Remembering The Nowhere

The exhibition Remembering the Nowhere consists of images taken from family albums and a collection of private objects gathered from the former Yugoslavian diaspora, who came to Denmark during the 90s, mostly as refugees.
Exhibition duration:
15-01-2016 - 13-03-2016
Remembering The Nowhere
Vladimir Tomic
The exhibition Remembering the Nowhere consists of images taken from family albums and a collection of private objects gathered from the former Yugoslavian diaspora, who came to Denmark during the 90s, mostly as refugees.  Both photographs and objects have an emotional and nostalgic value to these people, which is why they have been saving them for many years. During the war many had to flee their homes in a rush and didn't have the time to take anything with them. Those who did manage to bring something with them chose in many cases to save family photo albums before any other material thing. It is a unique collection of images of the life these people left behind and the life abroad, which many of them refer to as “the new life”.

By combining family photographs and objects from before, during and after the war in former Yugoslavia, Vladimir Tomić tries to approach both personal and collective memory of this group of people. Combined, these artifacts stand in both harmony and strong contrasts. Harmony is found in the immediate aesthetics often occurring in amateur photographs, which also often reveal other stories along with the intended portrayal. Contrasts appear when these images are put side by side.  With this rather simple approach Tomić is editing the raw footage and putting it in different order to try to open up the gap between the images and between the objects. It is a gap created between these people’s former and new life. Tomić states that he has never seen this gap despite being a refugee himself, having lived in refugee camps like and with many of these people:

“I do not believe amateur or professional photographers can capture this gap. The gap I’m referring to might be created or manifest itself during my own and these people’s stay in the refugee camps, but one can't refer to it as a refugee camp or any other particular place.”

This gap, which Tomić has named “the Nowhere”, only exists in the minds of the ones who were exposed to it, as it is placed in the time of the former and the new life. The Nowhere exists only in combination between those two, by looking from a distance and trying to remember.

About the artist
Vladimir Tomić was born in 1980 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2009 he graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. He lives and works in Copenhagen.  
A precise, poetic idiom and strong personal narratives carry Vladimir Tomić’s art photography, video- and film works. Genre-wise they move between art films and experimental documentaries. The main themes are universal and mainly centered around human conflicts, such as the influence on the individual’s identity when social structures change. Tomić’s work is typically based on his own personal experiences and has been exhibited, shown at festivals, and has received awards at home and abroad. His latest art film Flotel Europa (2015) portrays the two years he spent in a floating refugee center in Copenhagen’s harbor alongside other refugees from the Yugoslavian civil war. It has been awarded several international film awards including the Tagesspiegel Reader’s Prize at Berlinale.

On Saturday January 16th at 2 PM, Vladimir Tomić will give an artist talk at Gallery Image.

The exhibition is supported by The Danish Arts Foundation