NewsMelting Imagination
Diona Kusari and Ale Riletti, Fshati digjet, nusja krihet (The Village is Burning, The Bride is Grooming), Melting Imagination, Banja Luka, 2022, CC BY-SA 4.0
Melting Imagination is the result of the month-long Artist Residency in Banja Luka, Assembling BL(KN) in spring 2022. The exhibition co-curated by Enrico Tomassini and the participating artists includes collective and individual artistic practices that investigate the urban, social and traveling ‘Balkan’ context, through a process of mutual learning and awareness raising.
The exhibition ‘melts’ together camp aesthetics, collective chatartic rituals, theatrical urban audio explorations, public space performances, lullaby chants, public art installation, participatory film practices, urban interventions and imaginative provocations. By breaching stereotypical imagination of contemporary notions and misconceptions of  the ‘Balkans’, the exhibition becomes a journey across the role of art in shaping reality and our understanding of the world.
Melting Imagination, exhibition booklet, Some Call Us Balkans, Banja Luka, 2022, by Enrico Tomassini , CC BY-SA 4.0 (click to download)


Mary Marinopoulou

Artwork: The Great B
Info: Audio Walk, 38 min.
Artist: Mary Marinopoulou
Voice actors: Lea Blau, Jelena Jandrić, Bojan Kolopić, Cedomir Protic, Sanjin Vidovic
Sound edit and mastering: Dragan Bosnjak

An exploration of common traits and common talks on Balkan identity
The Great “B” is an audio walk along the most notable points in any Balkan city: the mosque, the river bridge, the outdoor market and the orthodox church. One can experience it in every Balkan city, without restrictions on how to walk along these points. The “B” can be reversed, distorted, or placed up-side-down, it can take longer or shorter to walk, or simply be experienced as a soundscape.

Read about and listen to the Great B here.
Jelena (Jelly) Luise

Artwork: ipak je naše naše
Info: 4 Video-channel installation
Artist: Jelena Luise

A visual research on Balkan camp aesthetic
ipak je naše naše is an ongoing exploration of the Balkanic camp aesthetic. Here the Sontagesque notion that camp embodies a love for the unnatural, of artifice and exaggeration is projected in a sociopolitical context where camp is no longer not political, but instead becomes a modus operandi for fantasy and opulence but also of survival.
Diona Kusari and Ale Riletti

Artwork: Fshati digjet, nusja krihet (The Village is Burning, The Bride is Grooming)
Info: ephemeral archive
Artist: Diona Kusari and Ale Rilletti
Sound edit and mastering:
Dragan Bosnjak

As a refute to moral policing governing our lives, we decided to be joined in matrimony. Our failed marriage, lathered by the ever-present ethnic and gender-based discrimination, was fused by the various agents that gave emergence to its becoming and consequently, stopped it in its tracks.
The work is an ephemeral archive; it gathers relics of a marriage that never happened. This act of radical love, desired to embody disobedience to a state of patriarchal hellsome and hatred of the outliers. What's the meaning of marriage today? How can we hack institutions from the inside? Its delicate traces are sacred as witnessing a fragile possibility of escaping the constraints of biopolitical devices. Namely, they echo physical and moral threats, which dismantled our concrete hope of transformation. Through this altar we call everybody to participate in this memory of a failure, coded in the red and blue binarism. 
Sezer Salihi

Artwork: The Quality of Image
Info: 3 Screens installation
Artist: Sezer Salihi
Films created by: Lea Blau, Drazen Crnomat, The Kids of Gradja

An aesthetic visual research on the Quality of Life of Balkans
Inspired by Eurostat indicators for Quality of Life Sezer Salihi explores visually the subjective view of the world of different social actors that bring their gaze of the world through the lenses of the camera. Inspired by the third cinema manifesto he gives space to the view of the world of ordinary humans, with the intent to explore the quality of image in the environment they are living and creates a small planet of overlapping views that restitute a sense of a unique piece of a diversity of gazes.

Artwork: Balkan Lullaby Songs
Info: Audio piece, Lullabies Booklet (52 pages)
Artist: Sezer Salihi
Sound edit and mastering: Dejan Saviç

Balkan Lullaby Songs is a research project aiming to collect the songs that we all hear first through the voices of our mothers and grandmothers, a time in which we do not know anything about language, nationality and war. Lullabies Song is an intimate exploration of our primordial orgins as human beings that envisions a New Balkan to be without stereotypes, discrimination and hatred among the people. The Goblen mirror is experienced as a confrontational tool that allows you to connect with your inner world and to disconnect from the cruelty of the real world we live in.

Download and read the Balkan Lullabies booklet here.
Jelena Gajinović

Artwork: dom je tamo
Info: Text
Artist: Jelena Gajinović

Home as a place of territorial, physical and spiritual sense of belonging.

The text "Home is there" is an appropriation of a quote by Sister Amata Anđelić, ASC. The attempt to define Home in its abstract but also physical framework in the Balkans is present in various contexts. Original quote: “Dom je tamo gdje je ljubav, gdje je praštanje, gdje je zajednica, gdje možemo biti ono što jesmo” // "Home is where love is, where there is forgiveness, where there is a community, where we can be who we are”.
Lea Blau

Info: Performance Piece
Artist: Lea Blau

A performative action inspired by slavic pagan rituals of excruciation and banishment of evil spirits.
By remembering and reimagining myths in the Balkans, the artist questions how cultural traditions and underrepresented spiritual practices in balkan states exist in the now and become tools of resistance. On the threshold between devotion, fantasy and provocation, the ritual calls for communal sharing and co-creation of a reality beyond borders and prejudices.
Lori Lako

Artwork: May the best of your yesterdays be the worst of your tomorrows
Info: Video Installation
Artist: Lori Lako
Assistant Director: Sezer Salihi
Acting coach: Hana Milenkovska
Men drinking rakia. They don’t look particularly concerned about the site, no more than with the continuous raising of their glasses. The three men are sitting in a post-industrial landscape that recalls the end of the socialist era in its ruinous state. Staging the most common visual representation of social gatherings in the public spaces of the Balkans, the men go on toast after toast, until they leave the seats. Two of the glasses are broken. Some blood stains can be seen on the table cloth. Something must have happened
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