19th of January
The middle part of the exhibition delves into the ways in which water has—in different cultures, religions, and communities—deeply shaped and conditioned everyday rituals and ceremonies and carried people and their stories across space and time. It entails two solos iterations, where the works of Stephanie Imbeau and Marko Stojanović take over the entire space of the Podroom gallery on 28th-30th April and 9th-11th May, respectively, while its central part, “The Other Side of Water: Forces of Habit,” takes place 4th-7th May and, alongside Imbeau and Stojanović, also gathers the works of Mariam Kalandarishvili, Maryam Katan, and Roshanak Amini.
In Shifts (Procession), Imbeau’s moving sculptures and performance series pay homage to and represent how water acts as a shepherd to those who wander from one shore to the next, or visibly shape and alter the landscape, both slowly over time, and abruptly. Stojanović’s photographic series 19th of January, shot over the course of three years, proposes a queering understanding of an Orthodox tradition which takes place on the Epiphany holiday. The series takes a broad look at the events, organized by different entities from church, state, and the royal family, in which men race swimming to a wooden cross, and priests bless the waters in which the competition takes place. While Kalandarishvili’s installation Tertiary Effects recontextualizes the weaponization of water, particularly in the context of public displays of dissent, Katan’s video installation Tactics of Desire unravels the layers of the touristic gaze and examines the exploitative relationship between human and nature. Finally, Amini’s audio-video installation Threshold brings together stories of resistance, analyzing the notions of hope attached to the manifold meanings of the phrase “the other side of water.”
19th of January is on display in Podroom Gallery 14th-16th April, 4th-7th May, and 16-19th May. It takes the form of a solo exhibition 9th-11th May.
“Consuming animal products is allowed from Christmas to Epiphany. The day before Epiphany, however, fasting is mandatory. Only on that day of the year is it acceptable to take photos of half-naked men swimming in the two rivers in Belgrade (Danube and Sava) and only on that day of the year is it acceptable to see members of paramilitary formations or the gendarmerie standing next to the Serbian patriarch or crown prince, wearing nothing but underwear. 19th of January is the only day when you can have a friendly chat with these men, or even exchange emails. On this day, Holy Epiphany water is used to clean a contaminated draw well in which animals had fallen. The Epiphany water was given to pregnant women in order to open them up, just like the night sky on the eve of Epiphany.”