Perceptions of Contemporaneity – The Universal Sea
From17/09/2019 16:00h
To30/09/2019 18:00h

Perceptions of Contemporaneity – The Universal Sea, is an upcoming international art show in the Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina, Novi Sad/Serbia curated by Nicole Loeser and Sanja Kojic Mladenov. The exhibition is part of this year’s Danube Dialogues Festival.

Danube Dialogues” is a versatile international art festival presenting artists of the Danube region, taking place simultaneously in various places along the Danube river and several exhibition spaces in Novi Sad, Serbia. It was founded by Bel Art Gallery in 2012. More than 500 artists, art historians and critics from 14 countries of the Danube macro region have participated in this festival since then, offering an extremely interesting insight into the current art trends of this European region.

Danube Dialogues follows the concept of exchanging perceptions and attitudes by bringing cultural actors from each of the Danubian countries together with artists from Serbia. Besides, the central exhibition of this year‘s festival will take on the idea of The Universal Sea, a European art and innovation project fighting against water pollution. 

Art engages in questioning and rethinking existing systems and our environment. Artists with their interdisciplinary, liberal, creative and discrete thinking are able to initiate discussions and to create non-verbal as well as emotionally intriging metaphors for understanding of our contemporary time.

Sharing the concerns about the impact of polluters and waste in the marine environment of the Danube region, the exhibition shows artists as sensitive thinkers and catalysts for change of perception by reflecting on communication, visualisation, acting and participation. Artists create ideas and visions, making new aspects visible by using various forms of artistic research to understand the problem of ignoring the need to act as well as individual forms and methods to generate new spaces of possibilities to collaborate to tackle the issue. 

The exhibition will be opened on 17 September 2019 and present works by artists who are recognized as sensible reflectors of society and are able to opening up new perspectives and getting the audience emotionally hooked up to take action. It shows VR and interactive works, videos, (public) spatial and site-specific installations as well as objects by Roman Kroke, Jovana Popić, Lana Čmajčanin, Erika Kapronczai and Júlia Végh, Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau, Milos Trakilovic, Mariam Zakarian, Sanja Latinovic, Albena Baeva, Robertina Šebjanič, Aleš Hieng-Zergon and Ida Hiršenfelder.

An accompagnying symposium will consist of keynote speeches, pecha-kucha presentations and discussions moderated by Nicole Loser, project lead of The Universal Sea. Participating experts and artists are:

Vesna Latinovic, director of Danube Dialogue Festival
Sanja Kojić Mladenov, curator
Nicole Loeser, curator
Svetlana Marušić, Department for Environmental Protection, Provintial Government
Milan Matavulj, artist and professor, Faculty of Biology, University of Novi Sad
Nevenka Nikolić, Vojvodinavode – Water management and  water polution protection public enterprise
Ede Sinkovics, artist and entrepreneur
n.n., Greentech – Plastic waste recycling company
Stevan Kojić, associate professor, Academy of Arts, Novi Sad
Robertina Šebjanić, sound artist

In the period of contextuality of art, its dependence on interpersonal relations and the connection between art and reality open to discussion, the materiality of the artwork is not in the forefront, but rather its broken form, which rests on the idea, position, concept, as well as audience. The stratification of art relationships is complemented by the transgression of boundaries, the ideas of ​​breaking formal, media and spatial frameworks, and emphasized interdisciplinarity in art, which makes the curatorial work more demanding and more open to acquiring new knowledge and phenomena, with an emphasized need for communication and networking with international protagonists from the artistic as well as scientific and technological fields. Due to this relativity of the process, contemporary art takes on more and more diverse interpretations, divergent followers and advocates, which is why the issues such as: what makes contemporary art and who are the curators and artists become necessary nowadays in the turbulent period.

The connection between art, nature, science and technology, present in many contemporary art theories and practices constitutes the concept of the central exhibition of the Danube Dialogues Festival.

The idea is in communication, rivers connect people, they resemble to a bloodstream stated in 1971 by Bogdanka Poznanović, a neo-avantgarde, intermedial artists from Novi Sad, who finds the experimentation, interdisciplinary approach, innovating of artistic-scientific techniques and methods, testing new contents, critical observation of modern society, scientific discoveries and closed systems important and make the methodological framework. The interest in the issues of impact of the process of industrialization of society, urbanization, economic and technological development on the nature, on the simplicity of life in the natural environment, water that connects us, the universal sea, are the topics of contemporary ecology and environmental protection, as well as the current artistic practice.