IGOR ZABEL AWARD 2022 & International Conference





17 November 2022, 14:30–19:15 CET, International Conference (Cankarjev dom and online)
18 November 2022, 20:00 CET, Award Ceremony (Cukrarna Gallery)

Save the date for the 2022 Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory and its accompanying international conference, which will take place on 17 and 18 November 2022 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, at Cankarjev dom and Cukrarna Gallery, as well as online.

The Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory acknowledges exceptional achievements of curators, art historians, theorists, writers, and critics in the field of visual art and culture in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. Three grants, as well as one award, will be conferred by the jury.

Award Ceremony 2022: Award Ceremony — Igor Zabel Award 2022

Igor Zabel Award 2022 goes to Bojana Pejić

The 2022 Igor Zabel Award jury awards Bojana Pejić (born in Belgrade, 1948, based in Berlin) for her lifelong research into the constituent elements of Eastern European art and culture. Her writings, and particularly her complex international exhibitions such as After the Wall: Art and Culture in Post-Communist Europe (1999–2001) and Gender Check: Femininity and Masculinity in the Art of Eastern Europe (2009–2010), have had worldwide impact, critically marking our understanding of art during state socialism and also providing critical analysis of post-socialist culture after 1989. Pejić orchestrates transnational teams or works alone as she surveys what Eastern European countries have in common, and how their art makes visible the history, nationalism, and gender politics.

Bojana Pejić, Foto: Sveta Janac
Bojana Pejić, Photo: Sveta Janać

Her understanding of Eastern Europe transcends ideological pictures of an oppressed and underdeveloped East. She explores its many cultural histories, treating them not as derivative products of Western exemplars, but as heterogenous and specific, and having their own unique importance. What’s more, her writings and exhibitions generate conclusions that are valuable beyond Eastern Europe: they provide lessons on art, society, and power structures relevant to audiences around the world. Bojana Pejić is an art historian and also an activist for whom academia is never sufficient. She compels us to reread our past in order to change our common future.

2022 Igor Zabel Award Grant recipients

• Oksana Briukhovetska
, artist, curator, and art writer (Kyiv / Michigan, USA) for her outstanding contribution to the artistic and activist life in Ukraine and beyond; her work triggers processes of democratization under the most demanding circumstances and raises feminist awareness.
• Alina Șerban, art historian, art writer, curator, and editor (Bucharest) in recognition of her exceptional research and ability to create self-managed organizations and platforms that bring together Central and Eastern European researchers and cultural workers.
• Antonina Stebur, curator, art writer, and researcher (Minsk, currently living between Poland and Germany) in recognition of her extraordinary power of resistance, commitment to decolonise Belarusian art, and her belief that art is a practical instrument of political imagination.

For more information about the laureate and the grand recipients 2022 visit please Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory.

So Close: Ecologies of Life and Death

International conference, held as part of the programme for the Igor Zabel Award 2022
Thursday, 17 November 2022, 14:30–19:15 CET, CD Club, Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana

Stream: Igor Zabel Association YT Channel // award.igorzabel.org

One day prior to the main event, we invite you to attend the international conference titled So Close: Ecologies of Life and Death, which will feature the following speakers: Maja and Reuben Fowkes, Thom Van Dooren, Šejla Kamerić, Marietta Rodomska, Boštjan Videmšek, and Mick Wilson.

Questions about the future of life on this planet – questions stemming from the devastating consequences of capitalist extractivism and colonialism and the exacerbating environmental, climate and social crises – have become thoroughly embedded in the field of art, as in many other areas. What might our conference add to such considerations?

So Close: Ecologies of Life and Death approaches the future of life from the perspective of life’s end by drawing attention to reconsiderations of loss, decline, and death. In this way, it seeks to transcend the binary of, on the one hand, dystopian pessimism about the future and, on the other, utopian optimism in the all-powerful human capacity to overcome the end. By examining the issues of death and decline, the conference opens an interstitial space for reflection on the present and possible futures of life on our damaged planet.

The conference considers the meeting point of art, ecology, and forms of social organization that do not deepen the multiple crises threatening life on earth. We will draw attention both to possibilities for (co-)existence through regenerative forms of micro- and macro-organization and to decline and death as integral parts of life that must be reconsidered.

Conference Advisory Committee:
Urška Jurman, programme manager, Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory
Zdenka Badovinac, director, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb
Rok Kranjc, researcher, Futurescraft & Institute for Ecology, Ljubljana
Alenka Gregorič, artistic director, Cukrarna Gallery, Ljubljana

For more information about the conference visit please: International Conference — Igor Zabel Award 2022.

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Florian Bauer

Director Social Finance, Sustainability and Innovation
Since 2023, Florian Bauer has been responsible for social finance, sustainability and social innovation at ERSTE Foundation. Prior to this role, Florian worked in the NGO & Social Entrepreneurship sector for more than 13 years. He led the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), an international multilateral NGO that works to accelerate market-based deployment of renewable energy and energy efficient systems in developing countries, and was Managing Director & COO of the Impact Hub Vienna. From 2020-2023, Florian established strategic alliances with key partners and helped to create innovative semantic technology solutions at Semantic Web Company (SWC), a leading IT company in semantic AI solutions.