Doplgenger (Isidora Ilić and Boško Prostran) is an art duo from Belgrade. The analysis of the moving image and the regime of representation, with an emphasis on the political effect of images, is at the forefront of the interest of the Doplenger duo.
It addresses this issue from various perspectives; through artistic, curatorial and educational practice. It considers its own position within complex research work through the figure of the amateur, given that the amateur approach, this position from the outside, holds political potential and opens up the possibility of emancipation through self-education, self-organisation and unification. The key issue of the artists’ work is to explore how the moving image participates in the process of constructing social reality and how it affects the formation of collective memory. Through their work, they point to the fact that the image is never neutral but is always embedded in ideological mechanisms and in various political objectives. Doplgenger, referring to the tradition of experimental film, highlights the complexity of the image and makes its invisible properties visible through editing, the appropriation of historical media images and the use of various archives.
Likovni salon presents the ongoing project Fragments Untitled, which has been in the making since 2011 and presents excerpts of the key socio-political moments and ideological turns within the arena of the former Yugoslavia. With their project, Doplgenger attempts to articulate the ways in which recent historical events can be thought about without direct physical experience, through media images that, as the title of the series suggests, are always particular and as such incapable of pronouncing the truth. Through the analysing of the images, the artists pose questions on who has the power to define history and from which position they speak. The series consists of video works, an installation and a textual piece. It deals with the media archives of the past two decades (1980–2000), the period of the breakup of Yugoslavia and the formation of the new states. This traumatic transition period is questioned through the process of remembrance. The most significant work in the series is the video piece Fragments Untitled #1. It shows footage of Slobodan Milošević’s pivotal political speech in Kosovo in 1989, as an introduction to the Balkan Wars. The video directs the attention to the crowd gathered, to the political figures in the first row and to the stage without the protagonist. We observe the moment of waiting for the event. By way of repetition, magnification, and most importantly, the introduction of another temporality through a slowdown of images, the viewer is confronted by a sense of unease that is common yet unfamiliar at the same time.
The entire install at Likovni salon provides the viewer with an insight into the breakdown of a particular community and the mechanisms with which it tries to create a new one. It deals with the significance of the process of remembrance, especially how memory is collectively shaped in relation to massively transmitted images, those that consolidate the collective consciousness through the mediation of the common experience. Doplgenger questions the proportion of actual and reproduced memory and emphasises the vital distance that should be adopted towards the educational power of the media image.
The Doplgenger duo has presented its work in many international institutions, including the Museum Wiesbaden, the Kunstmuseum Bonn, the Pompidou Center in Paris, the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, the Osage Gallery in Hong Kong, etc. Their video works have been screened at film festivals around the world (International Film Festival Rotterdam, Seattle International Film Festival, Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival, Cairo Video Festival, Festival des cinémas différents et expérimentaux de Paris, VIDEOEX Zurich …). The two artists are the recipients of the prestigious Politika award for the most successful exhibition of 2015.