NGO ISU Institute of Contemporary Art (Cetinje), in collaboration with the National Museum of Montenegro, organised a seminar for young curators on 31. 08. and 1. 09. at the gallery Miodrag Dado Đurić (IV floor) in Cetinje, Balšića pazar, titled A Natural Oasis? Transnational Research Program.
Participants in the project, that has so far visited San Marino, Kosovo, Montenegro and Malta are:
Rita Canerezza (BJCEM, Little Constellations, San Marino)
project curators: Alessandro Castiglioni (Little Constellations, San Marino) and Simone Frangi (Viafarini, Milan),
young curators – researchers in this cycle of A Natural Oasis? project:
Erëmirë Krasniqi (Kosovo/Albania), Giulia Gregnanin (San Marino/Italy), Valerie Visanich (Malta); Lenka Đorojević (Montenegro/Slovenia), Chiara Cartuccia (Italy/UK/Germany), Maya Tounta (Greece/Lithuania), Sergey Kantsedal (Ukraine), Rachel Pafe (US/The Netherlands).

The program included presentations of various segments and activities on the Montenegrin art scene through presentations of art historians Mirjana Dabović, Svetlana Racanović, artists Lazar Pejović, Natalija Vujošević, Irena Lagator, as well as film directors Dušan Kasalica and Ivan Salatić.
On the second day of the workshop, we organised a reception where the visiting curators met with young Montenegrin artists, and talked about the theory and practice on the Montenegrin contemporary art scene.

A Natural Oasis? Transnational Research Program is a two years nomadic free school dedicated to the development of new curatorial research paths in the field of contemporary visual and performing arts starting from the geopolitical peculiarities of the artistic scenes of San Marino, Montenegro, Kosovo and Malta.

The project is developed thanks to a Residential Summer School in the Municipality of Montegiardino, Republic of San Marino and different field trips to Kosovo, Montenegro and Malta. The purpose of this project is to build a transnational cultural platform able to critically question the ideas of territorial remoteness/marginality/smallness through the lenses of artistic research, triggering a reflection on the fictional procedures that empowered the idea of Europe in its geopolitical and cultural immunity via the exclusion or the vampirization of its “provinces”.

The project aims to develop radical curatorial and artistic discourses assuming geo-cultural areas as polemical fields in which a precise ecology of fluxes describes their cultural, economical and political morphology. Moreover this project focuses on the controversial shortage of cultural professionals in “peripheral” cultural and artistic systems relating to  ongoing processes of educational centralisation and with the concentration of artistic legitimation processes in big European ‘centers’.

A Natural Oasis? is a transnational research training that implements tools that social sciences provide in contemporary cultural practices and develops specific context-aware professional figures in the framework of the global contemporary art scene. The aim of the project is the development of what we can call ‘situated practices’ in the context of a specific locality but with a transnational perspective.

A Natural Oasis? Transnational Research Program bases its working methodology on the tactics of conversational and dialogical research and on the main strategies of oral history. In this view, work sessions, visiting professors’ lectures and seminars will be characterised by a discursive approach based on study and in-depth analysis but also on storytelling and educational settings. The project privileges an idea of knowledge production through direct rough experience and travelling experiences in the territories accompanied and tutored by local partners.

The final result of A Natural Oasis? will be a book, which will include critical essays and visual documentation collected during the program. The book will be presented at a seminar in the framework of MEDITERRANEA18 Young Artists Biennial 2017, that takes place in Tirana and Durrës, Albania, from May 4th to May 9th 2017.