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Yesterday, the exhibition “It Takes an Island to Feel This Good” by artist Darja Bajagić was ceremoniously opened at the Montenegrin Pavilion during the 60th Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art.

The exhibition was inaugurated by Minister of Culture and Media Tamara Vujović. In addition to the minister, the opening speeches were delivered by the pavilion’s commissioner Dr. Vladislav Šćepanović, exhibition curator Ana Simona Zelenović, and artist Darja Bajagić.

Minister Vujović emphasized that the Venice Biennale is not just an art exhibition.

“It is a testament to the power of art as a language that transcends words and borders. Through the works of artists, we are reminded that our stories, though unique, are connected in a common human destiny. Art reminds us that we are all strangers in this collective journey called human life, and through art itself, we defend ourselves from the horrors of transience.”

The minister also stated that the Ministry of Culture and Media, as the general sponsor of Montenegro’s participation at the 60th Venice Biennale, has more reasons than ever to feel very proud. She invited all interested parties to visit our pavilion and take pride in Montenegro’s contemporary cultural scene, emphasizing that the Ministry and cultural institutions will continue to work on presenting Montenegrin culture in the best possible way on the international stage.

Pavilion commissioner Dr. Vladislav Šćepanović mentioned that besides the new location of the pavilion, another novelty was the procedure through which they selected Montenegro’s representative for this Biennale.

“We strived to be as objective and democratic as possible in the selection of Montenegro’s representative. There was an open call for curatorial projects and artists, and an international jury made the decision without any political conditions or pressures. Thus, we obtained this project entitled ‘It Takes an Island to Feel This Good’ by artist Darja Bajagić and curator Ana Simona Zelenović, which dignifies Montenegro’s representation at this most important global event in contemporary art,” highlighted Šćepanović.

Exhibition curator Ana Simona Zelenović introduced the project itself, highlighting that Bajagić, with her distinctive artistic methodology, navigates through intersections of facts and realities with a noticeable ambiguity.

“This approach demonstrates apparent detachment, encouraging exploration of the essence of reality and its subjective interpretation. Using xeroxes collected from the archival collections of the State Archives of Montenegro, her artistic compositions create a disturbing environment, marked by a lack of explicit information or instructions for interpretation. This deliberate absence creates an environment conducive to autonomous engagement by observers, compelling individuals to confront their personal reactions, uncertainties, and anxieties.”

Bajagić mentioned that she first visited Montenegro in the summer of 2021, returning to the country for the first time since 1990.

“By chance, in 2022, I moved to the Luštica Peninsula near Mamula, where my initial fascination evolved into the central focus of my research and artistic practice. However, it is not accidental that my family’s history is closely linked to the creation of this series, which finds its inspiration and origin in Montenegro. Therefore, I am deeply honored to now have the opportunity to share the completed series with a global audience here at the Venice Biennale, representing my homeland of Montenegro – a privilege that I deeply cherish,” emphasized Bajagić.

The Ministry of Culture and Media of Montenegro serves as the general sponsor of Montenegro’s participation at the Venice Biennale, with the Museum of Contemporary Art playing the role of organizer and general producer.

The Montenegrin Pavilion is located at Complesso dell’Ospedaletto, Barbaria de le Tole, 6691, and the exhibition is open to the public from April 20 to November 24, 2024.

For more information about the project, you can visit the following link: [Darja Bajagić – It Takes an Island to Feel This Good](