28 th January –  9th February  2014

Galerie Nest, 12 -14 Etienne Dumont, Geneve (CH)

Galerie Nest, 12 -14 Etienne Dumont, Geneve (CH)
28th January – 9th February 2014

curator: Sava Stepanov
organisation: Bel Art Gallery and Mali Princ Fondation
concept: Aleksandra Vegezzi Boškov, Vesna Latinović

artists: Mrđan Bajić, Milan Blanuša, Jelena Bulajić, Aleksandar Bunčić, Mira Brtka, diSTRUKTURA, Andrea Ivanović, Stevan Kojić, Bosiljka Zirojević Lečić, Boris Lukić, Goran Mitrović, Nataša Teofilović i Ljubomir Vučinić

assistents: Borislava Šašić, Julijana Soldatović, Milena Rebić, Dragana Cilišek
NEST Galerie: Mélanie Borés
design: Ljubomir Maksimov
tech: Aleksandar Arsenin, Mile Karanović

go pro: Dragana Bunčić
film: AdD+GC Studio Maximov

music: Goodbye War, Hello Peace by TERU (cc)
production: Belart & Mali Princ

Geneva, january 2014


The exhibition Culture Escape: Toward a Better World aims to show the work of several artists who can be seen as representatives of the current condition art in Serbia is. These authors define their reactions to impulses from the world and the times in an authentic (pro)modernist manner. This art acts in conditions of a global “iconosphere”, in the midst of this communication confusion, in the specific socio-cultural relations… Even though there is a significant difference in the kind of media resorted to in the works, their fully personalized aesthetic and ethic warnings are perfectly clear. Each artist, intentionally and conscientiously, respects and cultivates the authenticity and particularity of the plastic structure which is the “bearer” of his/her philosophic reaction to today’s reality, to the environment, to contextual events. This is because “art has the right to its specificity, not to stand out, but, with its model, to act as an example to other forms of knowledge and practice” (Filiberto Menna).

Sava Stepanov

Vernissage: Toward a Better World

Photo: (c) Bel Art Documentation

Nest Gallery, Geneva (CH) – Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., from Tuesday 28 January to Sunday 9 February 2014. Opening night: Tuesday 28 January from 6:30pm.

Mali Princ Fondation

Mali princ (Little Prince) is a foundation that is founded in 2000. Its main ambition is to support young generation in Serbia. Among other activities, we choose to work with the Academy of Fine Arts in Novi Sad. Every year we award the best student in the Academmy`s disciplines plastic arts, music and drama.

“Ethics inevitably emerges as a moral need.”  – Edgar Morin

For more than two decades Serbian contemporary art has been unfolding in conditions of a long-term social transition. The change of the system has been going on for too long and, consequently, the crisis (which is, otherwise, an inevitable and transient phenomenon) has been transposed into – a condition. Such a profound crisis constantly generates breakdowns in the standard social norms, weakens standards, and diminishes the value of criteria in all fields of life. In Milošević’s Yugoslavia, in the postmodernist 1980’s and on, art and artists were continuously monitored, their works were more often than not looked upon with disdain, they were criticized and in many cases they were also sanctioned. Unfortunately, even after the democratic changes following October 2002, the conditions were not put in place to ensure a regular system about which Oliva wrote (artistic practice, a work of art – criticism – gallery – medium – market) and which would give dignity and functionality to artistic work. In spite of the fact that, in these fatal nineties of the 20th century, a number of activistic art movements in Serbian art stood out, that in Serbia of that time there were expressly strong tendencies to revive modernism, that re-affirmed progressive ideas of a modernist conscience were offered to the political practice, that with its stances and messages the art of that period significantly contributed to the process of democratization – the ruling structures very quickly “forgot” all the aesthetic and ethic principles that had been achieved. To tell the truth, after the year 2000 art was no longer controlled nor sanctioned but it was completely – ignored… For nearly two decades now, two most important national art museums, the National Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade have been closed for renovation, allegedly, while the Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina in Novi Sad has been housed for nearly half a century in “temporary” premises with no building of its own… The gallery infrastructure is below the expected standard and cannot appropriately keep up with nor show artistic events and achievements. Also, there is no hope of a speedy “recovery” because a mere, hardly worth noticing, 0.6% of the current state budget has been earmarked for culture…

However, in spite of all this, in Serbia today there is a pulsating, lively, art activity. The idea of a specific kind of escape (culture escape) – toward normality, is very close to the contemporary artist in this era of an unparalleled crisis. The sculptor Mrđan Bajić, a participant in this exhibition, entitled his display at the 2008 Venice Biennale simply: “Reset” in an effort to express the necessity to cancel the existential reality at the time and its political and cultural practice… Such a procedure, just like the current trends in Serbian art, follows the traces of the philosophical stances of the above-cited Edgar Morin who, in one his latest writings, concludes: “Of course, in the first place, we have to resist the invading barbarism. But the ‘no’ in this resistance must cultivate a clear ‘yes’ of our aspirations. Resistance to all that which leads to the degradation of man by man, to subordination, contempt and humiliation transforms itself into strivings not toward the best of all worlds but toward a better world. This hope, continuously revived throughout history, will emerge again”. Hence, the concept and exhibition Culture Escape: Toward a Better World is founded on a synergic inter-weaving of aesthetic and ethic categories, on the principles of artistic autonomy, on the principles of socio-cultural contextuality, and on an artistically well thought-out functionalisation of art in specific conditions of a durable and draining crisis toward the emergence of new hope.

Bel Art Gallery

Novi Sad based Bel Art Gallery founded in  1994 has constantly and deliberatly been engaged in presenting and promoting contemporary Serbian artists  locally and internationally. We have organized numerous exhibitions, art events, workshops and symposiums aiming to present and cherish authentic artistic values and encourage talented young artists. Important part of our activities is devoted to  art books publication. Marina Abramović early works Belgrade period is our latest edition (2013).  Bel Art also founded distinguished  national annual contemporary  art award delivered 15 times so far.

Exhibition Towards a Better World aims to show the work of several artists who can be seen as representatives of the current art scene  in Serbia . In spite of never ending transition and  unfavorable circumstances in Serbia today there is a vibrating, lively art activity. Selected authors define their reactions to the world and the times they live in an authentic  manner. The concept of the exhibition is based on a synergy of aesthetic and ethic categories, on the principles of artistic autonomy and social and cultural context  of a durable and draining crisis toward the emergence of a new hope. Mali princ Foundation and Bel Art Gallery truly believe  that art can not change the  world but  can make it a  better place.