Get Ready for Irena Haiduk’s Ideological Candy Store at Art Basel in Miami Beach

Can sweets prop up a belief system?

Cadbury's Dairy Milk Chocolate bars move down the production line at the Cadbury's Bournville production plant on December 15, 2009 in Birmingham, England. Photo Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.
Cadbury's Dairy Milk Chocolate bars move down the production line at the Cadbury's Bournville production plant on December 15, 2009 in Birmingham, England. Photo Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.

Even candy can serve an ideological purpose. That’s the lesson to be learned from Irena Haiduk’s project for Art Basel in Miami Beach this coming December. Haiduk’s project, hosted by Chicago dealer Kavi Gupta in the fair’s Kabinett section, will consist of an interactive installation dispensing Josip Kraš candies.

This century-old Serbian treat that has been marketed under the various ideologies that have dominated the country over this turbulent century, from the Austro-Hungarian imperial court to communism (when the country was part of Yugoslavia) and the current capitalist system.

The trick is that you won’t know which belief system is served by which candy until after you’ve already eaten them, so you may find that you’ve symbolically supported a communist or capitalist system with your consumption of sweets.

A historic Josip Kraš chocolate bar wrapper from 1960. Courtesy of Josip Kraš.

A historic Josip Kraš chocolate bar wrapper from 1960. Courtesy of Josip Kraš.

Haiduk’s recent exhibition at Chicago’s Renaissance Society, consisting of an audion installation exploring Bosnian history, was dubbed “really stunning” by artist Jessica Stockholder, writing for Art in America. She’s presented her work at institutions including New York’s Museum of Arts and Design and the Institute for Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, and been represented in major international exhibitions such as the Athens Biennale and the Istanbul Biennial.

Altogether, Art Basel’s Kabinett sector will include 30 curated exhibitions featuring Derrick Adams, Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla, Carlos Amorales, Dieter Appelt, Stefan Bertalan, Anna Blume, Bernhard Blume, Armin Boehm, Olaf Breuning, Marcel Broodthaers, Horacio Coppola, Jerónimo Elespe, Manuel Espinosa, Gilbert & George, Andy Goldsworthy, Irena Haiduk, Howard Hodgkin, Asger Jorn, Martha Jungwirth, Mike Kelley, Jürgen Klauke, Jorge Macchi, João Modé, Matt Mullican, Yang Mushi, Robert Natkin, Floris Neusüss, Man Ray, Klaus Rinke, Tom Sachs, Hugh Steers, Hedda Sterne, Alfredo Volpi, Stanley Whitney, Rose Wylie, and Sun Xun.

Art Basel in Miami Beach will be on view at the Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Drive, Miami, December 1–4, 2016.


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