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Katarina Zdjelar: Proximities, a rehearsal, an archive

October 29, 2021 - January 3, 2022

Fingers interlock, grips slip and arms stretch out toward each other, as figures are torn apart, brought together—all at once.

Proximities, a rehearsal, an archive is Katarina Zdjelar’s first solo exhibition in the US; an artist who represented her native Serbia at the 53rd Venice Biennale and has exhibited worldwide. Working mainly in the medium of video, Zdjelar explores how the potential for transformation and change are held in the body. This exhibition presents a new iteration of an ongoing project by Zdjelar, inspired by archival documents from an all-women’s dance studio, founded in 1945 in post-war Dresden by Dore Hoyer, a choreographer and expressionist dancer, whose choreographies took the graphic works of artist Käthe Kollwitz as their departure point. Zdjelar proposes this artistic meeting between Kollwitz and Hoyer as a manifestation of shared affinities with (proto) feminist pacifism, solidarity, and collective transformation across the barriers of time, class, and social differences.

Hoyer’s company worked in a state of poverty and hunger in the single un-bombed room of Mary Wigman’s former studio. Little remains of Hoyer’s production today, except for some photographs and an incomplete music score. Zdjelar has developed a body of artwork around the fragmented material remains of Hoyer’s Tanz für Käthe Kollwitz in the archives of the Dance Museum in Cologne, Germany. The installation at Oregon Contemporary will consist of newly conceived sculptural elements combined with a multi-channel video work “Not a Pillar not a Pile (Tanz für Dore Hoyer)” (2017). For this filmic portrait, Zdjelar gathered a group of dancers, activists, and performers to explore how the “archived bodies” in Hoyer and Kollwitz’s works might speak to living bodies in the present. This is the final exhibition in Turnstones, Lucy Cotter’s program as Curator in Residence 2020-21.


Oregon Contemporary
8371 N Interstate Ave, Portland
Portland, OR 97217 United States
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Wheelchair accessible, Service Animals allowed
Women curated, Women artist(s)
Event Type
Gallery, Visual Art, Film & Video
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