The Museum of Applied Arts in Belgrade and the Department of Art and Design of the Department of Architecture and Urbanism of the Faculty of Technical Sciences in Novi Sad invite you to a regional symposium


The theme of this conference is due to the development of curatorial and artistic practices of scene design within the Prague Quadrennial (1), one of the most important events in the world dedicated to scene design and performing space, and from the point of view of evaluation and critical thinking of all segments of professional theater production in Serbia and the region.

The immediate reason is the desire to reconsider the need to re-establish the Biennial of Scene Design, an event founded by YUSTAT (2) and the Museum of Applied  Arts in Belgrade. The Biennial of Scene Design was established in 1997 and lasted until 2007. (3)

The most significant legacy of the Biennale is the School, first established within the Center for Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Studies launched in 2000 at the University of Arts in Belgrade, and later at all three levels of studies in the field of scene design, which have been conducted since 2013 at the Faculty of Technical Sciences in Novi Sad. The founding of the School also led to the establishment of scene design as a professional practice.

Another important legacy of the Biennale is certainly the change in the way Serbia is represented at the Prague Quadrennial. Thanks to a specific approach to curatorial work and exhibition practices, Serbia’s performance in 2015 Prague Quadrennial was awarded the Gold Medal for initiating dialogue. Since 2007, when Yustat (and later the Museum of Applied Arts and Scenes) took over the presentation at the Quadrennial, the support of the performance has been sought in the problematic approach and thematization of the work, and not in the review of the best theatrical achievements.

Recognizing the need to evaluate real theatrical production, we want to start a conversation about the new, redefined Biennial of Scene Design, which, in addition to theater, will be able to include various formats of non-theatrical and exhibition practices of scene design. The symposium is dedicated to individual observations, but also to the attempt to jointly map phenomena in the field of professional work in theatrical, non-theatrical and exhibition practices of scene design in Serbia and the region. The aim of the symposium is to discuss the situation on the scene with the aim of establishing a new, regional platform in the field of scene design.

17/12/2020, 12.00

Dragan Protić (SRB), architect
Igor Vasiljev (HRV), set designer
Maja Mirković (SRB), costume designer and scene designer
Dušan Kaličanin (SRB), activist of creative industries
Moderator: Radivoje Dinulović, architect

The thematic session Biennale Lessons was conceived as an exchange of experiences, impressions, opinions and views on six manifestations of the Biennial of Scene Design, which were realized in the period between 1996 and 2006. The participants in the conversation will not be those who created and led the Biennale, but the authors who were at the time very young, yet participated in the Biennale and (or) were awarded. Like the Biennale itself, this conversation will primarily focus on theater and all the practices that build it – from scenography and costume design, through light and sound design, applied performing arts and crafts, to scene architecture and various means of communication between the theater and the public. However, equal attention will be paid to the phenomena of non-theatrical spectacle, as well as artistic and curatorial practices of scene design that were discussed and realized at the Biennale. The purpose of this meeting is not to valorize what has been achieved, but to help establish a relationship between what the Biennale could be in the future, why and with what goals, by intersecting the views of authors who are currently building a central flow of scene design in Serbia and the region needs to be restored.

17/12/2020, 15.00

Siniša Ilić (SRB), visual artist and set designer
Monika Ponjavić (BiH), architect, scene designer, theatrologist, film and TV critic
Marko Golub (HRV), art critic and curator
Filip Jovanovski (MKD), visual artist and cultural worker
Miodrag Kuč (SRB), architect
Aleksandar Brkić (SRB), cultural manager
Moderator: Mia David, architect and curator

During the last fifteen years, within the framework of the Prague Quadrennial, a number of changes have taken place in the way of exhibiting theatrical art, some of which have often been criticized and rejected. These changes led to distancing of the Quadrennial from what it once was. Instead of exhibiting factual documents of theatrical production, the Quadrennial turned to the creation and exhibition of completely new works of art, which reopened the question: how to exhibit (theatrical) experience in general? Within the panel, we talk to people who presented their work at the Quadrennial, but also at events of a similar nature. In addition, the topic of conversation will be different curatorial practices, as well as ways of presenting theatrical, non-theatrical and artistic practices of scene design.

18/12/2020, 12.00

Sodja Lotker (SRB / CZE), playwright and director, Academy of Performing Arts, Prague
Ana Martina Bakić (HRV), architect and set designer, Faculty of Architecture, Zagreb
Ivana Knez (HRV), architect and set designer, Faculty of Architecture, Zagreb
Pavle Stamenović (SRB), architect, Faculty of Architecture, Belgrade
Sanja Maljković (SRB), set designer and architect, Faculty of Technical Sciences, Novi Sad
Radivoje Dinulović (SRB), architect, Faculty of Technical Sciences, Novi Sad
Moderator: Mia David, architect and curator, Faculty of Technical Sciences, Novi Sad

Many active creators in the field of scene design also work in education. Within the panel, we will talk to some of them, about their experiences and how they see the role and importance of education in modern society. We will ask them what it means for them personally, but also professionally, to work with young people, whether professional practice can be changed through education, but also wider, whether a new value system can be established through education, influence the direction of society development. In this way, we want to problematize the main topic of the panel – can the school, as an educational institution, be a space of freedom, a place of avant-garde, if not (and why not) and revolutionary thinking and action, a place of resistance to ruling forms of knowledge? And finally, can the practice of scene design teach us something in that?

18/12/2020, 15.00

Nikola Radosavljević (SRB), visual artist
Una Jankov (SRB), scene designer and costume designer
Lana Pavkov (SRB), film director
Moderators: Jelena Ivančević and Danijela Matović, fourth year undergraduate students of Scene Architecture, Technique and Design

New tendencies noticeable in the work of young authors on the contemporary art scene will be the topic of discussion within the panel The Future of Scene Design. These tendencies indicate the need to establish a new dialogue and relationship with the audience, as well as with the context in which the authors, our interlocutors, create. Through the conversation of three visual artists and three students of scene design, the question of the future of exhibition practices and the possibility of intertwining different artistic practices and scene design will be opened. We will try to answer the questions: how can different visual media, depending on the idea, establish a relationship with the exhibition practice of scene design; whether the context in which artists create is an occasion or an obstacle to creation; how our interlocutors see the future of exhibition practices as a whole.

19/12/2020, 10.00–12.00
Workshop: New Year (home-based)
Age of children: 7-12 years, the presence of parents is desirable
Workshop led by Dragana Pilipović

Applications for the workshop are sent by e-mail, no later than December 16th.

Aware that the attitude towards the past, as well as the future of professional practices in the field of scene design depend on the youngest, we dedicate the final part of the symposium to them. Online workshop Who wants to play with us: Scene design from the perspective of the youngest ones will provide an opportunity for our youngest participants to stimulate imagination and creativity and, through the game, to enter the magical world of theater and architecture.

The workshop is a product of many years of work of Scen (Center for Scene Design, Architecture and Technology) on the construction and popularization of educational formats for children in the field of scene architecture and design.

Opis radionice:

Workshop participants will have the task of designing a space to celebrate New Year’s Eve. The frame for the realization of the task is a cardboard box, which should be of approximate dimensions from the maximum 50x50x50 cm to the minimum size of the shoe box. In order to be able to see the built space, it is necessary to remove / cut one side of the box (or remove the lid).

The materials from which the child will build the elements inside the box are all materials that can be found in the household: toothpicks, barbecue sticks, straws, wires, twine, thread, baking paper, kitchen cellophane, aluminum foil, medicine boxes, cotton wool, small boxes from food products, cardboard rolls of napkins or toilet paper, nylon bags, cloth, various harder and softer papers and the like. Use scissors, duct tape, glue or stapler to connect and process the elements. A flashlight, Christmas tree lights or a mobile phone flash can be used as a light source.

Our idea is to try to create an imaginary space through three hours of online socializing, using simple elements and light sources, and in that way we see the space in a reduced size and proportions.

Novi Sad, 2020.
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