A Segment of Contemporary Visual Art Scene
How does a gallery set up its annual exhibiting programme? Usually, Gallery announces an open call for which some artists send their applications and then the gallery Art Council, following the number of available dates, selects the artists whose artworks (or art projects) will constitute the gallery exhibiting programme for the next year. However, always after an open call ends, several questions are imposed: How and by what criteria does the Art Council select artworks? – and, – Who were the other artists who have applied? – And – Why they did or did not “pass“? The most interesting question is – who were the other artists who have sent their applications, since we, as the visitors to galleries and exhibitions, almost never have access to this information, we never know what all the options before gallery Art Councils were. Most often, the gallery only publishes the list of authors and their projects that have passed the open call. And that is the end.
But not for the Lucida gallery. The idea of creating a group exhibition of selected works of artists who, this time, failed to enter Lucida’s annual exhibiting programme originated immediately after the Gallery Art Council meeting at which had been defined which projects would be presented next year. Forty-eight applications were received on the open call, and there were only eight available dates, which speaks for itself how difficult was the task before the Art Council. And now, we are coming back to the first question – how and by what criteria Art Council does the selection. The selection of works is carried out according to the gallery exhibiting profile, quality of submitted artworks and, to some extent, the artistic sensibility of the Art Council members because, no matter how hard we try to be objective, since being humans, we also manifest a subjective dimension in making decisions, whether we like it or not. Every expert attempts to reduce that subjectivity to a minimum, but still, subjectivity cannot be entirely avoided. Bearing these facts in mind and acknowledging the vast number of interesting artworks that was submitted to the open call, we asked ourselves why wouldn’t we organise an exhibition at which we would present each artist who wanted to participate in a group exhibition by one of his artwork, selected by the Gallery Art Council, an artwork which, in our opinion, at this point, is the best representation of the artist. Galleries do not practice this for the reason that such exhibitions represent so-called “combination of incompatible,” because the only common denominator is the fact that these artists applied at the same time to the open call of the same gallery. Their styles, sensibilities, techniques, themes and quality of their artwork are different; they belong to different artistic generations which could be several decades apart. And, of course, what could be better and what would be a greater challenge for the Lucida gallery than to start its exhibiting program with one such unusual, but a much-needed exhibition.