The exhibition Women’s Stories at the Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art aims to present and affirm the status of young women artists in the local art scene. Unburdened by the history of feminist activism and the socio-political struggle for women’s rights and equality, these young authors are facing personal struggles and re-examining their own identities, as women and as artists. In this exhibition, Gorana Bačevac, Svetlana Bulatović, Sanja Ćopić, Andrea Dramićanin, Jelena Pantelić, Nadežda Kirćanski and Tijana Radenković are showcasing works that re-examine the position of women from the perspective of women artists through personal narratives, which centre around ‘women’ as category of social identity. Furthermore, their analysis re-examines ‘women’ as an allegory, as a subject and an object of sexual fantasy and desire, either in the context of an introspective relationship or as a product of contemporary consumer driven society of spectacle. At the same time, this social system that hails young women as a societal ideal, often times lead them to auto-destruction. In this context it is particularly important to hear the stories and stances of young women, and how they perceive current women’s issues, that are in fact social issues. Some of the works in the exhibition highlight the conflicting situation of women artists, who not only perceive themselves as subjects that speak freely in a patriarchal social system, but also as objects of personal and social critique. The selected artists are characterized by a unique sensibility towards the society they live in – their empathy, apathy, emotionality and affinity for an intimate approach toward oneself and others can also be understood as a marker of their status as women. Each artist in her specific way brings forth her vision of the contemporary woman and artist, while uncovering all the complexities of these terms.
Throughout the 20th and 21st century there has been an abundance of interpretations and polemics related to issues of women, women artists and their status, researching and revalorising the position of women artists in art history, and interpreting current artistic practices of women artists. The question of female representation in museum collections, and more generally their visibility in the contemporary art scene has been a prevailing topic for some time in international discourses. Despite great strides toward the emancipation of women and gender equality, evident in the first, second and third waves of feminism and in the development of feminist studies, women still face barriers within patriarchal socio-political state-run systems.
Regardless of their emancipation, the status of women is still inferior in economic, educational and cultural terms. The activism and the fight for women’s rights has served as the impetus for feminist art, which is characterized by the examination of the socio-political status of women in culture and society, the status of women as artists, their psychology, sexuality, fantasies and the realization of their ambitions within the social collective. There is artistic production by women artists that advances feminist values and beliefs. However, the formal and substantive structure of these artworks can in certain cultural contexts be interpreted as not strictly feminist but specifically female. This is the case with the majority of works in this exhibition that bring forward a new form of female expression in contemporary artistic practice.
Gorana Bačevac (1992) completed her bachelor and master studies at the Sculpture Department of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade. She is the winner of the 2017 “Stevan Knezevic” award for drawing. She has solo exhibition in Belgrade and participated in group exhibitions in Serbia and abroad.
Svetlana Bulatović (1993) completed her bachelor and master studies at the Sculpture Department of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade. She is the winner of “Beta and Rista Vukanović” award for the 2016/17 school year. She participated in two solo and several group exhibitions.
Sanja Ćopić (1992) completed her bachelor and master studies at the Sculpture Department of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade. In her first year of studies she received the award for Best Portrait Sculpture and during her last year the “Perspective” award. She is the winner of the competition for video art “Body as a regime”. She participated in more than 25 group and three solo exhibitions in the country and abroad.
Nadežda Kirćanski (1992) completed her bachelor and master studies at the Sculpture Department at Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade. Currently, she is a PhD candidate of Art Studies at the same faculty. She is the 2018 winner of the “Dimitrije Bašičević Mangelos” Young Visual Artist Award, the 2017 “Sreten Stojanović” award as well as the 2018 award for drawing of the “Vladimir Veličković Foundation”. She participated in 3 solo exhibitions and over 20 group exhibitions in the country and abroad.
Andrea Dramićanin (1990) graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade, on Department of the Sculpture. The last semester of the Master’s Degree ended at the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Paris as a scholar of the French Government. The winner of the award “Beta and Rista Vukanović”, “Sreten Stojanović”, “Ilija Kolarević” and “Stevan Knežević”, as well as the awards from the Vladimir Veličković Foundation. She had solo and group exhibitions in Belgrade, Sarajevo, Paris, Dusseldorf, Ontario…
Jelena Pantelic (1992) graduated at the Sculpture Department of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade. She is expected to receive her master of degree from the same faculty at the end of the year. As part of her master studies, she spent a semester at the National School of Fine Arts in Paris in 2019 as a French government scholar. She is the winner of the “Sreten Stojanovic” award. She exhibited at group exhibitions in Serbia and abroad.
Tijana Radenković (1991) graduated at Painting department of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade. In 2017, as part of her PhD studies, she was an exchange student at the Faculty of Arts and Design, Department of Intermedia in Bratislava, Slovakia. She has participated in several group and solo exhibitions in Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Italy, Germany. She was also a participant of several festivals and art colonies.