ACT Faculty Art featured in “Upside Down – Hosting the Critique” exhibition Belgrade

GORAN TRBULJAK (right) Retrospective, 1981 silkscreen, 59,5 x 84,5 cm Collection MoCAB Old And Bald I Search For A Gallery, 1994/2008 print 100 x 70 cm Courtesy of Gallery Gregor Podnar, Berlin Untitled, 2006/2008 print 100 x 70 cm Courtesy of Gallery Gregor Podnar, Berlin Untitled, 2009/2016 poster 100 x 70 cm, edition 1/3 Courtesy of Gallery Gregor Podnar, Berlin

Museum of Contemporary Art in cooperation with City Art Gallery Ljubljana/MGML

Belgrade City Museum, Resavska 40 b
June 24th – July 25th, 2016
Working hours: from 12 to 8 PM, except Tuesdays
(opening of the exhibition on Friday, June 24th at 7 PM)

List of artists: Azra Akšamija, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Yane Calovski & Hristina Ivanoska, Vlasta Delimar, Goran Đorđević, Miklós Erhardt, Stano Filko, Fokus Grupa, Liljana Gjuzelova & Sašo Stanojkoviќ, Jusuf Hadžifejzović, IRWIN, Sanja Iveković, Dalibor Martinis, Mladen Miljanović, Alex Mlynárčik, Ivan Moudov, Ilona Németh, Elif Öner, Dan Perjovschi, Lia Perjovschi, Tadej Pogačar, Zoran Popović, Vladan Radovanović, Tamás St. Auby, Škart, Apolonija Šušteršič & Bojana Kunst, Raša Todosijević, Goran Trbuljak, Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas and GVS group, Martin Zet.

Project concept and initiation: Alenka Gregorič & Suzana Milevska

The curatorial-research team: Zoran Erić, Alenka Gregorič, Vit Havránek, Suzana Milevska, Vladimir Vidmar and Raluca Voinea.

Partner institutions: City Art Gallery Ljubljana/MGML and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade
Upside Down: Hosting the Critique is a co-curatorial cross-disciplinary exhibition which focuses on the transformation of the role(s) of museums, galleries and other public institutions in the production, presentation and collection of contemporary art in periods of transition and the part played by artists and independent artist-run spaces in these activities. It continues the long-term curatorial and research project Inside Out, initiated by Alenka Gregorič and Suzana Milevska in 2014.

The project ultimately questions the outcomes and limits of the institutional critique and neoinstitutionalism (as they were originally defined in the Western art context) and the different methods used by the artists for critiquing institutions in different historic, socio-political, economic and cultural contexts. The main issue is whether artistic practices can produce specific arguments for research and analysis in a situation where often the individuals and institutions are working in the same precarious conditions and thus the hegemonies and hierarchies are established according to very peculiar and uncertain criteria. The specific understanding of the role of art in society, and its relation to work, labour and the production process, as well as the overall systemic difference in ex-socialist countries, induced and fundamentally influenced the specificity of art institutions in such a context.

We are looking at concrete artistic practices that focused on critiquing the existing art institutions and on the urgency of pursuing new models, strategies and roles for such institutions. We are presenting works and projects that were proposed in different socialist and post-socialist contexts, with a focus on both examples from 1970s and the ones from the first decades of the twenty first century.
At this point, after nine years of delay the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade is preparing for the final phase of reconstruction of its main building, the urgent questions are: what would be the future role of an institution that aims to cherish the concept of contemporaneity as a reflection on societal processes? And how can MoCAB avoid the reproduction of the dominant ideological models in society and turn to the contrary aim of opening up a space for critical dialogue in the sphere of culture and art?

Due to the long lasting institutional crises on the Belgrade scene where two major museums were closed for reconstruction, it is of the utmost importance to revisit the potential of such an institution as the museum in the production of the cultural public sphere. The possible model of the critical Museum, which MoCAB strives to become, necessitates the creation of a platform for critical dialogues and reflections on situations of social transformation which marginalise culture to a great degree. In such situations it is fruitful to reflect on the institution itself, its potential to host radical and critical artistic practices and to reflect on the libidinal circuits between artists, institutions (museum) and the State. The question remains as to whether museums are capable of producing an “agonistic (cultural) public sphere” as opposed to the dominant culture of spectacle and festivalization with which the public is saturated in the media.

Support: Republic of Serbia. Ministry of Culture and Information; City of Ljubljana; Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia Belgrade;


Text adapted from original found here