New City, 2013
Production: STUK arts centre, Leuven, Belgium
Technical drawings and architectural models: Goran Petrović, Dušica Dražić
Courtesy the artist
New City is a large maquette of a non-existing city. The buildings that this city consists of are chosen from projects that were actually built, but couldn’t reach their potential, missed their purpose and were eventually destroyed (the destruction was always intentional and organized and was never a consequence of war or natural catastrophes). The destruction of these structures was in itself the acknowledgement of their failure. The title New City refers to a modernist trend in the 1960s of the creation and development of new cities or expansions of cities. Cities that did not grow naturally, through the ages, but were conceived of and executed in a relatively short timeframe. They were often a testing ground for new urban technologies and ideas regarding form, content and purpose for the benefit of its inhabitants. There are examples of this trend worldwide: New Belgrade, Louvain-la-Neuve, Brasília, New Zagreb. Often a change of the political, economical or social system influences the selection process though which a concept or project is implemented. At that moment the form becomes a means of expression of a promoted ideology.
Many architectural projects that were at the time of their conceptualisation considered either progressive in form or socially empowering have turned out to to be a failure at the moment they were realised and inhabited. They failed in their main purpose and instead of protecting and generating a better life, they often became rather user-un-friendly. At the same time New City includes many projects that were socially successful, but were considered as economical or aesthetic failures, and for that reason were demolished. The work New City looks critically at political, economical, legal, social and formal reasons that were used as an argument that fostered demolition of existing, but still functional buildings. It questions the methods and ethics of various urban transformations world wide. By proposing a new city to be constructed out of “failed” architecture, the work New City invites us to rethink the idea and the meaning of a “sustainable city” and to look for possible potential within these so-called ‘failures’.
Dušica Dražić (1979, Belgrade, Serbia) graduated in 2004 at the Faculty of Aplied Arts in Belgrade and continued her professional development at the Bauhaus University. Her artistic fields are installation and performance with an emphasis on their impermanency. The issues that Dražić explores within her art practice deal with the ambivalent interrelationship of the citizen and the city, their mutual support and protectiveness, but also their isolation and destruction. Dražić searches for spaces of irregularity, difference, flexibility, intuition and focuses on abandoned, forgotten places in the urban structure of modern cities.
Selected solo exhibitions: New City, Tobačna 001, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2013; Vexations, SCCC, Belgrade, 2012; Blueprint, Cultural Centre of Belgrade; Venue, gallery DOB, Belgrade, 2011; It seems like we’ve been here before, Studio Tomaseo,Trieste, 2010; Spaces, CCS, Sopot, Serbia, 2009. Public art work : Industrial Arboretum, Dockville Kunstcamp, Hamburg, 2012; 2011, Gap, Urban Festival 2011, Zagreb, Croatia; Monument to the Future, Goethe Institute, Nairobi, Kenya, 2011; Ruch, ART ET by przejsciach, Wroclaw, Poland, 2009.
Awards / Scholarships: Young European Artist, Trieste Contemporanea; 2010 Dimitrije Bašićević Mangelos award, Serbia, 2010; 2005/2006, DAAD scholarship, Germany, 2005/2006.