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BALKAN(S) NOW

Status seminar and artistic survey
10th October - 11th December

Project Curators: Gülsen Bal; Marlene Rigler

Vienna, 10-13 October 2013
Venue: Vienna Art Fair - ‘VIENNA Live’, 12.00 - 14.00

Vienna, 11 October 2013
Venue: Depot, 19.00 - 21.30

Ljubljana, 25-26 October 2013
Venue: Mestna galerija

Belgrade, 11 December 2013
Venue: Remont, 18.00 - 20.00


Point of departure:

We believe that a much-needed political artistic practice is being shaped in countries such as Serbia, Macedonia, the Kosovo or Slovenia: a practice that relies on self-empowerment, strong networking across the region and a pro-European, yet critical attitude. Especially considering, 20 years after the war, 10 years after seminal - yet highly controversial- exhibitions such as “Blood and honey” curated by Harald Szeemann or “Die Schluchten des Balkan” at Friedericianum Kassel, Europe’s interest in current artistic practice in the region of Southeast Europe seems to be declining.

However, there is a new generation of artists whose backdrop is not the (post)war situation anymore, but those current social challenges that can be found all across Europe: how to deal with liberal economy? How to position oneself in the fields of international artistic production at a time when public funding is vanishing? Is art a means to speak out on politics, and in which formats? Is self-organisation a key to artistic and creative independence?

Indeed, Europe is the next step for those countries: Slovenia has entered the EU and Croatia is to become a member in 2013. Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia feature different levels of economic and political stability and thus provide different ground for artistic engagement with the ‘Political’ as a dynamic set of relations, power structures and strong challenges regarding the visibility of non-hegemonic discourses.

Concept:

Looking at the artistic landscape anywhere south of the Austrian border, one discovers a vivid, particularly interconnected art scene that stands in strong contrast to the ethnically- organized political tissue.

At all levels diverse the single artist’s positions may be, there are several assets that art practitioners in Serbia share with their likes in Bosnia or Montenegro etc. Those common features that seem to characterize the art system within the whole region can be roughly described (from a European outsider’s perspective) as follows:

- Strong cross-border networking throughout the whole region of former Yugoslavia
- Strategies of self-education and self-empowerment due to lacking of access to art system
- Absence of structural organization and substantial (state/public) funding especially for all contemporary art praxis
- Interconnection of art and civil-society issues (NGOs…)
- Strong interest in performance-based practice
- Strong engagement with “the Political”, ranging from cultural/social activism to politically informed artworks
- Importance of education, self-trained or foreign-trained artists and theorists
- Migration and linking to artistic centres abroad –mostly Vienna as the traditional “gateway” to the West

Project proposal:

To actively engage with current artistic practice in countries of former Yugoslavia – especially Serbia, Macedonia, the Kosovo, – three art centres located in the Southeast of the European Community provide a platform for exchange, extensive networking, as well as live artistic action:


Events:

1.
A status seminar/workshop will be held on September 20-21st, 2013 in Ljubljana, panel discussions on October 10-13th, 2013 in Vienna and screening on 11th December, 2013 in Belgrade.

The conference shall be designed as a round table where representatives of artist groups, theorists, art centres and museums, as well as cultural policy makers report on their ideas, activities and problems they face up with in their daily practice. Together, prospective designs of the future dealing with arts as one of society’s major assets in the production of common (European) value are outlined.

To generate innovation, the discussion must include positions that are not normally exchanging ideas on a regular basis: policy representatives facing practitioners; art practitioners voicing their concerns towards institutional representatives; artists from neighbouring European countries – Germany, Austria– drawing from their own practice in relation to new forms of artistic engagement currently at work in the former Yugoslav countries. Networks that cross disciplines, political and institutional status of each of the participants are formed and activated, sharing the vision of a ‘cohesive’ Europe through common action in the fields of art and culture as society’s most valuable grounding, beyond ethnic and national concerns.

2.
A set of artistic positions will be actively performed in the space of the two partnering institutions; in this project, theory and practice are intricately linked – one fosters and entices the other. The performances are aimed at local audience, artists and institutional agents alike.


Program

Vienna, 10-13 October 2013
Venue: VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary - ‘VIENNA Live’ booth H24, 12.00 - 14.00

Film and Video screening:

Yane Calovski, Nemanja Cvijanović, Ibro Hasanović, Astrit Ismaili, Alban Muja, Vladan Jeremić and Rena Rädle, Milica Tomić


Vienna, 11 October 2013
Venue: Depot, 19.00 - 21.30

Public panels

The extended Balkans –Vienna as a platform for artists from Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia and Montenegro:

Ivan Jurica (Art Education Team, mumok, Bratislava/Vienna)
Ivana Marjanović (PhD candidate, Vienna, and member of Kontekst collective, Belgrade)
Walter Seidl (Head of Kontakt. The Art Collection of Erste Group and ERSTE Foundation, Vienna)

Moderation: Suzana Milevska

“Balkans” and “Post-war” – artistic empowerment beyond those labels:

Vasja Nagy (Free-lance curator, Ljubljana/Vienna)
Aneta Stojnić (Artist, theorist and cultural worker, Belgrade)

Moderation: Jens Kabisch


Ljubljana, 25-26 October 2013
Venue: Mestna galerija

Public panels

25 October, 18.00 - 19.30

Art and the realm of politics: contemporary artistic practice and politisation of civil society

Albert Heta (Artist and co-founder of Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Pristina, Pristina)
Igor Toshevski (Artist and member of Kooperacija, Skopje)
IRWIN (Artist collective, Ljubljana)
Lana Zdravkovic (Researcher, publicist, political activist and artist - Mirovni Institut and Institute KITCH Ljubljana)

Moderation: Dieter Hammer

26 October, 11.00 - 12.30

Cross-border artistic and institutional networking; the ex-Yugoslav context as a model for Europe

Barbara Borčić (Director and head of video programs, SCCA - Center for Contemporary Arts Ljubljana)
Miroslav Karic (Art critic and curator, Remont Independant Artists association, Belgrade)
Zoran Pantelić (Member of New Media Art Centre - kuda, Novi Sad)

Moderation: Dieter Hammer

26 October, 12.30 - 14.00

Film and Video screening:

Yane Calovski, Nemanja Cvijanović, Ibro Hasanović, Astrit Ismaili, Alban Muja, Vladan Jeremić and Rena Rädle, Milica Tomić

26 October

Artists’ Public Laboratory/ Performance:

Lana Čmajčanin (Artist, Sarajevo)


Belgrade, 11 December 2013
Venue: Remont, 18.00 - 20.00

Film and Video screening:

Yane Calovski, Nemanja Cvijanović, Ibro Hasanović, Astrit Ismaili, Alban Muja, Vladan Jeremić and Rena Rädle, Milica Tomić


Supported by:

Allianz Kulturstiftung / Allianz Cultural Foundation
Goethe-Institut, Ljubljana
bm:ukk
Austrian Cultural Forum, Ljubljana


BALKAN(S) NOW



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