Nikola Marković ▪︎ Instruction For Use

18.04.2024-18.05.2024, 12:00-20:00

As an artist, Nikola Marković has been delving into the analysis of not at all simple structures, mechanisms and/or causes of corporate (manipulative) power for years, and his recent focus is on the immediate consequences that power leaves on people. The cycle Instruction for Use focuses on questions from the domain of trampling (trampled) dignity ─ both personal (worker’s) and collective, and even national. In an effort to locate, specify and explain the circumstances that have conditioned, and to some extent determined, the nature and character of his approach, Marković – in his video work (Un)Official Version – takes testimonies from workers about contemporary slavery…

Speaking out about problems that we all more or less know exist, yet pretend they don’t – Marković, as the most drastic example of dehumanization, takes the “recommendation” that exists among a number of foreign “investors” for workers to start wearing adult diapers so they don’t waste precious production time with frequent trips to the toilet! …Marković has branded an exclusive model of adult diapers for workers called Prol et. The diapers are designed in a ‘unisex’ (female and male) variant, with instructions for use provided in the situation “While the worker can stand” and the version “When the worker can no longer stand”, printed in Serbian, as well as in Chinese, Korean, Russian, Italian, Turkish and German ─ as the official languages of the countries from which the foreign “investors” come.

As a rather rare example of dealing with this topic, in a country where the culture of memory most often includes an element of the catastrophe of forgetting and an awareness of how dreams of equality, freedom, solidarity, fraternity are dreamed by few here today ─ Nikola Marković’s exhibition Instruction for Use can be read, that is, seen, as a kind of appeal and call to dignity.  (from the catalogue text, N.Milenkovć’)


Nikola Marković (1976) graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade, under Prof. Čedomir Vasić and obtained his PhD at the same faculty. He is a member of the Association of Fine Artists of Serbia (ULUS). In Serbia, he has had solo exhibitions in Sombor (2004), Niš (2006, 2018, 2023), Belgrade (2015, 2016, 2020/21) and Novi Sad (2021, 2023) and participated in numerous group exhibitions in Belgrade, Niš, Novi Sad and Čačak, as well as several art colonies in the country (Sićevo, Classic, Niš Art Foundation…) and abroad (Austria, Slovenia). Since 2007, he has collaborated with the Suppan Contemporary Gallery from Vienna, which organized his solo and group exhibitions in Austria, Germany, Italy, and participation in numerous art fairs. At the end of his studies, art critics selected him among ten promising young artists for the exhibition Perspektive [Perspectives] (2003). Nikola Marković received the First Prize at the national competition for young fine artists organized by the Niš Art Foundation, sponsored by the Philip Morris Company (2007), and was shortlisted for the Drawing Award from the Vladimir Veličković Foundation (2016). He was one of the winners at the Utazu Art Awards Biennale (2020) and the winner of the main prize at the Niš Salon 2/12 (2020). Nikola Marković’s works are part of important collections in Austria and in the collection of the Gallery of Contemporary Fine Arts in Niš. Since 2018 he has been an associate professor at the Faculty of Arts in Niš.


HERE you can find the article by Nebojša Milenković.