Seven Nights

an artist book by Nikola Radosavljević


October 6th – 28th


The SEVEN NIGHTS project was started in August 2022, during the residency at Homesession AiR – Barcelona as a textwork in the domain of an art book.

This time-space setting refers to unconventional beliefs and personal struggles during periods of great sadness and mourning, a paradox in how society expects us to deal with losses compared to how we actually struggle with them. From the first-person point of view, the book tells a story of a major life trauma with which the project was officially started. The text follows the stages of emotional and physical ups and downs of an individual, who, under the pressure of the surroundings, fails to overcome the coming waves of an uncertain future that openly terrifies us all. This seven-night struggle is the result of a pre-constructed series of pressures and expectations that are exerted on the individual, without having previously been offered any tools or logical apparatus for overcoming the trauma.

In this way, the book is a unique guide, a manual in a possible scenario of the fighting mechanism in periods of great national mourning, one of the possibilities of how to master the sadness and emptiness that comes alongside death as an inevitable element.

Through an open call, the book was handed for translation to artists from all over the world with one single instruction: to adapt the text by the socially constructed national apparatus of grief in the country from which the translator comes. In this way, a contingent of global how-to guides was formed to help with mourning major personal but also national traumas that universalize the notions of missing, loss, struggle and victory. In a linguistically heterogeneous environment, this work becomes a fluid mass that encourages the collective to deeply consider sensitive spots on an individual but also on a global level, intending to empower collective efforts but also mastering one’s own emotions while mastering the notion of death.

The video work accompanying the multilingual publications is a recording of a public dance class that takes place every Thursday, at 6 pm, in the Parc de la Ciutadella, in Barcelona, regardless of what is going on in the outside world. Realising that everyone’s self-defence mechanisms are completely different and extremely individual, results in reaching out for all possible tools in the hope that spiritual peace is attainable. The form of the video refers to Edvard Munch’s famous painting The Dance of Life (1899), discerning the evergoing ephemerality of the world, while everything explodes on the inside of each individual.

These poetic contrasts are the markers of our time: we lose a lot, and grieve for it all. We face mortality on an individual level without being trained or prepared to overcome grief, repair the damage, or fill the voids that loss of life leaves behind. At this moment, perhaps more than ever before, when the world depletes itself by the hour, the time is close to when we will be forced to face the collective burden of our unpreparedness for the emotional and psychological pressure that could destroy us on a planetary level.

Nikola Radosavljević

Photos: N. Ivanović


With great thanks to the team of the Homesession AiR – Barcelona program, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona, ​​MACBA, artists and translation artists: Adrienn Újházi (HUN); Defne Çizakça (TUR); Izabela Mašić (DEU); Nevena Ivanović – Guagliumi & Simone Guagliumi (ITA); Nikolai Ganzherli (RUS); Olesya Džuraêva (UKR); Rebecca Tolosa (ESP); Tanasis Raptis (GRC), as well as to the project collaborator, Juan Antonio Cerezuela.