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15 Jun 12

Tahirovic Brings 'Peace and Tolerance' Show to Belgrade

A retrospective exhibition of paintings and sculptures by the Tuzla artist has opened in the Serbian History Museum.

Nemanja Cabric
BIRN Belgrade
Nesim Tahirovic giving an interview | Photo by Nemanja Cabric

The exhibition, entitled ‘Nesim Tahirovic: Ancient Symbols of Peace and Tolerance’ that opened on Thursday, brought more than 170 pieces to Serbia, including paintings, sculptures and art installations by the artist from the Seventies to the present day.

The works are being exhibited as a part of the museum's project on collective memory and individual identities.

Opening of the exhibition, Tahirovic, from Tuzla, said that his paintings are designed to appeal to universal values that transcend's national divisions.

"They told me Nesim, please, tell them that we share a common heaven… that our hearts are together… that we share the same, one, God.

"Tell them what [Bosnian writer] Ivo Andric said, which is that art is here to make bad moments easier to bear, and good to become even better," Tahirovic added.

Tahirovic started his art education in the Belgrade Academy of Fine Arts as a student of Kosta Hakman (1889-1961), who was also from Tuzla.

During his 45 years of artistic creation, he has exhibited at some 60 solo exhibitions and more than hundred group exhibitions in his homeland and internationally.

He has received numerous awards for painting and scenic design. His works can be found in museums, galleries and numerous private collections, mostly outside his homeland. He has lived and worked in Italy, Poland and Germany.

Today he lives in Tuzla, in northeast Bosnia, still working as a freelance artist.

Nesim Tahirovic | Photo by Nemanja Cabric

Tahirovic's oeuvre consists mainly of paintings and objects made with a specific technique, designed by the artist himself, that has continuously evolved throughout his career.

This technique combines metal and wood materials, and is characterized by coherent and clearly expressed figures, formed by using arrays of nails and other types of different metal rivets.

The exhibition’s curator, Sasa Janjic, said that Nesim’s works deal with universal topics and questions.

“The works deal with history, culture, this region, ordinary men and women, love. They speak of us, our beliefs, and illusions. They do it in a way that is highly poetical and understandable at the same time,” he explained.

He added that Tahirovic had managed to develop his own language and technique that makes his contribition distinctive.

"The Balkans was always a crossroad of different cultures, and those that existed here from prehistoric times to the present define who we are."

Museum director Ana Stolic said the exibition was only part of a wider project dealing in collective memory and individual identities. “That is a popular topic in world historiography and museology,” she noted.

"Nesim Tahirovic: Ancient Symbols of Peace and Tolerance" will be open until July 7 in the History Museum of Serbia.

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