Sunday, April 19, 2009

Contingent Identities
(V part of Border Disorder)workshop-exhibition
4-21 May Depo, Istanbul 2009.

Isidora Ficovic (multimedia artists in front of Border Disorder, self-organized group of artists)and Depo/Tutun Deposu

Artists: Elmas Deniz (Turkey), Erinc Seymen (Turkey), Suat Ogut (Turkey), Kukka Pavilainen (Finland), Isabel Schmiga (Germany), Michael Wojnar (Switzerland), Keti Stoiljkovic (Switzerland), Leona Dodig (Great Britain), Mark Brogan (Great Britain), Jelena Radic (Serbia), Freudmann Fduard (Austria), Darinka Pop-Mitic (Serbia), Isidora Ficovic (Serbia), Nisrine Boukhari (Syria), Dr Protic(Serbia), Goran Micevski (Serbia), Mohamed Abdel Karim (Egypt), Tunc Ali Cam (Turkey).

Border Disorder is a collaborative project aiming to create an open platform of investigation. Its particular focus concerns social changes and cultural developments caused by the European integrative processes in the West Balkans (including Turkey). An additional collaborative module within the project seeks to understand the ways in which these transformations may communicate or interact with the Nordic experience—a region similarly perceived as a place on the periphery of European artistic life.

The contingent nature of changes in the socio-economic realm, particularly in the case of contemporary Balkan society, concerns first, the contingency of many nations in the region asserting historic identities in contemporary guises. In turn, these regions of redefine themselves vis-à-vis Europe. Thus, the first realm of contingency involves facing the demands of globalization. These large-scale changes are felt in the formation of individuality and affect the most basic sense of citizen identity as an evolution over time. Border Disorder captures these personal moments of negotiation with larger forces in a changing landscape through art projects of examination.

Contingent Identities investigates the concept of identity through what plagues and pleasures it, so to speak. One of the main points of contention troubling a ‘New Europe’ as a recurrent issue resulting in rapid changes across integrating nations, and the West Balkans in particular, is this: How is the most basic unit identity—the citizen-individual—subjected to both internal and external change within the larger field? How, in other words, does a subject dynamically negotiate a personal sense of identity with various ‘public’ identities that are forced upon it? These include gender identity, affinity within a social or professional group, national and ethnic inheritance, and all those measures of self that demand specific behaviors from the citizen-subject.

Key Questions: Do such aspects of what we are calling ‘contingency’ equal a state of emergency at the micro- as well as macro-level of human organization? Does everything solid and established, including ‘traditional’ identities, really turn into mist before becoming a new national institution or international currency, monetary or otherwise? In the reifying frontal assault of global capitalism there is an ongoing materialization of previously metaphysical proportions that dates back to the early stages of modernization, it defined the twentieth century, and it is an evolving, hard to name force that we all experience today. Contingent Identities looks to places where this force may be experienced with increased magnitude in the individual due to engagements with history made at the highest levels. These engagements, what we could call ‘states of being’ often reflect choices that sought a renegotiation with history. One of the most challenging aspects of integration is thus dealing with historical conflicts between traditional groups coping with contemporary problems. These new circumstances inherently affect communities and communities of art making.

Contingent Identities also manifests the latest project in an ongoing series of exhibitions, workshops and events under the joint title Border Disorder. This latest installment is planned to take place in Istanbul in 2009, as a way to, in part, re-converge with artistic minds on issues specific to the Balkan region.

Alien project, IV part of Border Disorder

Marzik Gallery,Kraljevo, Serbia 2007.
Organizers of the project: Isidora Ficovic and Aleksandar Jestrovic.

The project “Alien” was realized from 15-22 July 2007. in Kraljevo. It is IV part of serial of Border Disorder projects that started in 2003. as self organized events by artists and networking between art students of Nordic and Balkan region. The first Border Disorder event happened in May 2004. in Helsinki, the second happened in October-November 2004. in Arhus, and the third was organized in November-December 2005. in Belgrade. The “Alien” project beside artists from Nordic and Balkan region and previous participants spread network on other countries and included new artists.
The participants of the “Alien” project were artists from Switzerland, Great Britain, Finland, Turkey and Serbia. The project included several events. In the workshop artists had opportunity to hear lectures about the city, to visit local cultural monuments and renowned places, to discuss the subject Alien, to present each other personal works and to realize the exhibition. On the presentation the local partners, NGO Kvart, also presented the artistic activities they organize in the city. There were held two concerts, Lauschangiff (the music group from Zurich) and Dancefloorers (the music group from Nis), also as the after parties where artists could communicate and spend time with local people in informal atmosphere.
In Marzik Gallery was performed the TV show “Sok Koridor” with its TV moderators which tempted attention of public and media.The media accompanied all events, with newspaper articles also as the TV interviews.Information about the city and complexity of cultural influences in environment such as Kraljevo artists could hear on lectures in National museum with sojourn to monasteries Studenica and Žica. On the strength of intensity of reactions of artists the project justified the realization. It is one of unusual effort to scrutinize the small urban environment in artistic way. The participants of all Border Disorder events: Maja Rakocevic, Marija Prustina, Goran Skofic, Petri Junttila, Andreas Hagstrom, Johan Kylen, Sara Toivonen, Sine Bang Nielsen, Jan Falk Borup, Ninna Korhonen, Marcel Schwengler, Mika Orava, Meike Zylmann, Claus Ejner, Boris Sribar, Ana Stojkovic, Maja Radanovic, Isidora Ficovic, Milena Putnik, Kukka Paavilainen, Mika Orava, Anne Skole Overgaard, Danijela Popovic, Vojislav Radovanovic, The Beat Fleet, MC Wikluh Sky, Corina Schwingruber, Milica Ružičić, Darinka Pop-Mitić, Goran Čače, Jamesdin, Johnny Rackowitzch, Luka Barbic, Leona Dodig, Mark Brogan, Ahmet Ogut, Pilvi Takala, Keti Stoiljkovic, Andreas Zivkovic, Talent, Milica Trifunovic, Michael Wojnar, Joy Frempong, Flo Stoffner, Flo Gotte, Luca Ramella, Lauschangriff, Sok Koridor, Dancefloorers.

About the project Border Disorder
(from the catalogue of the Border Disorder III event in 2005, Belgrade)
Border Disorder is a series of meetings initiated by a group of young artists from Nordic and Balkan countries to create living, functional network between artists in two regions. Two workshops and exhibitions were already held during last year: there was one in Helsinki, Finland in May 2004, and one in Aarhus, Denmark in October 2004. Organizing the third workshop in Belgrade, together with an exhibition and a catalogue would be an opportunity to revise the two years long cooperation.
Group of artists who gathered around Border Disorder was formed in Belgrade in October 2003, during a SPEAK UP workshop for students of Nordic and Balkan art academies, held by Mika Hanula, curator, teacher, art critic and chairman of KUNO, Nordic network of Art Academies and Branko Dimitrijević, art historian, associate curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade, where the workshop took place.
Main goal of this workshop was to broaden the discursive field of students’ artistic practices and to use it for confronting different positions and opinions. Presentations of individual artworks were used as a starting point, leading to discussions on wider themes, and recognizing similarities and differences in approaches to art and artistic practice.
Group formed in this way continued discussing on common issues independently from initiating workshop, and started to organize exhibiting projects together. Idea was to maintain this communication in the future independently, outside of an institutional frame, and to further develop in creating art and exhibitions together. Project was named Border Disorder to mark a living, changing and developing network between artists from Nordic and Balkan regions.
Participants of Border Disorder III are: Jan Falk Borup (Denmark), Kukka Paavilainen (Finland), Andreas Hagström (Sweden), Luka Barbić (Croatia), Goran Čače (Croatia) and from Serbia&Montenegro - Maja Rakočević, Maja Radanović, Milica Ružičić, Boris Šribar, Milena Putnik, Isidora Fioćvić, Darinka Pop-Mitić, Jamesdin i Johnny Rackowitch.
Beside main exhibition the supporting program consists of presentation of artists, projections of video works, friendships and conversations between artists, as the public tribunes (2nd and 3rd December). On the 2nd December invited are: Tomas Ivan Traskman(working as a senior lecturer in Arts Managment at Sydväst Polytechnic/University of Applied Science and Arts), Branko Dimitrijević(historian, art theoretic and lecturer at the Art school Belgrade), Dejan Grba and Zoran Todorović( assistants at The Faculty of fine arts, one of organizers of series of students exhibitions FLU-ID in Dom omladine Gallery, Belgrade), Jovan Čekić and Maja Stanković (BELEF ’03, BELEF ’04), Darka Radosavljević and Miroslav Karić (Remont Gallery, Belgrade), Katarina Živanović (Cultural centre Rex, Belgrade), Darijan Mihajlović(Department of Culture of the Belgrade City Council), Dragoslav Krnajski and participants of Border Disorder. The moderators are: Stevan Vuković (crtitic and curator of The SKC Gallery) and Svebor Midžić (The Center of contemporary art, Belgrade).
With this appearance in public we want to start the communication within the cultural scene as well as with wide audience so as to show that through our collaboration the dialogue between different methods and artistic strategies is needed and that it usually brings results. We find our cultural and public scene to be more open for exchanging opinions and ideas and it is stimulated by the circulation of people from different countries and organized meetings, debates and artistic presentations.
We would also like that this model of lasting several year cooperation with the model of self-organization to be the model for other people to start doing the similar projects in futurity.
On the platform which is held on 3rd December except from the participants of Border Disorder III all interested are invited in order to summarize the debate from the previous tribune aiming to create a platform for further cooperation within these two regions as well as the institutions and the young artists from our local scene.
Border Disorder III
The third exhibition-workshop was held in Belgrade, in November-December 2005.
Organized by Isidora Ficovic and Milena Putnik.

Participating artists were: Jan Falk Borup, Kukka Paavilainen, Andreas Hagstrom, Luka Barbic, Maja Rakocevic, Maja Radanovic, Milica Ruzicic, Boris Sribar, Milena Putnik, Isidora Ficovic, Darinka Pop-Mitic, Goran Cace, Jamesdin, TBF and Johnny Rackowitzch.

Border Disorder II
Second workshop-exhibition was held in Aarhus, Denmark in October 2004.
Organized by Jan Falk Borup.

Participating artists were: Meike Zylmann, Claus Ejner, Jan Falk Borup, Boris Sribar, Ana Stojkovic, Maja Radanovic, Isidora Ficovic, Milena Gordic, Kukka Paavilainen, Mika Orava and Anne Skole Overgaard.

Border Disorder I
First Border Disorder happening was held in Helsinki, Finland, in May 2004.
Organized by Mika Orava.

Participating artists were: Maja Rakocevic, Marija Prustina, Goran Skofic, Luka Barbic, Petri Junttila, Andreas Hagstrom, Johan Kylen, Sara Toivonen, Sine Bang Nielsen, Jan Falk Borup, Ninna Korhonen, Marcel Schwengler and Mika Orava.