Petshop Gallery’s recent exhibition entitled Destination Mars, explores notions of the invasion of social networks and exhibitionism through contemporary photographs on Serbian culture. Six photographers reveal ideas about a social and ideological universe, according to the curator’s exhibition didactic.
This exhibition is not just a typical documentation of Serbian culture, but a deeper look into the celebration of perspectives on both spiritual and the external phenomena of a digital universe. These photographers are taking on a risk of revealing some of the Serbian attitudes that individuals portray after a civilian war survived by the last generation. Intentionally, the curator Katarina Radovic, and one of the featured artists, ensures that the presentations offer some aesthetic value to the viewers.
“My main motivation is to showcase these photographic works, which tell us about the present state of mind in Serbia, but much of what this exhibition is about can also be applied to many different parts of the world and people in general – it can be said to be about the present situation on Planet Earth,” Radovic says.
The presentation of both video and printed photos expose personal interactions and thoughts among Serbian residents. The content provides an intimate seat at the hearts of the subjects, showcasing emotions ranging from celebratory, indifference, pride and love. One series, “Alexandra the Great,” photographed by Branka Nedimovic, shows portraits of a middle-aged woman who desires to share her sensuality and physique to the world by posing for a group of new social media profile pictures. Another presentation of a looped video entitled “Hands” curiously displays scenes of elders and farmers celebrating with song and dance at a citizen-focused center. The artist, Dragan Petrovic, postures the video so that it doesn’t focus on the reason for celebrating, but instead forces the viewer to see a close up of the faces and movements ranging from hands clapping to joyous smiles and laughter.
“The works of the selected Serbian artists in this exhibition, although characterized by a diversity of themes, coexist in a common aesthetic, social and ideological universe. Each of them offers a passage towards an unknown direction – an uncertain spiritual and spatial destination – and deals with some of the ideas or phenomena of modern life, be they the artists’ attitudes towards the global social reality or some more intimate aspirations and visions,” Radovic shares. “I only hope that these exhibited works will appeal to the Omaha art lovers in one way or another, inviting them to think about current global issues and the position of contemporary man from some new rational and/or emotional perspective.”
In addition to the three artists mentioned above, the exhibition highlights works from additional artists: Aleksandrija Ajdukovic, Mihailo Vasiljevic and Srdjan Veljovic, all photographic selections. This effort was greatly appreciated by not only the artists, but also the Ministry of Culture of Serbia, who funded the exhibition. Destination Mars is on view until January 27, 2017.
The hype about Petshop Gallery:
Destination Mars is but one example of the intent to present meaningful contemporary art to a local audience. The owners of the gallery express excitement for the opportunity to represent such a caliber of work to its yet growing audiences.
“I think it’s important because we create a serious atmosphere for artists to present their work and themselves without the pressures or hurdles of a commercial gallery,” says Alex Jochim, one of five co-managing partners of Petshop Gallery. “It breaks down a barrier that allows an exhibition for artists, that perhaps, wouldn't have an opportunity, or for their subject matter to change in some way. It also allows for a diversified audience too, not just the ‘in-the-know’ or ‘who's who’ crowd, even though they are welcome and often present too.”
The Petshop Gallery continues to be open every First Friday in the Benson Business District with exhibition opening events. They also make room for performance art thru recently added collaborations with the Omaha Writers Group, BFF Femme Fest and Omaha Girls Rock. Stefanie Monge, also a co-managing partner, shares the focus of future events and expectations at the Petshop Gallery.
“We work hard to make Petshop a safe and inclusive space for expression. Whether it's through art, music, yoga, writing, workshops - we try to cultivate an environment that encourages people to have an open mind,” Monge says. “It also gives them the opportunity to express themselves in new and different ways...We're looking forward to doing it again in the spring. More than just a gallery, we're a gathering space. It's a space for people to get up close and personal with the arts community.”
Petshop Gallery is a shared gallery, studio and event space in Benson/Omaha. Learn more about upcoming events online at: www.facebook.com/bensonpetshop. The Petshop Gallery will also soon have public viewing hours but currently one can schedule an appointment by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.