Irena Haiduk

Seductive Exacting Realism (SER)

21 sep – 6 oct 2019

Kunsthal Charlottenborg presents Irena Haiduk’s first solo exhibition in Scandinavia. The work Seductive Exacting Realism (SER) has previously been exhibited at the 14th Istanbul Biennale, The Renaissance Society Centennial and documenta 14.

Seductive Exacting Realism (SER) is a 28-minutes long audio work commencing every hour, on the hour in total dark of the Blind Room. The central part of the work is a conversation between the artist Irena Haiduk and Srdja Popovic, co-founder of the consultancy CANVAS (Center for Applied Non-violent Action and Strategy).

CANVAS has trained pro-democracy movements in fifty countries, including Burma, Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey, Ukraine and Iran, and has been criticized for acting like advisors for revolutionary movements such as the Arabic Spring. At the same time the 2013 WikiLeaks Global Intelligence Files release revealed CANVAS’s collaboration with Stratfor, an intelligence firm whose clientele include Dow Chemical, Lockheed Martin, Google and the US Department of Homeland Security.

The conversation in the audio work starts as a critically interview but during the conversation the artist undergoes a self-examination, as many of Stratfor’s clients are noted funders of art institutions—some of whom were vital to the production of Seductive Exacting Realism (SER). Many modern art institutions also expect artists to be agents of social change, and that parts of contemporary art also have the potential to revolutionize their audience. These coincidences create a connection between the artist and the consultant she interviews in the work, and the work ends with criticism of the activist art’s motives and methods. The edited conversation between Irena Haiduk and Srdja Popovic is recorded by Jennifer Estlin and Lin Qian.

Seductive Exacting Realism (SER) was presented at documenta 14 as a part of Yugoexport – a blind, non-aligned oral corporation which Irena Haiduk has prevailed after Yugoslavia’s decline, and she continues creating works with.

The exhibition marks a two-year collaboration between Kunsthal Charlottenborg and Yugoexport, preceding a final work at the site in 2021.

The exhibition is curated by Michael Thouber and the project is supported by The Danish Arts Foundation and The Obel Family Foundation.

Hashtag to the exhibition: #seductiveexactingrealism #irenahaiduk