The conceptual framework of the new programming season at the Artget Gallery in 2017 can be seen as a continuation of the earlier research in and dealing with the media of photography that we, as a team of authors, began within the project Fotodokumenti, initiated in 2010 to promote contemporary photographic practices and open up a wider discursive space for exploring photography as a complex social phenomenon and medium of artistic expression. One of the goals of our photographic initiative is to stimulate the professional community to engage in continuous and comprehensive critical, problem and phenomenological research in and evaluation of the very dynamic contemporary photographic production in our country. An important aspect of our engagement in photography is our consideration of the concept of the documentary in photography in the present circumstances, when the photographic image is fully integrated into our daily interpersonal and wider social communication and interaction. The focus of our research was and still is on reviewing documentary conventions, approaches and strategies in contemporary photography; their genre, stylistic fluidity and complexity in the interpretational and semantic possibilities.
The programme of the exhibiting season at the Artget Gallery for this year could, most generally, be held together through the topics of reception and application of photography as a significant social, cultural and artistic practice.
We will present the work of local and regional artists whose practices we recognize as relevant regarding the current developments and trends in the international photography scene. The work of these artists is directed towards the medium of photography, not as a means but as an idea and process through which they reveal, analyze and critically observe many phenomena of contemporary society. So, we will present a variety of photographic productions, ranging from those that can be defined as a sort of visual chronicle and study of social and cultural life of a certain historical epoch or social environment (Srđan Veljović, Ivan Petrović, Mihailo Vasiljević, Marina Paulenka) to intriguing hybrid forms and peripheral areas of photography in the form of photographic installations and situations that undermine the expected outcome of observation and the expected format of photography (Andrea Palašti). Besides, some new expressive strategies in the analyses of the nature of the medium (Mia Ćuk), its technical and conceptual potentials, as well as an analysis of the causes of the emergence of new trade collectivism in the field of photography (a regional project in cooperation with the Slovenian curator Miha Colner) will be presented.
What is also characteristic of the selected artists is that they are strongly committed to launching various programmes, educational formats, projects, workshops and other initiatives with the aim to introduce photography as a subject in public discourse and bring it closer, either from the perspective of practical work, or in the context of historical and current artistic and theoretical approaches.
In the framework of this year’s programme of the Cultural Centre of Belgrade, its other galleries as well as Artget will exhibit works of some international artists who, in quite different and innovative ways, use photography and examine it as a means of artistic expression; there will be works by Asian artists who are conquering the world scene within the international curatorial project When the Other Meets the Other? by Biljana Ćirić, then artists who treat the photographic image in a provocative and “radical” way in the scientific and technological, social and cultural context of the 21st century within the project Art & Science, and the premiere presentation and the exhibition of phantasmagorical scenes in large formats, named Small Stories, by the famous director David Lynch.
A series of accompanying talk programmes is also planned for the upcoming season at Artget, within which the complexity of the photographic medium will be further elaborated thematically and problematically through perceiving the work of certain authors and their poetics, new readings of the local cultural heritage, reviewing the definition of the photographic image, discussing the concept of documentary photographic practices of Yugoslav and post-Yugoslav art and exploring various aspects of trade / professional associating in the field of production and presentation of photography. Through the exhibitions and accompanying programmes at the Artget Gallery in 2017, we are trying to point to the essential need for continuity in the historization, contextualization and professional valorisation of photography.
1. Srđan Veljović, The Nineties (February, 2017)
2. Andrea Palašti, Home Workouts (March, 2017)
3. Art & Science 2017 – The European Network of Digital Arts and Sciences: Shinseungback Kimyonghun (South Korea), Guillermo Casado and Azucena Giganto (Spain), Alex Guevara (Peru / Germany), Quadrature (Germany) (in cooperation with the Centre for the Promotion of Science) (May, 2017)
4. When the Other Meets the Other? – International exhibition / curatorial project by Biljana Ćirić, (June, 2017)
5. Mia Ćuk, working title: Study of Noumenon (July, 2017)
6. Ivan Petrović, Portraits (August, 2017)
7. David Lynch, Small Stories (September, 2017)
8. Mihailo Vasiljević, Topography of Belgrade [2011-2016] (October, 2017)
9. Informal and formal types of organizing in the field of photography in the region – group exhibition curated by Miha Colner and the Fotodokumenti team (November, 2017)
10. Marina Paulenka, Second Home (December, 2017)