Among Women: Contemporary Art from Serbia features artworks by eleven women artists who are deeply connected to Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. Once part of the former Yugoslavia, Serbia’s artists remain on the periphery of the global, contemporary art scene; however, the women presented here come from a long line of thoughtful and accomplished arts and cultural practitioners that span Serbia’s complex history. Shown together, the artworks produced by these women provide a snapshot of Belgrade’s productive and multilayered contemporary art scene from the perspective of some of its women artists. From the onset, it’s important to note that there are more women artists from Belgrade and other parts of Serbia than what could be presented here.
Based on the works of these artists in this initial inquiry, questions arose about how women make art and why, and more importantly, how do their art practices congeal? Their education and practice-based graduate work at the University of Arts in Belgrade revealed a critical touchpoint in regard to the basis of their artistic concepts and influences, in addition to other sources. What seemed at first to be an eclectic mix of artwork and art practices, ongoing research unveiled that all of these women approach their work from personal perspectives that comment on their lives as women or share views about economics and globalization.
For some, that means place is key in site-specific inspired works that confront changes in a city’s architecture and its effect on memory, the process of art production, or relationships to objects that can possibly heal and transform spaces. For others, it means that consumerism, technology, and social media alter concepts of the body, time, space, and reality. And finally, for some of the presented artists, the representation of the body is linked to identity, and responses to motherhood and the heteropatriarchy. These works are further linked by their immediacy – the foregrounding of subjects, lack of over embellishment, nearly non-existent horizon lines, and the use of repetition.
As we look at these works, a collective story about how women make art in Serbia emerges. Questions also form. How do we discuss and interpret art from different geographies in new contexts? What other identities are shared by women beyond gender? What are the expectations for women artists? And, what kind of spaces need to be made to support women? (by Rachel Klipa, curator)
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Among Women: Contemporary Art from Serbia was supported by the Bronx River Art Center, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, and the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts, a partnership between the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.
On view from January 21, 2022 to February 26, 2022.
Artists: Šejma Fere, Bojana S. Kneževic, Marina Markovic, Tijana Radenkovic, Simonida Rajcevic, Vahida Ramujkic, Milica Ružicic, Maja Simic, Nina Todorovic, Anica Vucetic, and Gordana Žikic.
Photo: Šejma Fere, Toothbrushes.
Photograph: Renee Rosensteel