ABOUT WEBSITE: The Green Lights is an annual exhibition hosted by the graduating fine art students of Minerva Art Academy. It serves not only as an assessment during which the students aim to get their ‘green light’ to graduate, but as an opportunity to independently create a public exhibition. Faced with the challenge of bringing together 55 unique practices, we’ve based this year’s Green Lights around the Art Spectrum, a compass navigating different positions, approaches and cultures within the fine arts. Where do we stand? What does it stand for? These are the questions we raise rather than answer as we try to materialise the complex and diverse ecosystem of the art culture.
ABOUT THE ART COMPASS: The Art Compass is based on the well know political compass, as it provides four extreme artistic positions as the boarders of the fluid space in between. On the horizontal axis the attitude of the artist toward their practice is defined as between craft and concept. These two well known and often scrutinised labels have in this case a more suggestive nature, indicating whether the concept, idea, message is prioritised over the technique, medium, skill or vice versa. The vertical axis defines the position of the artist towards the art world. From the white cube, gallery culture and the art market making up the inside, to alternative non-art spaces and practices challenging the boarders of art from the outside, the artists occupy positions based on how much they conform to or rebel towards the established art institution.
The interaction of the axis creates four areas - inside concept, outside concept, outside craft and inside craft - each representing an artistic subculture in which specific values, opinions, movements and artworks exist.
Although seemingly opposite, the two directions of each axis are more often than not intertwined, and so the artist might assume different positions along the axis at different times, in relation to different works, or they might assume a wide area of the spectrum within which their practice exists.
MILA JANKOVIĆ - "…BUT MS. YUMI, I FEEL LIKE A HALF."
in the kafana there is one woman drinking rakija. she is behind the bar, she is the performer, she is standing a step behind the seated men. she's in the coffee she just brewed, the patterns of your sweater, in the chatty women's circles. in a past, she holds a gun, she's on the stage of the antifacist womens rights movement, her hair is covered by the same patterns as your sweater.
and then she's the queer, in a crop top and there's still glitter on her cheeks from last night. she's serving 'turkish' coffee to her friends. all of it happens between those grey walls and on the other side the neighbours never sleep we all feel so tired, but it's alright. there's a serenity to knowing nothing will change within your lifetime.
some light makes into the room and this is what it means - the tenderness and the violence and how they are a part of each other. we drink coffee and we laugh, and there is life. there are still no jobs, nepotism is always on the rise and the streets are still full of potholes. our world is still on fire but there is life here.
and we can’t forget that the girl serving coffee - her face is mine, it’s my mothers. it’s my grandmothers.
I’ve found that I cannot put the past down, so instead I will carry it with me. Can it be more than a burden, perhaps even a place of possibility? Something fluid instead of static, where new narratives can be created and interwoven. My own background (as ‘queer’, as ‘balkan’, as ‘woman’) left me with a fragmented history and a story of the past that is told for me. A story in which I can never be more than one of those identities. An experience that is not exclusive to me, and one that leaves me wondering if it's possible to ever be whole. So, I treat my archival images as little fragments, interpreting and reassembling them, until it’s a story of my own.