Curator: Ms. Mirjana Dabovic
Artists: Amdi Bambur, Ana Matic, Ana Gardasevic, Biljan Kekovic, Dino Karailo, Drasko Dragas, Gordan Kuc Igor Rakcevic, Irena Lagator Pejovic, Ivanka Vana Prelevic, Jovan Mrvaljevic, Katarina Svabic Draskovic, Lazo Pejovic, Marija Kapisoda Jovanovic, Olivija Ivanovic, Ratko Odalovic, Srdzan Vukcevic, Suzana Pajovic Zivkovic and Vladimir Dzuranovic
(On the specific traits of contemporary expression on the art scene of Montenegro )
During the last few years the Montenegrin art scene, a small one but always active and very dynamic, has experienced a powerful development that could be understood as a form of keeping pace with current world trends - being that to the better or the worse. Several representative group exhibitions have confirmed that this m lieu has the ability, will ingness, talents and capacities to show the quality that can even up with current trends in internationa l scopes.
A l though hardly anyone in the world expert public, as well as in Montenegro to a considerable extent, questions freedom nor sets formal limits in artistic expression there still continues to exist certain separation among observers while approaching various artistic forms. Most frequently, the taste of the wider public is focused on a particular type of works, a clearly recognizable and understandable art vocabulary. The inevitable discourse on the relation between the pictorial , semantic, conceptual , artisanship or pure technique still brings the public to separate artistic from the, so called, un-artistic experiences, while insisting on the “nonintervention” of formally different matters. It is probably because of the size of the scene and local inclinations to extreme positions that sometimes an impression of confrontation between these two approaches is formed while, at the same time, this confrontation is related mostly to different opinions and not poetics.
To what extent are different perception, emotional impact or the experience of the concept of artistic - often meaning atypical and provocative – possible in our local scopes and in which manner should the domestic scene be presented in international circles? An attempt to work out this discourse is made through presenting the works of artists engaged in both areas, not aiming at forming judgments or comparing quality but making the observer try out his own senses, his sensibility and to show, if it is possible on such a small sample, all the variety as well as coherency of the Montenegrin art scene.
Authors represented here mostly be long to the younger generations who add onto experiences acquired through formal education by means of artistic practice and investigations in various techniques. Conditions that influenced their formation for some were cramped and restricted to local scopes - all of this was caused by the known events that occurred during the 90s on the Balkans. Neverthe less, such a form of “handicap” did not influence the diversity and complexity of their production. On the contrary, they were very successful in overcoming the trap of creating “art in a closed society” and they have clearly shown, through their individual poetics, that they are breaking off from traditionalism, a fact that directly led to the creation of a very serious new scene that has gradually joined contemporary international tendencies. By using highly creative and conceptually thought-out statements, these authors easily combine techniques, passing from one to another, adapting them to the idea – this being an established experience common in considerably more developed milieux it could also be interpreted as a confirmation of maturity. While exploring they are moving in two different directions. One group of authors is involved in the analysis of social circumstances thus commenting on the condition and atmosphere in which they live and create. Those are serious, stratified social criticisms clothed in gentle irony, expressed in a pleasant, often very harsh language. Paintings, reliefs, photos are only means which point out the evident distortion of contemporary life conditions, globalization problems, transitional cracks, culture popularization…
The other group of authors constructs worlds of their own, worlds in which – through imaginary figures and appearances – they re-examine their own existence, penetrating deeply into their beings through analytical introspection. Quite particular shapes and forms that remind of amazing underground worlds, mechanisms and creatures from another civilization or associate with distant primitive cultures actually are different aspects of defensive mechanisms that are used for an easier overcoming of the “gloomy reality”.
A l though restricted by specific circumstances the Montenegrin art scene presented through this “clip” clearly speaks about the maturity and stability of serious, referable personalities who, through their individual poetics, demonstrate the ability to be an equal segment of the general corps on the global art scene. The observer is to judge on his own if there is a need to continue making difference between forma l expressions or just to comprehend more completely the relation between a definite artistic concept and the manner of its completion.
Mirjana Dabovic, Curator
Contemporary Art Museum , Podgorica