A(u)ction – Novi Sad’s Log of Spaces Between Personal Interests and Public Needs

cement_kartolinaA(u)ction – Novi Sad’s Log of Spaces Between Personal Interests and Public Needs
13. December 2010 – 8. January 2011.
Gallery SULUV, Bulevar Mihajla Pupina 9, Novi Sad

Opening of the exhibition: Monday, 13. December 2010, 19:00h

Second part of “A(u)ction”: Wednesday, 22. December 2010, 19:00h: launch of the newspaper “Cement”, the publication of the “A(u)ction” project, and composition of the “Dictionary of Urban Dilemmas” with participation of prominent contributors from the public and cultural scene of Novi Sad

Youth Center CK13, Vojvode Bojovića 13, Novi Sad

„Visions are a terribly important category for a society in transition; they are easily changeable and depend on different factors, but they also depend on the capacity of the municipal government, on some intellectual and on every other capacity to look into those problems and to try to stay faithful to one of those visions.”

A(u)ction – Novi Sad’s Log of Spaces Between Personal Interests and Public Needs reveals the current conflictuous reconfiguration of living space and urban culture of Novi Sad. It investigates the field of play that defines some of the most remarkable dynamic, non-regulated and disturbing changes of the city. Who are the players, for whom do they play, can we recognize the strategies on which they base their actions and how do this reflect to the public interest?

Novi Sad is seeing a significant transformation in recent years. New districts have been built, large (housing) investments have been made – illegal or not, infrastructure is being laid out, while cinemas are lacking, military locations within the city will be put on auction, and the Petrovaradin Fortress and its city quarters are on the verge of capitalization in the name of tourism. All this takes place while entire society is passing through a structural, political and ideological transition for which the guidelines are drafted on the go in an atmosphere of uncertainty. Novi Sad, possibly even more strongly than other cities in its wider region, embarks on a speculative course amidst muddy waters in which the motives, the gains and the responsibilities of the partakers are unclear.

The exhibition “A(u)ction” presents in the SULUV Gallery the recent changes in the city through more than 125m2 of data, over 215 striking facts about Novi Sad and over 250 entries about regional changes. The information is gathered from a/o 17 interviews with prominent urban actors, among which Jelena Atanacković-Jeličić (member of the City Council for Urbanism and Protection of Human Environment), Srđan Crkvenjakov (assistant director of the municipal company for public spaces), Jovan Đerić (assistant at the Architecture Department, University of Novi Sad), Živko Grozdanić (director of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina), Boris Gigov (former director of Zvezda Film), Ružica Jovanović (urban planner), Kreativna zadruga (Slobodan Jović, Aleksandar Lukić), Svetozar Krstić (journalist), Živan Lazić (journalist), Darko Polić (Municipal Planning Authorities Novi Sad), Vladimir Mitrović (director of the Museum of Vojvodina), Darko Reba (chief of the Architecture Department, University of Novi Sad and co-owner of the construction and engineering company Gardi), Civic Association Almašani (Aleksandar Cvetković, Marijan Majin, Miloš Višković) and Siniša Žarin (owner of the leather accessories manufacturer The Manual Co.).

The exhibition “A(u)ction” also presents an investigation of media reports over the last two years and an atlas of 10 exemplary cases in the recent development of Novi Sad. These include the privatization of Zvezda Film, the developments around the Chinese Quarter, the privatisation of military terrains, citizens’ initiatives, wild building and legalization, and the developments around the Petrovaradin fortress – to name a few.

Inescapably one is to question: what is next. It seems that Novi Sad finds itself on a turning point. In this moment of global economic crisis – but also of local saturation, because of which construction business will not any longer be a leading branch of economy – it has become evident that aside dominant market aspects, the participation of professionals, artists, architects and manifestly citizens is necessary for the development of its failing public content. “A(u)ction” points out that today the future of the city depends on personal and privatized interests, while the role of the public sphere as its binding element has become evidently urgent – for our common future.

A(u)ction – Novi Sad’s Log of Spaces Between Personal Interests and Public Needs is a project of New Media Centar_kuda.org (www.kuda.org) and STEALTH.unlimited (www.stealth.ultd.net).

Research and the atlas of case studies: Aleksandar Bede, Branka Ćurčić, Ana Džokić, Svetozar Krstić, Marc Neelen, Zoran Pantelić, Borka Stojić and Nataša Vujkov

Support: Kristian Lukić, Gordana Nikolić and Orfeas Skutelis
Graphic design: Predrag Nikolić

The project is supported by: Swiss Cultural Programme in the Western Balkans, City of Novi Sad, Fond for Open Society Belgrade, Republic Serbia – Ministry of Culture / Sponsor: Halogen

Exhibition: Gallery SULUV

A(u)ction – Novi Sad – Opening

“A(u)ction” is part of the “Cities Log” research series investigating the contemporary development of cities in the region of Post-Yugoslavia and Albania. The first edition of the Cities Log has been made on the occasion of the “4th Tirana International Contemporary Arts Biannual” (2008). “A(u)ction” and the “Cities Log” are part of two broader, collaborative, regional projects: “Individual Utopia Now and Then” (utopia.pro.ba/), and “IntoOUTREACH” (www.kuda.org/u-iz-ka-za). The “Dictionary of Urban Dilemma’s” takes place in the framework of “Ko Gradi Grad” (www.kogradigrad.org).