Serbian Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale
“United Dead Nations”
Artists: Ivan Grubanov
Curator/Commissioner: Lidija Merenik
Deputy Commissioner: Ana Bogdanovic
Scientific Committee: Jovan Despotovic
Venue: Pavilion at Giardini
What do Tibet, the USSR, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia, for example, have in common? According to Serbian artist Ivan Grubanov: the memory of cultures lost to social and political upheaval in the 20th century. Presumably inspired by the renaming of his home country from Yugoslavia to “Serbia” Grubanov explores the recent history of a nation, from dissolution to inception. With the assistance of Lidija Merenik, the Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, and the Serbian Ministry of Culture and Information, Grubanov explores the legacy of recently-dissolved nations—in particular, those countries once represented in the Venice Biennale—in an installation that brings together their flags. Dirtied and crumpled on top of each other on the pavilion floor, the pile of obsolete national symbols explores the ephemeral nature of identity in the face of political turmoil.