EXIT installation view. Photo: Matej Stupica EXIT installation view. Photo: Matej Stupica

Lenka Đorojević: EXIT

2020, installation 

EXIT refers to segments of personal experience of Hasena Sulojdžić-Terzić from Pljevlja, Montenegro, who during her seven-month captivity in the German concentration camp Ludwigsfelde worked for an underground aircraft factory owned by Daimler-Benz, the today’s Mercedes-Benz corporation. The work deals with the phenomenon of phantasm and the recalcitrance of the imaginary structure and the world of symbols, which eludes the violence in the camps, conducted on a symbolic, mental and instrumental plane, the final and the concrete, thus allowing for the possibility of subversion, interruption and exit.[1] Hasena's experience of death, represented through the narration of the story The Alsatian,[2] testifies to the existence of something unbreakable and untameable in every human being – the vitality of a life which can never be entirely suppressed and over which no system is able to exercise complete control. It is a space of struggle in which the practices of freedom can also disarm the contemporary psychopolitics of neoliberal capitalism, dependent labour, continuous re-colonization and fascization, and open up to a mode of existence which does not yet have a name, which is a future yet to be written!

[1] Achille Mbembe, Critique of Black Reason, Durham: Duke University Press Books, 2017.

[2] The short story The Alsatian (Vučjak) was written by Radovan Vujadinović, based on the testimony of Hasena-Sulojdžić Terzić about an event which had happened in the German concentration camp Ludwigswelde. The story was published in the short story collection The Trail (Belgrade: “ČETVRTI JUL”, 1984).

EXIT was a derivation of Lenka Đorojević’s 2019 artwork, produced for Missing Stories. Forced Labour under Nazi Occupation. An Artistic Approach exhibition (Goethe-Institut Belgrade). For the Corneous Stories publication, the artist has also developed a visual collage.

Concept and realization: Lenka Đorojević; Curator: Natalija Vujošević; Consultation: Jadranka Ještrović, Hasena Terzić-Sulojdžić's daughter; Writer of The Asaltian: Radovan VujadinovićDesign: Matej Stupica; Wood work: Wood/Mood - Martin Lovšin Schintr and Miran Bratuš; Metal work: Andraž Tarman; Programming: Matic Potočnik; Voice: Lidija Kordić; sound recording: Nemanja Bečanović; sound post-production: Miha Šajina; consultation: Jadranka Ještrović, Hasena Terzić-Sulojdžić's daughter; author of The Asaltian: Radovan Vujadinović; translation: Milica Vuković Stamatović; proof-reading: Matthew Whiffen; special thanks: Jadranka Ještrović, Radovan Vujadinović, Matej Stupica, Lina Rica, Nataša Tepavčević, Monika Schnell, Ana Pavlović, Ljiljana Karadžić, Alliance of the NLS Fighters and the Anti-Fascists of Montenegro, Nikšić; comrades Desa, Zuvdija Hodžić, Slobodan Bato Mirjačić; the Vujičić, Đorojević and Stupica family.