macLYON, Lyon, Francija
15 September 2021 – 02 January 2022

For Jasmina Cibic, every film project sees this artist-researcher delving into the archives, the accounts recorded there as well as the silences, in order to reveal the attitudes of all forms of power – whether state, government, party political or diplomatic – towards the arts.

For the exhibition Stagecraft, Jasmina Cibic has brought together several years of research into political gifting of culture, which she unravels as the centrefold of the exhibition at macLYON in her film The Gift. This film features several emblematic buildings, including the French Communist Party Headquarters in Paris, the Palace of Nations in Geneva, the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw and Mount Buzludzha in Bulgaria, all of which, in their collections and architecture, constitute gifts in their own right and have a profoundly established artistic vocabulary entirely at the service of political dramaturgy.

This project by Jasmina Cibic is part of her research into the notion of soft power, which was the basis of her exhibition for the Slovenian pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale.

The exhibition Stagecraft unfolds across half of the second floor of the macLYON. Visitors can access it after having discovered the highly theatrical and scripted universe of Delphine Balley.
Jasmina Cibic conceives her exhibition projects as a form of total art and includes the immediate environment of her films in a continuous dialogue between the scenography, the films and the objects intended to construct the narrative.

The exhibition and its entire arrangement form a stage destined to decompose and recompose the spectacle of political power.
This is why visitors first enter the space via a long corridor, where the luminous partitioned ceiling is constructed from motifs that immediately plunge them into the atmosphere of a Modernist performance.
The corridor leads onto the first room, which reproduces and transposes the environment of Béla Bartók’s pantomime ballet The Miraculous Mandarin—which premiered at the Cologne Opera in 1926—as it was reproduced in 1958 in Brussels. The constructed elements, and a symbolic stage, with sculptures and spaces that can be activated by performers, make up the display area, providing the decor with a sculptural status, thereby symbolizing the very principle of Stagecraft.

Jasmina Cibic simultaneously plays here, as in her film, with various time frames (created in the 1920s, this ballet has had numerous choreographic versions), in order to put into perspective a series of paradoxes relating to the relationship between the arts and political power. She also makes use of allegories to stage her analysis of history and political codes.

The exhibition continues in the large room dominated by three big screens, on which the film The Gift is shown. A large bench invites viewers to sit and immerse themselves in this 27-minute artistic and rhetorical journey.
The Gift is the result of extensive documentary research and a shooting schedule that spanned three years, several countries and numerous international collaborations. Jasmina Cibic conceives this experimental film and the archival research that forms its base, as a global project brought to life in a collaborative and international production of exhibitions, screenings and editions.

She sees this project as a means of resistance in the face of the decay of international inter-European relations and the rise of nationalism.

At the macLYON, The Gift is presented in its final form to the public for the first time.
A catalog, illustrated with exhibition’s views and specially commissioned texts, will be published.

More info.


Curator: Matthieu Lelièvre


Born 1979 in Ljubljana (Slovenia), Jasmina Cibic lives and works in London. She is a graduate of the Accademia di Belle Arti, Venice, and Goldsmiths’ College, London.
She represented Slovenia during 55th Venice Biennale in 2013, with the project For Our Economy and Culture.
In the last two years several solo exhibitions were dedicated to Jasmina Cibic at venues including the Museum of Contemporary Art Ljubljana, Phi Foundation Montreal, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, CCA Glasgow and others. Cibic was awarded the Ben Award for Best Immersive and Time Based Art (2020), MAC International Ulster Bank Award (2016) and Best International Artist Award Charlottenborg Fonden Copenhagen (2016). She has been shortlisted for the renowned Film London Jarman Award (2021).

Solos shows (selection)
Most Favoured Nations, Museum der Moderne, Salzburg

21.05 – 29.08 : The Palace, Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz

The Foundation of Endeavour, Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Ljubljana

An atmosphere of Joyful Contemplation, CCA Glasgow
The Pleasure of Expense, Cooper Gallery, DJCAD Dundee
Spielraum, Tobačna 001, Ljubljana

Everything We Do Today will Look Heroic in the Future, The Significant Other, Vienna
Everything that You Desire and Nothing that You Fear, Phi Foundation, Montreal
This Machine Builds Nations, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle

NADA, National Gallery of Macedonia, Skopje
The Spirit of Our Needs, Kunstmuseen Krefeld House Esters
Topical Devices, Northampton Contemporary, Northampton
Firm Foundations, Gallery Zak Branicka, Berlin
The Nation Loves It, Crawfrod Gallery, Cork
A Shining City on a Hill, Space O, Aarhus 2017, Aarhus

Tear Down and Rebuild, Esker Foundation, Calgary
Building Desire, Apoteka, Vodnjan
NADA: Act I, Vjenceslav Richter Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb

Spielraum, Onomatopee, Eindhoven
Building Desire, Museum of Contemporary Art, Vojvodina
Tear Down and Rebuild, Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade
Spielraum: Give Expression to Common Desires, MGLC, Ljubljana
Spielraum: The Nation Loves It, Ludwig Museum, Budapest

Fruits of Our Land, Saw Gallery, Ottawa and LMAK Projects, New York

For Our Economy and Culture, Slovenian pavilion, Venice Biennale, Venice

Jasmina Cibic