The Balkan Cinema: Exhibition "In the Gorges of America"

April 26, 2021 | Ivana Nedeljković

The works of three authors will be presented: the video work "Sounds of the Homeland" by Mladen Miljanovic, the sculpture "Yugo America" ​​by Rados Antonijevic and the installation "America" ​​by Nenad Malesevic.

The title of the exhibition makes a clear remark on the title of Karl May's novel "In the Balkan Gorges", in which the Balkans are stereotypically interpreted as a wild, untamed territory ruled by violence and robbery. By inverting stereotypes and introducing personal, collective, or historical experience, this setting builds on a re-examination of the meaning of toponyms and the notion of America.

The exhibition was produced by the Sasa Marcheta Foundation

The curator of the exhibition and the director of the Foundation, Ksenija Samardžija, said about this exhibition:

- The exhibition offers us the remains, lived and reworked contents - what is left of the great historical narratives. The Sasa Marcheta Foundation supported the organization of this exhibition with the intention of considering the issues of consequences, what comes after the dramatic experience and where the utopian shores of freedom are today, at a time when tectonic changes are changing social, political and ethical narratives.

Art historian Stevan Vukovic states in the exhibition catalog: 

"Through the thematic combination of works in this exhibition, an image of imaginary America is created, which serves as an external landmark, that is, as a kind of otherness in relation to everyday life in the 'Balkan ravines', but also as a kind of 'inner side of the territory', whose existence constantly makes it known that in all that local Balkans, no one is completely immune to Americanization, which is taking place continuously, slowly and imperceptibly. "

"Sounds of the homeland"

"Sounds of the Homeland" by Mladen Miljanovic is a fifteen-minute video and represents a resemmatization of an artistic one that takes and combines already existing original songs - different versions of the same song "America Made Bosnia a State" by Ante Bubalo.

The space of song and art is used as a potential of neutral space and a platform of culture in which every growth is possible because it is a space to which everyone claims the right, but no one is its absolute owner.

On the other hand, the work is a product of reflection on the current position of veterans from all three armies of the last war, and the question of the purpose of the fight from today's point of view as well as the possibility of the utopia of the opposing collective.

The work was shot in May 2018 and produced in 2019 in collaboration with the film crew of Greg Blakey, an Australian director based in Berlin, and the author of the photo documentation is Nemanja Mićević.

"Yugo Amerika"

The metal sculpture "Yugo America" ​​was created in 2019 and represents the shell of a Yugo car - cut and narrowed along the axis of symmetry by Rados Antonijevic.

From 1985 to 1992, in a campaign called Yugo America, the export of this car to the United States lasted. Regardless of whether (as it was assessed in America) it is the worst car of all time, its shape and name remain deeply integrated into the constructions of our identity, and it has a cult status in Serbia.

The form of the work, emphasized by the sculptural intervention, outgrows the simplicity of the industrial object and gives an impulse to the opinion about heritage and identity. The name "Yugo America" ​​can be the name for all modernity strategies in the Balkans.


Nenad Malešević's installation "America" ​​includes three photographs, a thousand drawings and one postage stamp.

The series of drawings started in 2015 and contains ten books, ie. volumes. The motif is a sculpture near New York, on the Island of Freedom, known as the Statue of Liberty. The photos were taken in February 2019 on Freedom Island, at 53rd New York Street and at the Metropolitan Museum.

The drawings were made according to the illustration of the Statue of Liberty from the postage stamp of the official name "Statue of Liberty", issued in 1961 in Buffalo, New York. and purchased in Zemun in 2011. Drawings and photographs are a form of the question "What is America to me (which was not Kafka)?" The drawing process is devoid of certainty and close to expressionism, although, as the author states, “.

Yugovica's Brothers 16 Street (Braće Jugovića 16), Belgrade (Serbia), The Balkan Cinema
Beginning date: 8/04/2021
End date: 30/4/2021

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