WINTER STORIES

WINTER STORIES

Gallery ALT, 20th March at 19h (last winter day and begining of spring)!

Exhibition is open up to 10th of April

Working hours: Tused.  – Frid. od 14 – 19h

Vlajkovićeva 30, Belgrade

011.3239.5578, 060.0227.180

gallery.alt@gmail.com, http://gallery.alt.wordpress.com/

Performance in public space, collective comunicollogy multidisciplinary project, photo installation, space installation of found ski equipment, colletive collection of stories, poems, photographs

Catallogue text and stories and poems of  project partitipants are on web site of the artist Gabriela Vasić

Photo Gallery of the project is here!

Photo Gallery of the opening is here!

Visual artist Gabriela Vasić in September 2011, in one street in Belgrade’s Dorćol neighborhood, found in a trash container a family’s complete equipment for skiing. The equipment still had potential for use, but the last owner had thrown it away as unneeded or outdated. Fashion trends in the sports industry have changed and the former models of ski equipment are no longer modern. The artist appropriated the thrown-away objects from the street, and these remnants of popular culture become a means for evoking memories of former experiences and social status.

This collection began with an inspiration to run an entire project throughout February of performance of skiing and simulations of winter activities in a small park in the center of Belgrade. The actions were documented and a part of that photo session is the subject of the exhibition.  After that, the author posted a public call on social networks for participation in a competition for inspirational “Winter Story” through which she collected the art works of 19 people.  The chosen stories, poems, and photographs will be mixed with family, touristic, or artists’ photographs and text from the artist. These photographs will be exhibited on the wall or in a photo album like a scrapbook, and some photos will illustrate the texts which participants in the project submitted.  In her projects, Gabriela Vasić does not give up on cooperation and finds various methods of relational aesthetics and collection participation which are woven into the genre of the artist’s gallery exhibit. As curator and author of the project, Vasić seeks to bring democratization to the artist scene and include a variety of creative people, both artists and amateurs, giving them too the status of participant-exhibitor.

The project has the goal to launch a space for dialogue with a wide social community; confrontations with personal experiences and symbolic or actual actions of project participants will map the collective cultural codes of the epoch in which we are contemporaries. In her efforts to explore and show subcultural specificities of the different generations of citizens, the artist believes that such a collective artistic act makes it possible to initiate numerous social, economic, and political questions and awareness to a wider community on issues of the position of modern art – and the artist is a kind of catalyst and generator for social dialogue.

Text for the Catalogue

 

Going on a “zimovanje” (winter holiday) during Tito’s Yugoslavia was one of the norms of middle-class families and was a measure of a good standard of living.  This continued well into the Milosevic era. “Classless” socialist societies made it possible for many citizens to take part in this type of tourism (in the mountains of the former Yugoslavia and Europe!) which today for many Serbian citizens became an exclusive luxury. With the change of social order and entry into a period of transition to the capitalistic system and market economy, a large number of Serbian citizens have seen a change in their social status, have been left permanently unemployed, became impoverished, and many of the cultural habits of the people experienced a decline.  One of those habits is taking a winter holiday.

 

In one street in Belgrade’s Dorćol neighborhood, visual artist Gabriela Vasić found a family’s complete equipment for skiing in a trash container.  The equipment still had potential for use, but the last owner had thrown it away as unneeded or outdated. Fashion trends in the sports industry have changed and the former models of ski equipment are no longer modern. The artist appropriated the thrown-away objects from the street, and these remnants of popular culture become a means for evoking memories of former experiences and social status.

The found ski equipment included: grey goggles, 3 pairs of skis, 3 pairs of ski boots, ski poles, Italian ski suit in the artist’s size, ski clothing, and parts for a snow board. After finding the winter sports equipment, the artist called a taxi to take the equipment with her, with the intention of using it in a future project. Recently, before the melting of the winter snow, the artist decided to, with the help of friends, perform a simulation of her favorite winter sports in a public place in the city.  She decided on a skiing action in a city park near Gallery ALT where the found ski equipment was being stored.

Through elements of irony, the author wants this action to stimulate spontaneous dialogue with random visitors in the park, and that through unbreakable nostalgia and humor to initiate a critical memory on an era in which taking part in cultural habits was not just for the prestige as it is today.  In the simulated environment of the improvised skiing resort in the evening hours of a city part, the artist performs genuine sports and social activities (putting on equipment, skiing, going downhill, braking, “riding the funicular”, falling, getting up, or talking to passerby-s).  Despite the absurdity of the actions, the author succeeds in articulating real emotions (excitement, joy, disappointment, nostalgia, anxiety…).  The entire action was documented with photography and an installation was made with chosen photographs.

In addition to the photographs taken in the city park Kopitareva Gradina, the found ski equipment will be exhibited in Gallery ALT like a kind of urban archeology, serving as a pretext for new “Winter Stories.”  The collection of a family’s ski clothing and equipment found in the Dorćol neighborhood will be exhibited as an installation in the space.  There will also be photo documentation of skates which are on end-of-season sale in front of the sports center Pioneer Hall, amongst which the artist found a pair of skates for herself so she could practice skating with her four-year-old son.

A special segment of the exhibition is “Winter Stories,” a joint project in which residents participated as collaborators.  On exhibit will be photographs, stories, texts, and poems of 19 coauthors.  The youngest participant through the contest is nine-year-old Hana Filipović whose mother sent in her poem, and the youngest photographer is the author’s four-year-old son VedranĆurčić.

The project has the goal to launch a space for dialogue with a wide social community; confrontations with personal experiences and symbolic or actual actions of project participants will map the collective cultural codes of the epoch in which we are contemporaries.  In her efforts to explore and show subcultural specificities of the different generations of citizens, the artist believes that such a collective artistic act makes it possible to initiate numerous social, economic, and political questions and awareness to a wider community on issues of the position of modern art – and the artist is a kind of catalyst and generator for social dialogue.

Gabriela Vasic

translation Diane Huebner Vukovic

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One thought on “WINTER STORIES

  1. Pingback: I am making a Michigan themed scrapbook. Does any person know in which I can find an album that is Michigan themed?

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