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Creating Something Out of Nothing

One. a Magazine article

by Yash Egami

Throughout much of the ’90s, few places saw as much turmoil as Serbia.

With the fall of Yugoslavia, economic ruin, a brutal dictator, ethnic cleansing, and NATO bombings, simply getting by was a struggle for many people. The last thing on anyone’s mind was art – all except for Djordje Milekic (aka Stanislav Sharp) and a few persistent souls. A graphic artist and photographer by trade, Sharp and partner/publisher Nada Rajicic (Nada Ray) formed the FIA Art Group as “an outlet for artists to send a message” during turbulent times. Their aim was to produce an art exhibition that would feature the work of emerging artists from the region and make a statement about cultural life in Serbia.

Their first exhibit premiered in 1993 in the ruins of a former art gallery, and since then, the project has expanded to include a calendar, book and multimedia presentation. Their latest calendar for 2005, published by Publikum and entitled PHENOMAN, was designed by New York-based artists Hjalti Karlsson and Jan Wilker. Both spent 12 days in Belgrade documenting daily life and ordinary people for this unique “real time” project. Each month shows each day of their visit and what they saw through their lenses.

The FIA/Publikum exhibit will be shown for the first time in the U.S. at the One Club Gallery and will include a retrospective of work from the last 12 years as well as the debut of their latest calendar.

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