Marina Stanimirovic is an artist born in Colombes, France in 1988. She studied technical and contemporary jewellery in France (2005-2011) and moved to the UK, where she completed a master at the Royal College of Arts in goldsmithing and silversmiting in 2013. After several years in London, she moved to Berlin, Germany, where she is currently living and working.
In her work, she is interested in power relations and how sovereign power and violence are inscribed on human and non-human bodies. Using biopolitics as a point of departure for her reflexion, she often disaggregates the human body into fragments in an allegorical manner, which she then reassembles into sound, sculptures and installations. Her emphasis on the usage of steel, aluminium, glass or silicone is an allusion to the built environment and how it is merging with the body. Through these industrial materials she refers to the standardisation of life and the precarisation of work in (late) modern capitalism (and neoliberalism). It is possible to read her works through Mark Fisher’s understanding of ‘hauntology’, who had borrowed the notion by Jacques Derrida as a ‘failure of the future,’ in the sense that the post-war utopian future had never been entirely reached.
Another important axis of her work is how traumata are handed over from one generation to the next, both on an individual and on a societal level. Investigating the dimension of collective traumata, she questions the supposed dualism between the individual and society, as well as family relations. In this sense, she considers collective traumata as a form of inheritance, which the individual has to deal with. This heritage can take the form of a ‘specter (…) by whom we feel ourselves watched, observed, surveyed, as if by the law: we are “before the law”, without any possible symmetry, without reciprocity.’ Pivotal to her research are questions of how much control every individual has, in order to shape her/his own present, future and behaviours and what role cultural imprint plays. Even more, she links collective traumata to biopower, insofar as violence remains reinforced on racialised, gendered and/or classified bodies.
In her exhibition ‘The animal behind your neck’ (11.04. – 31.05.2019) at Galerie Tator, Lyon, France, Marina Stanimirovic exposes several sculptures and a video and sound installation. On a first sight, her sculptures might appear filigree and subtle, while actually being fabricated out brut materials. Her work Dog is inspired by aesthetic accessories, which humans use, in order to domesticate and dress animals, such as a saddle for horses, bits or muzzles. It is composed out of two hand bent stainless steel sheets, with slits on its side. In this piece, she uses a very clear geometrical form language, in order to evoke her major reflexions on power relations. The sculptures are swallowing the soil and can be understood as presenting a battle. It is even possible to set one of the sculptures over the other one, manifesting competition and tensions of dependencies. The sculptures seem static, ‘on guard,’ in particular compared to the other works of her exhibition, which reveal more openness through her combination of steel with silicone rubber.
Marina Stanimirovic understands social relations as contingent, with a potential to be transformed. She is using space, sounds and materials as an exploration, not only as forms of protection and a measure of resilience, but even more, as potential forms of resistance, such as her sculpture Suspension. The heavy articulated plate out of stainless steel, formed with reliefs is attached to a large ribbon out of silicon rubber, which is fixed at the ceiling, letting the metal nearly seem frangible, and thereby highlighting that power relations can be deconstructed, as they are socially constructed.
The artist’s poem Under Guard is hidden behind a silicon blanket, transforming its rhythmical sequences of words into a choreography. In the bottom floor of the gallery is a video and sound installation Sense it, a loop of an internal jugular vein pulse filmed with a smart phone and projected on a matte zinc coated steel sheet. The sound piece is composed out of recorded sounds and vocals and highlights the fragility of (human) subsistence.
 Fisher, Mark, What is Hauntology?, in: Film Quarterly Vol.66 No.1, Fall 2012, pp. 16-24, p.16, JSTOR: https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/fq.2012.66.1.16?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents.
 Derrida, Jacques, Stiegler, Bernard, Spectographies, in: del Pilar Blanco, María, Peeren, Esther (ed.), The Spectralities Reader Ghosts and Haunting in Contemporary Cultural Theory, London, New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013, pp.37-52, p.41.