MIKRO 020: Reviving abandoned urban pockets in Podgorica
New face of the old square: Art installation at the Princess Ksenija square
Everyone’s notion of place is different, but we all share a sense of belonging when the public space is made attractive for people to use. Many forgotten and abandoned places in Podgorica, the so-called urban pockets – are waiting for someone to breathe a new life into them. Art is widely recognised as one of the most important placemaking techniques to get people together. This is why we canvassed artists for creative ideas on how to revive and repurpose the neglected locations. In turn, art would rekindle the sense of ownership among citizens and communities.
The first open competition within the MIKRO020 project is putting artists in the spotlight – by giving them creative space to turn the square of Princess Ksenija into a vibrant, attractive and comfortable place to be. A place that would bring back local residents to socialise and engage in outdoor activities.
The expert jury selected the winning conceptual design for this first location and the winner is academic artist Nikola Simanic, who submitted an idea for permanent contemporary art installation – a modern sculpture. The idea seeks to show dispersion of light as a metaphor, radiating a spectrum of the most exalted virtues that Princess Ksenija adorned. This installation will seek to embody refraction of light through the prism, which are also related to the photographic processes that Princess Ksenija once explored, bringing them to the level of the work of art. The winning proposal stood out among others by its originality, contemporary artistic expression and the way it would fit in the surroundings.
Nikola Simanić was born in 1976 in Niksic. He graduated in 1998 from the Academy of Fine Arts in Cetinje, studied at Ecole des Beux –Arts in Lorient, France, from 1999 to 2000. He got his master`s degree at the Academy of Fine Arts in 2006 in Cetinje. For more than a decade now, Nikola Simanić is active through solo and group exhibitions of contemporary foreign and domestic art scene. He has exhibited in Berlin, Barcelona, Dresden, Cannes, Ljubljana, Belgrade... Since 2006 he works as a lecturer at the Faculty of Visual Arts in Podgorica.
Members of the expert jury:
- Igor Rakčević, president of the Association of Visual Artists of Montenegro
- Andrijana Pavićević, Arch, Capital City Podgorica
- Bojan Djonović, Arch, Association of Architects of Montenegro
- Petar Kovačević, graduate painter, representative of the Ministry of Culture
- Sladjana Lazarević, MSc. Arch, UNDP Programme Manager
In line with the conditions of the competition, the winning design will be realised and turned into an art installation. This activity is implemented under the umbrella of Mikro 020 project and Creative Montenegro programme – focusing on economic valorisation and creative industries.