Belgrade Art Action group SKART began their residency with a retrospective exhibition at SPACE.
Dragan Protic & Djordje Balmazovic started working as Skart in 1990. They distribute poetry, music and making as a mode of communication. In the early 1990's as Yugoslavia started to break up, Skart sent poems to residents of Belgrade, read statements on the radio and gave 'lost and found' booklets of poems out to people on the streets as part of "The Sadness Project" which was SKART's public declaration of personal sadness during the winter of 1992-93.
In 2000, they initiated the choir Horkeskart, inviting Serbian arrangers, composers, and performers to take part in performances of Yugoslavian socialist songs and hardcore punk. The choir continues to grow and perform.
Their 2009 residency took place in Stoke Newington over a 6 week period with Family Mosaic Housing Association tenants. Tenants also took part in public events in the gallery at SPACE. Works produced during this time are being installed in the housing association building.
Poetry Will Be Written By All*
A programme of events in the Gallery during May supporting Skart’s retrospective exhibition: On the Origin Of Wishes
Artists Djordje Balmazovic and Dragan Protic, who form the core of the art activist collective Skart, believe that the gallery should not be treated as an ‘art archive’ to be accessed only by the cognoscenti. During their residency in London the artists created a place of exchange for uncurbed and unspent creativities with the aim of gathering participants who were interested in open communication of their artistic and non-artistic skills. In a cross between stand-up show and art presentation, visitors could opt to watch, discuss or participate in Skart’s collaborative processes.
Thursday 7 May (as part of First Thursdays)
Skart led an informal session in the gallery which included actions, embroidery and poetry. They also spoke about their current residency project with Family Mosaic Housing Association tenants.
Thursday 21 May
Open Poetry Festival
This was the last chance to meet the artists before they returned to Belgrade. An informal ‘stand up’ event where everyone can perform, Skart’s ‘open festivals’ are distinctive not only for the popularity they have in Belgrade but in so far that any proceeds from these festivals go towards publishing the poetry and giving away copies to the visitors of the following event. The artists presented new wotk from their residency with tenants at Bells project, Stoke Newington.
“Poetry will be written by all” is a quote by Branko Miljkovic, an iconic young Yugoslavian poet, one of the leaders of the Neo-Symbolist movement which aimed to bring together Surrealism and Symbolism. His literary career was interrupted by his untimely death at the age of 27.