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On 06, Oct 2014 | In | By admin


Oct/Nov 2014 “Clairvoyant” Helac Fine Art, New York.

All photos taken by Srdjan Kalinic.

Marta Jovanovic concerns herself with the performative aspects of daily ritual and cultural tradition. For her work Clairvoyant (2014), she was present at the gallery each day. In a simulated living room, she continued the Serbian tradition of reading coffee as a means of predicting the future, according greater significance to folklore. Jovanovic evokes the myriad historical events that have transpired over coffee, from planning wars to creating great works of art, conjuring both the power to destroy and the power to create.

Trying to predict the future is as old as the mankind. From pure survival to a run for the president, love troubles or exotic travels, people have sought and still seek to know what is going to come their way. There are various ways of predicting the future in different cultures across the continents. In the Balkans to read from the coffee cup is the most common. It is a social thing that no one gives much importance even though it determines some of the key life decisions: marriages, business deals, friendships and family relationships, building of the house or buying a car.

Coffee is the most consumed drink in the Balkans. “Let’s go for coffee” is the usual invite to hang out at home or at the corner café and at the same time it is a platform for conspiracy, creation and intrigues. Over coffee, uprisings and revolutions were planned, wars started and the governments fell but also brilliant art works were created. Gertrude Stein, Beethoven, Simone de Beauvoir and Francis Bacon were avid coffee drinkers.