>>       Balkan Konsulat proudly presents: Belgrade - Prague - Istanbul - Budapest - Sarajevo
special guest: St.Petersburg


For one and a half years, < rotor >, an association for contemporary art, will become the "Balkan Konsulat". During the whole year of "Graz 2003- Cultural Capital of Europe", curators from South-Eastern Europe will come to the consulate to organize the program for this very important year.
The guests of the Balkan Konsulat come from Belgrade, Prague, Istanbul, Budapest, Sarajevo and Vienna (St. Petersburg will be Special Guest in the framework of the 2003 project SPB), forming the essential motors of the development of contemporary art in their environment. The participating curators from these cities have developed multi-layered projects for Graz. Apart from the presentation of visual arts in the premises of the consulate, there will be movie and DJ nights in exterior locations. These exterior branches of the consulate will be the Mediatheque of the city of Graz and the locally popular bars vipers at thienfeld and celery's_the juice bar.

The Balkan Konsulat hosts a cafe, mediating the spirit of the various cities through books, catalogues, magazines and videos.

Where do the Balkans start, where do they end? It is not easy to trace the Balkans' borders. The attempt to locate its mentality leads to never-ending discussions: Every country interprets the "Balkans" differently. From a German perspective, they start in Austria, from there in Slovenia, from Slovenia in Croatia, from Croatia in Serbia etc. The philosopher Slavoj Zizek says: "The Balkans are always the Other."

Is Graz part of the Balkans or not? The city of Graz often claims to be the gate to South-Eastern Europe. This statement reveals the wish to obtain some importance for this geographical region. As a matter of fact it is clear that South-Eastern Europe has influenced the culture of this city with lasting effects.

The "Balkan Consulate" exhibition project can be seen as a continuation of < rotor > gallery's long-standing commitment to the contemporary art of South-Eastern Europe. This cooperation has resulted in a comprehensive network of artists and cultural institutes that extends from Slovenia to Ukraine.

Apart from the rotors, Margarethe Makovec and Anton Lederer, the curator Lejla Hodzic from Sarajevo was deeply involved in the conception of the project. And the corporate identity for the consulate also comes from Sarajevo.

A publication to summarize the "Balkan Konsulat" project has been realesed.

The term "Balkan Konsulat" was introduced by Uros Djuric, artist from Belgrade. He was the first to call < rotor > the "Balkan Konsulat" in October 2001.
Lejla Hodzic, Margarethe Makovec und Anton Lederer (r. to l.) in the Balkan Konsulat Café
Photo: Alfons Kowatsch