April 11, 2011

Publication – From Consideration to Commitment: Art in Critical Confrontation to Society (Belgrade, Ljubljana, Skopje, Zagreb: 1990-2010)

The publication From Consideration to Commitment: Art in Critical Confrontation to Society (Belgrade, Ljubljana, Skopje, Zagreb: 1990-2010), created as part of the regional project Let’s Talk Critic Arts, will be presented on April 11 at 7 pm at the Art Center of the University Library “Svetozar Marković” in Belgrade.

The publication explores practices of critical contemporary fine arts – practices of research, progressive and experimental actions by contemporary fine artists from the 1990s to the present, in four countries in the region – Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia. These are practices which focus on issues such as identity aspects (national, cultural, religious, ethnic), workers’ rights, social integration of minorities, global market fluctuation trends and its impact in the local context, unscrupulousness of capital, the position of women, spatial devastation, art institution system issues, and many others.

Contemporary visual art is discussed through the works and experiences of Igor Grubić, Sanja Iveković, Andreja Kulunčić and Darko Šimičić (Croatia), Stevan Vuković, Milica Tomić, Danilo Prnjat and Živko Grozdanić Gera (Serbia), Neven Korda, Marko Peljhan, Marija Mojca Pungerčar and Maja Smrekar (Slovenia), and Bojan Ivanov, Zoran Poposki, Mira Gakina and Žaneta Vangeli (Macedonia).

The publication maps out and theoretically reviews critical and research practices, and contemporary fine arts practices oriented towards the contemporary civilization moment, which have been active in the context of the independent cultural scene since the 1990s, but which have also been present in the institutional frame. The authors provide only drafts of the political, social, economic and cultural changes of the local contexts, through four segments, due to a lack of space. Each segment focuses on the practices and context of a given country, i.e. the capital as the primary focus, and in addition to the introductory word by the authors, it includes interviews (with authors, theorists, curators, organizers…) who contribute to the recording of these artistic practices based on their experience, work and knowledge.

The segments deal with the Belgrade, Ljubljana, Skopje, and Zagreb scenes. All the authors devised their approaches in an effort to present the fruitful and creative production of these cities, to the greatest extent possible. The authors involved in the creation of this publication are Jasna Jakšić (in collaboration with Tihana Bertek, Maja Gujinović, Ana Kovačić, Srđan Latrezom, Petar Novak, Tino Novak, Tamara Sertić and Leda Sutlović) from Croatia, Nebojša Vilić from Macedonia, Vesna Tašić (in collaboration with Vesna Milosavljević and Miroljub Marjanović) from Serbia, and Miha Colner and Nika Grabar (Slovenia).

The authors of the segments faced a gruelling task – how to tell the story of a period on only 50 pages (which was predefined for every segment), and how to select only four protagonists for every city, among the many protagonists of the art scene? The authors applied different criteria – they strived to select precisely those respondents who could provide a cross-section of the discipline development, some were selected because their work is a paradigmatic of critical and socially engaging practices, while some were inescapable authoritative and creative minds…

The publication is a type of platform that is available to the public, with the wish to encourage further collecting and evaluation of art and cultural endeavours in the past 20 year in these four cities, as well as in those that could not be included in this project.

The book was conceived as a multilingual publication in English, in addition to the local languages (Croatia, Macedonian, Serbian and Slovenian), in order to enable better insight into contemporary artistic practices in post-Yugoslav cities both for the local and international public.

The publication is available for free download under the Creative Commons Licence Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported unless it is not differently stated. The publication will be also distributed in CD form to galleries in Belgrade, Ljubljana, Skopje and Zagreb.

The LTCA project will be concluded by promotion of the publication From Consideration to Commitment: Art in Critical Confrontation to Society (Belgrade, Ljubljana, Skopje, Zagreb: 1990-2010), but it is open for comment and further research.

The LTCA project was initiated and implemented by the cultural portal SEEcult.org (the SEEcult.org Civic Association) from Belgrade, Serbia, in collaboration with the Artservis.org portal (Center for Contemporary Arts, SCCA-Ljubljana) from Slovenia, Forum Skopje from Skopje, Macedonia, and the Kulturpunkt.hr portal (Alliance of Associations Clubture and Kurziv – Platform for Matters of Cultural, Media and Society) from Zagreb, Croatia, with support from the European Cultural Foundation (ECF), and national/local donors.