With his latest, major solo exhibition Line of the Horizon, Ismar Cirkinagic investigates the ideologies behind human atrocities and patterns of behaviour in a large-scale, scenic installation created for the lower galleries of Overgaden Institute of Contemporary Art.
Using images, sound and objects, in Line of the Horizon Cirkinagic creates an exhibition landscape where reality and utopia merge with real events and artefacts from the realities facing us today. Ruinous remnants from parts of the world marked by war together with video projections of the horizon above the sea and the progress of the sun and moon across the sky constitute the landscape of the exhibition, forming a backdrop for the encounter between spokesmen for the opposing ideologies of democracy and totalitarianism. Inspired by Isaiah Berlin’s essay Two Concepts of Liberty (1958), Cirkinagic has written a satirical dialogue between the legendary Dutch conceptual artist Bas Jan Ader, and the character of Comrade Ogilvy from George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984. Staged at sea, their meeting is a heated and passionate debate about the pros and cons of their respective convictions. Each sees the other as unfree, implying that no ideology is capable of embracing human freedom. In Line of the Horizon Cirkinagic explores the inevitability of doubt and renegotiation when being confrontated by the narratives, circumstances and experiences of others constitutes one of the basic conditions of human existence.
Ismar Cirkinagic (b. 1973) graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2006. Cirkinagic was born in Prijedor, Bosnia-Herzegovina, but came to Denmark from Bosnia as a refugee from the war in 1992. Memory and socio-political contexts are constant themes in his art, and the tragic history of war in his country of birth has been the focus of several of his earlier art projects. Internationally he has exhibited at the Metropolitan Arts Centre, Belfast (2016) and the Liverpool Biennial (2012), as well as at numerous museums and art centres in Denmark.