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The project “The Rise of Women in Culture in the Western Balkans” is a two-year project that brings together various experts in the cultural sphere of social reality. Starting from art and the creative aspect, and responding to the modern age, the starting pointing idea spread to different fields of culture and education. The initiator of the project is Biljana Jotić, and the partners are two organizations from Serbia: Association “Fenomena”, which is the project leader and “Beoart contemporary”, then Association “Prizma” from Croatia, NGO “SPES” from Montenegro, “Lokarjeva galerija” organisation from Slovenia and Association “Sensus” from the Northern Macedonia.

From the point of view of artistic value, we would like to emphasize that conceptually this project is based on the idea of a woman as a subject in the process of creation and an object in the process of observation. Hence the need to explore identity in contemporary visual art. The focus is on the present moment and testifies to the inner being of women and the relationship of an individual artistic being to the collective, social and cultural and vice versa. In the close cooperation between the female artists and the curators, one can find specificity in relation to the angle of observation and transmission of the message related to the present time. The starting point is cooperation and networking in the region and beyond.

In the dialogue with the 21st century generation, this project will try to show how women shape contemporary Balkan cultural reality and how that reality transforms her. Through the moment of diversity of female identities in visual art, personal expression, used media and topics, the project strives to cover and reflect the most challenging and open issues of our time. This will provide us with a fairly comprehensive artistic overview of contemporary reality and the artist’s position in the Western Balkans and beyond. We consider this to be the main artistic value of the project.

In terms of gender equality and women’s empowerment, our main target group is young artists and all curators involved are women. The current estimate is that during the implementation of the project about 90% of the people involved in the implementation of the project will be women. The Partner Leader is a gender-based organization and in this way we will further ensure that gender equality is an integral part of all aspects of this project. We would like to emphasize that our main target group is young visual artists and that we will deal with the problems of young people and their needs.

The general activities of the project tend to answer the questions that the project raises. These are: a touring exhibition (Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia and Northern Macedonia), for which the selectors, independent curators from the above five territories (Biljana Jotić, Nela Gligorović, Sonja Švec Španjol, Anamarija Stibij Šajn and Shquipe Mehmeti) pre-selected artists with recognizable and diversity of identities of women in the visual arts and medias for expression. The residency program in Zadar will gather new artists through an open invitation, and the works created on it will represent the setting of a residency exhibition in Strasbourg or Brussels. VR technologies include new forms of exhibition practices and global communication. The research deals with issues of women’s identity in contemporary visual art with a focus on young artists and curators, and covers both institutional and non-institutional curatorial practices. The documentary series documents the thought and creative processes of curators and artists. NFC is a network of curators thematically organized around the concept of women in art.

Biljana Jotić

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Kick off conference has been realised  in Belgrade 15/01 – 17/01/2021 in the New Gallery of Visual Arts and online on the youtube channel and on the facebook page Rise of women . Organized by Beoart Contemporary, a partner from Serbia in the project “The Rise of Women in Culture in the Western Balkans”, co-financed by the European Union, it is dedicated to topics addressed by the project through general activities – identities of women in contemporary visual арт in the Western Balkans through cooperation and networking of curators and artists, as well as adaptation to new technologies of the modern age. Many answers to this topic were encountered through a diverse program with the participation of experts in their fields, which was initiated and moderated by Biljana Jotic. (MORE)

CULTURAL HERITAGE AND CONTEMPORARY CREATIVITY concept of this author's project is a merging
contemporary art and space that belongs to the tradition of Serbia's cultural heritage. The author's
specificity and curatorial concept are characterized by notions of continuity (revitalization inherited
through contemporary visual creativity), then in the selection of atypical exhibition space and
heterogeneity of visual expressions (as testimonies of different varieties of contemporary fluid reality
experiences). So far, four exhibitions have been realized:

Art on paper

National Library of Serbia, 05.05. -005.07.2017. – author’s curatorial collective exibition. This project
was supported by Ministry of Culture and Information of Republic of Serbia and by Belgrade
Secretariat of Culture . This was a first part of regional a gathering project focused on domestic
artists. Paper is medium around wich they gethered, with heterogenous caracter, with idea of chronicle of author’s expression on paper. The author?s concept is visible in the merging of the visual and the linguistic sign, that is, the exhibition setting of the visual works on paper in the space that inherits the word on paper. Additional specificity is also recognized in the character of the media, as a herald of a new age and a faster spread of information that has led to modern forms of communication. The thematic vagueness is a conscious comparison with the thematic vagueness of
the words that this institution inherits, without which we would not be able to know widely today .

Through water

Site-specific curatorial solo exhibition and installation by artist Ivana Živić, Art Station Ešđeg, 2017 (artist who in her painting problematizes space and time through imaginary spaces filled with water by swimmers. Ccultural heritage and installations that transform space from the canvas into real space, the time of the event is “now and here” including the spectator as an integral part of the event.

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Identifications

Specific space of Jokanović House, National Museum of Uzice, 12.06.-12.07.2018. – curatorial solo
exhibition with the concept of merging the two approaches of two contemporary visual authors to the problem of identifying in contemporary society in the medium of drawing on paper, leaning on Miodrag B. Proti’entence: ” Learning about the diversity of artistic expressions is the safest and simplest compass in the disturbed open sea of contemporary art “. Two approaches to the same theme and technique, drawing on paper. On the one hand identifying through the external projection of the city and geometrical forms of closed forms, and on
the other, the internal projection of the contemporary phenomenon of selfies, which also opposes the traditional way of portraiture and problematizing narcissism and the existence of another person and interaction. The contemporary thematic shop is in an exhibition setting in the traditional space of the Jokanivic House, as a separate part of the National Museum in Uzice.

20/20

Space for the reconstruction of the Balkan cinema, in cooperation with the Saša Marčeta Foundation and the NuraArt Agency, 03.-09.11.2018. – a group exhibition that combines real and virtual space.

Author of the concept, text and setting (the whole of the specific character space consists of a combination of experiments with space, combining traditional and contemporary, real and virtual space. The author’concept was realized through an exhibition in real space of selected 10 artists that specifies the problematization of space in his work, which introduces space into a virtual space in which the other 10 artists are represented. Combining real and virtual space also challenges the way in which the observer and his senses interact.

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BOA (Belgrade Open Art), a one-day interactive event featuring THE WALK / THE TALK / THE
AUCTION concept, Belgrade Cultural Center, Pop Up Space (June 01, 2014 and 2015) – co-authored.
Immersed in social and cultural events, our four colleagues identified three current problems in the museum’s closeness, lack of communication and lack of market bases for contemporary creativity.
We offered the answer through the concept of Open Art and the strategy of a guerrilla one-day self – financing event during which 30 young artists were introduced. From the street gallery of a shared walk all with works by City Main Street and around the National Museum, through an exhibition in the Pop Up Space of the Belgrade Cultural Center and Art meeting to auction as the end goal.

NOA FEST is a co-author of the Novi Sad Art Festival with the concept of dynamics in programmatic
solutions that are implemented in several locations (Art Salon and Youth Tribune, Novi Sad Cultural Center; Cultural Station Eđšeg; alternative Cultural Center Lab). Each year, NOA FEST brings together
over 20 young generation artists for networking and communication. It is focused on the domestic
young generations strategy of a festival is realized through various program solutions and in several locations. From exhibitions, through Art Meeting, workshops, panels, charity events for social needs.

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MEDIALA: Then and now– Co-authored Experimental Exhibition, RTS Gallery, May 2017

ACTION: MONTH OF THE ARTIST – The initial idea of this self-funded and self initiated project was to dedicate every month of the year to the promotion of the chosen visual artist. BeoArt-LiveArt gallery has realized 12 solo exhibitions of contemporary young creators: Jagoda Mićović, Anđela Mujčić, Marijana Oro, Vojislav Radovanović, Tanja Babić, Branka Đurašković, Ines Janjić, Jelena Tijanić Savić, Tamara Kusovac, Milica Matović, Bojan Savić, Svetlana Jovanović

ACTION: MONTH OF THE ARTIST – The initial idea of this self-funded and self initiated project was to dedicate every month of the year to the promotion of the chosen visual artist. BeoArt-LiveArt gallery has realized 12 solo exhibitions of contemporary young creators: Jagoda Mićović, Anđela Mujčić, Marijana Oro, Vojislav Radovanović, Tanja Babić, Branka Đurašković, Ines Janjić, Jelena Tijanić Savić, Tamara Kusovac, Milica Matović, Bojan Savić, Svetlana Jovanović

Serbia