Dnevnik: Nikola Džafo

ŠOK-KOFERI

Danas.rs // 14. novembar // četvrtak // 2013

Obznanjujem da ćemo sve radnje odložiti kako bismo bili spremni za sledeću nedelju, u kojoj hoćemo da se pokažemo, da „dotegnemo” novogalerijski prostor, mokri čvor, da budu kako nalažu evropski standardi. U stvari, usporavam tempo da bih postigao sve planirano. Treniram proces udahni-izdahni, požuri-uspori, ali on zavisi od vizija aktera koji vode vlast, finansije, kulturu itd., od toga koliko sam u stanju da se prilagodim.

Planiram obaveze: dovršiti art-učila za ŠOK-KOFERE (u daljem tekstu ŠK), koje ćemo napuniti dokumentima o našim dugogodišnjim “uzaludnim poslovima”.

Demonstriraćemo rukovanje koferima pred publikom u ponedeljak pre podne, a posle podne, u okviru konferencije Mesto i uloga civilnog sektora u savremenoj kulturi Srbije i regiona, i u REXU.

ŠOK-KOFERI je akcija koju MMC Led art realizuje u sklopu šireg projekta “Kultura u protestu”. Pobedili smo na konkursu NKSS-a i natovarili obavezu da završimo projekat. Prema planu, ŠK “ulaze u proces distribucije i šalju se na više odredišta u okviru mreže Asocijacije NKSS”.

Za utorak je predviđeno otvaranje prve galerije u nizu lanca Šok galerija u Mađarskom kulturnom centru “Petefi Šandor” na Telepu, zapadni deo Novog Sada.

Za sredu se planira otvaranje odložene izložbe. Moraju da se završe sve majstorije – vodovod, struja i ostalo. Publici ćemo predstaviti još jedno mesto za izlaganje, poklon gradu za proširenje i poboljšanje izlagačkih kapaciteta Novog Sada, na našoj sadašnjoj adresi, Zmaj Jovina 22. Za tu priliku gost će nam biti slikar Žolt Kovač.

Plus obaveza da za „Danas” pišem dnevnik. Nije mi prvi put, priznajem da sam počastvovan. Imam glavobolju zbog pisanja, ali zauzvrat imam povlasticu da kažem i objasnim kakvim zlom smo ophrvani, šta nas je sve snašlo i šta sve pokušavamo ne bismo li se spasli i umakli Gradskoj upravi za kulturu (GUK), koja nas ujeda i lupa po glavi. Moji saradnici iz Šok zaDRUGE i ja rvemo se da nas GUK ne uguši. Ovih dana treba da se oreže orah, dolazi zima… za grejanje više ne koristimo gas, nema se, ne može se, pa će od orezivanja biti i koristi; obavljaju se jesenji radovi u bašti, tu sam pomoćni radnik; brinem o drugim članovima porodice, tri mačora: Živan (sedam kila), Joda (tuče koga stigne) i Ogi-Đango (uvalio se). Od količine planiranog već osećam nervozu.

Šok-koferi15. novembar // petak //

Više ne vozim auto i sve poslove moram da obavljam autobusom. Sreća je što sam investirao u pokaznu kartu GSP-a. Kompanjon mi je Dušan Zaklan, naj-dizajner i saučesnik u proizvodnji art-učila za ŠK:

a) slagalica koja prati video-zapis o akciji „Od pištanja do skidanja”. Zbog brljotina Kulturnog centra, koji je organizovao Novosadski salon 2009, oformili smo Orkestar za vanredne situacije koji je brojao tuce učesnika, „kliničara” i dobrovoljaca (pištaljke). Na otvaranju smo očekivali tadašnjeg zaduženika za kulturu, po zanatu dirigenta i očekivali da se prihvati dirigovanja. Nije se pojavio. Od tada izbegavamo saradnju sa Kulturnim centrom;

b) film o kandidaturi zeca za gradonačelnika;

c) Video zapis „Iz pepela muzej”. Zbog katastrofalne kulturne politike i pomanjkanja izlagačkog prostora u Novom Sadu prvo smo organizovali izložbu više od sto radova “dobrovoljnih davalaca”, a potom ih spalili na velikoj lomači. Akcija je imala pozitivna očekivanja da će se iz pepela konačno roditi Penix, u našem slučaju nova zgrada Muzeja savremene umetnosti. Ostao je Penix, a od zgrade ni traga.

d) „Crveni karton” dala je „Grupa 26″ u julu ove godine Odboru za kandidaturu Novog Sada za kulturnu prestonicu Evrope 2020. Nastaje u štampariji i knjigoveznici Dejana Ostojića (Petrovaradin) sa naj-knjigovescem Jelom.

e) Slikovnica-harmonika o Slučaju ‘Rezultati konkursa G.U.K. 2013’. GUK-a je pošast i hronična svakodnevna mora.

f) Slikovnica za početnike “Za kulturne bolikite”. Taj pothvat vodi nas na Telep do naj-krojačice Tanje. Komplikovan rad, mobilna interaktivna skulptura.

San u petak nanoć

Kad se tako nagomila dosta nerešenih i nedovršenih poslova, u snu sam, bez opiranja, dobroćudni jelen Tidvik. Ta bajka prati me u kritičnim stanjima otkad znam za sebe. Ako ne znate ko je Tidvik, nađite ovu slikovnicu. Štampala ju je davno kao poklon deci „Budućnost”, koja (više) ne postoji, a izdavač je Trgovinsko preduzeće IZBOR, Železnička 12, Novi Sad. Ni to preduzeće (više) ne postoji, a ulica, mada novodizajnirana, i dalje nosi isto ime. U snu sam Tidvik koji gleda u sopstvene rogove, a tamo vidim gradonačelnika na-tegli, maše nogicama i nisam siguran da li se smeje ili viče, a oko tegle trči i maše papirom novosadska zaduženica za kulturu, sve poskakuje – da li preti ili se hvali – ne shvatam. Sve je žustro a u tegli GUK-a, bolesna izraslina, ali nije, tu je devet ženskih glava a jedna peva: “Maaajko, maaajko stara, na zemlji vječita, roditeljko Ratka ponosita, divni cvete iz ludog vremena, bijaše li vila ili žena!” I kapiram da ova što skakuće oko tegle i ovaj što maše nogicama to rade u ritmu ojkanja ili stenju, ne znam. Pokušavam sve da stresem sa rogova, ali dobro se zapetljalo i ne uspevam. U tom treskanju i mlaćenju rogovima dođe i java. Budan sam, nisam više učtivi Tidvik, sada sam Džafo i preostaje mi samo da nađem sanovnik i tumačim. Subota je za to.

16. novembar // subota //

San me nije zbunio, tu kompoziciju sanjam često, samo treba da razjasnim značenje gradonačelnika na-tegli, posebno šta je GUK-a. Doduše, već smo problemskom izložbom razmatrali Rezultate konkursa G.U.K. 2013, i sine mi da je to komisija koja je rezala kome da se dâ, a kome ne, a recitacija je kulturni milje koji jeste zastupljen u trenutnim kuturnim bolikitama. Subota je prošla u sastavljanju slikovnice za kulturne bolikite i u raspravama. Više je to moj monolog o GUK-u i kako rastumačiti snoviđenja i lokalnu jarugu. Mene, zapravo, a to kaže i san, muči lokalna zajednica i uveren sam da i Ministarstvo Srbije bolikita za probleme koje imamo ovde sa kuturnim bolikitama.

17. novembar // nedelja //

Dojava je ‘gledaj Utisak nedelje’. Emisiji je prethodio lokalni skandal cenzurisanja jedne slike/izložbe, što postaje opšte mesto. Ne razmem zašto su dovedena četiri učesnika. Za mog sugrađana – tvorca skandala, dovoljan sagovornik bio bi ili Dimitrijević ili Arsenijević, da se ne opredeljujem. Pitanje je i zašto Akademija nije napravila izložbu na drugom mestu i stala iza svojih master-studenata. Javnosti se ovim baca prašina u oči kako bi se skrenula pažnja sa pravog problema – drugi Konkurs GUK Novi Sad, čiji rezultati još nisu saopšteni. Verujem da će GUK i ovaj put novac staviti u džepove Treće Srbije i tako osokoliti nove glasače. Šorom šajke, a Dunavom čeze.

To je rezultat mog gledanja i mudrovanja: svakako će sve uspeti kad se prašina slegne pošto gradonačelnik čuva koalicionog partnera i to je onaj papir kojim igračica maše oko tegle u mom snu.

18-21. novembar // ponedeljak-četvrtak //

Stigli smo da završimo sva art-učila. Spakovali smo kofere, demonstrirali ih i u Novom Sadu i u Beogradu. Otvorena je prva u lancu Šok galerija. Otvorena je izložba Žolta Kovača. Imamo kofere spremne da ih uručimo: gradonačelniku, ministrima, vlasti, javnosti. I dalje ostaje noćna mora: šta nam vrede puni koferi kad su ideja samoodrživosti i pravo na rad neostvarivi.


WE BELIEVE IN UTOPIA, THAT ART CURES AND CHANGES THE WORLD
a conversation with the members of Art Klinika
Published by Branka Ćurčić, 9/14/2009

The occasion for an interview with the members of Art Klinika of Novi Sad are the recently initiated debates about the Novi Sad independent cultural scene, about the significance, role and formation of cultural policies in the city, province and the Republic. “The avalanche of reactions was started by the inadequate statement by the mayor of Novi Sad, Igor Pavličić, who, taking Art Klinika as an example, characterised the entire local cultural scene as insignificant for the formation of the future cultural identity of the city.

What do you think was the purpose of such gesture by the mayor and what lies behind it – thoughtlessness or ignorance or a vision of the democratic government about the future cultural life in the city? 
The desprising tone of the mayor’s statement has not only belittled and equalised the local independent and cultural art scene (in his dark all the cows are black), but he also directly declared it harmful, as something that is polluting the clean water of progress, someone “who is taking the precious spots” in town where cafes and clubs could sprout and make good money while not asking questions. Of course, not evey mayor has to be familiar with modern art, but it is not usual that a person is proud of his ignorance and lack of information. But, beside ignorance, there is something even worse. That is the infamous “vision about the future cultural life of the city.” In fact, that vision does not even exist. Or, at least, there is no culture in it. The part of his statement that “the city gets nothing out of it” testifies to it.

What kind of nothing are we talking about: nothing palpable, in the sense of material gain, to gain for whom?
It is hard to judge an art project in that way. We believe that the mayor’s statement was in that sense thoughtless, because he publicly uttered what we all know but no one talks about, that is what is the city government most interested in, beside power: money and only money. And we believe that for this reason he bit his tongue several times. In this context, something has to be told about Exit, even though this festival is protected by certain untouchability. No reasonable being is arguing that it has become a brand that makes Novi Sad, beside other things, recognizable in the world. But what is debatable is placing this festival in the same group with the cultural and art institutions in the town and their production, as well as Exit’s pretension to somehow swallow them. But, in spite of its success, Exit cannot be everything: culture, art, entertainment, mainstream and alternative. No one can do this, not even Exit. Surely the above mentioned equalization has primarily the goal of pouring a great deal of the city budget for culture to the Exit coffers, from which the city apparently has a lot of benefit. We ask: who is that in the city. Besides, if Exit is so financially successful and so interested in culture and the cultural identity of the city, why doesn’t it financially encourage its less supported and distinguished municipal sisters? Second, an equally important question is what kind of identity does Exit promote: the city of light entertainment, cheap beer, unleashed amusement, etc, etc. Finally, one shouldn’t forget that this festival lasts for only four days. Can four days of light amusement replace the entire annual cultural life of a city? Regardless, Art Klinika applied this year to Exit. We offered the project “the longest drawing in the world,” which was accepted and realized in the Exit camp, and the Exit team offered Art Klinika the execution of the project “Commemoration of Michael Jackson,” as the official off program of the festival, which was carried out in Art Klinika’s space, the MJ club. In spite of the fact that we have realized everything we planned according to the contract and at the expense of Art Klinika, we are still waiting for refunds of our expenses.

How would you characterise the communication between Art Klinika and the responsible city organs for culture, the degree of recognition and respect for your production? What problems have you faced in that communication? 
We can talk about recognition and respect for the work and production of Art Klinika by the city government only ironically. They recognise it only to the extent to which it is not bothering them. This can, naturally, be seen in the minimal financial support for the work of Art Klinika. But, at the last forum at The Black House, Andrej Bursać, the municipal secretary for culture, stated that in the first year of his term he already went to see two independent art and cultural associations. With this progress, Art Klinika expects him to come see us in five years, when the municipal secretary will familiarise himself with our work, problems etc. etc.

Which activities by Art Klinika would you single out as the most significant for the city and the cultural and art scene in the past year? Activities of Art Klinika, which started as a utopian project by the group LED ART (founded at the end of 2002 in Novi Sad as an answer to the sick society we live in, with a belief that art can cure and change the world), are presently thwarted, slowed down and made unbearably more difficult. Art Klinika works as a multi-media center. It organizes individual exhibitions in the SHOCK GALLERY (Art Klinika’s intensive care unit, the smallest gallery in the Balkans, area 2x2m) – the project PERSPEKTIVE (A “Lay Jury” votes for the best young artists, graduates of the Academy of Fine Arts in Novi Sad) – “Evening Act” – public drawing classes – film programs and video showing – lectures, debates, book presentations… — theatre plays and performances – workshops – it has a “pharmacy on duty,” a book and art product shop. Through the regular open competitions for exhibiting at the Shock Gallery and for creating personal flags, Art Klinika insists on a dialogue and accepts well-meaning suggestions. By promoting artists with fresh and provocative approaches in realising and presenting an art work, Art Klinika tries to encourage primarily young artists to find their own path through the world of art and the world we live in…

By collaborating with individuals and related organisations, Art Klinika participates in creating a network, and the purpose is changing an ineffective and autistic cultural policy on the local level. During last year, beside regular activities, the exhibition “Additional Drawing Classes” gathered ten or so young artists and thematised the concept of authorship. With the action “A Museum from the Ashes,” at the exhibition of a virtual Museum of Contemporary Art “Space for a New Dialogue,” when around 70 authors with 120 works agreed to burn, it was not pointed to the lack of a coherent, but any kind of cultural policy. Finally, with its last action, the declaration of bankruptcy and symbolical departure “Into the White,” this stance was made even more acute. These radical moves have not drawn a particular attention of the municipal government nor, unfortunately, of other cultural and art associations in town, which silently followed the entire action.

How much is the legacy of Led Art’s art initiative, whose interventions in the 1990s poignedly criticised the social and political situation in Serbia, visible in the work of Art Klinika? How do you position today’s work by Art Klinika in relationship to the somewhat changed social and political situation and the cultural atmosphere?
Art Klinika is the last project by LED ART, and by formulating its mission “to cure and change the world with art,” and with its conscious choosing of that utopian project, it continues cultivating a strategy, esthetics and ethics of rebellion and rejection of calm waters of perfectly adapted civil existence. The social and political situation has certainly changed, but, we would say, insufficiently radically. If some old illnesses are cured, there are certainly new ones, equally lethal. There is always a reason and space, therefore, for a “sharp eye” of social and political critique.

Could you explain why your activities, as activities of an independent and self-organised initiative, are important – outside of the usual parameters with which we “evaluate” culture today, based on quick results, high wages and mass audience? In other words, why is an independent cultural scene important and how should one understand it?
Regular activities at Art Klinika are open to everyone, programs are free and they offer young people a series of activities they cannot find at other places. Apart from the usual cultural institutions in the city who regularly receive financial aid and maintain with its work a historical and traditional continuity, and are prone to inertia of all kinds, the existence of alternative art and cultural epicenters open for young people and their new and fresh ideas that are in touch with the happenings at the world art scene are certainly necessary. A responsible government could surely use the capacity and openness of these places and in their critical vision find a corrective for itself and its improvement. But this concept is too idealistic. We know that the government has the greatest appetite for self-preservation and self-enrichment.

What were the reasons for recently announcing the bankruptcy of Art Klinika?
Stimulated by the ignoring of the municipal government and the unreadiness of the municipal secretary for culture, Mr. Bursać, for any kind of dialogue and, at the same time, literally brought to the “beggar’s stick,” Art Klinika had to act radically. To proceed with self-cancellation if it is not possible differently. The fact that we bleached outselves, speaks, nevertheless, that we haven’t completely given up, because white is the colour of transfiguration and Art Klinika, now, in the period of transition, is working on it. A complete cancellation would mean surrender, and we are not yet ready for that. Unfortunately, none other independent institution has publicly supported us, no one joined the white-washing and the announced “celebration” of the transformation. It was necessary for the mayor to declare, probably “by mistake,” the real state of the affairs, for others to become aware of how the city government sees us as an insignificant stone in their shoe.

Several times in the years past, you had problems with paying for the space where the programmes of Art Klinika take place. How did these problems come about, and how did you solve them? And how do you see the mechanism of awarding the space to independent cultural institutions through the mechanism of the public company “Office Space”? 
The dialogue with the Public Company “Office Space” and the fight for Art Klinika’s survival in the basement of 5 Grčkoškolska Street has become its regular activity. It’s as if every new government tests (and then exhausts) its reform potential on the case of Art Klinika. Every year a lot of time and energy is spent for this very “regular activity” and perhaps the spending of that potential is part of the city strategy towards Klinika. Then the small amount of budget finances is given back to the city instead of spending it on programmes. Here is a little calculation: the city awarded Art Klinika with 500,000 dinars, we suppose for a year. If we ignore the unpaid rent, which is still an issue in negotiations, and take into account only regular monthly expenses (electricity, water, phone…), which come up to 30,000 dinars, it turns out that Art Klinika is left annually with 240,000, that is 20,000 a month or 666 per day. Perhaps it is better to rely on the magical power of this number than on the willingness of the city to finance a place like Art Klinika. Is it even necessary to say what kind of work Art Klinika would have if it had a secure and free space and the financing of the programs were supported more seriously?

What would be your vision of the cultural policy in town? 
Cultural policy in town is a very serious and complex question that cannot be solved briefly. In any case, its formulation requires consulting with the existing cultural institutions in the city, the complete independent cultural and art scene, prominent artists and cultural workers, as well as experiences of other European cities. Of course, that includes a public financial transparency of the distribution of the budget dedicated to culture and setting up criteria that are not related to membership in political parties, family relations, common birth place. The next step is responsibility in terms of appraising what has been achieved (it is surely possible to quantify the non-material gain), and not the light and inconfirmed handling of millions. This is only a frame that has to be filled with content. But what is already possible to say is that the change of basic, possibly lucratively managed strategy of the city “cultural policy” is urgent and necessary. So, less populism, be it folklore or urban, less entertainment and less fireworks, and more culture and art.

Interview by: Branka Ćurčić

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