Ismar Cirkinagic: Revisiting the Past

6 January – 11 February 2012

In a new series of drawings Ismar Cirkinagic turns back the clock, to the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina during the years 1992-1995. The journey back to the past made in the knowledge that our memory is very fragile and that many important memories have already been forgotten. For this reason Cirkinagic researched the time using documentaries and written material from the period, available on the Internet today. From these he has selected some themes of important symbolic value.

Cirkinagic communicates his idea with technically perfectionistic draughtsmanship, first digitally manipulating the selected motifs before transfering the imagery onto paper using a felt tip pen.

At the exhibition we are met with figures such as Thorvald Stoltenberg, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Special representative to former Yugoslavia, Yasushi Akashi, coordinator of UN peacekeeping work in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Carl Bildt, the UN Special Envoy and a noted internationally as a meditator in Bosnia conflict. Although Cirkinagic presents these three diplomats in the drawings in classic and proud state style portraits, there is an underlying, almost menacing darkness penetrating through each portrait. A contrast to the Stately style of the work, its like a pair of bloody hands washed clean.

Cirkinagic work contains a subtle but definite significance, which creates space for reflection. By avoiding direct confrontation with death and destruction in his pictures, Cirkinagic instead create connotations that implicitly form a strong visual image of the war’s aftermath.

Revisiting the Past marks the very special chapter in the artist’s memory, the drawings presented at the exhibition serving as bookmarks in life, while the process of their preparation simultaneously serves as part of a therapeutic confrontation.

Ismar Cirkinagic was born in 1973 in Prijedor in the former Yugoslavia. He graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2006 and in 2010 he was awarded the 3-year working grant from the National Arts Council.

Exhibition review:
Internationale barndomsminder, Af: Michael Jeppesen, Information 13 Januar 2012