Perception of Contemporaneity – The Universal Sea at Museum of Contemporary Art, Novi Sad

‘Danube Dialogues’ Festival in collaboration with The Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina are pleased to present the central exhibition of its festival: Perceptions of Contemporaneity – The Universal Sea.

From 17 September – 30 September 2019 the show features works by Albena Baeva (Bulgaria), Lana Čmajčanin (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Roman Kroke (Germany/France), Jovana Popić (Croatia/Serbia/Germany), Sanja Latinović (Serbia), Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau (Austria/France), Robertina Šebjanič, Aleš Hieng–Zergon and Ida Hiršenfelder (Slovenia), Júlia Végh and Erika Kapronczai (Hungary), Miloš Trakilović (Yugoslavia/Germany), and Mariam Zakarian (Denmark/Albenia).

The exhibition of VR and interactive works, videos, (public) spatial and site-specific installations as well as objects is curated by Sanja Kojić Mladenov and Nicole Loeser. It takes on the idea of ‘The Universal Sea’, the interdisciplinary art and innovation project fighting against water pollution, that explores collaboration models within diverse groups of society. Furthermore, it raises questions on the extent of the connection to natural environments today and search for an utopian state of mind through it. It seems that the current sustainability movement focuses on embracing collaborations between science, technology and business. ‘The Universal Sea’ aims at including artistic research and practices as creatives should be part of innovation processes and can contribute to knowledge production. Art engages in questioning and rethinking existing structures and systems. Artists with their interdisciplinary, liberal, creative and discrete thinking are able to initiate discussions and to create non-verbal as well as emotionally intriguing metaphors for understanding of the challenges of our contemporary time. Sharing the concerns about the contempt of nature such as 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, visualization, acting and participation. Invited 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 to establish individual forms and methods to generate new spaces of possibilities to collaborate to tackle the issues.

An accompanying Symposium (17 September, 4:30 pm – 8:00 pm) on the opening day will consist of keynote speeches, pecha-kucha presentations and discussions moderated by Nicole Loser, project lead and curator of The Universal Sea.


Keynotes, 16:30 – 18:00

Welcome note by Mira Radenović, City Minister for Ecology
Introduction into festival by Vesna Latinovic, Founder and Director of Danube Dialogues Festival
Introduction into exhibition by Sanja Kojić Mladenov, Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Voijvodina
Introduction into The Universal Sea by Nicole Loeser, Curator and Artistic Director, Institute for Art and Innovation, Berlin

Pecha-Kucha + Panel 1, 18:00 – 18:45

Svetlana Marušić, Provincial Secretariat for Urbanism, Construction and Environmental Protection
Igor Jezdimirović, Environment Engineering Group
Nevenka Nikolić, Vode Vojvodine – Public Water Management Company 
Kaurin Jugoslav, Greentech  
Danijela Stojković, NGO World and Danube, Danube Civil Society Forum

Pecha-Kucha + Panel 2, 18:45 – 19:15

Sanja Latinovic (RS)
Albena Baeva, artist (BG)
Mariam Zakarian, artist (DK)

Pecha-Kucha + Panel 3: 19:15 – 20:00

Ede Sinkovics, artist (HU-RS)
Roman Kroke, artist and university lecturer (DE)
Sunčica Pasuljević Kandić, New Media Department, Academy of Arts Novi Sad

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. 

The Value of Art (Unquiet Sea)
Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau, The Value of Art (Unquiet Sea), interactive installation (oil painting, interface, cables, printer)