Contemporary Balkan Art (CoBA) presents their latest exhibition Interruption at LIBRARY, St Martin’s Lane, London. Interruption features over 40 paintings, sculptures, photographs, prints and graphics, never exhibited in London, from 17 artists who will bring Balkan's rich artistic philosophy to Great Britain.
This exhibition extends CoBA’s focus on the individual creative work of contemporary Balkan artists, who are best known for their social commentary and unique understanding of various absurdities of modern life and politics. The Balkan transitional period, from the collapse of Yugoslav socialism to the present day, can be characterized by various forms of interruption including fragmentation, economic uncertainty and rapid cultural and demographic changes. The pressures of dynamic fluctuations in world politics, including the phenomena of Brexit, Trump’s presidency and Europe’s increasing move to the political right, bring the ‘Balkan experience’ ever closer to the mainstream.
All of the artists, in their own way, review relationships in the context of specific geographical and cultural area of the Balkans, whether they are from Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Bosnia or Montenegro. For the first time, CoBA has carefully selected artists-neighbors whose work is characterized by a common self-reflection, which is a result of social conditions and political processes of the Balkan society which they inhabit. The exhibition explores the effects of various interruptions on the self-perception, but also on the more personal scale from impersonality of social media, existential difficulties arising from a multi-faceted national identity, male feminism to the relevance of the pagan tradition and superstition and, lastly, brutalist architecture. These are all categories that permeate the space of the former socialist states, where such questions are still widely explored. On the other hand, there are artists whose works reveal humoristic appropriation of codes of popular culture. In some artworks, there are notable positions towards the content highlighting intimate and everyday moments, recorded in the form of a light and somewhat abstract humor.
The exhibition features sculptures, photographs, prints and graphics from 17 artists created using techniques and media including oil/acrylic on canvas, oil on aluminium, pencil/charcoal on paper, watercolour, silkscreen and concrete. The artists represented by this exhibition are: