We Don’t Know What It Is, But It Is Certainly Not What You Think It Is
sculpture, metal, kraft paper
565 cm x 310 cm x 400 cm
2012

In the formal sense, the sculpture We Don’t Know What It Is, But It Is Certainly Not What You Think It Is leans on the experience of minimalist art, primarily on the specific relationship of the viewer towards the exhibited object/sculpture (body perception and object-architecture relationship, according to what is said on the subject by Robert Morris, one of the most prominent theorists of Minimalism). The artist makes an object-installation, thus initiating or creating an object-related spatial experience for the viewer; the spatial experience consists of the impossibility to see the work as a whole, all its sides (the excessive dimensions of the object in the exhibition space) and the provocation constituted by the title of the object-installation.

 

With her work We Don’t Know What It Is, But It Is Certainly Not What You Think It Is, Ana Krstić in a way provokes and underestimates the viewer, putting them in the position of someone who does not understand the exhibited work and will never understand it. As a suggestion for its interpretation, the artist highlights the production process, but also the process of communication of the work with the viewer. On the one hand, it is a delicate and careful process of thinking and working, and on the other hand, the viewer’s process of thinking and concluding, over which the artist has no or rarely has control. She also points out that the appropriation of minimalist art discourse is a sort of simulation, where she plays with art – by creating something that looks like art. This opens a space for examining class differences – an instance in which decisions are made about what is and what is not art, and more generally, what is and what is not reality.

The work was produced and exhibited at the 53rd October Salon: Good Life, 2012

© Cultural Centre of Belgrade, October Salon Collection and the artist
Purchase Contract: III-5-454/1/10.12.2014.
Inventory No. 1381
Photo:  Courtesy the artist, installation view 53rd October Salon, Ana Kostić

Selected Bibliography:
53rd October Salon, Good Life: Physical Narratives and Spatial Imaginations. Cultural Centre of Belgrade, 2012
Art + Media, Journal of Art and Media Studies, No 7, April 2015, Art and Politics: Agency, Autonomy, Emancipation – Artist Portfolio, Singidunum University, Belgrade, 2015, 78–81.
Vesna Milosavljević, “Možemo li sada stati?” (talk with the artist), SEEcult.org, Belgrade, July 22, 2012, http://www.seecult.org/vest/mozemo-li-sada-stati, accessed on March 27, 2020
Guided tour of the exhibition We Can’t Stop Now, SEEcult.org, 2012, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3-tWdeD0Fk, accessed on March 27, 2020

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Ana Krstić (1978, Valjevo, Serbia) graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade and Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade and obtained a master’s degree from the University of Berlin in 2018. Since 2006 her works have been presented in solo and group exhibitions in the country and abroad. She works in diverse media (sculpture, installation, video) and within different institutional and non-institutional contexts. In her practice, she tries to raise awareness of the importance and function of art in society, the position of artists in the wider social context. Since 2010, she has specialized in site-specific and participatory projects, focusing on memorial culture and the appropriation of public space. She won the Audience Award at the 25th Nadežda Petrović Memorial in Čačak in 2010 and was a finalist for the Dimitrije Bašićević Mangelos Award in 2012 and 2013. Since 2014 she has lived and worked in Berlin. More information at https://anakrstic.wordpress.com/