A marathon day for art lovers was held on April 5 at the Grand Cafe in Szeged, where visitors could see a fraction of creative efforts of contemporary artists from Serbia.
Preparations for this event were indeed extensive – Grand Cafe was closed for renovations in the past few weeks, and the works are, as we know from previous experience, always late. Nevertheless, members of the KÉP-SZIN-HAZ Association were persistent and from the early morning worked and prepared space for exhibition, discussion, projection of film and gigs.
And they succeeded to arrange the space so that for the audience, the day began with the screening of the entertaining film “Dragan von Wende – West Berlin” by Dragan von Petrović. The film says a story about an eccentric figure, who used to earn money on the divided city, and how he manages to survive in the times when Berlin Wall no longer exists. The audience went out of the projection room with a smile and entered the cafe where an exhibition of works by artists gathered around the Symposion magazine was waiting for them.
There they could see the works with bold colours, lines and ideas of painters, designers and illustrators. There were works of: Miroslav Lazendić, Davor Gromilović, Emil Kadirić, Kovács Lehel, Vidák Zsolt, Stark Attila, Igor Hofbauer, Oláh Dóri, Ricz Géza, Lázár Tibor and Arnus Horribilis. They often deal with social questions which writers who publish in the Symposion magazine write about. Ideas are permeated through two media, which do not explain or limit one another, but on the contrary, they open even more and lead to a wider understanding of a particular idea.
That’s why we held the discussions with the title “Symposion Literature Brainbombing”, where writers, editors and theoreticians talked about where modern literature is moving and how the social reality that surrounds us, such as the migration of refugees from Syria, affects the issues they deal with.
These themes and ideas are expanding on music projects too, so that during the day a workshop of musicians from Serbia was held together with local musicians. Bernadette and Dina Brešćanski conducted a workshop where, through improvised forms, intuition and associative thinking, music tracks were built over a silent film.
All this was possible due to the specificity of the space that Grand Cafe has – the multifunctional theater hall, which we used as a hall for discussion and a concert hall, and a long cafe with enough space for the visual art exhibition. When you have such a place in a city like Szeged, and when people who lead it are open to their community, then the cultural scene in the city can grow and develop.
This is also very well known by the musicians who performed at the end of the program, who encounter similar problems in their cities – the lack of creative space, but also the struggle for the survival of what we already have. Those are Straight Mickey and the Boyz (Belgrade), Igralom (Niš/Kragujevac/Belgrade) and Slonz (Šabac). Every band in its specific way considers the society that surrounds us, their city, stuffiness of the society, the interpersonal relations… and in a very creative and unique way they tell their story.
That’s how it was in Szeged, and in November we are organizing such an event in Novi Sad! If you want to check out more photos, you can see them here.