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Transcultural Connections seminar at SMK (National Gallery of Denmark)

November 5, 2022, 8:30am

The exhibition Connections—Danish artists from the former Yugoslavia is on display at SMK – The National Gallery of Denmark through February 2023. The seminar Transcultural Connections: Art in socialist Yugoslavia/Art in today’s Migrations will take place against the backdrop of this exhibition. The lecture schedule, however, is more concerned with the artistic, cultural, and historical contextualization of the exhibition’s artworks from a larger transcultural viewpoint than it is with the individual works on display.

Thus, the seminar’s objectives are to introduce the audience to the creative and cultural history of the former Yugoslavia and to highlight the potential for transcultural art to challenge ideas of cultural and national identity. A one-day seminar program with talks by researchers, artists, and curators from Denmark and beyond will discuss this dual approach.

The morning session will be devoted to a few of the major trends that influenced the socialist Yugoslavian art scene. Through two keynote speeches, the audience is introduced to this rich and intricate 50-year period. Branislav Dimitrijevi’s Yugoslav Socialist Modernism and the Other Line and Zdenka Badovinac’s Community work of Neue Slowenische Kunst from the 1980s and the early 1990s.

The afternoon session focuses on transcultural perspectives on art and migration. The discussion will begin with Heidi Vad Jnsson providing a historical overview of Danish migration developments from 1960 to the present and highlighting the idea of a welfare state in a globalized society. She is followed by talks on curating contemporary art shows with diverse cultural links from Sabine Dahl Nielsen and Irfan Hoi. Hoi will draw on his curatorial expertise from the Biha, Bosnia and Herzegovina-based KRAK Center for Contemporary Culture, where a large portion of his work focuses on art that addresses migration, diaspora, and belonging. Dahl Nielsen will discuss global art initiatives addressing elements of cultural plurality from a transcultural perspective, with the Berlin-based Savvy Contemporary serving as her primary case study.

The two sessions indicated above will each feature a creative presentation. Rena Rädle will present a talk about the artistic endeavor Ironworks ABC in the morning. This project, which was completed in partnership with Vladan Jeremi, revives the socialist past of the Sisak Ironworks sculpture colony and explores the potential of the ideology of work connected to self-management. In the afternoon, Damir Avdagi will give a presentation on his artistic practice, which deals with historical trauma and its impact on ex-Yugoslav groups living abroad through generations.

The University of Copenhagen’s Anne Ring Petersen and Tea Sindbaek Andersen will serve as the seminar’s moderators. The first session will be moderated by Sindbk from the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, while the second one will be moderated by Ring Petersen from the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies.

The seminar is a collaboration between SMK – The National Gallery of Denmark and the University of Copenhagen. It was made possible with the generous support from the Danish Arts Foundation, The Obel Family Foundation, Novo Nordisk Foundation and Centre for Modern European Studies (CEMES).

Seminar fee: 123 DKK (including refreshments and lunch)


8:30–9am: Arrival, registration and morning coffee/tea.

9–9:10am: Introduction to the seminar by Tijana Miskovic (PhD fellow at the University of Copenhagen and SMK – The National Gallery of Denmark).

9:10am–12:30pm: Session I—Art in socialist Yugoslavia (includes breaks)
Yugoslav Socialist Modernism and the Other Line by Branislav Dimitrijević (Professor of History and Theory of Art at the College of Art and Design in Belgrade).

Communal Work of Neue Slowenische Kunst in the 1980s and early 1990s by Zdenka Badovinac (Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb).

Ironworks ABC by Rena Rädle (artist).

Discussion moderated by Tea Sindbæk Andersen (Associate Professor at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen).

12:30–1:30pm: Lunch

1:30–4:30pm: Session II—Art in today’s migrations (includes breaks)
Also a question of moral leadership by Heidi Vad Jønsson (PhD in History, University of Southern Denmark, Studies in History and Social Sciences).

The Art Space as a Site of Transcultural Encounter by Sabine Dahl Nielsen (PhD in Modern Culture and Cultural Dissemination Department of Arts and Cultural Studies at University of Copenhagen).

Between the two worlds by Irfan Hošić (Professor of Art History at the University of Bihać and Artistic Director of the KRAK Center).

History, memory and inter-generational transmission: Selected works by Damir Avdagic by Damir Avdagić (artist and educator).

Discussion moderated by Anne Ring Petersen (Professor at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen).

4:30–5pm: Closing
Questions from the audience, and closing by Tijana Mišković.

SMK (National Gallery of Denmark)
Sølvgade 48-50
DK-1307 Copenhagen
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm,
Wednesday 10am–8pm

T +45 33 74 84 94
[email protected]