My main interest as an architect and exhibition designer is the process of exhibiting itself, the choice of an ‘appropriate’ space for exhibiting a particular work of art, and diverse possibilities of ‘presenting’ the work itself.

At the very beginning, when I had just heard the concept of Dragicevic, the first thing I had in mind was not the classical gallery situation, but the so called ‘alternative exhibition space’. The preconditions of the artist were very clear: the work should be integrated and exhibited in an every-day situation. It should create an intimate, pleasant and trustworthy atmosphere. One of the interesting questions it deals with is ‘what happens with the room or space if it’s being abandoned, if there are no more ‘users’ in it?’

What is also planned is the fact that the exhibition itself will not stop in Berlin, it will be moveable and wandering. The starting point is Berlin, then Belgrade and New York City are other possible spots which have already been chosen.

Through research of the alternative exhibition spaces, I took into consideration abandoned places with a wide range of former-functions, such as: industrial buildings, schools, an abandoned swimming pool, and so on, as well as private apartments.

However, none of those spaces were sufficiently connected with the concept of the work. What I wanted to avoid is the danger of predomination of the exhibition place over the work itself, which can easily happen if we are not dealing with the classical gallery situation.

After long research and talks with the artist, I finally came to the most suitable place for presenting his work: the camping van. What is especially interesting about the camper is the possibility of changing places in a city every day during the exhibiting period. Through those changes it is possible to explore how the work functions in the different contexts of the places, which are also marked by spectators with a different social context. The question being considered is: how does the work ‘react’ to the different locations to which it is being exposed, and the other way around: how does the work itself influences the locations where it will be placed. Not only will the work go through different social and economic backgrounds, but also through different urban landscapes. What is to be concluded is the fact that the work is not appealing to a specific public; the occasional passer-by is the one we want to attract.

The idea that makes it even more interesting is that it is a work in process, since by changing location every day and searching for the next available parking spot; it will never be firmly fixed.

The camping van as exhibition space creates the wanted intimate atmosphere of the artists own living space, which is also being presented to the visitors. Dragicevic will actually live in this space and leave his every-day traces during the period in which the exhibition lasts.

And at last, the camper itself is directly connected with the idea of a ‘wandering exhibition’.

 

Branka Dutina

SCHNITT