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Tanja Ostojić: "Clothes, after Juniper Perlis’s "Clothes 1" and my mother ..." (2009), Performance. Video: Anne Quirynen

Tanja Ostojić (Serbia, Germany *1972)

Tanja Ostojić is an interdisciplinary artist from Belgrade who lives and works in Berlin. In her provocative performances, she investigates the position of women within contemporary cultural and political power regimes. She uses persiflage, provocation and irony as strategies to expose and subvert the exclusionary mechanisms of European immigration policies and the hierarchies within the Western art world.


Tanja Ostojic: "Strategies of Success / Curators series" (2001-2003) in the exhibition.
Photograph: Andreas Süß

In the years 2001 to 2003, Tanja Ostojić worked on the series "Strategies of Success / Curator Series," which consists of performances, installations, photographs and a journal. In "I’ll Be Your Angel" (2001) she accompanied the curator Harald Szeemann during the opening of the 49th Venice Biennale, never leaving his side. She "presented" her conceptual body art work "Black Square on White" (2001), in which her pubic hair was trimmed in a square, by keeping it hidden. Tanja Ostojić’s other public actions include taking a bubble bath with the Italian curator Bartolomeo Pietromarchi and art critic Ludovico Pratesi in the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome as the lovely ending to a shared gala dinner, and washing the feet of the Belgrade-based curator Stevan Vuković in "Sofa for Curator" (2002). The only traces of the non-public performance with the Albanian curator Edi Muka, "Vacation with Curator" (2003), are the photographs taken by the paparazzi she hired. In her work "Politics of queer curatorial positions: After Rosa von Praunheim, Fassbinder and Bridge Markland" (2003) she and the Slovenian curator and theorist Marina Gržinić re-enact an iconographic scene featuring Gabrielle d’Estrées, mistress to King Henry IV of France, and one of her sisters.

Clothes, after Juniper Perlis’ »Clothes 1« and my mother ...
Performance by Tanja Ostojić SRB/D

Within the new, complex analytical performance, the Berlin based Serbian artist Tanja Ostojic is going to re-enact Clothes 1 (2003) of the Boston based performance artist Juniper Perlis (*1974). In Clothes 1 Perlis brought on her own to the venue all the clothes she possessed and tried hard to dress up. During her research Ostojić found out that Perlis’ family was homeless during her childhood and that she became aware of the weight of her own things. Perlis’ Clothes 1–4 inspired Ostojić to think about different phenomena that are closely linked to clothes, such as consumerism, accumulation, identity and homelessness. In this same performance she will tell an intimate story about her mother’s clothes in the transitional period of the former socialist Yugoslavia.


Tanja Ostojić: "Clothes, after Juniper Perlis’ »Clothes 1« and my mother ...", Photograph: Jan Stradtmann


In the Exhibition:

"Strategies of Success / Curators series", 2001–2003:
"I’ll Be Your Angel", 2001. Performance with Harald Szeemann, curator, 49. Biennale, Venice, duration: 4 days. Photograph: Borut Krajnc.

"Be My Guest", 2001. Performance with Bartolomeo Pietromarchi, curator, and Ludovico Pratesi, art critic, "Gravita Zero", Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, duration: 150min, video still from "Be My Guest", 15:58min, Video/Beta.

"Sofa for Curator", 2002. Performance with Stevan Vuković, theorist and curator from Belgrade, "Balkan Konsulat", Rotor, Graz, duration: 30min. Photograph: mrs.lee.com.

"Vacation with Curator", 2003. Series of paparazzi photographs, photo collages and website with Edi Muka, curator, 2. Biennale, Tirana, Albania. Photograph: Paparazzi.

"Politics of queer curatorial positions: After Rosa von Praunheim, Fassbinder and Bridge Markland", 2003 with Marina Grzinić. Photograph: Jane Stravs.

In the Video Archive:

"I'll Be Your Angel", 2001-2002, 22:00min.

In the Performance Programme:

"Clothes, after Juniper Perlis’s »Clothes 1« and my mother ...", Performance


Tanja Ostojić Website