jimmy hawthorn redaktion at kunstzeitung.net
Fre Jul 4 22:02:16 CEST 2008



/Zampa di Leone/




      Art Center of the Library of the University of Belgrade

Univerzitetska biblioteka 'Svetozar Markovic'
Bulevar Revolucije 71
Phone: + 381 63 1919178
Fax:  +381 11 3370513
Contact: Selman Trtovac
artcentar.ubsm at gmail.com <mailto:artcentar.ubsm at gmail.com>

zampa.various-euro.com <http://zampa.various-euro.com>

Opening: Friday 4. of July 2008 6PM
The exhibition is open until 1st of Septembar

With drawings, texts and actions Zampa di Leone is working within the
parameters of cultural activism in the Balkan region. Their first
fanzine, 'In the Arse of the Balkans', which parodies an entire movement
of balkanization of art practices. Their experiment of aesthetic
reformulation of the Balkans created its anti-history of sorts.

'...Zampa di Leone's 'selections' are anonymously published caricatures
of protagonists and relationships in the international and
'Balkan'-related art scene. They were 'created at the time of a
fictional history (tradition) in order to negate this fabrication in the
most brutal fashion' (Sezgin Boynik, 2006). The viewer is left clueless
as to whether to embrace this sniper-like critique of the politics of
aesthetic distinction, the 'dispositiv' (Foucault) of the creative
'author', its attacks on the definitorial lighttowers, hermeneutic
monopolists, heroes and heroines of the art-world or to reject it as
cheap post-adolescent pillorying from the safe position of the hideout,
that levels all nuances that matter. Certainly the works of Zampa di
Leone are occasionally intelligent and funny...'

(Fahim Amir: http://www.metamute.org/en/html2pdf/view/11500 (2008))

'...Zampa di Leone's perspective is to provide an authentic and honest
portrait of the Balkan region and EU. The BALKANS ANTHOLOGY 2000-2005
'In the Arse of the Balkan', was conceived to establish a platform for
an open dialog between the Balkans and Western Europe while
simultaneously encouraging avenues of communication between
Southeast-European countries themselves and especially Western Balkan
Region between all regions itself in transition.'In the Arse of the
Balkan' is dealing with the phenomenon of cultural activism and artistic
practices in the West Balkan region and Europe in the last half of
decade. It is a really complex collaboration, dealing with the global
problems with very nice artistic perspectives, both historic and
contemporary, all demonstrate the creative energy and the intellectual
potential of contemporary life from the Balkans...' (From:
http://zampa.various-euro.com <http://zampa.various-euro.com/> (2003))

'...There are some artistic practices, developed in Belgrade in the last
few years, that could possibly be considered as developing such kind of
models of institutional critique. They are attributed to the 'Illegal
Confectioners', to 'Zampa di Leone', and to 'Dr.Agan PapiÄ?', and these
signifiers, regardless if they have a defined bearer, who takes
responsibility for the actions coming out of those practices or not, do
rise quite some public dissent when being mentioned in discussion. The
manner they act in is simulationist, they act 'as if' they would
participate in the representational game, but in fact use images and
information as viruses in order to act against any representation. The
actions of the 'Illegal Confectioners' did include making a fake B92
blog, where one could discuss whatever this neo-liberal media house
would not allow on their regular site, sending a made up info on a
forced closing of a bar for elderly people called 'Osama' ('lonesomness'
in Serbian), after the alleged intervention from the US Embassy, etc.
'Zampa', as collective under cover, made mock cartoons on the issues
from the local art scene, quite bizzare and controversial, and with a
number of fake info in them, while 'Dr. Agan' has opened an anarchistic
mailing list, naming it 'Splash: the List of Love and Freedom' and
generated a new community around it....'

(Stevan Vukovic: http://eipcp.net/dlfiles/belgrade (2007))

'...An attempt was made to theoretically analyze the strategy of Zampa
di Leone. [http://eipcp.net/transversal/1202/milevska/en] It is in an
essay by a curator from Macedonia, Suzana Milevska, where she analyses
the political paralysis in radical art practices in ex-Yugoslav
republics. Milevska defends the viewpoint that Zampa di Leone together
with Irwins (?!) represent a non-public discourse that was generally
practiced in the whole ambivalent system of self-government. Thus, she
criticizes Zampa di Leone's strategy of anonymity and invisibility as a
simulator of paralysis in culture's public space. Authors of Zampa di
Leone comics are unknown, or more precisely â?? partially unknown, but
this anonymity has nothing to do with the cultural space that is
paralyzed. At least there is no historical connection, because Zampa di
Leone did not come about during the 90's when escapism was a generally
accepted strategy on Serbia's art scene, but near the end of 2003, when
political and public art where the most common art practice. Zampa di
Leone's anonymity is rather a strategy against compromises and
'everything goes' easiness. For example, although parodied by Zampa di
Leone, artist Tanja Ostojic was not uncomfortable to publish a
caricature in her book 'Strategies of Success.' This is perhaps another
side of contemporary art's ambivalence which can be best characterized
with the old Marxist pejorative: opportunism...'

(Sezgin Boynik: 'LEARNING FROM THE UNDERGROUND', Magazin on Image of
Radical Girls #3, Prizren 2006),

'...Zampa di Leone's In the Arse of the Balkan 2000-2005 comic strip web
site both jokes with artists including the most renowned artists and
projects such as successful IRWIN's group recent projects, the artists
Tanja Ostojic, Milica Tomic and Uros Djuric, and the curators Marina
Grzinic and Branko Dimitrijevic and aims to a cultural critique of the
representation of the Balkan art scene in a Western art context. Their
graphic drawings and language aims to be a kind of subversive activism
but there is definitely a certain ambiguity in Zampa di Leone's attitude
towards activism. Although they state: In the Arse of the Balkan 'is
dealing with the phenomenon of cultural activism and artistic practices
in the West Balkan region and Europe in the last half of
decade'[http://zampa.various-euro.com <http://zampa.various-euro.com/>],
their ironical approach towards activism becomes clear through other
texts. However, according to the clandestine author the web site will
fulfill its mission with any change of in the local situation and the
notion of change is definitely an attribute closely related with that of
activism. It is obvious that the target of this project is not the
political in general but the art politics of the Serbian and Balkan art

(Suzana Milevska: http://eipcp.net/transversal/1202/milevska/en (2005))

'...I must say that always I visit Zampa di Leone
(http://zampa.various-euro.com <http://zampa.various-euro.com/>), I'm
extremely amused. Such a refreshing analysis of the state of things in
the Balkan region is always welcome! Who is Zampa di Leone? I have no
idea, although my friends from Serbia and Monte Negro, and we are all
playing in Zampa di Leone's comics, list this and that name. As long as
Zampa di Leone, through comics' techniques, contributes building solid
mythology narrations, hyper-hysterical requestioning of the state of the
thing in art, infernal flux of complicated relations, and funny,
critical, but in the end not at all offensive critique, I do not care,
who the hell is Zampa di Leone...'

(Marina Grzinic: http://artefact.mi2.hr/_a03/lang_en/www_leone_en.htm