Opening and Awards Ceremony
Suturday,1 October 2005, at 7,00 pm - Legacy House, Knez Mihailova 46

Legacy House, Knez Mihailova 46
Belgrade Cultural Centre
- Art Gallery – Knez Mihailova 6
- Artget Gallery – Trg Republike 5/I
ULUS Gallery – Knez Mihailova 37
Site specific projects – Knеz Mihailova and Art caffe "Kocka", Carice Milice 7




"Art That Works" is a selection of art works striving to review the current art production and to redefine the auratic quality of a work of art in the context of the contemporary society. The hyperproduction and the availability of contemporary media impose the need for a revaluation and the establishment of new criteria conditioned by the development of society, language and meaning. This selection strives to identify those works that have managed to distinguish themselves within this framework and to point out new ways of thinking in the already familiar media.

Viewed from this perspective, the project presents artwork which reaches the observer through its simplicity, based on a pure and clear idea, on clear articulation in the medium it expresses itself in. The selection focuses on works that do not presuppose additional explanation, works whose perception creates the basis for the process of both reading and understanding. In doing this, art works should not “work” by means of cheap and seductive tricks and conceits; they should stress that art can speak about reality without vulgarising, simplifying or banalising that same reality.

The basis of the concept is precisely the space in-between which occurs in the dichotomies of the following types: auratic-kitch, elitist-popular, you-I, theory-practice… The intention is to use this space in-between to bring the observer into a game where he or she who chases becomes chased at the same time. The basic parameters of this game are: teasing, tricks, witticisms, touch, in other words, provocation that leaves no one in a privileged position. In this sense, artwork constantly eludes the first glance, established interpretations, easy perception, simple definitions. It addresses others by appealing to them: “Recognise me, find me, define me, suss me out, catch my thought, reach my feelings, for I am setting up a trap for you that you should avoid, or I am hiding, eluding you so that you can find me by catching my thought – for in this way I enable you to become aware of something that I am.”

This game played in spaces in-between presupposes shifting away from popular (first-instance) discourses, while at the same time establishing its own artistic discourse. Thus artwork becomes again the focus of the artist’s interest, through the auratic which no longer seeks itself in the disinterestedness of the work itself but in its functionality in reality itself. This renewed interest in the notions of the auratic, the sublime or functionality strives to point to the state of affairs in the current art production: to the fact that art (or artwork), even though it is realised in reality, is still something more that reality itself. Hence the posing of the question of the presence of these categories in the current artistic practice in no nostalgic return to a time when a firm system of artistic values was established. That is why it is important to re-examine not only the actual notions of the auratic, the sublime or the function of art but also to define: what they are, what they are like, where they exist and where they are to be found today. For, an addition to the modernist interpretation of those notions is precisely the expansion which still positions today’s, current, art in the sphere of artwork and not in some other domain.

Therefore, “art that works” in the space in-between artwork and its recipient is art playing a processual, interdependent and interactive game situated in reality.

Darka Radosavljević, Nebojša Vilić, Slobodan Jovanović, Maja Ćirić