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pirated spaces - informal architecture
ufo belgrade
transformers III


7. - 23. November 2003



ufo belgrade
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This gathering of works presents the current array of undecidedness in Belgrade ’s pursuit of its new identity. The city is seen here as a group of actors without a script. After half a century of Tito's liberal communism, then Milosevic's introverted nationalism, then open popular revolt and desire to re-join the World, these pieces show a complex ambition towards a 'dream' of definite positioning of Belgrade in the face of current North Atlantic associations. The complexity of its diverse population and history is now looked at as a burden, as a complication in the process of European integration. UFO Belgrade exposes an array of personal and collective analysis of the ambitions and desires for the city to be reinvented. However, this reinvention is not readily at hand, rather it seems interminably postponed. The results of different questions raised by these art and architectural works are analogous to fog: hanging in the air seemingly forever, but visible only under certain light, often when no one is around. The blur of any possible clear vision, and here we mean a vision for a clear future of the city, appears simply as a number of fuzzy, un-coordinated attempts. The beauty of this blowzy process does not lie in re-reading the past, but in figuring the present, which again stands in on the urban stage for the desired future which should have been now.

UFO Belgrade takes this fog of undecidedness of the city further, uncovering a new kind of beauty which appears freed from all preconceptions about average urban life, appropriate history and suitable ideology.

Any desire to redefine the city as a whole always raises the unexpected possibility of encountering its opposite or something askew. It feels like the difference between a large field where people go with the hope of seeing a spectacle and the backyard where a UFO could fall unnoticed. This may happen near an illegally built house at the outskirts of the city. The smashed, but survived high-tech craft which fell among half-built brick houses is baffling. If one wants to interact with this 'extra-terrestrial' condition one has to forget the ethical world and consider an alternative to those beautiful movies in which UFOs always land in Northern America . In reality the UFO may very well fall in a favela or in some other self-reliant chaos of "urban dilapidation." Now dealing with the alien, the city confronts the question of what to do next: to try to 'sell' the stranger or to keep its broken shell as the mythic memory of an encounter.

The UFO is not a matter of the enlightenment. Inside the UFO, whether anything is left or right, progressive or conservative, radical or moderate, community-oriented or individualist, secular or religious, positioned against or for the system... is never quite clear. Being inside the fog, divorced from the outside, there is no distance from which to assemble a view but rather the ‘fog’ of activities devoid of classification becomes the very agent of social activity. Light can cut through darkness but not through the fog. Here classical western notions of enlightenment do not appear to work. The fog is a kind of a surplus, very material indeed...where things and cities can also disappear.

curators: Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss, Stevan Vukovic, Katherine Carl, Sabine von Fischer


artists

Bas Princen photographer/Rotterdam
Bojan Boric, Jelena Mijanovic with Mikser-Igor Stoimenov, Maja Vidakovic, Stockholm/Belgrade
Branislav Dimitrijevic writer/curator/Museum of Contemporary Arts/Belgrade
Grupa ŠKART Dragan Protic & Djordje Balmazovic, artists/Belgrade
Ivan Kucina Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade
Mihael Milunovic artist/Belgrade
Milorad Mladenovic artist/Paris/Belgrade
Nataša Teofilovic artist/architect/Belgrade
NORMAL GROUP for Architecture, Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss & Sabine v. Fischer, Zurich/New York
STEALTH Group Ana Džokic, Marc Neelen, Milica Topalovic & Ivan Kucina, Rotterdam/Belgrade
Stevan Vukovic writer/curator/Belgrade


Friday, 7. November, 19:00
Talks: ufo belgrade with Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss, Stevan Vukovic, Katherine Carl & Ivan Kucina in conversation with Berlin critics and artists.

     
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