrade. She has previously been artist in residence or held fellowships at Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen, Rijksakademie voor Beeldende Kunsten, MAMA Algiers, Celeia Centre for Contemporary Arts Celje, Casa Tres Patios in Medellín and Residencia en La Tierra in Montenegro Colombia. She is a member of Collection Collective, Template for a Future Model of Representation.