“The Artist in the First Person Singular”: From Belgrade to New York City and Back

When and Where

Friday, January 10, 2020 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Monday, January 13, 2020 9:00 am to Friday, February 21, 2020 5:00 pm
Robert Gill Theatre Lobby
Koffler Student Services Centre
214 College Street, Toronto, ON, M5T 2Z9


“The Artist in the First Person Singular”: From Belgrade to New York City and Back is a multi-media interactive exhibition dedicated to PhD Candidate Julija Pesic’s research about the artistic work of Marina Abramović, a Yugoslav-born, New York based performance artist. The exhibition demonstrates an intersectionality of performance and visual arts. It is focused on the body—a central entity of Abramović's oeuvre. This exhibition is an opportunity to see the copies of photo-documents of Abramović's early conceptual works from her Belgrade artistic phase that are not so well-known to her North American audience; for example, the first catalogue of Abramović’s well-known Rhythms series (1973-1975), the first article about Abramović-Ulay collaboration published in art magazine, Moment, in Serbia (Abramović’s homeland). In addition to this, a part of the exhibition is a video work Was ist Kunst? (1978) (What is Art?) and Edinburgh Statement/Who Profits from Art? (1975) by Raša Todosijević, Abramović’s collaborator from Belgrade’s Group of Six. Some of these works are a part of the data collected in September 2019 in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade where a retrospective exhibition, The Cleaner, covering almost five decades of Abramović’s internationally recognized artistic career is taking place for the first time. Finally, the exhibition includes fragments of Julija’s projects inspired by Abramović’s work: A Selfie is Present: A Plastic Body—Recycled Mind, When the Silence Speaks, Julija Unpacked.

About the curator: PhD Candidate Julija Pesic

Julija Pesic is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto focused on performance art, cultural anthropology, and cultural studies. Her doctoral dissertation project investigates cultural specificity and global dynamics in the artistic work of Marina Abramovic, a Belgrade-born, New York City-based performance artist, now best-known for her record-breaking 2010 MoMA retrospective. Julija’s doctoral project has been awarded the Social Science and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship (SSHRC) and Ontario Graduate Scholarship, including the Metal-Trebbin-De Boni Scholarship for her strong academic record. Julija is also an alumna of Harvard University’s Mellon School of Theatre and Performance Research. Before immigrating to Canada, she completed her BA honours in South Slavic Literature and MA in Dramatic Literature at the University of Belgrade with expertise in subversive humour in contemporary European drama. Her research interests include performance art, as well as the interaction of literature, theatre, and film.

The exhibition opening will take place on Friday, January 10, 2020 from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. Following the opening, the exhibit will be open to the public Mondays to Fridays 9:00 am to 5:00 pm until Friday, February 21, 2020.

This event is free and open to the public. No RSVP is required.


214 College Street, Toronto, ON, M5T 2Z9