Balkan Art Scene
SpaceToBeDifferent STBD - Emptiness Is Just Another Form - Transformative Power of Participatory Art
Throughout this year, Artist-run space ACG has hosted Space To Be Different (STBD), a series of participatory art workshops co-created by Ksenija Kadic, founder of Fluidity of Self from London, and Mirela Kulovic, a painter from Boston.
For them, Space To Be Different is a philosophy and a space that grows and expands each time someone enters it. You come as you are with a box and play. There is no pressure to create, fix or do anything other than to be with empty boxes, which act like a portal to unexpected situations. It is a way to uncover different parts of yourself spontaneously and with childlike curiosity. Every time you play, you discover something new. The funny thing is that while the workshops are all about boxes and playing with boxes, Ksenija and Mirela are creators that are hard to put in a box.
Mirela Kulović is an independent artist. Her practice is process oriented and it combines a wide variety of materials, techniques and forms to create drawings, paintings and sculptures. She is interested in visual language and how it influences our knowledge about our surroundings. She explains why she is also curious about transformation:
“From the morning until midnight, you are transformed many times; however, people often do not observe this. I learned a lot about transformation from my art practice which allowed me to reflect on my experiences in life. I am transformed by events, people I meet, and by spaces I enter. When you are aware of this, you can do things intentionally. Also, you can create things and spaces that suit your needs. This is what Space To Be Different is about. I create space for myself to be funny, playful, and liberated.”
Ksenija currently works as Acting Manager at Camden and Islington Recovery College and as a facilitator of one-to-one hearing voices coaching at Mind in Camden. In 2016 she founded the idea called Fluidity of Self which is an evolving theory and practice. Ksenija is a self-taught artist interested in telling stories and self-discovery. She says:
“I learned that self-discovery understood that struggles can arise from being rigid with our identities rather than being fluid with who we are.”
When did you meet each other?
Ksenija: “I saw Mirela’s exhibition in 2017 when I was at a conference in Boston, and I managed to get her contact information. I reached out, and after that, we met for coffee.”
Mirela: “Ksenija said she was developing the Fluidity of Self method and she explained it to me and how she sees this process in my artwork. That was wonderful because, at that time, I was still figuring out how to articulate my art process.”
What do you like the most when you work together, and what do you find about each other that's different?
Mirela: “I like to work with Ksenija as we understand each other on many different levels. I can be serious and funny at the same time. She allows me to express myself. She is also open to the unknown and the unexpected. What I experience in our work as a duo is that we genuinely find a way to reach our full potential as human beings but in a way as to not take ourselves too seriously.”
Ksenija: “The sense of excitement and openness to be both serious and lighthearted. Collaborating gave me a sense that anything is possible and dreams are a way to access imagination. With Mirela, I can be silly and laugh about life. What I found different about Mirela is that she can take up a challenge and transform it into something practical, and for me, that's not something easy to do.”
How can people join you & taste your Space To Be Different program?
Ksenija: “We organized a series of workshops online. You can get a ticket on the Eventbrite”
Mirela: “This is the last session for this year. No previous experience is necessary. To play with us online, you have to bring a box. We hope to see you on 24th November. “
For more info, please visit our websites and do not hesitate to reach out.
ACG is an international artist-run initiative for transdisciplinary practice with the project space in Bosnia and Herzegovina founded in 2017.