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 The equipment still had potential for use, but the last owner had thrown it away as unneeded or outdated.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

JAVNI POZIV ZA UČEŠĆE U PROJEKTU “ZIMSKE PRIČE” Gabriele Vasić

O projektu “ZIMSKE PRIČE”

Gabriela Vasić u septembru 2011., na jednoj ulici, na Dorćolu, pokraj kontejnera pronalazi porodičnu opremu za skijanje, koja je još uvek u potencijalnoj funkciji, ali su je prethodni vlasnici odbacili kao nepotrebnu ili zastarelu. Modni trendovi u industriji sporta su se takođe promenili i nekadašnji modeli ski opreme, nisu više aktuelni. Umetnica prisvaja odbačene predmete sa ulice, i ovi ostaci popularne kulture postaju predmet za evokaciju uspomena na nekadašnja iskustva i socijalni status. Sa nađenom opremom, u toku februaru, izvodi simulaciju zimovanja u parkiću na Opštini Stari Grad, nadomak Galerije ALT. Osim fotografija sa terena i razgovora u galeriji, autorka ovim projektom želi da inicira  dijalog sa širom društvenom zajednicom, i da istražujući najinspirativnije priče zaljubljenika u zimu i zimske sportove, zapravo suoči lična iskustva učesnika projekta i kolektivne kulturne kodove epohe koja je za nama. Istražujući i pokazujući potkulturne specifičnosti različitih generacija građana, pokušaće kroz dijalog sa učesnicima projekta da potraži odgovore na mnoga društvena, ekonomska i politička pitanja koje ovaj projekat pokreće.

Konkurs za najinspirativnije zimske priče i fotografije!

Vizuelna umetnica Gabriela Vasić iz Beograda, poslednjeg dana ove duge zime (20.3.2012.), organizovaće okupljanje u prostoru Galerije ALT, vidu multidisciplinarnog događaja u kojem možete učestvovati i vi!

Od 27.2. do 15.3. 2012. autorka će skupljati najinspirativnije priče i fotografije sa zimovanja i u okviru svoje izložbe će ih predstaviti javnosti. Poziv je otvoren za sve entuzijaste i zaljubljenike zime i zimskih sportova.

Ako želite da učestvujete na konkrus za najinspirativnije zimske priče i fotografije, pošaljite 1 do 3 svojih autentičnih fotografija u digitalnom format /600×800 dpi.Vi ne mora da budete autor fotografije i ne mora da budeti vi na njima, bitno je da vaša fotografija “Priča Priču”! Sadržaj može biti turističkog ili spomenarskog ili dokumentarnog karaktera. Format teksta je 500 reči, a format fotografija je 600×800 dpi. Odabrane fotografije i priče, umetnica će, odštampati i izložiti u okviru svoje izložbe ili će odabrani materijal i autore predstaviti na FB strani Galerije ALT. Ukoliko se pojave uslovi, autorka će sav materijal odštampati u obliku knjige.

Svoje radove možete slati na mail: gabriela.vasic@gmail.com, ili postovati putem bloga: https://gabrielavasic.wordpress.com/.  Poslati do 2 priče i do 3 fotografije. Odabrani autori će biti naknadno kontaktirani. Ukoliko želite uživo da pripovedate svoje zimske priče, a ne želite da pišete, javite se na mail.

Ukoliko želite da podelite sa nama svoje dogodovštine sa zimovanja i da se družimo u Galeriji ALT, slobodno se prijavite. Poziv je otvoren za sve!

JAVNI RADOVI/PUBLIC WORKS

JAVNI RADOVI/PUBLIC WORKS

ENGLISH TEXT IS BELOW SERBIAN

Work in progress, public space performance, photography, artistic activism / August 2011, Belgrade

Autor/Author: Gabriela Vasić

Foto kredit/Photo credit: Aleksandrija Ajduković

Gabriela Vasic, Public Works, Government building, 2011


PHOTO GALLERY


Javni radovi je work in progress, performativna, gerilska akcija zauzimanja javnog prostora ispred markantnih javnih institucija (Sud, Vlada, Narodna banka, Sekretarijat za kulturu, Skupstina grada …) u centru srpske prestonice, u toku koje umetnica vrši radnju (simulacije) pletanja. Istovremeno, vršeći prestup (fotografijsanje javnih institucija bez dozvole), umetnica proverava stepen pristupačnosti institucija u odnosu na interese građanima, s ciljem da se u javnosti pokrene debata  o funkcionalnosti i autoritetu  tzv. demokratskih institucija, kojima rukovode partijski postavljeni funkcioneri, bez stručnih kompetencija i referenci. Postavljajući sebe ispred institucija, umetnica provocira dijalog sa javnošću i, javnim  institucijama, provocirajući rad njenih službi zaštite i nadzora (policija, vojska, obezbeđenje, kamere), sa namerom da poremeti nedodirljivost i netransparentnost kojom se pozicionira autoritet vlasti u Srbiji.

Identifikujući simulaciju pletenja sa političkim funkcijama unutar /ispred institucija sistema (fotelja –pozicija moći,  pletenje – upravljanje sudbinom naroda), umetnica zapravo kritikuje partijizovanu javnu sferu u kojoj su partijski službenici birani na osnovu svoje političke podobnosti, a ne na osnovu odgovornosti zasnovane na autoritetu stručnosti. Nije tajna da su Ministri postavljeni na rukovodeće pozicije da upravljaju državnim resursama neodgovarajuće stručnosti: Dr ortoped – Ministar Ekologije, Rudarstva i Prostornog planiranja, npr). Tako su omogućeni idealni uslovi za uspostavljanje partokratije (legalizovana korupcija, kriminal i nepotizam).

Odevena u plavu (simuliranu) radničku uniformu, u simuliranoj fotelji (ribolovačka stolica), autorka se identifikuje sa ženama radnicama koje su ili ostale bez posla (kao tehnološki višak) ili su nezaposlene (usled marginalizacije i neobrazovanosti). Značaj ovoga je da se simulacijom tradicionalne ženske radnje, pletenja, je akt pasivnog otpora žena u nepovoljnom položaju u tranzicionom srpskom društvu.

Žene u srpskom društvu doživljavaju kontinuiranu degradaciju životnog standard, praćenih padom I kolapsom insitucija društvene brige. Povlačeći se u sferu privatnosti, preuzele su na sebe ulogu socijalne brige o porodici. Postavljajući  sebe kao ženu umetnicu ispred javnih institucija, Gabriela Vasić govori u ime potlačenih i nevidljivih žena koje nisu povezane sa autoritetima vlasti, estradom i medijima. (izolovanost, nepopularnost, nevidljivost).

Izvrćući privatno (pletenje) i preplićući ga (identifikujući ga) sa javnim (institucije u kojima političari povlače “niti sudbine” za narod), Vasić ironizira i svoju ulogu radnika u kulturi i umetnika, koju svodi na „narodnu radinost“ ili hobi aktivnost (nevidljivi umetnički projekti bez generalne javnosti). Izlazeći u javni prostor sa svojim umetničkim radom „Javni radovi“, koji Vasić izjednačava sa privatnošću pletenja, autorka  stiče mogućnost za publicitet izvan umetničkih krugova (uobičajene publike), sa željiom da uspostavi dijalog sa građanima i pokrene pitanja u interesu javnosti (npr. pitanja budgeta za obrazovanje, kulturu, nauku, poljoprivredu …) o kojima se odlučuje unutar targetiranih insitucija.


Gabriela Vasić, avgust 2011-februar 2012.

ENGLISH TEXT

Public works is a work in progress, performative, guerrilla action of occupying public space in front of important public institutions (the Court, the Government, the National Bank, Department for Culture, City Assembly …) in the center of the Serbian capital, during which the artist performs (simulates) action of knitting. Committing an offense (photographing public institutions without a permit), the artist checks the degree of accessibility of institutions in relation to the interests of citizens. In order to initiate a public debate about the function and authority of the so-called democratic institutions that are managed by appointed party officials, with professional competence and references. By putting herself in front of the institution, the artist intends to initiate a dialogue with the public and public institutions, provoking work of its monitoring and protection services (police, military, security, cameras), with the intent to disrupt the intangibility and lack of transparency which position the authority of the Serbian authorities.
By identifying the simulation of knitting with the political functions of inside / outside the institutions of the system (position of power-chair, knitting – control the destiny of the people), the artist actually criticizes public sphere in which party officials are elected on the basis of their political suitability, not on the basis of liability based on authority expertise. It’s not a secret that Ministries placed in institutions that manage public resources have no professional commpetence in the sphere they are leading: orthopedic surgeon Dr – Minister of Ecology, Mining and Spatial Planning, for example). This provides ideal conditions for establishment of partocracy (legalized corruption, crime and nepotism).
Dressed in blue (simulated) working uniform, in a simulated chair (chair fishing), the author identifies with the women without power, workers who are jobless (as redundant) or unemployed (due to marginalization and lack of education). The significance of this is that the simulation of traditional women’s activities, knitting, is an act of passive resistance towards unfavorable women position in transitional Serbian society. Women in Serbian society experience continuous degradation of living standards, which are marked by decline and collapse of social care institutions. Retreating into the private sphere, they overtook the role of social care for their families.  As for the position of women artists within the art system are not associated with government authorities or showbiz and media, identifying the status of contemporary art and cultural production (isolation, unpopularity, invisibility).

Twisting privately (knitting) and interweaving it (identifying it) with the public (institutions in which politicians pull “or destiny” for the people), Vasic ironies her role in the culture of workers and artists, which boils down to “National Handicraft” or hobby activity (invisible art projects without  general public). Heading out into the public space with their art work, “Public Works”, which equates Vasić the privacy of knitting, the author gained the possibility of publicity outside art circles, with aim to establish a dialogue with citizens and raise issues of public interest (eg, budget issues education, culture, science, agriculture …) about which is decided inside targeted institutions.

Gabriela Vasic, August 2011 – February 2012

POLITIKE NEVIDLJIVOSTI

GALERIJA GRAFICKOG CENTRA

Pariska 16, Beograd

10.11.-10.12.2011

PHOTO GALLERY

„Politike nevidljivosti“ („DECA-KIDS“)

Kroz svoj višegodišnji „work in progress“ projekat „DIZAJN IDENTITETA MLADIH“, razmatram stanje anomije na koje ukazujem kroz prikaz medijski generisanih, tranzicionih kolektivnih identiteta mladih, kojima se kroz matrix medija masovnih komunikacija u ponašanje ugrađuju nametnuti globalni kulturni klišei. Medijski uspeh, slava, bogatstvo ili bunt postaju uzori generacijama mladih, i dobar su pokazatelj kako srpsko društvo tumači duštvenu i ekonomsku tranziciju ka neoliberalnoj demokratiji. Prikazujući kolektivne matrice ponašanja mladih uočljivih u javnom urbanom prostoru, zapravo ukazujem na slabosti srpskog društva u tranziciji, u kojem su ranjive grupe, žrtve tranzicije. Srpsko društvo još uvek baštini svoj kulturni identitet na osnovu etnocentričnih autoritarnih modela vrednosti i nema izgrađenu kulturu poštovanja prava (ljudskih, manjinskih, rasnih, rodnih …), što kao direktnu posledicu ima zanemarenost najugroženijih grupa građana, koja proističe iz neefikasnih društvenih normi, zakona, propisa i vrednosti. Sve raširenija društvena anomija doprinosi konfuziji u moralnoj svesti pojedinca, što dovodi do potpune dezorijentisanosti građana u traganju za socijalno poželjnim obrascima ponašanja. Naličje ove pojave se ogleda u porastu delikventnog ponašanja i diskriminaciji prema drugačijem i drugačijima.

Projekat  „Politike nevidljivosti“ kao drugi javno prikazan projekat iz ciklusa „DIZAJN IDENTITETA MLADIH“, tematizuje postojanje ne-vidljivih mladih Roma, koji usled sistemske nebrige države, postaju tranzicione žrtve. U begu od stvarnosti, mladi Romi, nevidljivo gluvare urbanim zonama, gde unutar svojih grupa, verno podražavaju „stvarnost medija“ i ideologiju svojih idola.

Stanje anomije na koju ukazujem, ne iznenađuje u sredini u kojoj se kriminal ne kažnjava, počinioci mnogih zločina ne otkrivaju. Posledice toga su da nasilje eskalira, obespravljenost, siromaštvo, depresija i maloletničeka delikvencija su u usponu. Množe se vršnjačke bande, prodesničarski vandalski obračuni mladih sa policijom ili sa manjinskom populacijom. Kulturna klima je u fazi retradicionalizacije, te umesto povećanja tolerantnosti prema drugom i drugačijem, na sceni su homofobija, mizoginija i ksenofobija. Društvenu stvarnost oblikuju vrednosti popularne kulture, TV “rijaliti”, „life stile“ uspešnih (npr.„Grand“ ili „Pink“) zvezda estrade i sporta, žuta štampa. Društvene konstelacije diktiraju komercijalizacija i profit. U ovoj mondijalizaciji stvarnosti, ne zaostaje ni politički – finansijski establišment. Mediji su zamenili funkcije roditelja, obrazovnog sistema i ideologije. Biti „inn“, biti „brendiran“ (kloniran), utopiti se u „main stream“ za mnoge mlade je vrhunski ideal i dokaz društvenog uspeha. Ni znanje, ni ideja, ni solidarnost, ni veština, nisu merilo uspeha i „kulturnih vrednosti“. To su zapravo novac i potrošačka doktrina neoliberalnog kaptalizma. To je poražavajući rezultat nedovršene srpske tranzicije, na sredokraći između bespuća tradicije i neomeđene modernosti. U takvom okruženju, u kojem vaspitni i obrazovni kadar nema autoritet i kredibilitet kod mladih, a sistem ih podržava u odustajanju od etičkog kodeksa vaspitanja, devijantne pojave kod mladih, posebno onih koji dolaze iz nižih socijalnih slojeva i marginalizovanih grupa, su gotovo pravilo. Ali, kako je njihovo asocijalno ponašanje nevidljivo za srpsku javnost i nadležne institucije, ipak je začudno u eri digitalnih medija. Dakle, zaključak bi bio, da se pojave koje sam registrovala i obradila ignorišu sa namerom. Kojom, i šta se krije iza ove „politike nevidljivosti“?

Kritički diskurs koji želim da otvarim ovim projektom, ukazuje na preko potrebno preispitivanje društvenih vrednosti, kao i merila i kriterijuma razvoja srpskog društva, a istovremeno pozivam na odgovornost autoritete vlasti čiji nedostatak političke volje se očitava u sve očiglednijoj anomiji u našem društvu.

Zapuštenost te dece o kojoj svedoče ove potresne fotografije i grafički radovi, upozorenje su da se ono što se danas dešava romskoj deci, sutra  može desiti bilo kom detetu u Srbiji, budući da vlast ne vodi odgovornu ni socijalnu, ni kulturnu, ni obrazovnu politiku u zemlji.

Budući da sam i sama roditelj, pozivam građane da se zainteresuju i da izvrše pritisak na vlast kojoj deca ne smeju da ostanu nevidljiva, bez obzira na njihovu versku ili rasnu i nacionalnu pripadnost. To bi istovremeno značilo da vlast preuzima odgovornosti za svoje građane i za razvoj srpskog društva u celini,  u kojem se za nauku ne bi izdvajalo 0,02% a za kulturu 0,6 % od ukupnog BDP-a, što je slučaj danas, već mnogo više, imajući u vidu da su mnoge evropske ekonomske studije utvrdile da su ulaganja u kulturu i obrazovanje dugoročno najbolja investicija. Vlast ne može neodgovorno da rasprodaje budućnost svojih građana tako što će voditi restriktivnu monetarnu politiku, a znanje tretirati kao robu, već mora ulagati u kulturni i kreativni kapital i mlade, budući da su mladi najveći resurs srpskog društva.

Gabriela Vasić

Beograd, oktobar 2011.

Radovi:

  • Projekat nastaje na osnovu prikupljene foto-dokumentacije od 2004 do 2010. na nekoliko lokacija u Beogradu, a sadrži fotografije, digitalne crteže, Facebook dokument prepisku u fotoalbumu „Deca-Kids“ autorke, koja je poslužila kao potsticaj za ovaj umetnički projekat. „Zapisi sa Facebook-a“ ukazuju na različite poglede građana o „Romskom pitanju“ i ova diskusija nam otkriva kako pulsira Dekada Roma u Srbiji. Ovi zapisi su integralno prikazani kao “copy-paste” dokument sa Interneta.Radovi iz serije „Ulica“ i „Dunavski nasip“ čine fotografije i digitalni crteži, rađeni prema fotografijama sa mobilnog telefona ili digitalnog fotoaparata. Radove iz grupe “Ulica” čine prikazi dečaka  od 9 – 13 god. koji neometano (nevidljivo) „duvaju“ lepak u srcu prestonice. Jedan dečak stoji nag, kao odmetnik od „ekipe“ koja ga je ubacila u Terazijsku česmu, budući da je odbio da učestvuje u njihovim aktivnostima (mart 2007). Umnoženim linijskim prikazom dečaka, želim da sugerišem na halucinogeno stanje u kojem se oni nalaze pod dejstvom lepka.  Ova grupa crteža je štampana na providnom pleksiglasu i formira prostornu instalaciju u formi kubusa koji visi sa plafona galerije, tako da nagoni posmatrača da obilazi oko nje i da svojim kretanjem menja vizuru. Postavku u galeriji prate foto portreti hip hop “fakira” sa Dunavskog nasipa u Krnjači na kojima se simulira slava poznatih zvezda muzičke industrije i dva crteža dečaka u natprirodnoj veličini koji su postavljeni u formi muralske slike bočno od ulaza u galeriju (visine 200m). Varirajući način na koji su crteži tretirani (classic i multiview), zapravo nastojim da aktiviram jasniju percepciju društvene pozicije ove omladine. Treću grupa radova pod nazivom „Santa Claus“ čine fotografije nastale iz komunikacije sa jednim romskim dečakom koji je u toku jedne umetničke prezentacije u februaru 2009., boravio u Galeriji ULUS, štiteći se od zime. Dečak je hteo da pozira kao model ispred umetničkih radova, i u toku tog pseudo modnog „session-a“, kroz razgovor autorka otkriva poreklo i funkciju belila /korektora na rukama, zubima i ustima dečaka, i dogovaraju da operu belilo sa ruku i lica dečaka.
  • Ovaj rad se emituje kao “slide shaw” na velikom TV monitor

ENGLISH TRANSLATION

„The Policy of Invisibility“  („KIDS“)

In the scope of my year’s long “work in progress” project “DESIGN OF YOUNG PEOPLE’S IDENTITY”, I have been examining the state of anomie and drawing the public’s attention to this phenomenon via a presentation of the media-generated, transitional and collective identities of young people into whose behaviour the imposed global cultural clichés are implanted through the matrices of the mass media communication. Media success, fame, wealth or rebellion, are gradually becoming the role models of young generations, and they represent good indicators of how the Serbian society interprets the social and economic transition towards a neo-liberal type of democracy. Showing those collective matrices in the behaviour of young people that are visible in our urban public space, I actually call attention to the flaws of the Serbian society in transition where the vulnerable groups are victims of this transition. The Serbian society still passes onto young generations its cultural identity based on the ethnocentric and authoritarian models of value, and it does not possess an advanced culture of respect for the rights (human, minority, racial, gender etc.), which has, as a direct result, neglect of the most vulnerable groups of citizens. Such neglect comes out of inefficient social norms, laws, regulations and values. All the more widespread social anomie contributes to confusion in the ethical mind of an individual, which leads to complete disorientation of the citizens in their pursuit of some socially desirable patterns of behaviour. The flip side of this phenomenon reflects in rising delinquency and discriminations towards the different and the other.

“The Policy of Invisibility”, as the second publicly presented project from the cycle “DESIGN OF YOUNG PEOPLE’S INDENTITY”, thematizes existence of the (in)visible young Romany people who become victims of the transition, due to the systematic neglect of the State. In order to escape from the harsh reality, the young Romany people hang out invisibly in various urban zones, where they reproduce faithfully, within their cliques, “reality of the media” and ideology of their idols.

The state of anomie, which I have been researching, is not surprising in an environment where crimes go by unpunished and the perpetrator of many crimes undetected. And the consequences are:  escalation of violence, deprivation, poverty, depression and juvenile delinquency.  The number of peer gangs increases day by day. Extreme right-wing hooligans clash with the police or brutally attack minority groups. The cultural climate is in the phase of reviving the traditional values. Therefore, instead of witnessing the increase of tolerance towards the other and the different, we encounter homophobia, misogyny and xenophobia. Our social reality is shaped by the values of popular culture, television reality shows, the “life style” of rich and famous music stars (e.g. Grand Show or Pink Television), sport stars and tabloids. Commercialisation and profit dictate the social constellations. In this globalisation of reality, our political and financial establishment is not left behind. The media have taken the roles of parents, education system and ideology. To be “in”, to be “branded” (cloned) and to go with the flow represent the ultimate ideal and proof of social success among many young people. Neither knowledge nor ideas, nor solidarity, nor skills are measures of success and “cultural values”. However, money and the consumer doctrine of neo-liberal capitalism are. It is a devastating result of the unfinished transition in Serbia which is in-between the by-ways of tradition and unbounded wastelands of modernity. In such an environment, where educators and teachers have no authority and credibility among young people and the systems supports their abandoning the ethical code of education and upbringing, deviant phenomena among young people, especially those from modest social backgrounds and marginalised groups, are almost the rule. I wonder how it is possible in the digital era that their anti-social behaviour remains invisible to the Serbian public and authorities. Ergo, I can only conclude that the phenomenon I have recorded and processes are ignored on purpose. Why and what is behind this “policy of invisibility”?

A critical discourse I want to initiate with this project indicates that there is an urgent need to re-examine our social values, as well as standards and criteria regarding development of the Serbian society. At the same time, I am calling on the authorities to assume their responsibility because the lack of their political will is evident in today’s ever growing anomie within our society.

Neglect of these children, and these dramatic and disturbing photographs and prints corroborate my claim, represents a warning of what is happening to the Romany children today and what might happen to each and every child tomorrow in Serbia since the authorities do not implement a responsible social, cultural and educational policy in the country.

In view of the fact that I am a parent myself, I am inviting our citizens to take an interest in this issue and to put a pressure on the authorities whom our children should not remain invisible to, regardless of their religious, racial or ethnic background. It would also mean that the authorities are willing to assume responsibility for their citizens and development of the entire Serbian society, where 0,02% of the gross national income is invested in science and only 0,6 % in culture. And these percentages should be significantly higher, taking into consideration the fact that many European economic studies have shown that financing culture and education represents one of the best long-term investments. The authorities cannot and should not trade in the future of their citizens irresponsibly by implementing a restrictive monetary policy and by treating knowledge as goods. They ought to invest money in culture, creativity and young people because the youth is the most valuable resource of the Serbian society.

By Gabriela Vasic

Belgrade, October 2011

Works:

  • The project was developed from 2004 and 2010, based on the gathered photo documentation, on several locations in Belgrade. It contains photographs, digital drawings, Facebook documentary correspondence in the author’s photo album „Deca-Kids“ which has served as a motivation for this art project:. „Zapisi sa Facebook-a“ (Facebook Notes) show our citizens’ view of the “Romany issue” and this debate reveals us how the Decade of the Romany People in Serbia pulsates. These notes are presented in an integral version as “copy-paste” documents on the Internet.
  • The works from the series „Ulica“ (The Street) and „Dunavski nasip“ (A Dyke on the Danube) consists of photos and digital drawings created from the photos taken by a mobile phone or a digital camera. The works from the series “Ulica” (The Street) show boys from the ages of 9 to 13 who freely (invisibly) sniff glue in the heart of our capital. One boy is standing naked, like an outcast from the gang who have thrown him into Terazije Fountain, because he has refused to take part in their activities (March 2007). By a multiplied linear image in drawings, I try to imply the hallucinogenic state of these boys mind. This group of drawings is printed on transparent Plexiglas, and it formats a space installation in form of cube, hanging from the gallery ceiling, for the purpose of making an observer go around it and change his point of view. The set-up in the gallery is accompanied by the photo portraits of hip hop fakirs from a dyke on the Danube in the residential area of Krnjaca. These portraits simulate the fame of our famous music stars. There are also two drawings of boys in full size which are placed in form of mural on the lateral wall of the gallery (height: 200m). By means of treating the drawings in different manners (classic and multiview), I actually try to activate an unambiguous perception of these young people’s position in the society.
  • ·         The third group of works, bearing the title „St. Clause“, contains photos created during the conversation with a Romany boy who came into the Gallery of ULUS, where there was a art presentation on in February 2009, in order to get warm. The boy wanted to pose as a model in front of works, and in course of this pseudo-fashion shoot “session”, the author discovered the origin and function of the white powder on the boy’s hands, teeth and mouth. I made a deal with the boy to wash his hands and face. This work is projected as a “slide shaw” on a huge TV screen.


Recept za uspeh – „Kad porastem biću teniser”/ Recipe for success: “I want to be a tennis player when I grow up”

Samostalna izložba, multidisciplinarni događaj Gabriele Vasić/ Solo show of Gabriela Vasic, multidisciplined event: Recept za uspeh: „Kad porastem biću teniser!“ / Recipe for success: “I want to be a tennis player when I grow up”

Phography, performance, installation

PHOTO GALLERY

ENGLISH text is below Serbian

Autor/Author: Gabriela Vasić

Gost umetnik/guest artist: Bleaks Biofor

Galerija ALT, 5.10.2011. u 20h.

Vlajkovićeva 30, Beograd, 011.3239.557, 060.0227.180

http://galleryalt.wordpress.com/

https://gabrielavasic.wordpress.com/

Izložba je otvorerna do 15.10.2011., radno vreme galerije je pon/pet od 16 do 20h.

Exhibition is opened until 15th of October 2011, working hours of  the gallery mon/frid 16 to 20h

Recept za uspeh: „Kad porastem biću teniser“ je situacionistički foto projekat u procesu (“work in progress”) i deo šireg projekta: “Identiteti mladih u javnom prostoru”, koji se bavi potukulturnim identitetima mladih, tj. modusima identifikacije/samoreprezentacije mladih u javnom prostoru (od 2004. i dalje), sve fotografije u ovom projketu su nastale u period od 2008 -2010.

Ukratko: Serijal fotografija iz ciklusa „Kad porastem biću teniser“ u kojem se bavim praćenjem “Identiteta mladih u javnom prostoru”, nastao u periodu od 2008 -2010, godinu dana pre Novakovog osvajanja titule svetskog šampiona na Vimbldonu. Odluka da se ovakav projekat prikaže u Galeriji ALT koju vodim kao urednik likovnog programa, kustos i umetnički direktor, proistekla iz činjenice da nekoliko državnih galerija kojima je projekat nuđen dve god pre nego je Novak Đoković postao svetski šampion je odbijen, te aktuelnost projekta dobija na značaju u godini koju je obeležio trijumjf našeg tenisera na svetskoj ATP listi. Okolnost kojom je ovaj svetski uspeh sprskog tenisera obeležen je i podeljenost javnosti na “pro” i “contra” Noleta na društvenim onlajn mrežama.

Time preispitivanje fame koju nosi ovakav sportski rezultat je još značajnije u uspostavljanju distanciranog, kritičkog diskursa u srpskom društvu sklonom ekstremima populizma (idolatrija kultnih ličnosti ili kolektivni linč neprijatelja). Centralna nit ovog projekta je arhiviranje « in situ » teniskih aktivnosti i portreta dece i mladih, na neformalnim prostorima igre u urbanim zonama grada Beograda. U momentu kada shvatam da nema kutka u gradu u kojem deca-mladi ne igraju tenis, i to van igrališta i terena za tenis, počinjem da beležim prve fotose (2008). Jedno takvo, improvizovano igralište biće nacrtano na podu galerije i na njemu će gostujući umetnik-pirat Bleaks Biofor izvesti svoj kolektivni „turbo fitness“ performans „Od lopate pravim ribu“ u prostoru galerije, a na otvaranju izložbe.  Ceo događaj se strimuje preko onlajn video kanala Galerije ALT: http://www.ustream.tv/user/galleryalt.

TEKST ZA KATALOG> Recept za uspeh ili dominacija turbo kapitalizma

Nekad elitni Engleski sport, posredstvom medija masovnih komunikacija koji prenose uspehe nacionalnih „super heroja“, dobija globalnu popularnost i omasovljuje se. Prenoseći slavu i uspeh lokalnih teniskih zvezda, mediji posreduju u demokratizaciji i popularizaciji ovog sporta i potstiču kreiranje novih modela identifikacije kod pojedinih pripadnika društva, a posebno kod mladih. Tako mediji posreduju u uspostavljanju novih potkulturnih klišea koji imaju moć da reformulišu identitet pojedinca, menjaju uverenja, htenja i ponašanja grupe. Osim toga, tenis nije više samo sportska igra, već „praktikovanje tenisa“ je u srpskom društvu percepirano kao alatka za promenu ekonomskog i društvenog statusa pojedinca, sa snažnim socio-ekonomskim impaktom. Posebno dejstvo pojedinačnih sportskih uspeha svetskih razmera i slave naših tenisera, poput svetskog šampiona u tenisu, „heroja nacije“ Novaka Đokovića, evidentno je i u promeni percepcije Srbije, tj. imidža naše nacije u medijima. Ali, kako mediji i srpsko društvo koriste uspeh i svetsku slavu našeg tenisera, ozbiljna su pitanja kojima se ovde neću baviti. U fokusu ovog projekta su mladi praktičari tenisa na ulici i drugim improvizovanim neformalnim površinama, zabeleženi pre Đokovićevog osvajanja titule svetskog šampiona.

Trendovi „uspešnosti“ koje lansiraju mediji masovnih komunikacija (radio, televizija, film, novine, internet) se menjaju vremenom, modifikujući postojeće uzore i utičući na stvaranje novih kolektivnih modela identifikacije. “Super starovi” su nekad bili spikeri, glumci, muzičari, fudbaleri, manekeni, političari, vojnici ili mafijaši  … Danas, u Srbiji za većinu mladih, to su definitivno, teniseri! Omasovljavanje teniskih praktikanata, verujem da je moguće registrovati u bilo kom gradu ili selu u Srbiji, od prvih zapaženijih uspeha naših tenisera na svetskim takmičenjima. Sveopštu pomamu za tenisom poslednjih godina u Srbiji i Beogradu vidim kao izraz globalne histerije za uspehom, rukovođene logikom kapitalizma, aksiomom „slava = bogatstvo“, kao i lokalno oprobanog modela uspešnosti, kojim su „mali ljudi“ uspeli da dotaknu „zvezde“, zarade milone i steknu svetsku slavu (Novak).

Stoga, portreti mladih praktikanata tenisa, zabeleženih na ulicama Beograda, nesumnjivo su svedočanstvo nade «malog čoveka» kojom nastoje da se prevaziđu realne ekonomske poteškoće kriznog vremena koje delimo. Lokalno omasovljivanje tenisa predstavlja svesnu ambiciju „malih ljudi“ da dosegnu (ne)moguće – kao izraz legalanog i društveno prihvatljivog načina da „običan“ čovek, relativno mlad ostvari uspeh, slavu, moć. Legitimitet za ovakvu pojavu su naravno mediji masovnih komunikacija, koji posredstvom autoriteta i modela identifikacije, promovišu ovaj sport i re-kreiraju nove matrice identifikacije, koje navodno svima nude jednake šanse za uspeh. „Ako je on, mogu i ja“. Kopiranje modela uspešnosti kao zamena za individualnu avanturu.

Sve fotografije nastaju nenadano, u toku šetnje ili vožnje biciklom, na različitim lokacijama u Beogradu na javnim površinama, na prostoru ulica, platoa, prolaza, na zidu ispred zgrade, na mestima kojima se neformalno praktikuje tenis, na obeleženim, improvizovanim prostorima igre, u toku 2008-10. god. Kada ugledam decu koja igraju tenis na putu ili drugoj igri prilagođenoj javnoj površini, nastojim da uspostavim komunikaciju sa njima, da im objasnim da će se te slike pojaviti na nekoj mojoj izložbi, kako bi ih stimulisala da unesu „ukus slave“ u svoj stav, ili samo registrujem tok i akciju igre na improvizovanom terenu.

Kadriranjem ovih „novih nada“ tenisa u izmeštenom ambijentu, van profesionalnog teniskog terena, na lokalitetima na kojima se ova aktivnost upražnjava, želim da naglasim nesklad između težnji ovih zavedenih mladih ljudi i stvarnosti. Jer, zapravo, za svetski uspeh u bilo kom sportu nije dovoljno samo želeti biti uspešan. Ono što se uglavnom izostavlja iz konteksta priča o uspehu je da za svetski uspeh je potrebna surova disciplina, neverovatna investicije volje, energije i vremena, kao i nesebična podrška porodice (Novakov porodični biznis tim, npr.), i naravno veliki novac, a tako nešto prate i velika odricanja, za šta najčešće „običan“, „mali“ čovek nije spreman! I zapravo, nesklad između ambicija i realnih okolnosti, na koje upućuju ove fotografije, neka su vrsta opomene da su mladi neretko objekt manipulacija okruženja (ambicije roditelja) i medija, iza kojih se kriju nacionalni (politički), komercijalni ili finansijski ciljevi. Verujem da ove fotografije mogu da nas ispune nadom, ali i da opomenu na moguća razočaranja, koja mogu da nastanu usled neostvarenih očekivanja. Zapravo, jedan od ciljeva ovog projekta je da pokrene kritičko preispitivanje sopstvenog identiteta kod mladih, koje je konstruisano desjtvom medijskih slika, kao i da se mapira neodgovornost medija (države) koji indukuju nacionalnu histeriju i „zaraženost“ tenisom.

Budući da sam u poziciji nekog ko svojom fotografskom aktivnošću čini vidljivim aktivnosti portretisanih uličnih igrača tenisa (poput medija koji će ih učiniti na kratko poznatim, dok traje izložbe), pitam se, šta su sve mladi ljudi danas spremni da učine po cenu slave i uspeha, ne bi li promenili svoj socijalni status i da li je to pobeda turbo kapitalističkog okruženja koje vrši psihološki pritisak nad mladima „da se bude uspešan po svaku cenu“ ili je to samo prolazan trend uspešnosti i privremeni kulturni kliše? Pitanje je, koliko na ovaj način konstruisani stereotipi u funkciji zdravog razvoja pojedinca, a koliko su zapravo destruktivni po razvoj mladih ličnosti, ako se slepo primenjuju, kao „recept za uspeh“?

Pošto ulični praktičari tenisa verujem da nemaju kritičku distancu prema dejstvu slika koje proizvode mediji tj. ni prema svom novoskrojenom modelu identifikacije, njihova individualnost je svedena na opšti imenitelj i broj pod kojim je zavedena prikazana fotografija – „Kad porastem biću teniser“ 1,2,3,4,5 i lokaciju: Braće Jerković, Borča, Kotež, Krnjača, Kopitareva gradina … Format fotografija je 50 x 70 cm, u digitalnoj štampi. Sve fotografije su nastale pre Novakovog sticanja slave svetskog teniskog šampiona, osim jedne, koja je nedavno zabeležena moblinim telefonom, i manjeg je formata od ostalih.

Gabriela Vasić Beograd, 2010/11.

ENGLISH TEXT

Recipe for success: “I want to be a tennis player when I grow up”

Photography, performance, installation, video streaming

Recipe for success: ” I want to be a tennis player when I grow up ” is an installation/photo project in the process (“work in progress”) and part of a larger project entitled “The identities of young people in public space”, which deals with sub-cultural identities of young people, i.e. ways that young people identify/represent themselves in public spaces (since 2004 to current). All the photographs in this project were made in the period from 2008 -2010.

In brief:

The selected photographs from “I want to be a tennis player when I grow up” (from the larger project “Youth Identity in Public Space”) were taken from 2008 to 2010 – a year before Novak Djokovic became world tennis champion at Wimbledon. In the years before Djokovic became champion, this exhibition was rejected by several state-run galleries.  Once Djokovic became champion, the idea behind the exhibition took on more importance due to the timeliness of the content so I decided to present it at Gallery ALT, where I serve as curator and art director.  2011 marked the year that this Serbian player triumphed on the world’s ATP rankings – and also the pro/against division of his countrymen at online social networks.

This result brings about an analysis of fame which is even more important in establishing a distanced, critical discourse in a Serbian society which is prone to extremes of populism (idolatry cult of personality or collective lynching enemy).

The central thread of this project is the archiving “in situ” of tennis activities and portraits of children and young people in informal play spaces in the urban area of Belgrade. When I realized that there are no corners in the city where young children do not play tennis, not just playgrounds and tennis courts, I began to shoot my first photos (2008). One such improvised tennis court will be drawn on the floor of the gallery and it will serve as a platform for visiting artist/pirate Bleaks Biofor to perform his collective “turbo fitness” performance “From shovels I make fish” in the gallery during the exhibition opening.

The recipe for success or dominance of turbo capitalism

Thanks to mass media which elevates national successes to super-hero status, the once elitist-only sport of tennis has achieved a critical mass of popularity. Through their portrayal of glory and success, the media has triggered the democratization and popularization of the sport and encourages the creation of new modes of identification with certain members of society, especially youth. So, the media brings about the establishment of new sub-cultural clichés that have the power to reformulate the identity of the individual, changing beliefs, desires and behaviors of the group.

In addition, tennis is not just a sports game; “the practice of tennis” in Serbian society is perceived as a tool with strong socio-economic impact for changing economic and social status of an individual. In particular, the international success and fame of sports figures, such as world tennis champion and “national hero” Novak Djokovic, has caused a change in perceptions towards Serbia, i.e. the nation’s image in the media.  The way that Serbian society utilizes fame and success of sports figures is not something that I want to deal with here, though they are important issues. The focus of this project is to depict young tennis players on the streets and other make shift informal areas which were recorded before Djokovic became the world tennis champion.

The trends of what is considered “success” by mass media (radio, television, film, newspapers, internet) are changing over time, impacting the current trendswhile creating a new model of collective identity.  “Super stars” were once the announcers, actions, musicians, soccer players, models, politicians, soldiers, gangsters… In Serbia today, the super stars of most young people are tennis players! I believe that the popularization of tennis players can register throughout any town or village in Serbia once the success of our players in the world championships resonates.

The all-out frenzy of tennis in Belgrade and Serbia in the recent years can be seen as an example of the global hysteria for success which is guided by the logic of capitalism, the axiom “fame=fortune”, as well as the dream that even underdogs can touch the stars, earn millions and gain worldwide fame (Djokovic).  Therefore, the portraits of young tennis players shot on the streets of Belgrade are a clear testimony of the dreams of underdogs who seek to overcome the real difficulties of a shared economic crisis.

The local popularization of tennis represents a conscious goal of these underdogs to reach the im/possible and the locally/socially acceptable ways that they can go about achieving success, fame and power. The legitimacy of these ambitions, of course, is established by mass media which acts as an authority and creates national identity. The media promotes the sport and recreates a new matrix of identity in which supposedly everyone has an equal chance of achieving success: “If he can, I can, too.” The model of success acts as a substitute for individual ambitions.

All photos were shotspontaneously, such as during a walk or bike ride, from 2008-2010 at various public spaces in Belgrade where youth informally play tennis, such as streets, plateaus, walkways, and outside apartment buildings. When I see children who play tennis on the road or other premises adapted to the game, I try to establish communication with them and explain that the photos will appear in my exhibition. This stimulates them with a “a taste of fame” in their attitude, or at least helps them register the course and action of playing tennis on improvised courts.

Framing these “new hopes” of tennis in the uprooted environment, outside of professional tennis courts, at locations where this activity is practiced, I want to emphasize the discrepancy between the aspirations of these misguided young people and reality. Because, in actuality, if you want to be successful in any sport, it is not enough just to want to be successful.

What is generally left out of the context of a success story is that success requires harsh discipline, an incredible investment of willpower, energy, time, selfless support of the family (Novak family business, for example.), and, of course, a lot of money. Thus, success requires great sacrifices for which most “underdogs” are not ready!  The discrepancy between aspirations and actual circumstances shown in these photographs can serve as some kind of warning: young people usually object to manipulative environments (parental aspirations) and the media – behind which are hidden the national (political), commercial or financial goals.

I believe that these photographs can fill us with hope, but also warn of possible disappointment which may arise due to unfulfilled expectations. In fact, one of the goals of this project is to initiate a critical examination of youth identity as constructed by the influence of media images, as well as to map the irresponsibility of the media (the state) which induces a national hysteria and tennis “contagion”. Being that I am in the position of someone who through photography brings about the visibility of the portrayed street tennis players (such as the media that will make them famous for a short time, during the exhibition), I wonder what all the young people today are willing to do, at cost of fame and success, to change their social status?  Is this a victory for the turbo capitalist environment which puts psychological pressure on young people “to be successful at any cost” – or is it just a fleeting trend of success and temporary cultural cliché? How much do these constructed stereotypes factor into the healthy development of the individual, and how much are they actually destructive to the development of young person’s when applied blindly as a “recipe for success”?

As street players of tennis believe that they have no critical distance from the effects of images produced by the media – nor from its own newly created mode of identity – their individuality is reduced to a common denominator and the number of the displayed images on file – “I want to be a tennis player when I grow up” 1,2,3,4,5 and locations: Brace Jerkovic, Borca, Kotez, Krnjaca, Kopitar’s Fort … The format is 50 x 70 cm on a digital print. All photographs were shot prior to Novak’s acquisition of tennis world champion fame with the exception of one image which was recently recorded with mobile phone and is a smaller size than the others.

Gabriela Vasic