Summer art school 2016


The building of the Rectorate of the University of the Arts was built for government administration in 1920s in the part of the city known as Varoš kapija (City Gate). It stood between two historical edifices which where, respectively, constructed upon the designs of Franz Jake in the first half of the 19th century. The first was the Belgrade Orthodox Cathedral, and the latter the Customs office in Karađorđeva street. The Customs office, also known under its Turkish name Đumrukana, disappeared in bombing during the Second World War, but left the lasting mark in Serbian culture. It was the first building constructed according to the stylistic principles of the contemporary Western architecture, while under its vaults in 1841, the first ever theatre play was performed in Belgrade.

This part of Belgrade embankment is the theme and the location of the traditional international Summer Art School of the University of Arts entitled Beyond all Confines which will take place from 15th to 22nd July 2016. We decided upon this location since the port was that very link that, in the 19th century, connected the renewed state of Serbia with European capitals. Moreover the confluence of the Sava and the Danube represents the very essence of Belgrade, and stands as an emblem of its openness. The Rectorate, a convergence of four faculties, is a specific vantage point that continues to uphold all these traditions.

Workshops of the Summer Art School revolve around the concept of border. During the millennium history of Belgrade, rivers Sava and Danube were a borderline more often than not: border between the Roman Empire and the barbaric area, Byzantine, then between the Serbian Despotate and Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Austria, Serbia and Austro-Hungary… these rivers stopped being a boundary only after the First World War ended, but in the urban tissue of Belgrade and in its mentality, it is still possible to feel the distant reflection of that archetype. It is for that reason that the re-examination of the conception of border (in history, urban space, innovations in visual arts, biology, mathematics…) was imposed as a stimulating framework for a variety of artistic interventions and deliberations.

The subject area includes a slope of the Sava River that touches the Fortress of Belgrade, city cardo – today’s Knez Mihailova Street and the coast up to the line of the bridge in the Brankova Street. The number of cultural and historical monuments is large – from the Cathedral complex with the Patriarchate, the oldest urban quarter Kosančićev Venac with the remnants of the National Library and the Roman findings beneath its foundation, the Princess Ljubica Residence, old pub Question Mark, to the port. A density of visible and invisible historical heritage in this area is rare to find on other locations in Europe and worldwide and rep-resents a creative challenge both for students in Belgrade and those who visit the city for the first time.



Workshop leader:  Branka Popović, Faculty of Music

The story of Đumrukana, a the symbol of freedom, the first theatre, and thus the symbol of the new, courageous and progressive, is the starting point around which the composition workshop will revolve. Students of composition will create music for five micro-ballets in cooperation with the participants of the theatre workshop. The ballets will be inspired by the motifs from the story Cupid and Psyche, from Apuleius’ The Golden Ass and topics from the Roman mythology. Compositions will be created for a small chamber ensemble, while the literary themes will be researched and written through synthesis of movement and sound. The students of composition will be encouraged to research new music tendencies and performance techniques with the aim of developing and finding their own musical expression. In addition to this, the participants will be focused on theatrical elements through cooperation with the participants of the theatre workshop. In the interaction between two different art disciplines, music pieces will emerge as independent, but also complex theatre musical form.

The workshop is conceived as a dynamic and interactive process under the intensive men-torship. Fragments of compositions will be discussed during the process of their creation from compositional and performing aspects. Students will also analyse sound potential of in-struments and their various combinations.

Participants: 5 students of composition


Workshop leader:  Marija Milenković, Faculty of Dramatic Arts

With its scenography and experimentation with the exterior, the workshop recreates the former theatre of Đumrukana and urban atmosphere – tumult that always exists in harbours. Since the theatre no longer exists in its physical form, the project is conceived as a street theatre inspired by fairy tales and myths. The meeting and intertwining of different cultures and ethnic groups left traces in Belgrade during its millennial history. Therefore the concept of the workshop is based on fairy tales and myths – forms that preserve memories of the collective souls of the world.

The workshop is conceived as a joint interdisciplinary research of students of acting and composition. Classic template of a fairy tale or a myth will be the starting point for revealing verbal and non-verbal possibilities of interpretation, with emphasis on deepening movements and its meaning, and some of the research topics will include ritual, life cycle, metaphor, allegory, symbols, shadow and evil in fairy tales. The scenes will be inspired by motifs from the fairy tale Cupid and Psyche from Apuleius’ The Golden Ass and stories from Roman and Slavic mythology. In a dynamic and interactive process, different aspects of these topics will be researched through synthesis of movement and sound.

 The course is structured as a complex acting training, which includes improvisations on a given topic, author time of an actor, extemporization, internal organization and potential of acting resources, as well as combining traditional and contemporary movement techniques. The objective of the workshop is playful and relaxed examination of acting ability to spontaneously react to the given impulse and efforts to define, as precisely as possible, the intuitive flows ranging from association to realization of an acting response. The results will be used for the theatre play followed by music following from the play itself.

Participants: 14 students of acting

Visual Art

Workshop leaders:  Jelena Todorović and Svetlana Volic, Faculty of Fine Arts

The art and theory workshop consists of researching hidden and forgotten areas of the Sava slope and the Belgrade dock. The main objective is discovering different historical layers of Belgrade reflected in the area of the former Đumrukana, the Great Mosque, the never-opened tunnel under the Lower City, etc. This part of the city, also known as Fićir-Bajir or Hill of Contemplation, was shaped for centuries by intersected flows of visible and invisible history. It was less a place for meditation, and more a vortex to which all life of the city flowed during all periods of its history, point of the customs house and the border, of the arrivals and departures. For many people, it was a definition of the city, its contours welcomed and saw off each traveller and remained deeply engraved in his memory. In its essence, it was a trading area, a place of constant change and exchange, not only of mere goods, but also ideas, cultures, influences, language, identity…Each slope in its core reveals many underground rooms, passages that once served as harbour warehouses. There are actual cellars within the slope, but also warehouses of records on the hill which preserve history, memories and the city’s perished legacy. By rethinking, learning and feeling, a careful observer can enlighten the hidden rooms and store them into his own passages, as capital or primer, a trigger that will awake imagination.

Precisely for this reason was this part of the city selected for the scene and the main actor of the workshop. It will be the starting point for the students’ personal art research which should not only reflect the seen and experienced, but also become a small part of the history of that place. The places which at the same time belong to the past and the present, the real and the imaginary, are in a way calling for interaction between the spirit of the area and the artist’s inner imagination. This dialogue between the internal and external landscapes can result in interesting achievements in the medium of picture, video, spatial installation, photography, performance… Workshop phases include lectures, research of the area and creative reaction in the selected parts of the city, theoretical and practical work in the studio and presentation of the newly-created works.

Participants: 6-10 students of fine and applied art

3D Design

Workshop leader:  Miloš Ilić, Faculty of Applied Arts

The workshop will be focused on the intervention in space which will reveal and mark hidden memories of the Kosančićev Venac and the Sava slope with a contemporary design language, through different forms of spatial design and by using signs in an open environment. In such way, layers of rich cultural heritage will be primarily brought closer to younger audience.

This idea followed from the fact that institutionalized representations of the historical content often include conventional museological forms whose dull aesthetic representations move us away from the topic itself. Areas rich with spirit and complex history, such as Kosančićev Venac, can provide a different perspective, earn new audience and reveal those layers of culture and history that were hidden until now, even for many Belgrade citizens. This micro-environment can be perceived in a surprising and new way, using contemporary aesthetic language.

Through research, the students will choose narratives from the history of Kosančićev Venac and represent them as unexpected spatial interventions. The workshop will include research, theoretical and practical work in a studio, conceptualization, installation of the works in space and final presentation of the created works. These spatial installations will engage audience and passers-by to also perceive the area of Kosančićev Venac as an exhibition area.

The work of this workshop will also be in coordination with the theatre segment of the School, thus this work may be described as multi-layered: one part will be an autonomous project, while the other one will be in the function of a street play.

Participants: 4-10 students of applied and fine arts

Documentary Film

Workshop leader:  Janko Baljak, Faculty of Dramatic Arts

Transitional life of the Serbian capital completely contrary to the bound-in-silence Kalemeg-dan flows below the ancient ruins of the Belgrade’s Fortress.

The documentary workshop will seek inspiration in human faces, fates, but also in contrasts revealed by this micro-environment, where centuries of Belgrade’s history collide with the globalization of the surroundings. In addition to many historical buildings, in the area of Kosančićev Venac and the Sava slope people live on the edge of poverty, in derelict houses in the shadows of elite new buildings. The documentary workshop will examine those com-parative existences and contrasts of the capital’s very centre.

Participants: 6 students of all art profiles (small advantage is given to international students)


Application is done via email

  1. Fill out the Application Form (Provide a valid e-mail address on the form as all communication regarding your application will be sent via e-mail)
  2. Provide the supplemental materials (3-5 examples of your recent artwork in JPEG format (required only from students of visual arts)

Application deadline: May 30, 2016


Application form