Alternative art spaces play a decisive role in Southeastern Europe’s contemporary art scene. This year’s special presentation, curated by Adela Demetja, will feature independent institutions from Croatia, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia.
Special showcase Focus: Ex-Yugoslavia and Albania will include works by young and established artists from these countries, presented by five institutions from the region. Focus is supported by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs.
Apoteka – Space for Contemporary Art, Vodnjan, Croatia
Apoteka opened in 2013 in the old town of Vodnjan (Dignano in Italian) in the space of an abandoned pharmacy. Apoteka is a flexible structure that works in the space between different positions and ideas, where different exhibition formats and a variety of artistic positions and practices are explored and made visible. It is a project space, a gallery, an office, an active agent, focusing on presentation, exhibiting, research and networking. Besides programming in Vodnjan, Apoteka is curating and organizing Cinemaniac >Think Film, an ongoing research platform questioning the relationships between cinema, moving images and contemporary art, and is part of the program of Pula Film Festival. At viennacontemporary, they will present Dalibor Martinis, Damir Očko and Dino Zrnec.
Galerija Alkatraz, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Alkatraz Gallery emerged in the context of the multicultural center Metelkova Mesto – an autonomous center for political activity and independent cultural productions in the field of music, theatre, painting, video, comics, sculpture and other types of art, situated in former army barracks. Over the years, the Gallery has evolved into promoting experimental works, interactive works and site specific projects of various approaches and media. The gallery’s program consists of exhibitions by young as well as already established artists from Slovenia and abroad. It also includes presentations of their creativity in the international arena, either via international art fairs or by cooperation with cultural institutions from abroad. The art presented in Alkatraz aims to provide critical analysis of contemporary artistic creativity. Exhibiting artists open up issues and question the art system, the conditions of production and wider social realities through creative processes. Alcatraz will present artists Igor Eškinja, Andrea Knezović, and Neven Korda.
Serious Interests Agency (SIA Gallery), Skopje, Macedonia
Serious Interests Agency is an independent project space, based in Skopje, which promotes socially engaging creative and theoretical practices. SIA supports artistic, curatorial and theoretical research activities, including urban and architecture related research. SIA engages with a wide range of media: in-house and outside-venue exhibitions, online presentation of artists, curators and architects, residencies, presentations and open discussions, as well as publications. The founders and directors of SIA are artist Nada Prlja and architect Daniel Serafimovski. Besides Prlja, SIA will present Dusan Percinkov and Ilija Prokopiev.
Šok Zadruga, Novi Sad, Serbia
When do ethics become more important than aesthetics? This is the question with which a group of artists have been grappling for over 20 years, resisting the political and social environment in Serbia by way of subversive artistic practices. In an extraordinary socio-political turmoil that shoved Yugoslavia into a war and complete international isolation during the 90s, activism, the culture and the arts were some of the few possible ways to survive and not be drowned by cataclysmic reality. Under these circumstances, in the year 1993, painter Nikola Dzafo founded the group LED ART (Serbian for ice art). All the realized projects of LED ART bear the epithet of socially aware art that intensely resisted the regime of Slobodan Milošević. LED ART has gathered more than 300 individuals in close to fifty projects during the ten-year activity period. After the fall of the Milošević regime, LED ART began a new long-term project – ART KLINIKA (art clinic, 2001-2013) – with the utopian idea that art could cure a sick society. ŠOK ZADRUGA (Shock Cooperative) is the new long term project of LED ART. At Focus, they will present artists Slobodan Stošić, Slavica Obradović and Milan Nešić.
Tirana Art Lab – Center for Contemporary Art, Tirana, Albania
Founded in 2010 with the aim of promoting emerging artists from Albania as well as from Central, Eastern, and South Eastern Europe, Tirana Art Lab commissions and supports new productions by national and international artists on site. The center is process and research oriented, hosting residencies, exhibitions, workshops, lectures and talks, as well as releasing publications. It aims to create a space for critical and reflexive thoughts to emerge. TAL supports projects, artists and art works that engage critically with Albania’s reality and in general with the current neoliberal capitalist world order. In a very short period of time, Tirana Art Lab managed to become a key organizer of numerous cultural events and is currently building a laboratory for artistic production and a library of contemporary art books. Tirana Art Lab will present Lumturi Blloshmi, Alketa Ramaj, and Aurora Kalemi at viennacontemporary.
22–25 September 2016
Marx Halle Vienna