Naked Life 6
single-channel DV video-performance, colour, sound, PAL
the original video-work is in English, with subtitles in English
edition: 1/15 + 1 a.c.

This is the final work, culminating in the entire series, with an extremely strong emotional charge, which had an emancipatory, transformative and healing effect on the viewers and the ensuing discussion. This 50-minute video by Tanja Ostojić is a recording of the eponymous political striptease show, performed on a table in the packed hall of the famous Aberdeen Bar Association in, Scotland on March 12, 2016.

It was realized in the best tradition of the video-performance Naked Life 1 (2004 – which was well received at the October Salon in Belgrade), Naked Life 2 (2011 – performed at the Venice Biennale, the Roma Pavilion in the UNESCO building) and Naked Life 4, (2015 in Gothenburg, referring to 500 years of systematic discrimination against Roma in Sweden). All these works are based on the artist’s research, on the reports of the European Roma Rights Centre and many other international Roma organizations, and they deal with different types of discrimination against Roma, racism and violation of their human rights, women’s rights and children’s rights.

The interdisciplinary work Naked Life explores individual cases and history of discrimination against the largest minority groups in Europe, Roma and Sinti. The project gets to grips with “naked life”, social and political exclusion, deportation, racism, biopolitics, xenophobia and different cultural identities. In her most recent video performance, the artist reads aloud portions of interviews about the tragic destinies of young Roma women and men who were deported from Germany and France to Serbia and Kosovo, although some of them had previously lived in Western Europe to the age of twenty-two… These deportations are the result of declaring the Balkan countries “safe countries”, although they are actually not safe for the Roma, especially when it comes to Kosovo, where the conditions for their employment, education and progress are almost zero. In this performance, Ostojić also addresses the most relevant recent cases of racism against Roma in the UK.

In the pauses of reading, she slowly takes off her many dresses and blouses and eventually remains completely naked and symbolically vulnerable as “naked life”. The intensity of the performance is dramatically enhanced every time the artist bangs the table with the heel, in the courtroom where many important acts have been debated for centuries. Through this process, she emphasizes the gravity of the situation and expresses her protest over it.

She writes the authentic words of some of the interviewed artists on sheets of paper and serves them to the audience. Ostojić wonders how it is possible at all in modern Europe that certain ethnic groups are systematically excluded and deprived of political, social and human rights.

“It’s time to put an end to the last allowed racism – racism against the Roma!” Mar. 25, 2016

Production: Gray School of Art / Robert Gordon University, University of Aberdeen, Scottish Cultural Art Network, Society of Advocates Hall
Performer: Tanja Ostojić
Copyright: Tanja Ostojić 

© Cultural Centre of Belgrade, October Salon Collection and the artist
Purchase Contract: III-5-407/12.12.2016.
Inventory No. 1461
Photo: still from the video work

Selected Bibliography:
Video interview with Tanja Ostojić, with video and photo review of some of her most important works, Directors Cut, Aberdeen, Scotland, May 2015:
Interview with Tanja Ostojić, Slought Foundation, New York:
Misplaced Women?


Tanja Ostojić (1972, Užice, Serbia) graduated in 1995 and received her master’s degree in 1998 from the Sculpture Department of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade. In the period 1998-1999 she attended the international post-graduate programme at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nantes, France, and in 2012–2014 received a research fellowship and continued her studies at the University of the Arts in Berlin / Fellow GS UdK.

As an interdisciplinary artist, she actively creates and exhibits in Europe and around the world. Since 1992, she has participated in several hundred group exhibitions, video, film, theatre and performance festivals, and in 1995 started presenting her works at solo exhibitions. In 1996 she became a member of ULUS (Association of Fine Artists of Serbia). She is a member of the Remont Founding Board and the founder of the international art groups XPONA and Art & Economics Group.

As a visiting professor, she has held lectures, workshops and seminars at many universities across the world.

Over the past 20 years, she has carried out a great number of notable performances, including those at the main exhibition of the 49th Venice Biennale (2001), Roma Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011), ICA Institute of Contemporary Art in London (1999), Performa in New York, Ludwig Museum in Budapest, Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade, HKW in Berlin, Kaiteater in Brussels, DieTheater Konzerthaus spiel: platz Theater in Vienna, Kampnagel Theatre in Hamburg, Brecht Literatur Festival in Augsburg , PSi Conference in Zagreb, TQW in Vienna, Re.act.feminism in Berlin, Kunstverein NRWF in Dusseldorf, Hollywood Leather in London, Student Cultural Centre in Belgrade, Youth Biennial in Vršac…

Her works are part of many collections, some of which are: MSUB Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade; MSUM Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Ljubljana; MAK, Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna; Pedagogical Museum Belgrade; Contact – Erste Bank Collection, Vienna; TERRA Museum, Kikinda; Danilovgrad City Park, Montenegro (sculpture in public space); , NBK, Neuer Berliner Kunstverain; Video Forum, Berlin; e- FLUX: New York / MSUM Ljubljana, Feminale archive / Bildwechsel Women’s Film Archives, Hamburg,

re.act.feminism, Berlin, Danesch & Rych, Minority Logbox, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna.