08.05.2013 - UNESCO Venice Office

Second edition of the Biennale of Contemporary Art, D-0 ARK Underground in Bosnia and Herzegovina

© D-0 ARK Underground /Tito’s nuclear bunker

The exhibition, officially opened on 26 April, is taking place in the space of the Atomic shelter in Konjic, 45 km south of Sarajevo, known as Tito’s atomic shelter. The shelter occupies a space of 6.500 square meters and consists of twelve connected blocks. The Biennale of Contemporary Art, D-0 ARK Underground, on display until 26 September, aims to protect it and keep it preserved with the help of artists and their artworks.

Once an atomic shelter, meant to be impervious to the outside world, the place has become a space for dialogue and openness. UNESCO has been a supporter of this event, as a platform for exchange between contemporary artists from South East Europe and beyond.

At the end of 2010, UNESCO supported the establishment of the Biennale as a powerful tool for promotion of intercultural dialogue and tolerance in South East Europe. The first Biennale realized in 2011 was supported by UNESCO under the umbrella of its Joint Programme  on “Improving Cultural Understanding in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, which sought to improve cross-cultural understanding, endorse the country’s unique multicultural identity, and promote its cultural industries sector. The partner countries were Serbia and Montenegro and there were 44 participating artists; most of the artworks are still exhibited at the shelter.

UNESCO has granted its patronage to this second Biennale. On the occasion of the 10th Summit of Heads of State of South East Europe, Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, had the opportunity to visit the underground complex and was most impressed by its activities. UNESCO is committed to encouraging creativity and the arts as a means of driving innovation and human development, while also enhancing mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence. Croatia and Turkey are partner countries of this year’s edition of the Biennale curated by Basak Senova and Branko Franceschi, who have their paired curatorial statements under the titles “Time Cube” and “The Castle” and selected 35 international projects.

Regardless of constructed histories and collective memories, remembering means jumping from one sequence to another. Each reading guides towards a new reality and each reality illuminates a new path to discover curves, waves, missing details, obscured secrets, and disguised opinions. By navigating through sequences of time, “Time Cube” aims at dwelling in past and future memories by reconstructing narratives; experiencing diverse realities simultaneously; connecting the temporal with the spatial; and, processing the evidences of fiction and fact together.

Following the same line of thought, “The Castle” focuses on the unnerving sensation of paranoia, doom and egotism emanating from the inversion of the ancient concept of fortress to the underground haven for the political and military elite of the Cold War era and its contemporary transition into the tourist attraction.

Participating Artists include: Adel Abidin, Alban Muja, Alfredo Pirri, Almin Zrno, Apparatus 22 and Studio Basar, Armin Linke, Autopsia, Banu Cennetoğlu and Yasemin Özcan, Brian Dailey, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Carlo Crovato, Conor McGrady, Cynthia Zaven, Dalibor Martinis, Danica Dakic, Daniel Garcia Andujar, Dario Solman, Edin Numankadic, Edo Murtic, Emre Erkal, Ibro Hasanovic, Igor Bosnjak, Janos Sugar, Kim Cascone, Laibach, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Miroslaw Balka, Nenad Malesevic, Nemanja Cvijanovic, Renata Poljak, Paul Devens, Saeri Kiritani, Simona Dumitriu, Stealth.unlimited, and Yane Calovski.

Official Website : http://www.bijenale.ba/

Link: Address by Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of the signature of a statement of support to the Biennale of Contemporary arts 2013; Konjic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2 June 2012

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