Maja Bajevic (Sarajevo, 1967) bases her work on a poetic and subtle review of historical and social fractures, which involves awareness of the spectator as an agent or audience alike.
In her work, she analyses the relationship between violence, power and identity construction, reflects on the impact that political and social conflicts have on daily life and considers the need (as well as the difficulty) to put oneself in another’s shoes. These reflections when taken together always entail the active involvement of the viewer. Bajevic began to be internationally known with her project Women at Work (1991-2001), a series of performance pieces that included the participation of five women refugees from the massacre at Srebrenica. In one of these pieces,Washing Up, they hand-washed different clothing containing slogans from the era of the dictator Tito on them, until they washed out the words - an act loaded with poetic and political symbolism which, to a certain extent, had a cathartic effect.
The project she is presenting at Palacio de Cristal in Madrid's Parque Retiro is articulated around one hundred political and economic slogans from the last hundred years that Bajevic has classified according to different criteria (date, content, chance, etc.). The slogans are projected onto moving steam and can be heard in a sound installation being intoned a cappella by different singers (some of whom are musically gifted while others are not). The idea, in Bajevic’s words, is to use them to track and illustrate changes in the social temperature over the last century, the transitions from left to right, from the political to the economic, from enthusiasm and idealism to resignation and back again, etc.
To Be Continued, Maja Bajevic’s first solo exhibition in Spain, includes a monument with five screens showing a series of videos with the generic title Wende, a German word meaning ‘change’ or ‘turning point’, usually used to refer to events around the fall of the Berlin Wall. It in turn contains an archive with index cards containing all of the slogans and several Industrial Revolution-looking steam engines which, like the reminiscence of memory in the face of history, start working at night, without visitors, when the Palace has closed its doors.