Between 21 June and 6 July, New York based editorial and curatorial platform Triple Canopy will work with five Bosnian artists and writers on a series of workshops and discussions dealing with idiosyncratic sites, figures, and objects in relationship to the region's recent traumatic history and concurrent forging of national identities. Triple Canopy editors and participants will choose places, things, and images whose meanings have not yet congealed but instead lead in contradictory directions.
Rather than turning to emblems of entrenched narratives or marking or restoring parts of the landscape in order to memorialize victims, preserve memories, or reveal a path to national rejuvenation, the conversations will attend to meanings that cannot so easily be recouped and repackaged, that resist easy interpretation and definition. Among them: the Olympic bobsled track turned front-line barricade in the mid-90s; the popular Serbian Zastava 101 automobile; rejuvenated Bosnian black markets; the extra J that transforms a word from Serbian to Bosnian and Croatian; nascent national beverages, fashionable typefaces, suburban mosques, and prominent branding campaigns.
These objects of inquiry will provide the basis for installations, performances, walks, and talks around Sarajevo; public presentations and discussions with invited guests; and contributions to Triple Canopy's online magazine. Additionally, they will be represented in a book produced under the auspices of Triple Canopy's Volume Number series, which provides a variable space for thinking through — and collaboratively enacting — the practice of publication and instantiating the public spaces magazines purport to produce in the world.
This book, Perfect Strangers: A Catalogue of Ordinary Icons, will be published in the winter and will include documentation of public programs as well as elaborations of the projects discussed and conceived in Sarajevo. The materials — artist projects, prose, poetry, fiction, photography, transcripts, documents, emails, screen shots, coupons, receipts — will be organized as alphabetical entries, resulting in a subjective, selective lexicon of the Balkan imaginary, and of an imaginary Balkans. Contributors will include the participating artists and writers, attendees from Bosnia and Serbia and abroad, Triple Canopy editors, and a number of commissioned respondents who will not be present in Sarajevo.
Through 6 July 2012
Perfect Strangers: Triple Canopy in Sarajevo
with Azra Akšamija, Adela Jušic, Mladen Miljanovic, Radenko Milak, and Muharem Bazdulj Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina