TOO LITTLE TOO LATE - Hey Sisyphus, have we met?

In outline, the story went like this. TOO LITTLE TOO LATE - Hey Sisyphus, have we met? was an open invite for an evening of art and relief on November 30 2018, at Cara Nikolaja II 52 in Belgrade. The exhibition event represented the final stage of What Could/Should Curating Do? - an international curatorial programme held from September until December 2018. The WCSCD course is a long term project initiated by Biljana Ćirić to-gether with Supervizuelna (magazine for contemporary art based in Serbia), during the three month-long pro-gramme, invited international cultural producers conducted specific mentoring sessions related to different as-pects of curating, offering participants the opportunity to individually and collectively consider the different in-stitutional aspects that often frame curatorial endeavors. For the culmination of the program, participants pro-posed two collective exhibition events that reflect on their research and involvement within the local context. The first project developed in Belgrade looked into some uncertain working conditions, expectations and ap-praisals and being pressured to produce. The WCSCD three month-long programme included different institu-tional visits, studio visits, mentoring sessions, field trips and other informal meetings and exchanges that rounded the final project. Second project organized by WCSCD curators is scheduled for April 2019 in Belgrade.
The idea for the exhibition came from the notion of precariousness (or the lack of it) within the curatorial and artistic world, regarding some uncertain working conditions, expectations and appraisals and being pressured to produce. So the group of curators decided to take 500 euros (hilariously small budget for the exhibition) and to invest it in one night at the Grand Casino Belgrade. Artists and curators, hoping to fundraise for proper artist fees and getting out of repetitive and restricting economic structures that come with these certain conditions, that seem to be around every corner especially in our field: To conscious (about the problems) to take care (of these problems). We knew that we would risk to loose it all - but somehow we were okay with that, however, the outcome was not this total failure. More to the point, the day before we went gambling we titled the exhibition: TOO LITTLE TOO LATE- Hey Sisyphus, have we met?
We went gambling with around 200 euros, and after playing all night we ended up with basically the same. Hey Sisyphus!On this quest we collaborated with Novi Sad based Mia Ćuk, commissioning her to create a work that somehow documented an endeavor, where photography and sound was off-limit because of the casino rules.
The event was divided in seven stages were videos or performative works were happening in sequences accord-ing t o the scheduled time. Audience had the schedule prior to the event, and could find it in leaflet on spot. Cu-rators occupied kafana (term for old taverna in Serbian), served drinks and goulash specially made for the occa-sion. And in the certain moments of transition, lights would go off and a video would appear in some corner of kafana. And then a transition to the party atmosphere happens again.

We won? We lost?

“Together with artists and the audience, during this transformative event, we tried to experience the delicate nature of a failure worthwhile.
In a flickering art world full of networking headaches, cliques and strategies, in a society that profits from fear, anguish and self-doubt, what could the light-hearted ones do? Play. This “play” is developed through the space where honesty is welcomed, doubt not frowned upon and restlessness understood. Gambling our way through (literally and metaphorically) together with 7 artists, our fellows on this enterprise, we are building a safe, but alas transient spot, where our uncertainties can be set loose.
Maybe while we divert our attention and put our guards down, our worlds will fall apart, and we’ll lose what’s at stake. But in the end, everything may just stay the same as before and we may get what we bar-gained for. “(an excerpt from the curatorial statement)

Curated by Kirila Cvetkovska, Ivana Čavić, Ruri Kawanami, Jovana Vasić, Karen Vestergaard, Sonja Vrkatić, Vera Zalut-skaya and Katarina Kostandinović

Courtesy of the artists