We were very lucky to have the possibility to create U10. The reaction to our formation was unexpectedly good and intense, and fortunately still lasts.
Each of us has stepped into this process with his or her own affinities. The roles were somehow naturally distributed. Each of us does what feels good.
We need to put this to a vote!
Nevertheless, things are gradually speeding up, multiplying and it becomes clear that a certain amount of expertise is necessary for good management, as projects cannot exclusively rely on enthusiasm. That’s when you’re confronted with the feeling of being trapped, a feeling directly based on the lack of an art scene, infrastructure, money and the impossibility to dedicate needed time to professional work. you then encounter the two-facedness of enthusiasm at its best and its worst.
It is not about the lack of professionalism, but the inability to fully accomplish professionalism.
We are all equal. I think we aren’t all equal.
THAT’S WHY ALL OF THIS IS VERY INTERESTING. IN A WIDE SPECTRUM OF OFFERED PROJECTS AND THE ONES WE SEEK OURSELVES, WE COME TO A CLASH OF DIFFERENT POINTS OF VIEW AND EXPECTATIONS, WHERE WE GET AN INTERESTING SITUATION THAT FORMS OUR CORE: DEFINED By OUR OWN PERSPECTIVES. THAT’S WHAT MAKES OUR PROGRAM SO DIVERSE.
The artist’s role is changing and responsibility today is larger than ever, specially where we live. The idealised image of the artist sitting in the studio, immersed in work and occasionally exhibiting is a nice and attractive image, but for us that’s luxury. The artist has to come out of this up-tight and suffocating situation and accept a more responsible role.
Our main idea is to work with curators who would organise exhibitions. We are working on encouraging art theoreticians and critics to connect and give their say, how this scene would be shaken up a bit. And not only in regards to our space, but much further.
We are becoming more experienced and are changing postulates. That comes with time and different situations through which we acquire certain alertness as to what the problems and what the necessities are. the communication between the artist and the curator is crucial, together with a dialogue between individuals that convey their art and discourse into U10.
We usually collaborate with young artists who aren’t established. We offer our resources and we are ready to help. However, we aren’t taking on the role of curator in the narrowest sense of this practice. The range of our collaboration with the exhibitors is quite wide: sometimes we have the role of organisator, sometimes curator, who engages into a communication with the artist in order to formulate the identity and context of the exhibition.
The artists presented at U10 are young and the majority didn’t have the prior chance to be seen by professional curators. Also, there is a quite critical circumstance in Serbia, and that’s the lack of communication between young curators and artists. In line with this, our aim is to create a space for the future, where this kind of collaboration would exist.
The focus is on young artists? Yes. Completely. Not predominantly, but completely.
There is responsibility in art, and even more to come. Nevertheless one gets an impression that young artists are not prepared for it. The social role of the artist is different: more responsible and bigger. The artist should be seen as an intellectual articulating his or her work through different media, and not only through a comfortable media.
What we are doing is very characteristic for the context of Serbia. This shouldn’t be left out. Here things function differently and without structure Accordingly, our work is a consequence of this very context and structure of life.
Communication between the curator and artist is almost inexistent, and that’s already a matter of the system. It should already be present in the educational system. Here it happens on a very low level, almost impalpable. So artists take upon themselves additional roles out of the desire to fill these holes, where the sense of individual and social responsibility is created.
Some very “serious” spaces basically offer the artist very little: just a bunch of walls and the rest is up to him. If we accept this as a norm, we are allowing ourselves to dive into a general state of lethargy.
I think there is only one valid word, and that’s – engagement. Absolutely. I think there shouldn’t be anything else. Activism!
Activism or engagement? Engagement! Not activism, that’s something else.
You simply can’t wait for the wider audience to recognize or accept you, whether it is the public or something else. you have to allude to yourself.
The inexistence of MSU (The Museum of Contemporary Art) for already a decade we don’t feel through U10, but as the members of a society that has culturally declined. The Museum of Contemporary Art shouldn’t only tend to artists, but society and culture. As artists, we are naturally hurt, but the problem is much larger.
I think we have on too few occasion contacted certain institutions, but every time we have, we had only positive feedback. Some individuals have come forward, who are key figures in what we do. People are still getting to know out space.
As for a “generation gap”, I consider that a much more complex question. It definitely exists. There is a lack of many things on so many levels.
The content of contemporary art practice doesn’t reach the average citizen. What you say about twenty years of “vacuum“, that means something’s absent twenty years. For something to exist, there has to be a practice of documenting it. If you have an exhibition, the content has to be published. And who publishes it?
Every exhibition is a process in stages.
Here there is moral conditioning. “Moral“ not in the sense of ethics but in the sense of emotional expectations and security connected to one’s work. People are too much used to working with what is available and have a hard time stepping out of those frames.
One of the most crucial problems is that people lack that air of confidence and high-mindedness. Which is a consequence of long-term (material) depression. The educational system does not develop artists like that. We didn’t have the possibilities to think big and long-term about projects.
Each of us is firstly an artist, and then a member of the U10 team. That function integrated into our everyday lives and we are glad about that. This experience has developed us in many aspects; nevertheless, with regret we find that everything would have gone faster if we had more time to dedicate to this project.
We strive to work with artists from abroad as much as possible, as our scene is lacks collaboration and establishing a dialogue.
Most goals set in the beginning, we’ve managed to accomplish. Nevertheless, artistic engagement is a serious thing, whether you’re an author, curator or gallerist. It’s a serious profession which requires engagement, time, dedication, education, investigating different models and their respective application. It should be approached with care and gravity in order to develop. I think we are applied quite a lot, considering the time we have available.
We expect that the artists show the same amount of enthusiasm as we dedicate to each project, because they mould this space as much as we do.
In conversation with: Lidija Delić, Nina Ivanović, Isidora Krstić, Iva Kuzmanović, Marija Šević, Sava Knežević i Nemanja Nikolić