Jasmina Cibic. Nada: Act II, 2017. Courtesy of the artist.

High Line Art today announces Halls of Power, an exhibition of three films by Jasmina Cibic. Taking place on the High Line, a relic of infrastructure that became a civic monument for industrial reuse, Halls of Power reveals the ways that the buildings and structures around us reflect the values of those who build them. Cibic’s films will screen daily at dusk on the High Line at 14th Street March 16 through May 24, 2023. Complementing the exhibition, a talk with the artist will take place on Tuesday, May 16 at 7:00pm. The exhibition is organized by Melanie Kress, High Line Art Curator.

Jasmina Cibic works in film, sculpture, performance, and installation to explore “soft power” and the ways that governments use state-sanctioned culture—dance, music, painting, and especially architecture—to communicate certain principles and aspirations. She begins her projects in archives, researching specific moments in history through what she calls “historical readymades”: speeches, government meeting minutes, architectural plans, or even dances or songs that reflect certain government values held at that point in time. Her artworks often focus on how Modernist architecture has been used to establish various state identities, particularly during Europe’s moments of ideological and political crises and its attempts at transnationalism.

On the High Line, Cibic shares three films that showcase a continuum of her work focusing on the relation between stagecraft and statecraft—showing how government can often function like theater. In The Pavilion (2015), five dancers assemble an architectural model that merges two buildings created to house patriarchal desire: the pavilion the Kingdom of Yugoslavia built for the 1929 Barcelona EXPO, designed by Serbian architect Dragiša Brašovan, and the unrealized house of iconic performer Josephine Baker, designed by Austrian architect Adolf Loos. The film connects a building that was constructed to represent a multinational state with one that was conceived to house an individual associated with exoticized, sexualized desire—pointing to how political style permeates both civic and domestic architecture.

Nada: Act II (2017), the second in Cibic’s Nada trilogy is based on the 1958 production of Béla Bartók’s pantomime ballet The Miraculous Mandarin—the work that the Yugoslav State chose to represent its new direction on Nations Day at the Brussels EXPO almost sixty years ago. In the film, the ballet is repurposed, mis-imagined, and overwritten with new purpose in collaboration with the choreographer Lea Anderson. Bartok’s original characters—the pimps, prostitute,

and exotic Mandarin—are here replaced with the archetypes of politicians, the ideal of Mother Nation, and the architect. Shot in the Arne Jacobsen and Erik Møller-designed Aarhus City Hall, the work links various European models of statecraft, soft power, and its framing across time and space.

Cibic’s third film State of Illusion (2018) is based on the story of the last pavilion of the defunct state of Yugoslavia at an international world exposition—the Montreal EXPO 1967. Cibic rebuilds the pavilion’s structure as a model stage set where the original architectural representation of Yugoslavia’s six republics is rebuilt as six illusionist devices, or magician’s tricks. A cast of a female illusionist and her three henchmen use the architectural replica to make the illusionist herself disappear; the illusionist—an allegory of a nation state—disappears in a more violent manner within each of the six architectural apparatuses. Cibic’s conceptual play on nation states as illusions points toward the fragile nature of their conception and survival, and emphasizes the spectacle that surrounds their presentation to international spectatorship—hungry for populism, growing nationalist tendencies, and their destructive force.

In conjunction with Halls of Power, on Tuesday, May 16, at 7pm, High Line Art will host a public conversation with Cibic and curator Melanie Kress, followed by a screening of the three films. The event will take place in the covered passage at 14th Street on the High Line. The event is free and open to the public; RSVP information will be available at thehighline.org.


Jasmina Cibic (b. 1979, Ljubljana, Slovenia) lives and works in London, England. She has presented solo exhibitions of her work in institutions including Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon, Lyon, France (2021); Muzeum Sztuki Łódź, Łódź, Poland (2021); Museum of Contemporary Art Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia (2020); Centre for Contemporary Arts Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland (2019); BALTIC Center for Contemporary Art Gateshead, Gateshead, United Kingdom (2018); Kunstmuseen Krefeld, Krefeld, Germany (2017); Aarhus 2017, Aarhus, Denmark (2017); and Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia (2015). Her work has been featured in group exhibitions at the MAXXI Museo Nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome, Italy (2021); Steirischer Herbst, Graz, Austria (2019); Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York (2018); and The Hessel Museum of Art and the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-On- Hudson, New York (2016). She has participated in major international exhibitions including B3 Biennial of the Moving Image Award, Frankfurt, Germany (2020). She represented Slovenia at the 55th Venice Biennial, Venice, Italy (2013).


Founded in 2009, High Line Art commissions and produces a wide array of artworks on the High Line, including site-specific commissions, exhibitions, performances, video programs, and a series of billboard interventions. Led by Cecilia Alemani, the Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Director & Chief Curator of High Line Art, and presented by the High Line, the art program invites artists to think of creative ways to engage with the unique architecture, history, and design of the park, and to foster a productive dialogue with the surrounding neighborhood and urban landscape.

For more information on High Line Art, please visit thehighline.org/art.


The High Line is both a nonprofit organization and a public park on the West Side of Manhattan. Through our work with communities on and off the High Line, we’re devoted to reimagining public spaces to create connected, healthy neighborhoods and cities.

Built on a historic, elevated rail line, the High Line was always intended to be more than a park. You can walk through the gardens, view art, experience a performance, enjoy food or beverage, or connect with friends and neighbors—all while enjoying a unique perspective of New York City.

Nearly 100% of our annual budget comes through donations. The High Line is owned by the City of New York and we operate under a license agreement with NYC Parks.

For more information, visit thehighline.org and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram.


Lead support for High Line Art comes from Amanda and Don Mullen. Major support for High Line Art is provided by Shelley Fox Aarons and Philip E. Aarons, The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston, and Charina Endowment Fund. High Line Art is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council.

@HighLineArtNYC @cibicjasmina