Danica Dakić


gandy gallery

February 10 - April 01, 2006


The Gandy Gallery is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition by Danica Dakić (born in 1962 in Sarajevo, lives in Düsseldorf and Sarajevo) in Slovakia.
This exhibition presents video and photographic works from the artist's project Role-Taking, Role-Making (2004-2005). In this project Danica Dakic takes as her starting point images/stereotypes of gypsies to interrogate the relationship between traditional social conceptions and the individual's existence in a Europe shaped by political change and the clash of different cultural codes.

La Grande Galerie, 2004
c-print on aluminum, 100x128 cm, edition 8+2

The constitutive elements of the film Role-Taking, Role-Making (2005) are the film locations: the Roma enclaves Preoce and Plementina in Kosovo and the Roma Theatre Pralipe in Cologne, Germany. Role patterns, which create political realities, are reflected as well as the actual conditions under which the people live in both places - the ghetto of the refugee camps in Kosovo and the theatre in exile in Germany which is threatened by insolvency - as well as many facets of the theatrical and photographic mise-en-scène. The film's structure echoes the narrative traditions of Sinti and Roma in which the real and the unreal mix.

For her photo series La Grande Galerie (2004), taken as part of the project, Danica Dakic engaged Roma from the refugee camp in Plementina to pose in front of a large-scale reproduction of the painting Imaginary View of the Grande Galerie in the Louvre as a Ruin by Hubert Robert (1733-1808). Dakic's work derives its aptness from confronting two different conceptions of ruin: in Hubert Robert's depiction of the Grande Galerie in the Louvre in Paris in picturesque decay, the museum is transported into a timeless realm, which transfigures his conception of culture into something awe-inspiring. In the photo people stand in front of this painting who have been reduced to living lives deprived of all rights, reduced to bare existence. Yet the way in which these Roma stand there and gaze at the observer reveals their dignity. Thus in a further sense this work is not only a critique of the politics of exclusion but also an expression of the fragility of human existence.

The catalogue Role-Taking, Role-Making (German/English) on the project is published by Verlag für moderne Kunst Nürnberg (ISBN 3-938821-26-4).
Danica Dakić's work investigates the interfaces of cultural and personal, and political and geographical identity. Using a variety of media (photography, film, video and sound installations), she interrogates the construction of identity and "home" that results from the impacts of social change, globalisation, and war, on the basis of her own experience of emigration. A recurring element is her insistence on the decisive importance of language, the spoken word, in the formation of identity.

Danica Dakić has already exhibited at numerous solo and group exhibitions including Skulpturen Biennale Münsterland, Germany (2005); Be What You Want but Stay Where You Are, Witte de With, Rotterdam, Holland (2005); Die Regierung. Paradiesische Handlungsräume, Secession, Vienna, Austria (2005); How Do We Want to Be Governed? MAC, Miami, USA (2004); 8th International Istanbul Biennial, Turkey (2003); a cappella, National Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina (2003); In den Schluchten des Balkan, Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany (2003); 2nd Valencia Biennial, Valencia, Spain (2003); Home, SCCA, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina (2002); Ich ist etwas Anderes, Kunstsammlung NRW, Düsseldorf, Germany (2000); After the Wall, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany (1999-2001).