Artists who emigrated themselves at one point in their lives are now interpreting migrations through their works at a new exhibition in Novi Sad, as part of the ‘Migrations’ programme arch, which continues through cultural events within the European Capital of Culture project.
The ‘Link It, Mark It’ exhibition implemented by the Association of Fine Artists of Vojvodina, which opened last night in the SULUV gallery, connected artists from abroad with the local scene. They have created and worked together in recent months, and also showed a great example of cooperation between the Austrian Cultural Forum and the ‘Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture’ Foundation.
‘The ‘Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture’ Foundation has been cooperating with the Austrian Cultural Forum since its founding. In the preparatory period, the Austrian Cultural Forum supported our projects mainly through the ‘Artist in Residence’ programme and through the ‘Kaleidoscope of Culture’ programme arch. During the title, we are collaborating on 17 projects in different arches, and ‘Link It, Mark It’ is one of them. This is the first project of cooperation between SULUV and the Austrian Cultural Forum, and we are very glad that we have accelerated this intersectoral successful networking,’ pointed out Sara Vuletić, the programme director of the ‘Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture’ Foundation.
‘This exhibition is of special importance because it represents the networking of artists, which is one of our goals in this particular case, not only artists from Austria and Serbia but artists from different countries. We plan to support such cooperation throughout the whole title year, even after. We are looking forward to cooperation and we are glad to have found a partner such as the ‘Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture’ Foundation, said Adrien Feix, director of the Austrian Cultural Forum.
The concept and topic of the ‘Link It, Mark It’ project is based on the term ‘erased’, which refers to the 1990s and various types of discrimination. This term covers various repressive acts, discrimination based on ethnic, religious, gender, age, racial, economic and other affiliations. In that sense, the thematic framework of the project speaks about lost identities and lost generations who lost their homeland, place of residence, employment, property, citizenship, personal and social integrity, and who were deprived of basic human rights.
‘Twelve of us artists from different parts of the world worked on this project. It was very interesting for me how artists work here, because they have the freedom to express what they feel through their art, they have space to react to reality, which is different in relation to Central Europe. When it comes to my work, new identities, new identity structures, represent the beginning of my story that starts in the 1990s, when I was marked as a guest-worker’s son in Austria,’ said Igor Fridrih Petković, the artist.
The exhibition lasts until 4 March in the SULUV gallery, as well as in the Small Art Gallery of the Cultural Centre of Novi Sad.
The project started in 2020 with public discussions of artists from Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria, and the result is the ‘Link It, Mark It’ exhibition.
Participants: Vladimir Frelih, Dragan Matić, Arjan Pregl, Danijel Babić, Selman Trtovac, Igor Friedrich Petković, Maryam Mohammadi, Samson Ogiamien, Arif Kryeziu, Mawiead Al Karam, Zoë Guglielmi, curator Saša Janjić.
The project is included in the application book of the European Capital of Culture, and it was also supported by the Open Society Foundation Serbia and the City Administration for Culture of the City of Novi Sad. A detailed programme, programme book and all information related to the events in the European Capital of Culture title year can be found on the project website novisad2022.rs.
Photo: V. Veličković