The seminar held in April 2002 in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade under the title “Curating in Transition” gathered participants from 17 countries whose joint features are that they all are undergoing the process of political, economic and cultural transition and that they belong to the geopolitical space of East Europe. Four thematic units have been defined in the course of the work on conceptualizing the show as dealing with the respective problems of: public representability of art (city@org); mediation of all visual experiences by the media (Remote without Control); the body as an index of cultural changes (Difficult Body); and the role of art in reconsidering symbols and shifting their meaning (Reinterpretation of Symbols).
Difficult body is a syntagm created by combining the term difficult image, indicating a certain traumatizing content, and the body, one of the most important topoi of contemporary art and theory. The works presented in the show stem from the experience of violence, repression, war and identity politics, as well as theoretical articulations of the body and body art. Artistic approaches are already polarized at the level of whether they frame the body as a physical experience or as a site of representation. The works range from an installation showing organic processes of rotting away, transgressive bodily experiences and the ritual body of performance art, to questioning the social norms related to the body, its figures, images and identifications. Bringing together trauma, image and body, the difficult body points to different relations that the presented works form in relation to these concepts.
Exhibition participants of the Difficult Body segment: Marijan Crtalić (HR), Alen Floričić (HR), David Kareyan (AM), Elena Kovylina (RU), Siniša Labrović (HR), Stevan Markuš (RS), Ljubomir Milošeski (MK), Jelena Radić (RS), Jelica Radovanović (RS), Boris Šincek (HR), Zoran Todorović (RS), Vasilij Tsagolov (UA), Margarita Zinets & Alexander Vereschak (UA)
Organisers: BAZA / Belgrade Art Initiative and Museum of Contemporary Art
Project concept: Zoran Erić (RS), Stevan Vuković (RS)
Mentors: Lóránd Hegyi (HU/FR), Henry Meyric Hughes (UK), Bojana Pejić (RS/DE), Igor Zabel (SI)
Curators of the Difficult Body segment: KONTEJNER / Olga Majcen & Sunčica Ostoić (HR), Danica Minić (RS), Nadya Prygodich (UA)