Ismar Cirkinagic was born in 1973 in Prijedor, Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. He came to Denmark in 1992, following the breakdown of the country and the brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing in his region of Northwestern Bosnia and Herzegovina. Between 1992 and 1995, he spent nearly three years in various refugee camps in Denmark before obtaining permanent residence. For him and some of his fellow compatriots who will later leave a mark on the Danish cultural scene, the period of war and exile was the turning point in their lives and the vital source of inspiration for their future works.
In 1997 Cirkinagic enrolled at the Copenhagen Art School and remained there until 2000 when he was admitted to The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. His professional career began in 2006 after completing his master’s degree at the same academy in Copenhagen.
Most of his artistic practice is thematically related to the socio-political themes, and mainly produced in the form of a conceptual installation consisting of videos, photos, texts and object-based elements. His earlier works resulted from extensive research on war and the post-war period in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was the process of violent disintegration of the society and its postulates. Personal beliefs and visual principles developed through that period were later implemented in new projects with other thematic contents, creating the recognizable visual vocabulary based on complex narratives materialized in simple minimalist elements, often at ﬁrst glance “emotionally withdrawn”. A good example of this type of transition can be seen in the relationship between the exhibition Smoking Gun in Kunsthal Aarhus and Bricks of Enlightenment in Nikolaj Contemporary Art Center, both awarded by The Danish Arts Foundation.
While diﬀerent art media intertwine in his installations, his photography projects are mostly clear-cut one medium exhibitions like Negatives beyond the green, With Matter Through Time, or Ocean Europe.
In recent years he has had exhibitions in museums and kunsthalle in Denmark and internationally. Danish exhibition venues include Nikolaj Contemporary Art Center, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Art Museum Brandts, Esbjerg Art Museum, Sorø Art Museum, Randers Museum of Art, HEART Museum of Contemporary Art, and National Gallery of Denmark. Internationally he exhibited at: Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales, in Havana, Artsi Vantaa Art Museum in Finland, Metropolitan Arts Centre in Belfast, The Lviv National Art Gallery in Lviv, The Hungarian National Museum, in Budapest, Collegium Artisticum in Sarajevo, as well as ARoS Triennial, SOCLE DU MONDE Biennials, and Liverpool Biennials.
Cirkinagic’s artworks can today be found in several Danish public collections such as The Danish Arts Foundation, The National Museum Of Photography, ARoS Art Museum, Sorø Art Museum and The National Gallery of Denmark.
He lives and works between Copenhagen and Prijedor