Shadows of the Future

solo exhibition
13/12/2016 – 13/1/2017
Curator: Sabina Salamon
MMSU Rijeka

Opening: Tuesday 13/12/2016, 20:00 hrs

Curator: Sabina Salamon

In cooperation with the Museum of Fine Arts, Split

The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Rijeka is glad to invite you to attend the solo exhibition Shadows of the Future by the artist Neli Ružić, opening on December 13, 2016 at 7 pm.
In the twenty-five artworks exhibited, the concept of cultural remembrances and its several registers fulfill the preeminent role: starting from the investigation of her own memory codes, and facing the issue of the politicization of memory, the artist explores the methods of oblivion, erasure, negation, and complete deconstruction, creating new structures from the remnants of the past, by combining imaginary and historical spaces.

In most cases, the artist makes reference to political issues, whereby she treats her topics of individual and collective memory in terms of erasure, repetition, and remembrance, basing herself primarily on her own experience of ruptures and cultural displacement, which occurred thrice: with the social overturn in her homeland of Croatia (Yugoslavia), her departure in the late 1990s, and her unwilling return thirteen years later.
Relying on the discernment between memory and history as interpreted by Pierre Nora, she prefers memory as an everyday, living activity, which has completely disappeared from the modern, developed world in favour of history. Thereby the negative aspect of history is that it “always stands for a problematic representation of the past” and uses the principle of rationalization (filtering and classification) in order to legitimize that past. Contrary to that, the artist considers memory, as a living activity subject to change (forgetting and recalling), to be a primordial and spontaneous act, non-resistant to censorship or manipulation – in other words, a perfectly human way of processing the accumulated life. It is this kind of memory that one encounters in the work of Neli Ružić, where suppressed places and unarticulated thoughts become an inspiring material to fill the gaps that history has never registered, or perhaps it has overlooked them intentionally. Thus, regardless of the fact that she uses the whole range of procedures in rendering cultural mnemotechnics – adherence to the landscape, songs, and handwork (embroidery) – she does not focus on the familiar and tested “fixed points in the past”. Mistrust towards articulating history and the dominant narratives, raises the issue of translatability and bridging, on territorial as well as mental or emotional level, which recurs in the work of Neli Ružić in various forms.
There are two places Neli Ružić keeps revisiting – mountains and her mother tongue – as two opposite choices between escapism and the “founding memory” of the self.

Exhibition Shadows of the Future by Neli Ružić is a first episode of activities within EU project RISK CHANGE held in MMSU.