“Perspectives” is one of the long-term project by Art Klinika, started in the year of its founding (2002), and conceived as a support for all young artists in their professional and social positioning. Even though consciously on the border of art scene and outside of all institutions, Art Klinika tries to help and encourage young artists to find their path through art and their place in the world.
From 2002 to 2008 “Perspectives” took place every year. Art Klinika organised the voting by the “Lay Jury” that chose the promising young artists in the categories: painting, sculpting, drawing, prints, design, photography, new media, from the current class of art academy graduates. The chosen works are exhibited at a group exhibition at Art Klinika, and then all the participants have individual exhibitions in Shock Gallery.
In year 2009 collaboration with the Faculty of Visual Arts in Belgrade was established, so the choice of the promising included this academy as well. “Lay Jury” was replaced by an expert jury that chooses three academy students at the Great Exhibition “Perspectives.” In this form, “Perspectives” is continued to this date.
THE PROMISING (“Perspectives”)
What is promising today? What is the hope for young artists just finishing academies and what is the hope for all of us who live in Serbia today? I am sure that many politicians would have much to say about this, but, fortunately, they are silent, as far as art is concerned. About the promise of living in Serbia one should not waste many words, it is enough to say „there is nothing on us a dog can bite“, but no matter, we are still living great ideas and dreams. Concerning art, the situation is maybe worse than it might appear at first. Slumbering institutions have not succeeded even ten years after the changes to transform themselves and save the shaken credibility. Myths and legends are still a fertile soil for various speculations, empty stories and great tasks. Unprecedented figures from the past are still blurring our field of vision, creating an illusion of greatness and quality. Art practices are either enclosed into their own little worlds, or are still dealing with various Srebrenicas, Jasenovaces and Kosovos. Country singers are pretending to be superstars with commissioned texts in tabloids and magazines. And finally, curators, whose progressive ideas and concepts no one understands. And it does not end… brilliance and misery of Serbian art.
The characteristic of this year’s, but, unfortunately, of all the past selections as well, is a lack of crucial elements that could help us to perceive the potential and quality of young artists stepping on the stage. Weak productional possibilities, obsolete school programmes and many other things have made us only discern the contours of ideas and projects. On the one hand, academies function on the principles that do not satisfy elementary conditions for professional pursuit of art, while, on the other hand, we have a large number of inactive artists whose works and presentations look like an amateur attempt to produce art in free time. Art has always changed in accordance with changes taking place in the society. Today’s art is suffering from all the illnesses immanent in the contemporary socio-political moment. The change of focus from humanist ideals toward economy, politics, advertising and banality of yellow press and reality shows are visible in the field of art as well. While some artists, in the manner of the ’90s, avoid to deal with topical themes, and escape into classical themes and disciplines, others think that by banalising everyday political themes they are receiving an aura of socially aware and activist-minded artists who will some day be promoted by the society into great stars. Luckily, it was proven that the majority of the „promising“ realises its full potential only after leaving the academies. Freed from school strains of mastodon systems they find their own poetics and possibilities of expression in the system that hardly recognises their existence. Their pespective is thus equally grim as the perspective of all of us. Without basic prerequisites for the pursuit of a profession, in this case art, they are left to themselves. They are young until they are 45 or 50, and after that it is too late for any serious attempt to create a career anyway. In the system without a legal regulation, institutions, market, spaces for exhibitions, and finally, audience for their work, they can only roll up their sleeves, work and hope sun will one day shine on them. Whether this would happen does not only depend on us, but also on you.
Saša Janjić, 2009.