Photo: Juraj Vuglač

Nominis (Josip Knežević, b. 1997) has studied MA New Media at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. They work in 3D animation, new media, visual art, text and performance. In their practice they create a drag alter ego "Nominis" and work on/through its materialization in objects and digital space through video, installation and drag performance.

As a DJ/VJ part of the @heartskomerz collective involved in organizing events, parties and listening room exhibitions.

Nomi’s latest solo exhibitions are: performance Nominis: THIS IS (W)HERE I POST FORM in Gallery Kamba in Zagreb, Nominis 0.00# in Gallery VN and Nominis 0.123# in the gallery of Klub Kocka in Split. They have exhibited at several group exhibitions in and out of Croatia some of which are:

“An Archive, a Body, an Album, and a Story” at Exhibit Eschenbachgasse in Vienna, "Koštac/grappling" at the improspections festival at MSU Zagreb, and "7 Faces of the City" at the Kortil Gallery in Rijeka.

Artist's Instagram.

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1.-3. THIS IS (W)HERE I POST FROM, performance, Gallery Kamba, Zagreb, 2023 (Photo: Juraj Vuglač); 4. installation setup of Nominis 0.00#, Gallery VN, Zagreb, 2023;5.-6. frames from video performances Nominis 0,00#; 7. Nominis 0,00#, exhibition materials
Artist statement

In my work, I create characters and stories, I construct fictions through an open process of writing, working with materials and improvisation. The topics I deal with are related to my interest in queer theory and feminism, gender studies, identity politics, activism, internet, digital technologies, sci-fi, fantasy, drag and pop culture.

Among all those big words, I'm interested in stories and poetry that can occur in everyday things and observations and become magical, ironic, humorous, or transform into something else, provided we give them enough focus and patience, maybe even stubbornness.

fuck my drag, right?*

In my work, I use a drag alter ego as a fusion and as an intersection of different practices and influences. I see drag as a combination of visual and performance practices that leans on the work of club performers of the queer community. Drag is a form of transformations and transgressions making a place of freedom and expression of one's fantasies within the queer community, it empowers the possibilities of action outside of it. Through my drag, I deal with issues of gender and gender illegibility as a strategy of resistance to the hegemony of the binary, and I suggest what drag could be in digital or gallery spaces and how it could be applied in other contexts. I see drag as an artistic strategy/artistic language that allows me to deal with topics outside of drag.

I use the ideas of glitch and failure - from the theories of glitch feminism and queer failure - as guidelines by which I orient myself towards finding new forms of being, communicating, resistance and togetherness.

Nominis is my drag alter ego in which I test the settings of becoming a character or material. By experimenting, I learn to do drag by creating a character who does drag. The core of my inspiration most often comes from the materials and the work process as well as the accumulation of those, through which fiction is created: glitter becomes a pixel, glass assumes a screen, fracture creates a glitch.

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