Critics’ Picks

Cover Versions, 2000


Bojan Sarcevic

carlier | gebauer
Markgrafenstraße 67
March 16–April 26, 2001

Bojan Sarcevic knows how to orchestrate uncanny exchanges. For “Cover Versions,” the twenty-six-year-old Paris-based artist traveled to Istanbul and asked a Turkish Gypsy band, Barbaros Erköse, to interpret popular Western songs on traditional Ottoman instruments. A black-and-white video triptych (all works 2000) documents the musicians miming and then expertly transforming Nirvana’s “Come As You Are,” Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” Bob Marley’s “Could You Be Loved” and the Chemical Brothers’ “Block Rockin’ Beats” into their own musical idiom, Maqam. Sarcevic’s 16-mm color film loop sans titre (Bamako) also confounds foreign and familiar cultures, showing a woman in a lounge chair in the Mali capital, listening to Nina Simone’s “For Women” and languishing for a moment that just keeps slipping away.