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Damien Hirst's “New religion” in Banja Luka

Damien Hirst's “New religion” in Banja Luka
Banja Luka, March 11, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Mladen Dragojlovic

In just a few days the RS Museum of contemporary art (RSMCA) in Banja Luka will host one of the most important exhibitions which is on the European tour - “New religion” by British artist Damien Hirst.

The RSMCA general manager, Sarita Vujkovic, told reporters that the fact that Damien Hirst’s “New Religionˮ is being shown at this Museum is evidence that the institution is ready and willing to stage major international exhibitions, as part of its efforts to present to the general public the latest dominant trends in contemporary art, with a programme offering exhibitions, professional training and other activities. She emphasised that Hirst’s art, which bridges gaps between languages and cultures as it generates communication and creates universal symbolic values within the scope of contemporary art.

"This exhibition is a special privilege for both the professional team of the RSMCA and our visitors, for whom this is the first opportunity ever to see work by someone who may freely be said to represent today’s most controversial and intriguing artist", Vujkovic said.

Describing the exhibition, RSMCA said that “New Religionˮ sets visitors thinking about four things that matter about human life – religion, love, art and science, which are merely instruments that help us find our own path in life, according to the artist. Exploring these universal themes, Hirst sets religion against science in his exhibition, involving them in a discussion, in the roles as typically perceived by people. This debate is on the one hand mindful, intimate and warm, in the spirit of religious and metaphysical connotations, and analytically cold and off-putting on the other, as influenced by the atmosphere and emotions connected to the medical profession.

Exhibition was first shown in London in 2005, followed by some of the most prestigious museums and galleries in Great Britain, Italy, Greece, Russia, Norway and Poland, to now focus on Southeastern Europe. The arrival in Banja Luka was made possible thanks to the professional assistance and generous support of the British Council Bosnia and Herzegovina, Paul Stolper Gallery, the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Srpska and the City of Banja Luka, for which the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Republic of Srpska owes them a debt of gratitude.

RSMCA is the only gallery room in BiH that fulfills the high standards that were necessary and demanded by the artist to set up the exhibition.

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