congress / people

Dobrila Denegri

Date and place of birth: 1970, Belgrade, Serbia

Living place: Belgrade, Serbia / Toruń, Poland / Rome, Italy

Theme: art history

ECC Participation: publication

An art historian and curator. Since the early ‘90s she curated many exhibitions, workshops and series of lectures in various public and private art institutions in Italy, Serbia and other countries. For the last 10 years she has been an artistic director of nKA / ICA (Nezavisna Kulturna Asocijacija/ Independent Cultural Association) in Belgrade. In 2010 she became artistic director of Centre of Contemporary Art “Znaki Czasu” in Toruń (Poland).

“I find very interesting everything that destabilises concepts and disciplinary confines, that makes you ask: is it art? Is it fashion? Is it architecture?”

In 2001 she initiated (together with Biljana Tomic) “Real Presence” (www.real-presence.org), an international workshop for emerging artists, currently the biggest event of this kind in the Balkan region. Over the years this long-term, Belgrade based project involved thousands of participants, coming from about 100 academies of art in more than 60 countries. “Real Presence”, as Denegri says, “did not start from some thematic or curatorial presupposition but from an urgency, the necessity to overcome the closure and the cultural isolation that the war in the former Yugoslavia had brought about”. Eventually the project was transformed into a significant platform of multicultural exchange and cooperation. It was realised as part of the Venice Biennale (in 2005 and 2009), the Istanbul Biennial (2007), and in the Museum of Contemporary Art Castello di Rivoli (in 2008).

From 2002 till 2008 Denegri was curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome (MACRO) where she prepared, among others, exhibitions by Michal Rovner & Andreas Gursky, Alfredo Jaar, Ernesto Neto and a series of lectures “Art Highlights” that involved a great number of internationally renowned artists and curators. She taught history of contemporary art at the La Sapienza University in Rome and was a lecturer at numerous international schools of art. Since 2011 she teaches at International Institute of Fashion Design Polimoda in Florence.