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Viewing Room

Darija Radakovic

"I don't think art is good for you"

November 19  – January 2023


“I have always had a critical attitude toward my surroundings, and when it comes to making art I tend to think that some satire is inevitable,

maybe even remedial.” – Darija

In this exhibition, “I don’t think art is good for you”, Bosnian-born, Calgary-based artist, Darija Radakovic explores concepts of aggression, conflict, immigration, freedom,  equality, apathy  and the most often absurdness of it all.

Darija’s work is never the same, neither in technique, style, nor a theme, but it’s always about the honest confrontation with the issues that triggers her  attention, and exposing that confrontation to the audience. Now in Canada, she feels that the issues she left behind in Bosnia are emerging in her new surroundings; that matters of collective and cultural identity, and exclusivity are gaining ground, while civic liberty, individual responsibility, the culture of dialog and the open society we had taken for granted have to be vigorously defended from daily attacks.

Through collage, ready-mades and other objects, Darija exposes the often ridiculous reality of policy and politics on the world stage, often history repeating itself.  In collages such as “Testing” where she has collaged a picture of a nuclear bomb test in place of a woman’s hat or “Invasion” which juxtaposes another nuclear explosion with women sun tanning while reading newspapers announcing Invasion, she illustrates the nonchalance in which society now views these all too common occurances. In “WE ARE TIRED”, she has placed the words ‘WE ARE TIRED OF HIDING THE BODIES” onto a large Persian carpet and thus speaking simultaneously of the thousands of Indigenous children buried in unmarked graves at multiple Canadian residential schools and the mass graves from the 1995 Srebrenica Genocide in her home country. Combined with “LET’S GET LOST”,  an old suitcase encased in concrete which speaks of the hurdles involved in immigration and the sorrowful emptiness of “PIETA”, Darija forces the viewer to think of things they’d rather sweep under the proverbial carpet.

Deborah Herringer Kiss, 2022

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