5-6 October 2018
(Post-)Yugoslav Heritage and Architecture
Contemporary Balkan Art welcomes you to the Southeast European Future Festival on (post-)Yugoslav culture, heritage and identity. Join us for panel discussions (Cultural Diplomacy and National Branding, The Story of Yugoslavia and its Cultural Heritage, and Toward a Concrete Utopia at MoMA), film screenings (Unwanted Heritage and Musical Traumas) and music performances (Lady Jelena and Nina Romic)!
19 April 2018
The Model as Chimera: Surrealism in Fashion
Fashion is a chimerical creature. It takes many guises, and fashion models, as actors, must assume a different role many times over to fulfill the expectations put upon them – half woman, half fantasy creature. There has always been a close connection between fashion and art, possibly most famously in the time of Surrealism, when designers like Elsa Schiaparelli collaborated with artists of the period such as Meret Oppenheim and Salvador Dali, and Surrealist photographers such as Man Ray worked with top fashion models such as Lee Miller.
22 February 2018
(Dis-)Continuities in Post-Yugoslav Art Space
Contemporary Balkan Art is delighted to present the latest in its Conversations series with Marko Ilic PhD, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at UCL School of South-East European Studies. Marko will be in conversation with Ana Russell-Omaljev PhD, Creative Director of CoBA.
5 January 2018
CoBA's First Intern
CoBA welcomes Jovana Stulic as its first intern. She is currently completing her BA in Fine Arts at St. Joost Art Academy, the Netherlands. Jovana came across CoBA while researching the representation of Balkan art in Europe. She lives and works in Amsterdam. While with CoBA, Jovana will write about artists as foreigners and organise an event to represent and introduce CoBA to the Amsterdam cultural scene.
25 December 2017
CoBA at UCL in December
Continuing UCL Ex-Yu Society’s “Conversation with…” series Ana Russell-Omaljev and Branislav Radeljic talk about their paths to CoBA, its history and the idea behind its creation. Their initial idea was to engage people through art. The conspicuous absence of state efforts to promote culture from Ex-Yugoslav states left an unmet need.
1 July 2017
The Spaces of Otherness
Contemporary Balkan Art (CoBA) presents Heterotopia: The Spaces of Otherness, at the Serbian House, in London, 1 - 22 July 2017. The artists examine phenomena and discourses crucial for identification of various trends within the Serbian and regional art scene, largely contributing to the overall development of visual arts in Serbia. As a common determinant of their work is the desire to join the world market. In such an environment a new artistic practice has been created, offering the full autonomy of expression, but also implying responsibilities towards the future.
27 May 2017
Closing night of Interruption: MARINA ABRAMOVIC’S WALK THROUGH WALLS
It was the closing night of CoBA’s exhibition Interruption that took place from 6 April to 11 May at LIBRARY, London. To mark the occasion, Ana Russell-Omaljev, CoBA’s Creative Director, moderated a discussion on Marina Abramović’s latest book Walk through Walls, A Memoir, with her guests – Mary Richards, Reader in Theatre and the Vice Dean (Education) of College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences at Brunel University London and Duška Radosavljević, Reader in Contemporary Theatre and Performance at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London.
6 April 2017
CoBA presents their latest exhibition Interruption, at LIBRARY, St. Martin’s Lane, London. Interruption features over 40 paintings, sculptures, photographs, prints and graphics, never exhibited in London, from 17 artists who will bring Balkan’s rich artistic philosophy to Great Britain. This exhibition extends CoBA’s focus on the individual creative work of contemporary Balkan artists, who are best known for their social commentary and unique understanding of various absurdities of modern life and politics.
22 January 2017
Artist in Conversation: Zolt Kovac
CoBA and GALLERY 106 are delighted to announce the Artist in Conversation event, which is an integral part of the current exhibition of Six Established Artists from the Balkans. Zolt Kovac is an artist engaged in changing social attitudes through reflection on the urban community. His work examines our all-consuming ‘rush’; the criteria that are being degraded; the idea of why we started this rush without challenging it critically.
7 December 2016
CoBA and GALLERY 106 Joint Exhibition
Roman Djuranovic, Nemanja Golijanin, Tadija Janicic, Zolt Kovac, Iva Kuzmanovic and Petar Mirkovic
You are cordially invited to Contemporary Balkan Art (CoBA) and GALLERY 106 first joint collaborative exhibition. Show opens with the Private View on 7 December from 6.30 to 8.30pm and continues until 14 January 2017.
16 June 2016
Point of View
Roman Djuranovic, Tadija Janicic and Zolt Kovac
Contemporary Balkan Art presents its first exhibition of Balkan artists in hot spot The Library on London’s St. Martin’s Lane. Comprising elements of film, design, comic strips, photography and other media, ‘Point of View’ is a selective depiction of contemporary rituals, fragments of the current condition, and of roles and identities.
9 May 2018
The Model as Chimera: Surrealism in Fashion
By Genevieve Barnott Jones
The subject of fashion and surrealism is one of perennial fascination since its first explosion into cultural circles in the 1930s. For your favourite couturier, someone like Schiaparelli, who previously made only the chicest and flattering outfits suitable for high society to start experimenting and collaborating with crazy artists like Salvador Dali or Meret Oppenheim was quite a delicious shock. At the same time the art of fashion photography was growing and hitting its stride, and photographers like Man Ray began to subvert the form.
10 April 2018
Interview with Marko Ilic
'It’s true that the majority of art historical accounts of the New Art Practice have focused on its marginalised position in Yugoslav society. While they have noted that galleries of Students’ Cultural Centres as the sites for the federation’s conceptual and performance art scenes, they have frequently approached them as spaces of ‘controlled’ freedom. These perspectives are partially defensible. Coming from the ‘margins’ of Yugoslavia’s youth spaces, we could conclude that the New Art was impeded in terms of its potential influence and reach.'
26 September 2017
Interview with Dragos Burlacu
'The transition, in its entirety, has been slow. Still, contemporary Romanian art has redefined itself; it became free in expression, while corresponding to the high academic standards of art schools. Both the Romanian visual art and cinematography after 2000 – largely inspired by realism of the Romanian society – have become very successful internationally (I primarily refer to the Cluj School of Art and the new wave of Romanian cinematography).'
15 July 2017
Balkan Art in Corporate Collections: The Case of Deutsche Telekom
By Yana Stancheva
Corporate patronage of the arts is not a new phenomenon; in fact, almost every global corporation owns art collections of some volume (the biggest one being that of Deutsche Bank). In 2016, pptArt, a crowd-sourced platform of art, organised the first Corporate Art Awards in Rome, in collaboration with LUISS Business School.
1 June 2017
Interview with Tadija Janicic
'I do not follow trends. There are many who do, but in my view, such an approach is not of long duration. It is unlikely that today’s artists can change anything, but at least they should be able to point out different problems, so they become apparent and generate further discussion. All artists tend to draw attention to themselves. The only problem is that some are much more concerned with the career proper and much less with artwork.'
5 May 2017
MONUMENTAL FEAR: Interview with photographer Jovana Mladenovic
'I have always been inspired by architecture. From my earliest fashion work, location has always played a very important role. Brutalism attracts me because it is so raw and because this provides me a lot of room for expression. Colours are often associated with particular feelings and careful colour selection can expand the emotional impact of my pictures.'
3 April 2017
Interview with Marija Sevic
'People are important in my artwork. They are placed in various situations across a number of interior and exterior backgrounds. The identity itself is something that I often deliberately hide, leaving enough room for the observer to recognise and imagine themselves inside it. It is scenes from an ordinary life of a contemporary person that I seek and that constantly lure me back to review them.'
6 March 2017
Interview with Mirza Dedac
'Many artists from the Balkans are still expected to deal, as a specific focus of their work, with the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s and with the related refugee crisis. I acknowledge that these are important issues, but this has also become the only lens through which we are perceived. Unfortunately, it seems that we cannot escape this blinkered external perception of us and understanding of our situation.'
12 August 2016
Interview with Petar Mirkovic
CoBA: Hi Petar, your drawings can largely be placed in the context of the aesthetics of Hollywood cinema. Have you ever attempted to imagine and direct scenes yourself and what has the process been like?
Petar: This goes back to my fascination with urban landscape, buildings and other concrete structures and, more generally, to the aesthetics of contemporary urban life.
16 June 2016
CoBA's Inaugural Exhibition
New Actionism and A Lot of Love
By Alexandra Lazar
Contemporary Balkan Art has launched their London art initiative in the loft-like expanse of The Library in Covent Garden. Vividly fronted by three artists – Roman Djuranovic, Tadija Janicic and Zolt Kovac – and titled 'Point of View', the exhibition was an excellent taster for the current happenings of the Balkan art scene.
6 June 2016
Interview with Zolt Kovac
CoBA: Hi Zolt, you are well known as a socially engaged artist, pushing for change and speaking publicly about problems of Serbian society. Would you say that an artist should play such a role?
Zolt: There are different ways to using art. For me, its social component is extremely important. Someone else may look for other things in art and that is absolutely fine.