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Concept and edit:
Sanne van den Elzen
Coordination and advice:
Frank van der Stok
Jaap Harten Fonds
Croatian football player Mateo Kovačić made headlines around the world when, after losing the FIFA World Cup final in 2018, he sang a nationalist song back home in Zagreb.
For Croatian-born Lana Mesić (NL), this was a moment of mixed emotions: it saddened her to see Croatia’s war-torn past seeping so freely and unabashedly into every fibre of society. But this was also the starting point for a visual examination of the role and meaning of the enemy image in her fragmented childhood in former Yugoslavia and how this history echoes upon this day.
The complex history and contested borders that shaped the countries of former Yugoslavia provide the stage on which Mesić weaves new, personal narratives. In light of recent political developments in Europe, the book encourages us to reflect on our own experiences. By bringing these to light, it helps to counter the nationalist narratives that dominate today’s political landscape. But is there a way to reconcile the negative and positive effects of nationalism?
When you point a finger, three are pointing back is composed of photographs, newspaper clippings, television clips, rumours, whispered conversations, written stories, and meticulously crafted relics made from matches and matchboxes.
Lana Mesić was born in 1987 in Zagreb, Croatia and emigrated to the Netherlands in 2003. Mesić utmost pleasure in making art is being mischievous. Creating a space for herself to demonstrate the changeability of the conventions that often define our everyday experience. Transforming everyday objects and conventional settings through trickery incites the kind of engagement that is both confronting and delighting. Her photographic work and installations have been exhibited all around the world and she has been nominated and awarded for various prizes.