Pavić: from Š to A: 2019

Author of the exhibition:

Isidora Injac, Vladislava Ivković Marković and Marjan Marinković

Exhibition on the occasion of 90 years since the birth, 10 years since the death of Milorad Pavić, as well as 35 years since the publication of the "Hazarian Dictionary"

The fact that in the year 2019, we mark nine decades since Milorad Pavić’s birth and ten since his death, and thirty-five years since the publication of the Dictionary of the Khazars, his most famous literary work, prompted us to think about how we could present life to the modern audience and the creativity of this excellent, most translated Serbian writer.


For the medium of the intended presentation, we’ve chosen an exhibition, which, by uniting text and image, enables the synergy of the written and the visual.


Since play and defamiliarization have been identified by relevant critics as the pivots of Pavić’s poetics, we have decided to use these means of expression when presenting his work.


Furthermore, when thinking about Pavić associatively, we most often think of the unconventional structure of his prose, of non-linearity, openness, and a novel vocabulary that each reader can reassemble according to his discretion.


From all this, the idea of ​​Pavić from Z to A was born, which shows us the writer with a pipe through thirty letters casually scattered on the whiteness of the gallery walls, which an imaginative observer could easily experience as the pages of an unusual book.


Each letter of the alphabet has its own unique form (body) and the seed of a special meaning. In addition, in each letter body, defining concepts and images corresponding to it are written. Furthermore, each determinant is explained separately, in the way that we considered the best (but by no means the only possible one!) and per the space that the chosen form of presentation allowed us.


We have chosen markers and images as key signifiers of the writer and intellectual Milorad Pavić, as keys that lead us to the (possible) essence of his creativity.


We are aware that this selection could be different and that we could determine many other important determinants. However, we still hope that among the selected ones, there are all those that form the smallest shared content of the meaning of Pavić’s work.


The exhibition, envisioned in this way, has become a kind of dictionary about Pavić, Pavić’s dictionary composed of defining terms and images that should represent and explain him, using fragments of the writer’s own texts and the texts of his best interpreters.


(From the authors’ foreword in the exhibition catalogue)