Marginal Notes is an exhibition of photographic and video works, which runs at Belgrade's Remont Gallery from 1 to 5 October. It derives from the Re>centering Periphery (R>CP) project and explores the urban space produced by the modernist ideology and the everyday life practice and struggles that transform urban peripheries. It shows past explorations of the cities of La Habana, Moscow, Berlin, Kiev and Belgrade, conducted by the Berlin-based collective ogino:knauss.
The pictures capture the urban and social landscape of modernist peripheries and the inner margins of the metropolis. Textures, geometries and patterns designed by the brutal architectural practice of the 20th century are shown alongside cracks, eruptions, signs of colonization and re-appropriation telling the everyday life of its inhabitants. Two video installations complete the set up, representing opposite directions of research. The first, focusing on the abstract substance of the architectural modernist vision, shows geometrical patterns and symmetries being digitally explored and transformed into a hypnotic graphic landscape. In the second work, the attention is conversely shifted towards the human body, “Der Mensch, das Maß aller Dinge”, following through a longer sequence an elderly hindered man slowly crossing the landscape of modernist Berlin.
The exhibition is intended as the starting point for a reflection on the modern city and its contradictions. Modernism in the architectural and planning field has been a dominant ideology influencing the urban explosion at a global scale and affecting the way millions of people live their life in suburban, marginalized territories of the modern city. The modernist city of Novi Beograd was built in the second half of last century with the aspiration to create from scratch the capital of the multicultural state of Yugoslavia. Today, trough the dissolution of the Federation, the privatisation of the building stock and the impact of neo-liberal economy's paradigms, what is left is an urban periphery in search of a new identity in relation to the historical centre. The exhibition proposes a reflection on the dreams and failures of modernist utopias facing contemporary challenges of Belgrade, and wants to be the starting point for a reflection on the value of the city as a common ground for social practice and solidarity. The aim is to raise questions about the fate of public space, the capacity to support solidarity among communities and to develop ground for alternative practices and economies.