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BELGRADE ENCOUNTERS, 9th International Graphic Workshop



The event Belgrade Encounters was initiated in 2001 in the Centre for Graphic Arts at the Faculty of Fine Arts. Every two years, artists from both Serbia and abroad, who were selected on individual merit, gather at this event. The preparation process for the workshop is long, a particular region or a country is chosen, previous selections included Chile, Argentina, Greenland, Island, Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria, and Macedonia.... Afterwards, discussions with selected artists take place. Ten months later, on September 1st, artists gather in the Centre for Graphic Arts and meet the team that is going to work with them in the following ten days, each trying to create an edition containing 14 prints.

What is particular about this selection of Belgrade Encounters is multidisciplinary approach of the participants, artists from Serbia and Croatia. Igor Čabraja, Vojin Hraste, Alem Korkut (Zagreb), Mario Čaušić (Osijek), Matija Debeljuh (Pula), Goran Škofić (Poreč), Vedran Perkov (Split) and Igor Eškinja (Rijeka) arrived from Croatia, whereby Serbia was represented by Nina Todorović, Svetlana Volic, Vladimir Nikolić, Mario Kolarić (Belgrade) and Petar Mirković (Novi Sad).

In the course of ten days, artists who participated in the workshop: graphic artists, sculptors, video artists, painters and conceptual artists, with the help of printmaker from the Centre for Graphic Arts, tried to encapsulate on the same paper format completely different personal poetics, as they successfully completed the map containing different 13 prints. Most of all, the participants are artists with unique style, recognized and acknowledged, whereby in the multidisciplinary approach to artistic process and "product", they were equal and the same, as the Centre was transformed into space for experimentation. Multidisciplinary orientation of the selected artists is the result of the Centre’s practice of thoroughly researching the possibilities of the medium of graphic art to transpose aesthetic and ideal elements of other disciplines onto the paper.

Instead with acid, Alem Korkut used the bicycle ride on tarmac in Belgrade for imprinting on the zinc board. Contrary to his ideas, Matija Debeljuh compiled his matrix digitally, achieving in silkscreen the sameness of the black tone by using subtle differences in texture, thus forming the appearance of the third dimension. Monotypes of Igor Eškinja are uncertain visual results of change. By moving of an index finger on the matrix, the artist points out that even the smallest actions have consequences. Svetlana Volic engages in the research of time passing despite the ambition on an individual to overcome it, hence referring to the unsurmountable river flow by combining lithography and silkscreen. Perkov plays with the symbol of predator, placing it into satirical context of the protector of medium of graphic art and authorship. In the technique of silkscreen, Vladimir Nikolić finds the adequate partner for realization of blue screen of a computer, alluding to the broken communication between two subjects. Nina Todorović uses variable number of prints, while Mario Čaušić and Petar Mirković use photo process in lithographic technique to point out to the isolation and seclusion of contemporary individual in the imposed forms of habitat, examining the term of safe place in relation to the captivity within this spot. In the same technique, Vojin Hraste uses farcical narrative to speak about barefaced hunger, insatiability of a modern man in a consumerist society. With the delicate grain of aquatint, Igor Čabraja speaks about oneness, lines and patterns within the society, which do not accept differences. Goran Skofić also deals with the identity of an individual, in the perspective of heroism, taking responsibility, by moving of video frame in silkscreen. Mario Kolarić successfully transports the precision and delicacy of his drawings onto paper and forms waves with the vibrant series of lines, by using silkscreen.

In the age of technological advancement, leading to the uncontrollable mechanical reproduction of artworks 1(Walter Benjamin 1936) and culture profiting from sameness 2 (Adorno and Horkheimer 1947), the art of multioriginal, reproducible in its principle, rejects populism and mass appeal by preserving the integrity of the same copies, actively rejecting the industrialization of culture. This way, the 9th International Graphic Workshop "Belgrade Encounters" brought about 13 prints by 13 authors of different sensibilities, who are individually autonomous, while being aware of the necessity of active collaboration, enabling the unique cultural environment of former Yugoslavia to survive as a whole.


Nataša Janković, Curator of Center



1Benjamin, Walter, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Schocken/Random House 1936

preuzeto sa sajta www.marxists.org


"In principle a work of art has always been reproducible. Man-made artifacts could always be imitated by men. Replicas were made by pupils in practice of their craft, by masters for diffusing their works, and, finally, by third parties in the pursuit of gain. Mechanical reproduction of a work of art, however, represents something new."

2 9 Theodor W Adorno, and Max Horkheimer, Dialectic of Enlihment, Cultural Memory in Present, Stanforrd University Press, 2002 str. 94

"Culture today is infecting everything with sameness. Film, radio, and magazines form a system. Each branch of culture is unanimous within itself and all are unanimous together. Even the aesthetic manifestations of political opposites proclaim the same inflexible rhythm... All mass culture under monopoly is identical... Films and radio no longer need to present themselves as art. The truth that they are nothing but business is used as an ideology to legitimize the trash they intentionally produce."