May 20th – June 4th
Within the broader concept of examining the position of gender in contemporary art theory and practice, presented in the book LEAP AND DIVE, published by ProArtOrg from Belgrade and Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina from Novi Sad, the exhibition continues to question present-day social phenomena through research carried out by female artists of the younger generation from Serbia and the region. The interdisciplinary project points to the importance of critically examining gender roles and relationships, as well as current social stereotypes present in the wider community and on the art scene, emphasizing the importance of an analytical, engaged and contextual approach.
The title LEAP AND DIVE alludes to the song Diving into the Wreck (1973) by American feminist and anti-war activist Adrienne Rich, which talks about women’s freedoms and rights by introducing the motif of a symbolic diver exploring the underwater world (which few can see), alluding also to the self-conscious view of women directed towards the system of power and imposed patriarchy, as well as the freedom and courage to start exploring inaccessible, unconventional and non-traditional worlds.
The coronavirus pandemic pointed to the possibility of a sudden global change, which made more visible the repressed problems present in governance, value system and power relations, both in international and local politics and in the arts and culture, directly affected by these processes. Within risky social processes, the question of the position of different minorities and marginal orientations arises. Questioning of social values, community attitudes towards history, material goods, contributions and human life, with the awareness of collective neglect of heritage, erasure of the past, ignoring, abandonment and alienation, are present in some of the researches by artists from Serbia and the region. The same goes for topics of confrontation with the consequences of the war in the former Yugoslavia, the decade-long transition and changes in the social system with a visible process of impoverishment and irresponsibility for Others. Common ways of rebellion and critical destabilization of the current situation are sought out while finding alternatives of emancipatory action.
Through the work of artists Đejmi Hadrović, Katarina Jovanović Allfa, Nora Mesaroš, Lena Milovanović and Saša Tatić, the exhibition will present individual explorations on the topic of recording and archiving the current social state, with the introduction of a performative act, personal gesture and research process into artistic practice. The gathered artists are focused on numerous problematic topics of their own environment, on the research of spatial relations and mapping of observed unstable situations, through exploration of cultural systems that change both identity positions of space and sites of individuals in them.
Text: Sanja Kojić Mladenov