South, South! Let’s Go South! @ 30th Nadežda Petrović Memorial

3 October, 2020 – 10 November , 2020
Opening on 3 October at 13:00h with performance GORGO by Lala Raščić
Nadežda Petrović Art Gallery
Čačak, Serbia

Artists: Igor Antić (Serbia/France), Radoš Antonijević (Serbia), Katarina Alempijević (Serbia), Jaka Babnik (Slovenia), Igor Bošnjak (BIH), Žaneta Vangeli (North Macedonia), Zlatan Vehabović (Croatia), Natalija Vujošević (Montenegro), Igor Grubić (Croatia), Danica Dakić (BIH/Germany), DiStruktura (Serbia), Uroš Đurić (Serbia), Pravdoliub Ivanov (Bulgaria/Austria), Irwin (Slovenia), Vladimir Perić Talent (Serbia), Dalibor Martinis (Croatia), Radenko Milak (BIH), Mladen Miljanović (BIH), Biljana Đurđević (Serbia), Dušan Otašević (Serbia), Vedran Perkov (Croatia), Vessna Perunovich (Serbia/Canada), Lala Raščić (BIH), Selma Selman (BIH/USA), Kamen Stoyanov (Bulgaria/Austria), Predrag Terzić (Serbia), Jelena Tomašević (Montenegro/BIH), Vuk Ćuk (Serbia), Jusuf Hadžifejzović (BIH), Jasmina Cibic (Slovenia/Great Britain)

Selector: Sarita Vujković

The jubilee 30th Nadežda Petrović Memorial, titled South, South! Let’s Go South! is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, is the oldest and one of the most important exhibitions of contemporary visual art in Serbia. The concept of the Memorial is an expression of the wish to fashion one of the former Yugoslavia’s major biennial art events as a place of reunion, congregation and get-together, and of peculiar interaction between contemporary art and the public in the context of its special 60th anniversary. The concept is based on the number 30, with 30 participants (28 artists and 2 art groups) from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia andMontenegro. The exhibition is structured in a way that seeks to account for the artists’ theoretical, artistic and geographical contexts; it thus considers their different positions in the artworld, their inclusion in or exclusion from mainstream art, socialisation and urbanisation, marginalised groups and migrations, accenting the particularity of their individual stances.

Given its scope and relevance, the exhibition South, South! Let’s Go South! will take place at eleven different venues across the City of Čačak, of which six galleries (Nadežda Petrović Art Gallery; Risim Gallery; Cultural Centre; Intermunicipal Historical Archives; National Museum; Master Jovan Obrenović Residence) and five public spaces (Roman Square; Roman Baths; City Park; Official Gazette/Službeni Glasnik bookshop window; raised platform in front of Cultural Centre).The name of the exhibition evokes a popular exclamation that epitomises Serbia’s industrial development and modernisation at the turn of the 19th century, which took a southward direction, around the time when the first railway was built through the Sićevo Gorge, bringing along the participants of the First Yugoslav Art Colony in 1905. Further, the prefix ‘južni’,‘southern’, is contained in the word Yugoslavia, and is also part of many other expressions that attest to the need to migrate and move, due to Nature’s laws as well as those of ecosystems, or different cataclysms – of war, economic or other kinds of trauma. The natural need for the South has been superseded by the tendency to go West for a full range of human needs – those for safety, economic, educational, intellectual, cultural and artistic needs – a daily indicator of the state of things in our society.

The visual identity of the 30th Nadežda Petrović Memorial is linked conceptually to the Čačak Rubber Tree (Ficus elastica), the longest and oldest southern tree in the Balkans, which has freely grown for fifty years, spreading and taking over the interior of the Cultural Centre. This rubber tree, undoubtedly the most unusual identity marker of the city, has been growing in special conditions, by feeding on culture. Its abundant treetop and lush fleshy foliage, speared and intertwined with endless outgrowths, looks like a rhizome with a myriad of lateral shoots, reminiscent of Deleuze and Guattari’s rhizomatic discourse, quite related to the context of contemporary art practice.