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Excerpts from the Life of the Graphic Collective - before and during the Pandemic


The Graphic Collective, nowadays considered an NGO, was founded in 1949, by and based on the initiative of five young artists, all of whom later became eminent professors (1). As early and/or a mere 70 years ago, the Graphic Collective (2) established a professional status and high standards in artistic printmaking within the national culture. Apart from playing a pioneering role in the promotion and education in the field, the Collective affirmed a living artistic practice with its avantgarde program, becoming a quintessential point in the fine arts’ scene of former Yugoslavia; soon after it became noticeable in the international scene as well. It managed to withhold its status as a cultural paradigm even through the many political and societal turmoils, especially in these decades of transition. But our fortunes turned. Due to the law of restitution, we lost our Home in 2018, the famous gallery space; today, we have an office space and work as a Gallery in Motion, presenting our program in various other gallery spaces and internet platforms. (3)

Still, the new social/cultural/economic/medical circumstances caused by the pandemic affect our daily practices and thwart our plans, priorities and values, questioning categories such as time and speed. Due to good fortune, and hopefully some credit, we got a new address in december 2019, a 360mᒾ downtown gallery space, which promises a rich array of programs (exhibitions, workshops, gatherings, a printmaking workshop, a permanent exhibit, etc) (4). We are currently going through the usual administrative/architectural labyrinth, and the pandemic seems to be slowing down the process. In due time, we are going to continue our usual activities and international cooperation in the new space of the Graphic Collective, in Dragoslava Jovanovića St. no.11.

We are living through a shared experience of the Covid 19 pandemic, which has rendered the realization of many cultural programs even more difficult than usual, and the Graphic Collective is no exception. Seeing as our long lasting relationships with artists, critics and friends from all over the world have become an integral part of the Collective’s identity, we are certain that the strength and effectiveness of our cooperation will remain resilient even in these circumstances of global crisis.

In spite of everything, it is vital to continue creating and nurturing the vibrant relationships between the artist, the critic and the audience. In this time of uncertainty, what remains certain is the online presence of the International Symposium “Printmaking at/behind the Edge”.

It is with trust in the power of dialogue and the strength of our cooperation that we pose the questions of the creative vitality of this medium. This 2020/2021 Symposium is a form of continuation of the International Printmaking Symposium “Printmaking at the Edge”, held in Belgrade in 2009, which marked the sixtieth anniversary of the Graphic Collective. The new circumstances brought a wider selection of participants: in 2009. 13 artists represented their ideas, whereas in 2021. we invited 45 artists, theoreticians, critics and art historians from 17 countries in Europe, Asia and North America to participate in this exchange of ideas and critical discourse.

The decade-long break calls for a critical approach and questioning of the position of artistic printmaking in the current art scene. Our idea was for each participant to represent their understanding of the current position and relevant topics in the printmaking world through text, video, statements and other forms. Digital communication and social media seem to be on our side, as a sort of extended life in these extraordinary circumstances (5). This form restarts the sensitive psyche with its various tones, expands the flow of virtual information, while at the same time nurturing the humane, cultural and fluid relations, as well as the ethic and aesthetic values that the Graphic Collective’s mission has been based upon for over 70 years (6).


1. Founders: Boško Karanović, Mirjana Mihać, Dragoslav Stojanović Sip, Dragoljub Kažić and Mile Petrović
2. The interior design of the Graphic Collective Gallery in Obilićev venac 27 was the work of Predraga Peđa Ristić
3. The Collective celebrated its 70th birthday in 2019. The focus of the celebration was the monograph The Imprint of Time, which can be downloaded on our website: https://www.grafickikolektiv.org/html/pdf/Graficki%20kolektiv_Otisak%20vremena%20-%2070%20godina_LR.pdf
4. by decision of the Government and Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia
5. IMPACT 11, international art event focused on contemporary printmaking will be held this year in Hong Kong in virtual form
6. The Symposium is presented in Serbian and English on our website, Zoom platform and a PDF version of the publication are planed, and hopefully a printed version of publication will follow


           

       

International Symposium Printmaking at the Edge. Printmaking and its Borderline Areas in the 21st Century, Hall of Тhe University of the Arts in Belgrade 2009, May 27-28 Belgrade


The orientational questions posed to the participants on the 29th of July 2020 left space for flexibility and various approaches and ideas

-What is the position of printmaking today, in 2020?

-Has printmaking “crossed” the edge of the medium or expanded/built a new field of action?

-The ethical, aesthetic and communicative role of printmaking and visual arts in the age of global change and crisis.

-The role, scope and position of printmaking in the context of artists’ poetics, curatorial practices and institutional programmes in your professional environment.

-The importance of international biennials /triennials dedicated to printmaking.


The original idea of organizing the Symposium in the second half of 2020 was ambitiously conceived, but the new circumstances of our Covid reality called for changes in the work dynamic. Organizing the large selection of visual and textual materials had to be a group effort, involving editorial work, translation, programming, and presentations. Despite the delay, the Symposium Printmaking at/behind the Edge will be held in the Spring of 2021, with the same amount of enthusiasm and critical thinking we initially brought. It will open up a new space for future discussions around the topics of fine arts printmaking and its position within the visual arts scene.




International Symposium PRINTMAKING AT/BEHIND THE EDGE -
presentations of the participants:



Lidija Antanasijević,   Milica Antonijević,


Irma Balakauskaitė,   Zoran Banović,   Michel Barzin,    Peter Bosteels,


Ljiljana Ćinkul,


Ješa Denegri,   Zoran Dimovski,


Miloš Đorđević,


Dragana Franssen Bojić,


Marija Grahovac Karan,


Victor Manuel Hernández Castillo,


Jelena Jocić,


Sylvie Karier and Anne Heyvaert,    Mikael Kihlman,   Sohee Kim,


Jo Ann Lanneville and Élisabeth Mathieu,   Nebojša Lazić,

Ingrid Ledent,


Milena Maksimović Kovačević,   Ondřej Michálek,    Vladimir Milanović,

Ahmed Modhir,    Fanny Moens and Régine Rémon,


Christopher Nowicki,


Ruth Pelzer-Montada,


Nebojša Radojev,   Slobodan Radojković,


Xenophon Sachinis,   Marija Sibinović,    Maja Simić,

Jelena Sredanović,    Valentin Stefanoff,   Lilijana Stepančič,

Jacek Szewczyk,


Breda Škrjanec,


Slavko Timotijević,   Sanja Tomić,    Vicky Tsalamata,


Vladimir Veljašević,   Biljana Vuković



Curator and editor: Ljiljana Ćinkul
Project associates:
Translators - Vanda Perović, Svetlana Radivojević, Maja Simić, Vesna Strika, Vesna Radojev, Snežana Ristić, Dunja Karanović, Mila Stamenković
Material editing - Jelena Krstić, Elija Friganović, Natalija Stokanović
Logo - Vedran Eraković
Web presentation - Miroslav Sapundžić



 

 

 
 
 
 
   
Grafički kolektiv , Kosančićev venac 19, Belgrade
tel: +381.11.3285.923; tel/fax: +381.11.2627.785
working hours 12-18, Closed on Saturday and Sunday