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Abuse of Power Comes as no Surprise (Bucharest, Romania)

December 13, 2017

My name is Mihaela Varzari, I am a contemporary art researcher from Romania based in London. Recently, I had a very unfortunate experience with the National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC) in Bucharest and its director, Mr.Călin Dan, which I consider a professional abuse.

In 2016 the museum launched an open call for projects. I was selected together with three other curators and researchers of contemporary art. My residency in Bucharest was initially to last for 6 months, however, it was shortened to 4 months by the museum which cited “meteorological conditions”. 

Two weeks before the 1st of May 2017, when I was supposed to begin the residency I received an email informing me that my residency was canceled because of budget cuts. I am not an expert on budgets, I believe any changes usually affect the following year, not the current one. I was not offered any explanations, or compensation to produce the show I was invited to do. It is important to note that the other 3 residents were able to finalize their projects. I consider this a discrimination against me.

After numerous attempts to contact Mr.Călin Dan through email, phone, face-to-face or my lawyer, I recently posted an open letter, which was finally answered. Since then numerous other people who had collaborations with the museum contacted me to share similar stories. I believe the director’s attitude demonstrates an abuse of power, compounded with an unprofessional attitude and lack of respect, not to mention disregard of basic ethical rules, especially since it is a public funded institution. This year, the museum launched a similar open call, without inviting me to participate.


My open letter on FB dd 22/10/17

Dear Calin Dan,

My name is Mihaela Varzari one of the 4 international curators and researchers in residence selected as a result of the open call launched in 2016 by MNAC under your directorship.

I was looking forward to carrying out my project in Bucharest when 2 weeks prior to the starting date I was informed (in a 2 line email) that my residency was canceled because of the budget. My many attempts to discuss alternatives with you didn’t get anywhere as you never endeavored to respond to any of my emails, letters or phone calls. I even met you face to face, by sheer coincidence, at an art opening, but you told me you were too busy to discuss my situation. Only once someone from MNAC called to let me know that it was not a cancellation but a rescheduling. Nothing was followed up, despite a number of emails I sent in the hope of getting the ball rolling.

I can’t help but think now that the promise of re-scheduling my residency was a tactical way of evading the problem altogether in the hope that I would eventually lose interest in pursuing this opportunity. My reaction to this cancellation and the treatment on behalf of yourself and your staff was one of immediate shock and disbelief. A publicly funded institution decides on a whim to discriminate against 1 of 4 residents (the other 3 residents carried out their respective projects) without feeling it at all necessary to offer more than a 2 line explanation and what transpired to be a false promise.

In preparation for my time in Bucharest, I had organized to sublet my room. As a result of the cancellation, I had nowhere to live for a month and was forced to stay at friends and pay for a room with Airbnb . The initial explanation was in relation to the budget but recently I just noticed that a new open call was launched my MNAC which indicates the opposite.

For any art practitioners who have encountered similar things or understand the ethical dimension, a national museum is bound by:

What avenues are there at my disposal for interrogating such unprofessional attitudes verging on abuse of power? Does MNAC have any responsibility to explain itself, especially since it’s a public institution when asked to? What kind of legal format does such a relationship between an invited resident and such institution can take? What about the social contract or just basic human decency?

P.S. If any of you are lawyers, please offer me some advice. Please feel free to share on FB, it would be great if this letter actually reaches them.


MNAC’s response on FB dd 23/10/17 (this letter is not signed by anyone)

Mihaela Varzari, the National Museum of Contemporary Art is consternated with the public stance you are undertaking regarding this issue, which only partially reflects the situation. As with all our residents, we were keen to have you as part of our team in 2017. Our team – the Director of Development, the Residency Program Coordinator, the Residency Program Caretaker and the Management Assistants had numerous conversations with you in order to make your residency happen. Despite extended negotiations, we could not reach a consensus on practical matters regarding housing, transport and the residency period – all necessary conditions required to draw a contract. During this laborious and unfruitful process, unexpected budgetary constraints forced the Museum to reduce the scale of the residency project. Since such issues were not raised by the other three residents, their contracts were signed in due time so that their projects could be carried out accordingly.

In conclusion, having failed to reach a consensus over a long period of time, the museum was forced to suspend your residency, in the context of unexpected cuts in our operational budgets. This was not an issue of discrimination, but the sole consequence of an agreement not being met at the administrative, legal and financial levels.

Additionally, it is common knowledge that in Romania there are no multi-annual budgets, which means that state institutions cannot finance projects from a year to another. Thus, the 2018 residency project call relies on an estimated budget for the following year.


Documentation of the performance, CATCH THE ARTIST (4th floor, all floors): 23 nov 2017

Artists: Gabriela Mateescu, Virginia Lupu and Valentina Iancu

Courtesy of MNAC (National Museum of Contemporary Art) facebook page, Bucharest, Romania

Performers (foto): curator Valentina Iancu & artist Gabriela Mateescu

Disclaimer: Iancu wears an armband with the words ‘Mihaela Varzari etc’ sewed with lilac thread on white cloth in solidarity with Varzari’s public open letter addressed to Călin Dan (director of the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania). Etc stands for the multiple cases of abuse of power and autocratic behavior of the director demonstrated in his relationship to ex-employees or collaborators of the museum.


This photograph has recently been removed from MNAC’s facebook page.

ArtLeaks Gazette Launch this Wednesday in NYC

November 13, 2017
Haim Sokol

Haim Sokol, Theses on the concept of history, 2013-14

We are very happy to invite you to the launch of the latest issue of the ArtLeaks Gazette at Blue Stockings bookstore (172 Allen Street) in NYC, on Wednesday, November 15th from 7-9:30 PM.

In addition to analyzing concrete practices and campaigns, this issue engages with relevant topics related to social rights, jurisdictions, legislatures and competences, in order to develop a critique of the neoliberal formats that have been for decades perpetuating across the globe. The gazette brings together those contributions which are able to question neoliberal realities, virulent nationalisms, and austerity regimes, considering not only overall conditions in the artworld but also local specificities.

The gazette includes texts by: The Art Handlers Alliance of New York, Mike Watson, Joshua Schwebel & Catarina Pires, Rena Rädle & Vladan Jeremić, Tihomir Topuzovski,  Haim Sokol, Corina L. Apostol, and Dark Matter Games (Gregory Sholette, Kuba Szreder, Noah Fischer & Marco Baravalle).

Visual works reproduced in the gazette are by: Anastasia Vepreva & Roman Osminkin, Haim Sokol, Gil Mualem Doron and Claudiu Cobilanschi

Editors: Corina L. Apostol, Rena Rädle & Vladan Jeremić

On November 15th, we would like to initiate an open discussion around social justice in the artworld, by highlighting topics of ArtLeaks Gazette#4 and relating them to urgent issues of art and culture in NYC and the US. 

Please forward this to your friends and colleagues who may be interested! 

This event is free and open to the public. 


Launch of ArtLeaks Gazette #4: Demanding Justice: Social Rights and Radical Art Practices (Belgrade, Serbia)

October 30, 2017

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Official launch of the latest issue of the ArtLeaks Gazette at The Salon of the Unbribables in Belgrade, at Polet on Saturday, October 21st 2017 from 4-6 PM.

ArtLeaks members in collaboration with The Salon of the Unbribables initiated an open discussion around social justice in the artworld, by highlighting topics of ArtLeaks Gazette#4 and relating them to burning issues of art and culture in Belgrade and Serbia.

The Association Independent Cultural Scene of Serbia (NKSS) strongly condemns the arrest of artists

October 27, 2017


The Association Independent Cultural Scene of Serbia (NKSS) strongly condemned the arrest of artists Vladan Jeremic and Uros Jovanovic, as well as the prevention of realisation of artistic performances during the evening of the official opening of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade (MSUB), judging it as a typical case of censorship.

“Given the fact that these were announced artistic actions that were non-violent, nor did they endanger anyone, it is obvious that this is a typical case of censorship, and this in front of an institution that should be the pillar of freedom of expression and respect for contemporary art which implies a critical attitude towards different social appearances and phenomena“, the NKSS Board of Directors announced on October 24.

According to NKSS, it is unacceptable that “members of the private security and the police prevent the realisation of an announced performance and arrest artists”.

“If private security and the police want to express their critical judgment or take on the role of the curator, they should announce it and be prepared to explain how they include the arrest of an artist in their curatorial practice”, the NKSS said.

The NKSS also estimates that the absence of a public reaction by the organizer of the seven-day opening program of the MSUB suggests that such operations of the security and police are acceptable and desirable.

Pointing to the constitutional ban on censorship in Serbia, the NKSS Association raised the question of the responsibility of those who took on the freedom to reverse the interpretation both of the Constitution and international conventions on freedom of expression ratified by the state.

At the same time, the NKSS called on the professional and wider public to sharply condemn the restriction of freedom of expression and to support the artists.



Asocijacija Nezavisna kulturna scena Srbije (NKSS) najoštrije je osudila privođenje umetnika Vladana Jeremića i Uroša Jovanovića, kao i sprečavanje izvođenja umetničkih performansa tokom večeri zvaničnog otvaranja Muzeja savremene umetnosti u Beogradu (MSUB), ocenjujući da je reč o klasičnoj cenzuri.

“S obzirom na to da je reč o najavljenim umetničkim akcijama koje nisu bile nasilne, niti su bilo koga mogle ugroziti, očigledno je da je reč o klasičnoj cenzuri i to ispred institucije koja bi trebalo da bude stožer slobode izražavanja i poštovanja savremene umetnosti koja podrazumeva kritički stav prema različitim društvenim pojavama i fenomenima”, saopštio je 24. oktobra Upravni odbor NKSS.

Prema navodima NKSS, nedopustivo je da “pripadnici privatnog obezbeđenja i policije sprečavaju izvođenje najavljenog performansa i privode umetnike”.

“Ukoliko privatno obezbeđenje i policija žele da izraze svoj kritički sud ili preuzmu ulogu kustosa, to treba da najave i da budu spremni da obrazlože kako u kustosku praksu uključuju privođenje umetnika”, navela je NKSS.

NKSS je ocenila i da izostanak javne reakcije organizatora programa sedmodnevnog otvaranja MSUB-a ukazuje na to da je takvo delovanje obezbeđenja i policije prihvatljivo i poželjno.

Ukazujući na ustavnu zabranu cenzure u Srbiji, Asocijacija NKSS postavila je pitanje odgovornosti onih koji su preuzeli na sebe slobodu da tumače suprotno i Ustav i međunarodne konvencije o slobodi izražavanja koje je država ratifikovala.

Ujedno, NKSS je pozvala stručnu i najširu javnost da takođe najoštrije osude gušenje slobode izražavanja i pruže podršku umetnicima.

Statement of the Unbribables concerning the arrests in front of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade

October 24, 2017


Art performances in front of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade on October 20 2017 led to the arrest of two artists. Vladan Jeremić, who is member of ArtLeaks and one of the organizers of the cultural event Salon of the Unbribables and Uroš Jovanović, an independent artist and performer, were arrested and brought to police station for interrogation. The police officers suspected them for “insulting the president”, which the artists said was not their intention. The state prosecutor decided to let them go after several hours of interrogation.

The performance, part of the program of the Salon of the Unbribables (, was staged in front of the museum. Visitors and guests coming to the opening of the museum were invited to wear a paper mask with an image in close resemblance of Serbia’s president Aleksandar Vučić, while handing out leaflets with only an image of a sandwich printed on it. The artistic action was positively received by most of the public that understood it as a visual metaphor of the structural situation most citizens of Serbia are living in.

The Government of Aleksandar Vučić, prime minister of Serbia since 2014 and elected president since April this year, has grounded its power on a system of nepotism, intimidation, “buying” of supporters through giving jobs and privileges to party members, mudslinging against political opponents and control over the media. At the same time, his rule is supported by many right-wing leaders of EU, U.S. and Russia as factor of stability in the Balkans. A system that can be named partocracy has led to an atmosphere, where raising a critical voice can turn your colleagues against you and finally endanger your job.

Under these circumstances, it is not surprising that private security staff controlling visitors at the entrance to the museum immediately reacted, when they detected the image of the president and flyers with sandwiches in some of their bags. Visitors, one of them being a visiting curator from Denmark, were treated very rudely and given over to the police for identity check. Vladan Jeremić, who came to the scene to explain that he was one of the organizers of the artistic performance using these props, was arrested immediately. Although curators of the Museum of Contemporary Art, who witnessed the arrest, tried to intervene and explained that he is a well known artist from Belgrade, Vladan Jeremić was brought to the police station for interrogation.

That in Serbia it’s not a good idea to create the slightest impression of having a critical stance towards the leader of the country, Uroš Jovanović, an independent artist and performer, experienced half an hour later. He was arrested when he tried to enter the museum with a giant golden framed photograph of the Serbian president with the statement: “Vučić – the best artist”. A few months ago, the image of the president indeed was an issue of discussion, when Minister of defense Vulin and Minister of education Šarčević proposed to put up his picture in public institutions and schools. The proposal was welcomed by Serbian Prime Minister Brnabić because, as she said, the cult of national symbols of Serbia should be strengthened.

The Belgrade Museum of Contemporary Art hosts a valuable collection of 20th century art from the region. Due organizational difficulties during the process of reconstruction of the building, it was closed for more than 10 years, a scandalous fact, which for the authorities still owe a comprehensive explanation to the public. With the re-opening of the museum, this cultural institution has the potential to become one of the platforms for the promotion of the progressive image of Serbia in Europe and the world. Though, the arrest of two artists in the context of it’s opening, even if only for interrogation, casts a shadow on the blank surface of the country’s political system that on paper protects civil rights, minorities and freedom of speech. Silencing critique about the actual effects of their social, economical and cultural policies through the declarative integration of liberal values is a mainstream tactical move of the New Right that establishes it’s strongholds across Europe and the U.S.

In Serbia, the integration of rightwing political goals with liberal values becomes evident for example in the cultural strategy for the country recently proposed by the cultural Ministry. This policy document includes a list of criteria that define what is Serbian culture, in Serbia and beyond. In almost every detail of the program, the integration of liberal values (cultural tolerance, democracy,…) legitimizes the pushing through of a highly problematic understanding of Serbian national culture. The preliminary document contains a catalogue of precise criteria rooted in folklore, national myths and national hardship, that have historically formed Serbian national identity, which needs to be defended from globalization. With such program, the cultural strategy fosters backwardness and re-tradicionalization of the population, while the economic politics of the government support the opening of the market to most primitive global investors looking for cheap manual labor and low taxes.

The Unbribables with this artistic initiative are aiming to break the public silence about the mental, psychologic and economic repression many citizens of Serbia are exposed to in their professional work, especially in the field of culture, media and education.

October 23 2017

For the Unbribables:
Nikola Radivojević, Rena Raedle, Vladan Jeremić and Tony Maslić

Photos and materials are free for use.

Nećemo kulturu klonova

Nećemo prodaju ljudi, zemlje, fabrika i kulture

Nećemo etno brendiranje nego kulturu za sve



Saopštenje Nepotkupljivih povodom privođenja ispred Muzeja savremene umetnosti u Beogradu
Umetnički performans ispred Muzeja savremene umetnosti u Beogradu, izveden 20. oktobra 2017, doveo je do hapšenja dvojice umetnika. Vladan Jeremić, član ArtLeaks-a i jedan od organizatora kulturnog događaja Salon Nepotkupljivih, i Uroš Jovanović, nezavisni umetnik i performer, uhapšeni su i odvedeni u policijsku stanicu zbog saslušanja. Policijski službenici su ih osumnjičili za „vređanje predsednika“, za šta su umetnici tvrdili da im nije bila namera. Državni tužilac je odlučio da ih oslobodi, posle nekoliko sati saslušanja.

Performans, deo programa Salona Nepotkupljivih (, izveden je ispred muzeja. Posetioci i gosti koji su došli na otvaranje muzeja bili su pozivani da nose papirne maske koje podsećaju na lik predsednika Srbije, Aleksandra Vučića, pri čemu su im bili deljeni i leci na kojima je bila odštampana samo slika sendviča. Publika je uglavnom pozitivno reagovala na tu akciju, shvativši je kao vizuelnu metaforu strukturalne situacije u kojoj živi većina građana Srbije.

Vlada Aleksandra Vučića, premijera Republike Srbije od 2014. i izabranog predsednika od aprila 2017. godine, zasnovala je svoju vlast na sistemu nepotizma, zastrašivanja, „kupovine“ pristalica dodeljivanjem radnih mesta i privilegija na osnovu partijskog članstva, blaćenja političkih protivnika i kontrole nad medijima. U isto vreme, njegovu vladavinu podržavaju mnogi desničarski lideri iz EU, SAD i Rusije, kao „faktor stabilnosti na Balkanu“. Sistem koji se mogao nazvati partokratijom stvorio je atmosferu u kojoj svaki kritički istup može da kolege okrene protiv vas i konačno ugrozi vaše radno mesto.

U takvim okolnostima, ne iznenađuje to što je privatno obezbeđenje, koje je kontrolisalo posetioce na ulazu u muzej, odmah reagovalo kada je uočilo slike sa predsednikovim likom i letke s nacrtanim sendvičima koje su neki nosili u svojim torbama. Posetioci, među kojima se našao i jedan gostujući kurator iz Danske, bili su tretirani na vrlo grub način i odmah prosleđeni policiji na legitimisanje. Vladan Jeremić, koji se umešao da bi objasnio kako je on jedan od organizatora umetničkog performansa koji koristi te rekvizite, bio je odmah uhapšen. Iako su kuratori muzeja i drugi radnici u kulturi, koji su prisustvovali tom događaju, pokušali da intervenišu i objasnili da je reč o poznatom umetniku iz Beograda, Vladan Jeremić je odveden u policijsku stanicu na saslušanje.

To da u Srbiji nije najmudrije ostaviti i najblaži utisak o posedovanju nekog kritičkog stava prema lideru zemlje, iskusio je oko pola sata kasnije i Uroš Jovanović, nezavisni umetnik i performer. Uhapšen je kada je pokušao da uđe u muzej sa fotografijom predsednika Srbija u zlatnom ramu, uz izjavu: „Vučić – najbolji umetnik.“ Pre nekoliko meseci, predsednikova slika zaista je bila aktuelna tema u medijima, kada su ministar odbrane Vulin i ministar obrazovanja Šarčević predložili da se njegov portret postavi u javne institucije i škole. Predlog je pozdravila i premijerka Srbije Brnabić, zato što, kako je rekla, treba osnažiti kult nacionalnih simbola Srbije.

Muzej savremene umetnosti u Beogradu poseduje dragocenu zbirku umetničkih dela iz XX veka iz ovog regiona. Zbog organizacionih poteškoća u procesu rekonstrukcije zdanja, muzej je bio zatvoren više od deset godina, što je skandalozna činjenica, čije potpuno objašnjenje vlasti i dalje duguju javnosti. S ponovnim otvaranjem muzeja, ta kulturna institucija ima potencijal da postane jedna od platformi za promociju progresivne slike Srbije u Evropi i svetu. Međutim, hapšenje dvojice umetnika u kontekstu njegovog svečanog otvaranja, makar samo zbog saslušanja, baca senku na čistu površinu političkog sistema zemlje, koji na papiru štiti građanska prava, manjine i slobodu govora. Gušenje kritike o stvarnim socijalnim, ekonomskim i kulturalnim posledicama politike koja deklarativno usvaja liberalne vrednosti, jeste taktički sračunat potez Nove desnice, koja pokušava da se uspostavi kao društveni mejnstrim i koja svoja uporišta gradi širom Evrope i SAD.

Integracija desničarskih političkih ciljeva sa nominalno liberalnim vrednostima, u Srbiji je postala očigledna i u kulturnoj strategiji zemlje koju je nedavno predložilo za raspravu Ministarstvo kulture Republike Srbije. Taj strateški dokument sadrži spisak kriterijuma koji definišu šta je to srpska kultura, u Srbiji i van nje. U skoro svakom detalju tog programa, integracijom liberalnih vrednosti (kulturna tolerancija, demokratija, itd.) se legitimiše nametanje vrlo problematičnog shvatanja srpske nacionalne kulture. Preliminarni dokument sadrži katalog preciznih kriterijuma ukorenjenih u folkloru, nacionalnim mitovima i nacionalnim stradanjima, koji su istorijski formirali srpski nacionalni identitet i koji treba odbraniti od globalizacije. S takvim programom, kulturna strategija teži da stvori nazadna i retradicionalizovana mišljenja kod populacije, dok ekonomske politike vlade podržavaju otvaranje tržišta za najprimitivnije investitore koji širom sveta tragaju za jeftinom radnom snagom i poreskim rajevima.

Nepotkupljivi su umetnička inicijativa koja za cilj ima razbijanje zida javnog ćutanja o mentalnoj, psihološkoj i ekonomskoj represiji kojoj su izloženi mnogi građani Srbije u svom profesionalnom radu, naročito u oblastima kulture, medija i obrazovanja.

23. oktobra 2017.

Za Nepotkupljive:
Tony Maslić, Rena Raedle, Nikola Radivojević i Vladan Jeremić

Foto i video materijali su slobodni za distribuciju. Credit: Neptkupljivi
Nećemo kulturu klonova

Nećemo prodaju ljudi, zemlje, fabrika i kulture

Nećemo etno brendiranje nego kulturu za sve

PSJM´s work CENSORED at the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations ( Marseille, France)

October 23, 2017

The «Asia Project» has been censored again. This time in Marseille and by a public institution that is subordinated to the French Ministry of Culture.

In July 2016 we received a loan request to participate with «Asia Project» in the exhibition «Nous sommes foot» [We are Football], curated by Florent Molle and Gilles Perez, in the Mucem (Musée des civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée). We sent the work from Bordeaux, where it was exhibited at the Musée d’Aquitaine during 2016. We signed a loan agreement in May 2017. In June we received the fees and, on two occasions, they requested from us details to proceed with the installation of the light boxes. Then, once the date arrived, we communicated the exhibition in RRSS and, surprise, the very same day of the opening we received an email asking us for the address to return the pieces, because they are no longer part of the exhibition. Without giving any explanation, or anything like an apology.

The issue is that the work was eventually hung (see the photos below). And later, someone passed by and ordered that the pieces must be removed, against the desire of the curators. (According to unofficial information we have been able to collect.)

We have asked for explanations from both, museum and curators, but they have not given us any kind of explanatory answer: they are very busy with the exhibition, they say. And they refer us to Jean-François Chougnet, president of the board of the Mucem, because it seems that he was the one who decided to remove the work from the show.

What’s happening here? It seems an alluring subject for the pieces of Hans Haacke, because it turns out that the French Football Federation sponsors the exhibition and NIKE is the main sponsor of the French Football Federation. In short, a corporation decides –directly or indirectly– what is exposed and what not in a public institution. This is how things stand.







The «Asia Project» was created in 2005 as a proposal for the public space. Specifically, it was placed in the Plaza Mayor of Gijón, from where it was withdrawn due to pressure from the Adidas brand. In the line of work developed by PSJM, the team-brand targets the contemporary universe of brands as creators of symbolic values, abstract identities that shape the individual’s own identity. The great multinational trademarks, true symbols of capitalist democracy born in free countries, base their race towards maximum profits in the exploitation of Asian workers. For these large corporations, locating their factories in countries where labour conditions for workers are ignored, or where they even prohibit unionism by means of threats, does not pose any contradiction to the messages later transmitted to forge their brand values, always related to individual freedom and the drive for self-improvement. “Project Asia” presented four of these brands (Nike, Puma, Adidas y Reebok) in lit displays under one and the same slogan, MADE BY SLAVES FOR FREE PEOPLE, pointing out the irony in the values that they really represent.


After the Adidas censorship in 2005, we received many support and much interest to show the pieces from curators, galleries and directors of art centers and museums. Here is a list of spaces of freedom where «Asia Project» has been exposed in its different editions:


«Para todos los públicos». Sala Rekalde. Bilbao.


Zoo Fair. Riflemaker Gallery. London.

BàleLatina 07. Galería Baró Cruz / Blanca Soto. Basel.

«La Movida». Galería Blanca Soto. Madrid.


ArteBa ́08. Galería Blanca Soto. Buenos Aires.

Notting Hill Fair. Riflemaker Gallery. London.

«PSJM». Scala Galerie. Berlin.

«Asia Project». Riflemaker Gallery. Londron.


Open studios. GlogauAir. Berlin.

«Brand Strategies». Espacio Marzana. Bilbao.

«Brand Strategies». Galería Trama. Barcelona.

«Colección 1». CA2M. Centro de Arte 2 de Mayo. Móstoles. Madrid.


«One Shot!». B.P.S.22 espace de création contemporaine. Charleroi. Belgium.


«Red Concepts for Right Collectors«. Whiteconcepts Gallery. Berlin.


«PSJM: A critical decade 2003-2013». San Martín CCC -CAAM. Las Palmas de G. C.


«One Shot!» MuBE. Museu Brasileiro da Escultura. São Paulo.

«PSJM: A critical decade 2003-2013». SAC. Canarias Gobernment. S/C de Tenerife


«Football: à la limite du hors-jeu». Museum of Aquitania. Bordeaux.

Artists arrested during exhibition opening (Belgrade, Serbia)

October 21, 2017

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After an artistic performance in front of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade in the frame of The Salon of the Unbribable, Vladan Jeremić, member of ArtLeaks, was arrested.

Right now, the Salon of the Unbribables is organizing a series of events that aim to break with the habit of public silence about the state of culture and art in Serbia.

The first action was staged on October 20, on the occasion of the re-opening of Belgrade’s Museum of Contemporary art that has been closed to the public for the last ten years, due to unsuccessful reconstruction.

The visitors were invited to put on a paper mask resembling the portrait of Serbia’s president and to share flyers with sandwiches printed on them to the museum guests. The action reflects the current situation in Serbia, where, although almost everybody is unsatisfied with financing, party pressures, amateurism of the leading cadres and (self)censorship, only a few speak about this is public. Media control and political surveillance have led to a situation, where most of cultural workers, out of personal interests and fear to loose their job or financial support, are silent about the economic and mental repression they are exposed to.

After the performance ended, at the entrance of the museum, security checked the identity of one of the visitors, who still had some props of the performance in her hands. Vladan Jeremić, one of the organizers of the Salon, asked the police what happened. He was checked as well, flyers with the announcement of the Salon of the Unbribables and other props of the performance were confiscated and he was arrested and brought to the police station for interrogation.

Half an hour later, another artist, Uroš Jovanović, was arrested in front of the museum, after he tried to enter the Museum with a big framed photograph of the Serbian president with the statement: Vučić – the best artist.

Vladan Jeremić was released from the station after two hours.

Uroš Jovanović is still arrested.

No repression against artists!

No sellout of art and culture!

Stop corruption!

No fear!

“We don’t want a culture of clones.”

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