română/ bucurești/ cluj/ iași/ sibiu/

Thoughts on the Political Economy of ULUS

Milan Đorđević, Vahida Ramujkić, Noa Treister

17.09. - 5.10.2023

Adress: GreenHouse, Str. Sf. Atanasie nr. 25, Iași

This exhibition presents the current thinking among members of ULUS (the Association of Fine Artists in Serbia) about the political economy of the organisation and its members. The two exhibitions presented - Susreti (Encounters) and Kraj kapitalizma (The End of Capitalism) - in the eyes of the organisers and many of ULUS’s members seemingly present opposite directions of politico-economic development. While Susreti gathered galleries from all around Serbia to present their artists, most of which are members of ULUS; Kraj kapitalizma invited artists and non-artists to develop models that enable a dignified life and active public action.

Following the exhibitions, two discussions were held reflecting on the concept and the practice of the exhibitions as precursors to the political economy that ULUS should practice. The questions that were put for the discussion of Susreti were: if, how much and in which way should ULUS participate in the art market? In the context of the very weak art market in Serbia, what is the difference between the artist being represented by a gallery and in an association? And with which actors in the sector of contemporary art and in which way should ULUS cooperate?

For the discussion of the exhibition Kraj kapitalizm the questions were: Would you define this exhibition as a political exhibition, and in what way? Who were the presenters and who were the visitors, i.e. who did the exhibition address? How did the setting of this exhibition - the official/traditional Spring exhibition of the representative professional association of fine artists of Serbia in its traditional pavilion - contribute to its concept? How was the funding by the capitalist state addressed by the exhibition? What political-economy should ULUS follow as a result of the exhibition? How exhibitions generally affect what the association is, how do they strengthen the community and collective of members i.e. what brings artists together?

In Iasi, documentary photographs of both exhibitions will be presented, as well as the discussions. On the 18th of September a new discussion was held in Iasi to continue the reflection arround the ways of organization of artists and how the questions above function in their own practices in the contexts of Iași and Chisinau, RM, basis for other artists present in this meeting.

Milan Đorđević is a visual artist and PhD candidate in cultural policy studies. He's a research associate at the University of Arts in Belgrade - Faculty of Dramatic Arts, engaged in projects supported by the Science Fund of RS, Horizon Europe, Višegrad+, Creative Europe, etc. He’s also a teaching associate at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts, Faculty of Applied Arts and the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy and Management at the same University. He earned his bachelor's degree in painting and his master's in new media art from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade. After exhibiting at several group exhibitions and two solo exhibitions in 2018, he became a member of ULUS in 2020. The same year, he organised the international summit „Another Artworld: Manifestations and Conditions of Equity in Visual Arts”.

Vahida Ramujkić (Belgrade, 1973) - artist and cultural organiser, currently engaged as a member of an Steering Committee of the Association of Fine Artists of Serbia, and Executive Committee of the International Association of Artists (AIAP-UNESCO). Through her artistic work she is dedicated to developing methodologies for collaborative work, expanding base of knowledge, and generating social and economic equity underlying social functionality of arts. She is co-founder of the art collectives Rotorrr, Minipogon, member of, in charge of volunteer organization of NoNameKitchenSerbia. Since 2020 she co-coordinates the Debate-research program within the Association of Fine artists of Serbia.
She studied at the University of Fine Arts in Belgrade, where she obtained Master (2001) and PhD degree (2019). In 1998/99 specialized at Madrid Complutense University and Fine Arts University of Barcelona.

This exhibition is part of the project ”Ways of Organisation” organised by Iași in partnership with ZaCin (Belgrade) and 1+1 (Iași) and it is co-funded by the Administration of the National Cultural Fund. This project does not necessarily represent the position of The Administration of the National Cultural Fund. AFCN is not responsible for the content of the project or how project results can be used. These are entirely the responsibility of the beneficiary of the funding.

The main partner of is ERSTE Foundation.

Image: Opening Susreti ( Encounters / Întâlniri), Belgrade 2023