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Demand for providing space for the Kontekst gallery

To: Belgrade City Secretariat for Culture

As colleagues and collaborators of the Kontekst gallery, we would like to express our disaffection and disagreement with the way and reasons why the Kontekst gallery was forced to stop to work in the former Cultural Centre “Stari Grad” i.e. the present Institution of culture “Parobrod”.

Gallery Kontekst represents one of the politically most important initiatives in Belgrade in the field of contemporary art. Through critical approach to the social reality and persistence to initiate discussion on topics that are rarely discussed and thus take part in struggles against most conservative social processes, the team of Kontekst Gallery created unique space in the cultural-artistic scene in Belgrade. Some of the issues that Kontekst and people involved in its work dealt with (in collaboration with other artists, theorists, cultural workers and activists) are sex work (“Sex, Work and Society” project), Serbian nationalism and wars in Yugoslavia (especially through censored exhibition “Exception, contemporary art scene of Prishtina”), racism in Serbia (especially in relation to Roma community through actions against demolition and fencing of a Roma slum during the international sport event Universiade), contemporary mechanisms of surveillance (“Control and Resistance on the Street” project), privatization and illegal appropriation of public space (“Fifth Park- Struggle for the Everyday” project), homophobia (collaboration with QueerBelgrade festival), critical approach toward the process of the expansion of the European Union and its mechanisms of exclusion (Without Borders? project), etc.

Furthermore, people engaged in the Kontekst Gallery have been presenting internationally their work and published their texts in the international artistic and political magazines and theoretical platforms and thus offered relevant contribution to the analysis of the cultural and political situation in Serbia and Europe today. All in all, the overall work of the Konetskt gallery is that much important that it can not be diminished that easily!

We demand from the Belgrade City Secretariat for Culture and other responsible political bodies to enable further autonomous work of the Kontekst gallery meaning providing it an autonomous space!

Yours sincerely,

  • Oliver Ressler, Vienna, Austria
  • Kim Beck, Associate Professor of Art, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA
  • Ramiro Camelo, Advisory Curator, Maddox Arts, London, United Kingdom
  • Ana Dzokic i Marc Neelen – Stealth.unlimited, Rotterdam/Beograd
  • Eduard Freudmann, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  • Michelle Y. Hyun, New York, USA
  • Anca Gyemant, Rodica Tache, Maria Crista- H.arta group, Timisoara, Romania
  • Alexandru Bounegru, VECTOR Association, Iasi, Romania
  • Bistra Andreeva, One Magazine, Bulgaria
  • Annatina Caprez, p-r-o-x-y, Zurich, Switzerland
  • Evelin Stermitz, Artist
  • Nina Höchtl, artist, Vienna, Austria
  • Sabrina Lindemann, Mobiel project office OpTrek, The Hague, Netherlands
  • Artivistic collective (artivistic.org), Montreal, Canada
  • Lana Zdravkovic, artist, Slovenia
  • Ruth Weismann, Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, Austria
  • Eva Egermann, Academy of fine Arts Vienna, Austria
  • Margarethe Makovec & Anton Lederer, < rotor > association for contemporary art, Graz, Austria
  • Initiative Minderheiten, Vienna, Austria
  • Uqbar Project Space, Berlin – Antje Weitzel
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