PARTICIPATING ARTISTS: Lidija Delić, Nina Ivanović, Isidora Krstić, Iva Kuzmanović, Marija Šević, Sava Knežević, Nadežda Kirćanski, Andrea Dramićanin, Nemanja Nikolić, Nikola Grozdanović, Slavica Obradović, Milica Baltovski
Curated by Miloš Zec
Shared Meanings are a very basic aspect of our experience. Our lives are entangled in the lives of others, or, as Paul Ricœur writes, “the life history of each of us is caught up in the histories of others”. By participating with others in a shared horizon of meaning we inherit specific values respected within this horizon.
The proposal for the exhibition is built upon and through dialogue. Hannah Arendt posits that spaces and institutions of authority are established in each place where people get together to act and converse. Those who isolate themselves or do not take part in the common life voluntarily lose their voice and become powerless. Seeing self-organization as a process that challenges the fixed relationships our society is built upon – between individuals, groups and institutions – Shared meanings addresses the possibilities of different forms of collective artistic creativity.
We believe that the artist-run working model is one that maintains non-hierarchical modes of organization; the exchange of knowledge and resources; and one which conducts artists’ decision-making processes along the lines of open participatory models. Our understanding of the term “self-organized” within the context of art practices is that it shows how groups, collectives and other networks of individuals can operate independently from institutional and corporate structures.
But is this community-over-competition ethos viable and sustainable in the profit-driven contemporary art world? Do artists today merely come together in order to be more successful within the market, namely for the cause of greater visibility and higher presence within the dominant art eco-system, which is subsequently not even questioned? And how, if today’s corporative language already absorbed terms such as participation, collaboration and collectivity, can we still preserve the meaning of these words, since they were developed in opposition to all those values that corporate sectors stands for?
U10 Art Space is a self-organized artist-run collective space based in Belgrade. It has been operating as an independent actor since 2012 – in an environment where non-profit organizations barely exist and where the art market has still not become the main force driving the local art world. Social relationships, successful interactions, and participation are the driving force of U10 Art Space. Sometimes described as social artwork(s), artist run spaces revise the conventional professional image of an artist. They direct the attention to an artist as a social being, as well as to the production of art as a collective action. As an extension of this notion the exhibition brings together members of U10 collective (Lidija Delić, Nina Ivanović, Sava Knežević, Isidora Krstić (based in Vienna), Iva Kuzmanović, Nemanja Nikolić, Marija Šević) with five artists that they have specifically invited for this occasion (Milica Baltovski, Andrea Dramićanin, Nikola Grozdanović, Nadežda Kirćanski, Slavica Obradović). Working in a group, the twelve artists disclosed Shared meanings as a shape of assembly – where each voice contributes to the communication process. This discovery creates a dynamic structure without fixed points and constitutes a space to renegotiate fundamental aspects of the collaborative process, all of that whilst keeping in mind that collective work cannot be foreseen as a form but only as an effort.
 Artist-run Spaces: Non Profit Collective Organizations in the 1960s & 1970s; Edited by Gabriele Detterer & Maurizio Nannucci, Jrp Ringier, 2013