The COVID-19 pandemic has been exceptionally challenging for the art world. International travel, visits to museums, galleries, live discussions and exchanges between art professionals were replaced by virtual tours, webinars, online meetings, various forms of internet presentations and art events. In light of these uncertain circumstances but also of the opportunities offered by new forms of art creation and communication, the Austrian Cultural Forum Belgrade is launching an online platform dedicated to the dialogue between Austrian and Serbian artists.
This platform is conceived as an exhibition space for thematic and curated art content. In the initial phase, it will host artworks by 10 visual artists from Serbia and 10 from Austria, selected through an open call.
The call invites artists to submit artworks in digital form that shed light on the way European societies look at themselves and ‘the other’. The title ‘Na drugi pogled // Auf den zweiten Blick // At Second Glance’ calls for works of art that reference and transcend the clichés and prejudices Austrians and Serbians have about each other despite – or precisely because of – their close historical relations and intertwined migration histories.
In rethinking what is taken for granted, the works of art themselves should point to something different from what they seem to be at first glance, opening up this ‘second glance’ to the audience.
The public launch of the online platform is planned for March 2021, to mark the 20th birthday of the Austrian Cultural Forum Belgrade and the 185th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Austria and Serbia.
The call is open to contemporary visual artists over the age of 18 with a minimum of three years of professional experience who are Serbian or Austrian citizens or who currently live and work in Austria or Serbia. Each artist whose artwork is selected will receive a fee of 600 euros.