About the Building
Hotel Belgrade is situated in a central area of the city, on the corner of two Belgrade streets – Balkanska and Nemanjina. This five floor hotel was built in 1937. Not long after the end of World War II the building was nationalized. A few years ago, it was restituted to the family of the previous owners. The pre-war owner of the hotel was Vladimir Djordjevic and today it is owned by the Markovic family, Nataša and Vladimir, with whom AWB is cooperating.
This building with its symbolic name is the venue for a big, exciting exhibition featuring works by more then 50 artists of different generations and with various artistic approaches.
About the Exhibition
“Hotel Belgrade”, an exhibition that makes up the core of this year’s Art Weekend Belgrade. From 20th to 29th of October, artists, art collectives, project spaces and collections will show their work in the 68 rooms of Hotel Belgrade.
Hotel Belgrade is an ideal location for presenting the local art scene. The five-storey modernist building, located on the corner of two streets, Bakanska and Nemanjina, was built in 1937. Not long after the Second World War, the building was nationalized. Only recently, Hotel Belgrade was returned to the family of the original owners. The exhibition “Hotel Belgrade” is curated by An Paenhuysen, a Berlin-based curator and it was initiated in 2019 by Ljudmila Stratimirović, the art director of KC Grad.
Participating artists, curators, art spaces and collections : Žarko Aleksić, Petar Aleksić, Milan Antić, Aleksa Bartol, Jovana Blagojević, Predrag Caranović, Daniel Chluba, Pavle Ćurčić, Cose Cosmiche, Athanassios Danilof, Lidija Delić, Dobošari dobrih vesti, Dea Džanković, Milica Dukić, Bogdan Đukanović, Daliborka Đurić, Jelena Fuzinato, Nikola Garović, Marija Iva Gocić, Jovana Grujić, Haveit, Ráðhildur Ingadóttir, Paola Jalili, Tadija Janičić, Miloš Janjić, Aleksandar Jevtić, Jovana Jovanović, Karkatag Kolektiv, Marija Knežević, Nikola Knežević, Jovana Krneta, Galya Krumova, Aleksandar Lazar, Lena Melentijević, Saša Marković Mikrob, Vanja Mijatović, Nemanja Milenković, Aleksandar Rakezic, Ivan Moudov, Branislav Nikolić, Teodora Nikolić, Sara Pantović, Nemanja Nikolić Prika, Sveta Pseta, Aleksandar Petković Azza, Prison art collection, Emilija Radojičić, Nikola Radosavljević, Remont, Valentina Savić, Filip Stefanović, Aleksandra Stratimirović, Zagorka Stojanović, Dragan Srdić, Marija Šević, Škart, Rade Tepavčević, Emilija Terzić, Milana Trifunjagic, Tamara Tomić Vajagić, Adrienn Ujhazi, Sanja Vasić, Vocal Curatorial Syndrome, Veljko Vučković, Nebojša Yamasaki Vukelić, Martina Yordanova, Yao Wang, Šok Zadruga, Jovana Popic, Konstantino Dregos, Milica Dukic, Veljko Zejak.
“On a Wednesday morning at the end of May 2021, L and I walked around in Hotel Belgrade. First we explored the grand lobby and the kitchen area with its white tiles, then we went up the stairs to check out the five floors. L counted the rooms and came upon a number: 68 rooms.
A few days later there was a twist of numbers in the conversation. The 68 became by mistake its negative: 86. The number 68 is open to a couple of misreadings: if you swing around the 6 to a 9, the 68 becomes a 98. And If you turn your head upside down, you’ll read 89.
Numbers give us solid facts. It was the 26th of May that L and I entered Hotel Belgrade in the morning (10.54 to be precise), with sunny weather of 20 degrees and a soft breeze from the north-west to be exact. L counted the rooms and there were 68 rooms.
“If 6 was 9,” sang Jimi Hendrix, referring to the 1960s counterculture and its opposition to the establishment. “We know that 6 will never equal 9,” a commentator on the internet observes, “so that’s an infinite amount of time.”
In the restaurant industry, 68 is used as a code meaning “put back on the menu”, being the opposite of 86 which means “remove from the menu.” When you get 86’d at a bar, it means you’re no longer allowed inside.
In 1945, Marcel Duchamp, 58 years old, took a photo “Marcel Duchamp at the Age of 85.” With simple means, some white powder, a dark eye pencil and the right lighting, Duchamp had made a staged, fictional photograph of the future, from the year 1972. This was not only technically but also biologically impossible, as Duchamp died in 1968.
68 is the natural number following 67 and preceding 69. Natural numbers are used for counting (one room, two rooms, three rooms, …) and ordering (this is the second largest room). If you count backwards, you create an unnatural order of things.
“Room number signs might be the most important part of your hotel rooms,” hotelsigns.com explains to its customers: “How else would your guests know which room is theirs? You want to make sure that, without any room for doubt, your guests know which room belongs to them.”
Providing you with comfort and rest, the hotel wants to make you feel at home. But it also offers you something like a stage or a film set where you can be your imaginary self. You rent an experience, not of what is real but of what is possible.
I asked artists to present art in the 68 rooms of Hotel Belgrade. Put at work in a hotel room, they are invited to invent a parallel world – one that refuses to integrate. When you arrive in Room 68, it might just turn your mind.”
An Paenhuysen, Curator
After completing her studies at the Faculty of Applied Arts, Ljudmila Stratimirovic formed an independent experimental theatre group “The Hats Theatre”. She spent a period of 13 years working on the production of many performances in the roles of director, designer and performer.
In the year 2000 she founded Cultural Front NGO where she has worked as the Artistic Director of the Managing Board as well as the manager of various activities, projects and productions. In 2009, together with Dejan Ubovic, she established the European Centre for Culture and Debate – GRAD, known as KC Grad – a place dedicated to creativity and people interested in art and culture.
Ljudmila is the Artistic Director, curator and manager of visual programs at Kc Grad, such as Artists in Residence “Inspiration Belgrade”(since 2014), Design Fair “Take away fashion”(2007 – 2018), New Folklore, Exploring inspiration (crafts and design project), projects with Central Prison Hospital in Belgrade (presentation of brut art collection). Apart from Kc Grad and Cultural front activities, in 2018 Ljudmila founded her own fashion brand Maj Maj Beograd clothing with a sustainable life attitude.
“Often when we are this amazed by the space, the people, the atmosphere, the openness, we say “it’s like we are not even here” and that is exactly how the cooperation with Nataša and Vladimir Marković, the hotel owners, is. It’s like we are somewhere we want to be, surrounded by creativity, talent and beauty. Hotel Belgrade is the Belgrade that we love. ”
An Paenhuysen is a curator, art critic and writer living in Berlin. She studied cultural history at the University of Leuven, Belgium, where she obtained a PhD researching the cultural criticism of the Belgian avant-garde in the 1920s. As a postdoctoral fellow, An researched at UC Berkeley, Columbia University in New York and Humboldt-University Berlin.
Her curatorial career started at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum of Contemporary Art, Berlin, in 2009, co-curating an exhibition showcasing Paul Pfeiffer and, in 2010, together with Wolfgang Müller, the exhibition entitled Pause. Valeska Gert: Bewegte Fragmente. Since then, she has curated various exhibitions such as “Gesture. Sign. Art. Deaf Culture / Hearing Culture” (2012),
“Up and Down, and Today’s Avant-Garde as Tomorrow’s Salon Art?” (2017) and “Chromosome XY (2019)”. As a curator, An also accompanies the travelling exhibition “Rosemarie Trockel” by ifa,
the Institute of Foreign Affairs in Germany. In 2019, she became the director of the project space The House of The Deadly Doris, Berlin.
In 2020, An started an artistic writing publishing project, called AAAAA PPPPP Publishing as well as taught art writing workshops at Node Center for Curatorial Studies, Berlin Writer’s Workshop, IED Venice, Zeta Gallery Tirana, a.o. Check out her art blog.