No Borders – No Nations


October 3rd – 13th

Artists: Ivan Hrkaš, Nemanja Nikolić, Jovana Vujanović, Gjorgje Jovanovik, Driton Selmani, Tea Hatadi, Maja Smrekar

Curators: Branka Vujanović, Miroslav Karić, Liljana Karadžić, Elena Veljanovska, Lulzim Zeqiri, Ivana Meštrov, Miha Colner

Exhibition was initiated by The No Borders Orchestra (NBO), interdisciplinary project which calls for a new kind of communication in the ex-YU region, through highly motivated and dynamic professional symphonic orchestra composed of the musicians from all ex-YU countries. The exhibition in its conceptual framework, follows the key elements of the NBO’s mission: innovative approaches in the intercultural dialogue,  promotion of creativity in the region and greater role and involvement of culture.  Regional artistic and curatorial team which was formed for this occasion was given opportunity for meeting, connecting  and joint work of all participants in conceptualization, creation and realization of an exhibition which will be presented in the following  cities in the region: Sarajevo, Belgrade, Podgorica, Skopje, Priština, Zagreb and Ljubljana. The main aim of the exhibition project is to strengthen the existing and encourage new collaborations, to initiate synergic actions and exchange of ideas, by creating opportunities for new partnership projects, building a platform of artistic and curatorial networking.  The regional dimension of this project is not only enshrined in the formal gathering of artists and curators from ex –YU region, but also in  thematization / reflections on what was once common geographical, social and cultural space.

Over the past twenty years, resisting the idea of “borders and nations” in the region of former Yugoslavia became more or less utopian thinking. Backed by the ideology of liberation from the authoritarian state, the process of division seems to have been irreversible while the fragmentation into smaller (also authoritarian) enclaves of nations and religions appeared to be the only way to achieve the already ongoing processes of change. In contrast to ongoing European integration, Yugoslavia began the reverse process of disintegration by building new – mental and physical – borders and barriers. The concept of ordinariness and ‘normal life’ in former Yugoslavia, referring to the notion of the growing middle class in the western hemisphere after WWII, is commonly thought to be the result of thirty years of relative economic stability (1960-1990). However, following the dominant global tendencies of individualism and economic Darwinism over the past two decades it is (reasonably) considered outdated. What used to be considered a basic human right is nowadays seen as a lifestyle ‘choice’, dependent on the flexibility and ingenuity of ex-ordinary citizens.

The Ex-Ordinary group exhibition reflects the general state of mind in the area of former Yugoslavia at present by presenting individual stories, analyses and visions of collective memories. The artists will show a collection of individual (or even intimate) perspectives of their immediate surroundings, deconstructing official discourses and collective memories backed by ongoing, often subliminal propaganda. Against the background of the legacy of cultural contacts in the territory of former Yugoslavia, the works selected for this exhibition deal with the phenomenology of space and anthropology of feelings (fear/love/anger/happiness), as well as with the deviation of memory and anticipation of the future. Through the network of individual stories and points of view the Ex-Ordinary exhibition will construct a new, entirely subjective, interpretation of contemporary societies.