The exhibition Cut – line- print is the result of studying the artworks from the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade and placing them in a specific thematic-interpretive relationship with contemporary art practices and production.
The exhibition’s title refers to the phenomenon of graphics as an artistic medium, which became increasingly prevalent in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in the interwar period with artists recognizing its potential for more direct criticism of the socio-political reality, more immediate communication with the general public, and quicker distribution of socially engaged messages. Graphic art implied more than an artistic expression that opposed the bourgeois Modernist painting dominant at the time; it was also a means of political struggle, of advocating for the ideas of the left and raising class awareness, and it enabled many artists to thematize and problematically reexamine the socio-economic contexts of the everyday life of urban and rural populations, i.e., their difficult and often inhumane living and working conditions. The position of the artist as a chronicler, critic, contemporary – fellow soldier in the fight for a better and fairer world marked a shift in society’s perception of the role of art and an open attitude towards different types of artistic association, organization, collective action and ideological connection with the workers’ and revolutionary political movement into a united anti-capitalist and anti-fascist front at the dawn of World War II.
Nearly a hundred years later, the socially engaged art of the late 1930s and the 1940s, in the works of some contemporary artists and art groups present on the local, regional and international scene, represents a crucial reference field for ideological and formal-stylistic starting points in their critical examination of today’s local and global socio-political circumstances and trends. In their works, artists see the re-actualization of the mentioned artistic heritage as an opportunity to discuss the current state of human freedoms, the workers’ material status, social and manufacturing relations, and the consequences of neoliberal policies in the domain of everyday life and art from the perspective of a particular historical experience. For the art community, the reflection of historical examples of artistic and social engagement also remains essential in discovering new modalities of collective work, further democratization, socialization of art and expansion of its emancipatory potential. Within the exhibition’s framework, in Cut–Line–Print, contemporary artists introduce in their research processes the imagery of the socially engaged art of the interwar period or the graphic art medium itself in various ways, emphasizing its progressiveness and relevance in problematic considerations of the current, very complex (geo)political socio-economic circumstances using visual and fine art techniques and approaches related to the performing arts. In the exhibition, contemporary artists have contextually interpreted graphic prints and several paintings from the MOCAB collection from the mentioned historical period through works that range from murals, drawings, graphic sheets, and objects to performance acts and photo documentation.
The audience will see around 100 artworks by the most famous artists from the museum’s collection: Đorđe Andrejević Kun, Marijan Detoni, Sergije Glumac, Prvoslav Pivo Karamatijević, Mirko Kujačić, Oton Postružnik, Maksim Sedej, Bratislav Stojanović, Đurđe Teodorović, Antun Zupa, and contemporary artists Vladan Jeremić & Rena Rädle, Siniša Ilić, Bojan Đorđev, Darinka Pop Mitić, KURS (Miloš Miletić and Mirjana Radovanović), Milica Ružičić and Nikola Radosavljević.
Curators of the exhibition: MA Mišela Blanuša and Miroslav Karić