Geography of Gestures

City of Belgrade / Department of Culture
City of Florence / Council for Public Education
University of Arts in Belgrade
Florence Academy of Fine Arts

support / collaboration
Italian Cultural Institute, Belgrade [link]
Swiss Cultural Programme, Belgrade [link]
Biro from Belgrade [link]
CANGO Cantieri Goldonetta Firenze [link]
Contemporary Art Gallery / Cultural Center, Pancevo
Center for the Arts Terra [link]
Noc muzeja / The Museum Night, Belgrade[link]
BIS Recycling [link]



The Belgrade edition of the Outside Project 08 has included workshops, lectures and public events dedicated to observation and study of urban space, material culture and environment. This year, aside from Belgrade, the program has included activities in Pancevo and in Kikinda . The participants in the program, as previous years, were the students from the Florence Academy of Fine Arts and their colleagues from Belgrade and Novi Sad.

Virgilio Sieni , a Florentine artist and the founder of the Cango' , a space for theater and multimedia production, as a guest artist in the Outside program lead a workshop on gestures, that questioned the relationship between urban space, architecture and identities. The workshop focused on a particular area of New Belgrade, Blocks 45 and 70, with the intention to create through observation, as well as through organized or spontaneous social encounters, a particular map of a territory based on body language and daily itineraries.

The New Belgrade Blocks built in the 1960's and early 1970's represent an urbanistic attempt to accomodate a large number of working families and provide plenty of social space in between the modern modular architectural forms. The Blocks were often seen as an example of architectural ugliness, a periphery deprived of a cultural potential, yet with the transformation of economic and political systems the Blocks nowdays appear as carriers of relevant cultural information and a case-study of a contemporary Belgrade identity.

The workshop has been proposed as a continuity of a previously developed project by Virgilio Sieni, an observation of gestures in some Florentine areas inhabited by traditional artistans (wood carvers, shoe makers, metal smiths etc). The results of Sieni's workshop were presented in the final exhibition at the ex-Turkish Baths. The workshop was given logistic and creative support by a cultural association Biro Beograd.

Events dedicated to environment and recycling took place in collaboration with the Gallery of Contemporary Art and the Cultural Center in Pancevo , as well as with the support of the BIS Recycling , a leading Serbian company in the field of recycling of electronic equipment. With the intention to present the importance of economic, cultural and esthetic potential, as well as resourcefulness of waste, a special workshop was organized involving creative use of materials obtained from an electronic waste depository. This workshop, led by the Florentine professor Angela Nocentini , focused on the creation of wearable outfits and objects, made of computer parts, cables, rubber, nylon, etc. Aside from BIS Recycling, materials were donated also by the Belgrade companies Centar Boban and Ekoservis.

The choice of Pancevo has been certainly strategic for this town's serious envirnomental problems given by the presense of problematic and insufficiently controlled petrol industries in its immediate surrounding. The workshop was held publically in the Gallery of Contemporary Art, and it included interaction with the citizens, jounalists and artists who came daily to meet the students.

The final events included a photo-session at the Gallery in Pancevo and a fashion show in Belgrade, held at the ex-Turkish baths, as part of the manifestation the Museum Night.

The fashion show and the final students exhibition have been seen by approximately 2.000 visitors.


Check out more Outside Project video documentation on Youtube [link]

A workshop dedicated to EARTH , was held in a fascinating space of the Center for the Arts Terra , in Kikinda, once a brick factory (built at the end of the XIX Century) now used for an annual sculpture symposium. The workshop was led by Francesco Roviello and it included a participation of Edoardo Malagigi , both professors at the Florence Academy. The founders and activits of the Center Terra presented their current work and plans of regional cooperation , as well as an ambitious project for a unique museal and educational structure planned for this location. The workshop was given an important support by a Belgrade professor Marko Ladjusic from the Faculty of Applied Arts. The workshop was focused on finding ways to connect the material culture (the artisan skills, the actual substance of clay) with a culture of communication (values of regional exchange, crossing borders, public space).

Edoardo Malagigi also produced an installation piece at the Terra garden, a 15x8 meters large map of the world, made out of clay rubble and remains of unfinished or broken sculptures. This work is planned to be installed in a permanent location yet to be decided.

As in previous years, the introductory part of the Outside program included lectures on history and urban space, as well as visits to museum collections and places of particular interest for our program. In this part of the program (directly linked to the workshop by Virhilio Sieni) several lecturers took part: Irina Subotic, University of Art in Novi Sad, Milan Prodanovic, University of Art in Novi Sad, Zoran Eric, curator of the Belgrade's Museum of Contemporary Art, and Nikola Suica University of Arts in Belgrade.

These lectures included themes of urban identities in transitional societies, the construction of identity in relation to architecture and urbanism, utopias, a relationship between cities and rivers, spaces of collective memories and collective oblivion.

Strategies of international networking and cultural activism (promotion of personal liberties, mobility, difference) have beed presented through the activities of Biro Beograd , in a lecture held by Vladan Jeremic .

Most lectures were held at the lecture hall of Dom Omladine (except Irina Subotic, who held her talk at the Kalemegdan Fortress).

Vera Erac, a psycologist active in numerous workshops that link theater production with the problems of ethnic and social marginalization, had organized a visit to a Roma settlement under the Gazela bridge in Belgrade, as well as a talk with the inhabitants.

Dejan Kozic, director of the Society for support of persons with special needs "Stari grad", which is located at the Studentski square in the downtown Belgrade, welcomed a group of students and held a talk about institutional and cultural problems faced by persons with various forms of mental and physical handicap in Serbia. He also talked about his recent visit to Florence, along with a group of young people with special needs and students of drammatic arts from Belgrade as part of a special Outside program (April 2008). The Florentine students then took part in a workshop dedicated to movement and dance designed for persons with mental disabilities, held at the Center for Culture Stari Grad, organized by the Center's director Ljubica Beljanski Ristic.

A conclusive meeting with the Florentine students held the last day of our program has confimed the importance of this kind of international exchange. An opinion generally shared by both students and lecturers expressed that the workshop and seminar based events that take place in stimulative urban environments tend to transform into a particularly valuable experience in art education. Projects of exchange that are accomplished through dynamic programs, encounters with real life situations and with problems of local comunities involve the art student in poetic and creative reasoning on a wide rangde of problems of cities as carriers of identity in new Europe. The presentation of a local culture, when proposed out of the context of cultural competition, but instead through the expressed needs and actual complementing of experiences, reveals itself as potentially the most efficient model of formulating a comprehensible and realistically concieved identity.

The Outside Project is organized by Belgrade's Center for International Studies of Arts (CMUS) in a partnership with the University of Arts in Belgrade, Florence Academy of Fine Arts, US university program SACI in Florence. It is accomplished according to a Protocol, signed by (aside from the previously mentioned institutions) by the City of Belgrade / Culture Department and the City of Florence / Public Education Department. Over 200 students from the two cities took part in the program since 2005, as well as numerous artists and lecturers.

Center for International Studies of Arts (CMUS), the organizer of the Outside Project is a member of ENCATC (European Network of Cultural Administration Training Centers). The Outside Project has been presented at the UNESCO Conference on Art Education held in Lisbon, March 6-9, 2006. The author of the Outside Project concept is Dejan Atanackovic, an artist who lives and works in Florence and Belgrade.


Morphosis / Recycle & Wear, fashion show at the ex-Turkish Baths
Morphosis / Recycle & Wear, fashion show at the ex-Turkish Baths
Morphosis / Recycle & Wear, photo session at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Pancevo
Morphosis / Recycle & Wear, photo session at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Pancevo
Morphosis / Recycle & Wear, fashion show at the ex-Turkish Baths
Virgilio Sieni: Geography of Gestures, opening at the Italian Institute for Culture
Meeting with Virgilio Sieni as part of his workshop Geography of Gestures
Zoran Eric, lecture at the Belgrade Youth Cultural Center
Visit to the BIS Recycling, Pancevo, collecting materials for workshop
Morphosis / Recycle & Wear, photo session at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Pancevo
Morphosis / Recycle & Wear, photo session at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Pancevo
Morphosis / Recycle & Wear, photo session at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Pancevo
Francesco Roviello at work. Center for the Arts Terra, Kikinda
Meeting with Dragan Jelenkovic at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Pancevo
Angela Nocentini at work, Morphosis Recycle & Wear workshop, Pancevo
Center for the arts Terra, Kikinda, ex-brick factory built in 1800's
Center for the arts Terra, Kikinda, ex-brick factory built in 1800's



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