Over twenty artists and art collectives from both the country and abroad will showcase their work at the upcoming 21st Art Biennial in Pančevo, organized by the Cultural Center of Pančevo. The event, titled “Wash-Out,” will take place from May 25 to June 25 across various public spaces in the city, as announced by the organizers.

Artists and collectives were invited to explore the theme of “wash-out” interpreting it through a range of associations. They considered questions such as:

  • How washed out, exhausted, drained, or dissolved do we feel?
  • Is washing out a process of removing or discovering something?
  • Can racial hatred, misogyny, and homophobia be washed out?
  • Can the traces of domestic violence, war crimes, and abuse be washed (out)?
  • Can waste from the food industry, or any other industry, be washed away with water?
  • What is the relationship between washing out and forgetting?

Participating artists include Aist Ambrazevičit (Lithuania), Breda Beban, Lana Stojićević, Barbara le Begek Fridman (France), Neva Lukić and Viktor Radonjić (Croatia, Serbia), and artists and collectives from Serbia: Bio2Arh, Danica Bićanić, Vaštag Vendel, Grafička mreža, Ljubica Denković (Serbia/Belgium), Dragana Dražović Ilić, Nadežda Kirćanski (Serbia/Netherlands), Marija Kozomora, Živana Mijailović, Branislav Nikolić, Konstantinos Petrović, Monika Sigeti, Isidora Stojanović, Slobodan Stošić, and Zoran Todorović.

Sonja Jankov, the curator and scientific associate for the humanities, emphasized that the connotations of “wash-out” can be both negative and positive, carrying metaphorical and technical meanings. Washing out can refer to brainwashing, money laundering, policies of forgetting, ethnic cleansing, erasing traces of crimes, and removing cultural, ethnic, racial, or personal differences.

Translated into English as “wash-out,” the term can also relate to exhaustion, failure, and depletion. The process can remove or uncover something, such as archaeological finds revealing the history of the planet, or gold and precious stones that have triggered gold rushes, genocides, and various forms of exploitation.

The Art Biennial in Pančevo is held under the auspices of the City of Pančevo, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia, and the Provincial Secretariat for Culture, Public Information, and Relations with Religious Communities.

19. Bijenale umetnosti – Smrt umetnosti, živela umetnost!, Pančevo,  31. oktobar – 27. novembar 2020 | Photo credits SEECult

The Art Biennial is an international event that has been held continuously since 1981, initially as an exhibition of large-format Yugoslav sculptures for open and gallery spaces. With a tradition spanning over forty years, the Biennial has hosted many significant artists, including Jožef Nađ, Tomislav Peternek, Nikola Džafo, Richard Deacon, Kosta Bogdanović, Mrđan Bajić, Nenad Andrić, and many others.