ART DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC: Hastor Foundation scholarship holder Kemil Bektaši partaking in the Italian online exhibition “Insieme”/“Together”

The COVID-19 virus pandemic has also taken its toll in the art world, and due to restrictive measures, all exhibitions have been banned and all gallery and museum exhibitions have been closed to the public. So art, like most human activities today, has moved from the real to the virtual world. Online exhibitions have become a widely accepted alternative, taking different forms so far – from virtual simulations of gallery spaces and video recordings of artistic settings to animated reproductions of works of art. One of the forms of online exhibitions is the placement of work reproductions on temporary web pages. This is exactly how the online exhibition organized by the young Italian director and artist Gianmarco Donaggio works.

At the invitation of Mr. Donaggio, an art duo from Sarajevo SIN-ovi participated in the exhibition, presenting the work Contemporary (Re)Production. Although it was originally a video work, due to the specificity of the online setting, the work was modified to a gif format.

The art duo SIN-ovi is the result of two years of mutual consultation and analysis of contemporary art between two young artists, Kemil Bekteši, a scholarship holder of the Hastor Foundation and Adna Muslija, student of the post-graduate programme at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo. They decided to turn the long talks into synthesized artistic practice. Brought closer together by the question of identity and the dilemma “Who are we, what are we, and to whom do we belong?”, they asked the common question “Where are we going?” Artistic practice, whose conceptual basis can be summarized in the dialectic of the terms tradition – politics – censorship, is a blend of traditional and contemporary artistic tendencies.

Through their work, SIN-ovi is attempting to stimulate dialogue and critical thinking and discuss the silenced topics, with the belief that art that encourages discussion can be a generator of social change and development of civic awareness. So far, they have presented their work in the premises of the Odron Collective, with the exhibition SIN-thesis.

Kemil Bekteši was born in Belgrade, where he started his primary education, which he completed in Sarajevo. He attended the Secondary School of Applied Arts in the class of Professor Nevenka Ilić Georgijević. After finishing secondary school, he enrolled in the Department of Painting in the class of Professor Amer Bakšić at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo. He spent one semester in Portugal, studying under the guidance of Professor Domingos Loureiro at the Academy in Porto. In addition to painting, he specializes in sculpture and graphics, and pays special attention to conceptual and performance art. So far, he has exhibited at several group exhibitions in Sarajevo, Belgrade, Trebinje, Banja Luka, and had a solo exhibition as a member of the duo SIN-ovi. He currently lives in Sarajevo.

The new situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic reminded us that solidarity is a human trait that we must not forget, and it has shown us how much we actually depend on interpersonal relationships and contact. Contemporary (Re)Production reminds the viewer that life, as well as art, is based on relationships, collaborations, and it quietly notes ‘One is not enough’.

The COVID-19 virus pandemic has also taken its toll in the art world, and due to restrictive measures, all exhibitions have been banned and all gallery and museum exhibitions have been closed to the public. So art, like most human activities today, has moved from the real to the virtual world. Online exhibitions have become a widely accepted alternative, taking different forms so far – from virtual simulations of gallery spaces and video recordings of artistic settings to animated reproductions of works of art. One of the forms of online exhibitions is the placement of work reproductions on temporary web pages. This is exactly how the online exhibition organized by the young Italian director and artist Gianmarco Donaggio works.

At the invitation of Mr. Donaggio, an art duo from Sarajevo SIN-ovi participated in the exhibition, presenting the work Contemporary (Re)Production. Although it was originally a video work, due to the specificity of the online setting, the work was modified to a gif format.

The art duo SIN-ovi is the result of two years of mutual consultation and analysis of contemporary art between two young artists, Kemil Bekteši, a scholarship holder of the Hastor Foundation and Adna Muslija, student of the post-graduate programme at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo. They decided to turn the long talks into synthesized artistic practice. Brought closer together by the question of identity and the dilemma “Who are we, what are we, and to whom do we belong?”, they asked the common question “Where are we going?” Artistic practice, whose conceptual basis can be summarized in the dialectic of the terms tradition – politics – censorship, is a blend of traditional and contemporary artistic tendencies.

Through their work, SIN-ovi is attempting to stimulate dialogue and critical thinking and discuss the silenced topics, with the belief that art that encourages discussion can be a generator of social change and development of civic awareness. So far, they have presented their work in the premises of the Odron Collective, with the exhibition SIN-thesis.

Kemil Bekteši was born in Belgrade, where he started his primary education, which he completed in Sarajevo. He attended the Secondary School of Applied Arts in the class of Professor Nevenka Ilić Georgijević. After finishing secondary school, he enrolled in the Department of Painting in the class of Professor Amer Bakšić at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo. He spent one semester in Portugal, studying under the guidance of Professor Domingos Loureiro at the Academy in Porto. In addition to painting, he specializes in sculpture and graphics, and pays special attention to conceptual and performance art. So far, he has exhibited at several group exhibitions in Sarajevo, Belgrade, Trebinje, Banja Luka, and had a solo exhibition as a member of the duo SIN-ovi. He currently lives in Sarajevo.

The new situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic reminded us that solidarity is a human trait that we must not forget, and it has shown us how much we actually depend on interpersonal relationships and contact. Contemporary (Re)Production reminds the viewer that life, as well as art, is based on relationships, collaborations, and it quietly notes ‘One is not enough’.

For this reason, SIN-ovi present this work in an exhibition called “Insieme”, translated from the Italian together.                                                                                              

                                                                                                      Una Karabeg