Danube Dialogues 


Charles Merewether (GE), Adeline Kueh (SG), Tomohiro Okada (JP), Vuyisile Mshudulu (ZA), Nataša Teofilović (RS), Sanja Kojić Mladenov (RS), Venelin Shurelov (BG), Nadezhda Dzhakova (BG), Diana Marincu (RO), Slavica Popov (RS), Sava Stepanov (RS), Svetlana Mladenov (RS)

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The epochal crisis and tension of the world is caused by the action of „raging capitalism“ because large corporations and their owners have turned the whole world into their own resource – equally (ab)using people and nature – not once caring about the fate and future of the entire population. The conference is looking for an adequate reaction and response of art. In that sense, a re-actualized sentence by the Serbian and Yugoslav writer of Jewish origin Oskar Davičo (1909-1989) seems fitting: „The search for man is the only valid philosophy today, the only sustainable philosophy!“ Such an attitude requires the artist to imply the obligatory affirmation of the separateness of art, in addition to critically „commenting“ on the current reality; insisting on respecting cultivated aesthetic systems and essential ethical principles – so that the work of art would become a meaningful refuge and a kind of „safe haven“ for the (wo)man of our time. At this current moment in time, the motto of the Serbian and Yugoslav writer of Jewish origin, Oskar Davičo’s (1909-1989), expressed six decades ago, claims re-newed relevance: „The search for man is the only valid philosophy today, the only sustainable philosophy!“ Since, art becomes (remains) a space of human refuge, a kind of „safe haven“ for preserving the universal dialectical meaning; it should be „a support to the human soul that suffers eternally“.

Dr. Charles Merewether: Dr. Charles Merewether is an art historian, author and curator who lives in Tbilisi, and has worked in Asia, Australia, Europe and the America. He is the author of many exhibitions and publications, including Born in Edinburgh, he received his BA (literature) and PhD in art history at the University of Sydney. He taught European modernism at University of Sydney (1981-84), Universidad Iberoeramericana, Mexico City (1986-88), Universidad Autonoma in Barcelona (1992), the University of Southern California (2000) and was a visiting Professor at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (2014) and Baptist University, Hong Kong (2015).

Adeline Kueh: Adeline Kueh makes installations, photography and embodied works that reconsider the relationship we have with things and rituals around us. Her works are imbued with a sense of desire and longing, and act as modern-day totems that explore personal histories and overlooked moments. Using drawing as a conceptual tool, Adeline tries to map out the historical trajectories across time and space through her use of found objects and new production. Lives and works in Singapore.

Tomohiro Okada: Tomohiro Okada is an interdisciplinary creative and innovation developer, researcher, and policymaker, Director of Creative Cluster. Since 1995 he has been active in electronic media and creative innovation in Japan especially promoting young talent in new media art, interaction design as a researcher, producer, curator, writer and organizer of numerous creative productions, and policy designs for government and institutions for economic and industry and culture affairs.

Vuysile Mshudulu: Vuysile Mshudulu is an art historian, writer and curator who has worked in Australia, Europe and America. He was the curator of the collections at the Getty Center in Los Angeles from 1994 to 2004. He was the artistic director and curator of the 2006 Sydney Biennale, and a senior research associate at the Center for Intercultural Research, Australian National University. He has taught at several Universities, and has published and translated many works.

Nataša Teofilović: Nataša Teofilović is a visual media artist and associate professor at the Faculty of Media and Communications ‘Singidunum’ in Belgrade. Her artistic approach evolved from neo-conceptual art in early 90’s to digital art of new century which merge art, science and technology. She won an honorary mention award in the Prix Ars Electronica 2016, an honorary mention award at the international competition for digital art of the European Organization for Nuclear Research– CERN (Geneva) and the Ars Electronica festival. She is the author of the first book published in Serbia that explores the theory and practice of the 3D character animation.

Sanja Kojić Mladenov: Sanja Kojić Mladenov is a PhD, curator, art historian and researcher in the field of recent artistic practice, media and gender. Graduated History of Art at the Faculty of Philosophy, Belgrade and completed Msc and PhD Interdisciplinary Gender Studies at the University of Novi Sad. Senior Curator at the MOCAV,Novi Sad. Curator of Serbian Pavilion on 54th Venice Biennale, which won the UniCredit Venice Award. Author and curator of many thematic exhibitions and research projects in Serbia and abroad.

Nadezhda Dzhakova: Nadezhda Dzhakova is PhD. Art historian, critique, curator, and head of the Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art, Bulgaria. Her research areas are contemporary art, museum’s practice, curating, and audience development. She is the author of numerous books and articles related to art. She has initiated national and international projects with more than 100 exhibitions in the field of contemporary art. She is a guest lecturer at the University of Architecture (Sofia).

Diana Marincu: Diana Marincu is a curator and art critic. She holds a Master Degree in History and Theory of Art from The National University of Arts in Bucharest. She is a Ph.D. student at the same university, conducting a research on curatorial discourses on identity and periphery, built around some geographical criteria in big exhibitions and biennials. On Fiction and Reality, representing Romania at the 56th edition of the Venice Biennale. She is artistic director of Art Encounters Foundation.

Slavica Popov (1976): Slavica Popov graduated from the Department of Art History, Faculty of Philosophy, Belgrade. Since 2008 she has worked as a curator at the Contemporary Gallery Zrenjanin, where she participated in the creation, organization and realization of exhibitions of contemporary art and creating an image of Contemporary Gallery Zrenjanin and its promotion in public. As curator of the art collection of the Contemporary Gallery Zrenjanin works on the professional processing of museum material.

Sava Stepanov (1951): Sava Stepanov art critic, graduated at the Faculty of Philosophy, Belgrade. Worked in Gallery of Matica Srpska, Photo Gallery, Centre for Visual Culture Zlatno Oko and Institute for Culture of Vojvodina. Author of numerous exhibitions, and participant in many symposiums. Editor of Fine Arts and illustrative material in the Encyclopedia of Vojvodina VANU. He has written several books and monographs on contemporary art and artists and won several awards. He lives and works in Novi Sad.

Svetlana Mladenov: Svetlana Mladenov art historian, critic and curator. She is the author of many art events, exhibitions, festivals, actions, meetings, workshops. She was director of the Gallery of Contemporary Art and the Centre for Culture in Pančevo and the curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina in Novi Sad. She is member of AICA, ULUPUDS, Serbian Association of Art Historians. Founder and Director of the Association for Visual Arts and Culture VISART. Lives and works in Novi Sad.