Hekler & Residency Unlimited / Presentation and conversation

January 17, 2019 * 6pm * Legat Franklin, Belgrade, Serbia

Photo credit: Darko Vukić, Stefan Lukić, and Dimitrije Turudić

Boshko Boskovic, Program Director at Residency Unlimited (RU), and Nataša Prljević, Co-founder of HEKLER and RU’s Executive and Curatorial Assistant, in conversation with Nadežda Kirćanski, 2018 Dimitrije Bašičević Mangelos Awardee, present the structures of both organizations with a focus on the role of residency programs and application processes, as well as the importance of solidarity within the wider art community and self-organized initiatives as a response to the current institutional and market politics.

Besides the logistical and organizational breakdown, the presentation includes the funding structure of the 2-month residency program in New York as a part of the Young Visual Artist Award system supported by the Trust for Mutual Understanding which includes eleven countries in Central and Southeastern Europe. (more below)

While reflecting on the relationships and collaborations with previous awardees, Nadežda Kirćanski talks about her experience as an artist in residence at the Residency Unlimited and shares her insights from a 2-month stay in New York, her critical perspective on professional development, contemporary art production, as well as the response to HEKLER events she attended.

Together with one of the organizers of the Dimitrije Bašičević Mangelos Award, Miroslav Karić from REMONT - Independent Artistic Association, we close the evening with the important aspect of the gathering - an open discussion with the audiences about their perception of the award and the relevance of the application process in relationship to the position of young artists in Serbia.

We are very grateful to Nadežda Kirćanski, Dušan Savić and Legat Franklin for spearheading and generously hosting this gathering!


The Young Visual Artists Award program was established in 1990 with the creation of the Jindrich Chalupecky Award in Czechoslovakia with the mission of promoting and recognizing artistic accomplishment and promise by providing young artists with a US residency and cultural exchange experience. Under the aegis of President Vaclav Havel, the founders: Wendy Luers, President of the Foundation for a Civil Society, and a group of dissident artists named this initial award after the Czech art historian Jindrich Chalupecky, underscoring the role of culture in democratization and civil society.

This founding mission and programmatic framework — to promote contemporary art, foster cultural exchange, and build the capacity of local art NGO’s — as led by the Foundation for a Civil Society, NY, has guided the creation of the other nine awards that comprise the YVAA network in the region.  Young Visual Artists Awards were eleven countries: the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania, Bulgaria, and Montenegro.

YVAA operates in partnership with local nongovernmental art organizations to conduct an open call and transparent annual or biannual competition and curated exhibition, through which an independent and international jury selects a young visual artist as the winner and recipient of a US residency. The awards, often named in honor of a leading art historical figure or artist group in the country, signify a commitment to nurturing and recognizing emerging artists at the national and international stage. Over the years, the YVAA program has partnered with leading art organizations in each country, reflecting the development and vibrancy of contemporary art in the region.

The Trust for Mutual Understanding has provided not only financial support for the YVAA program, since its founding, but has stewarded its vision, advancement, and achievements, including this website. This support has made a significant contribution to the artistic development and international success of the 150+ artists who have benefited from pursuing their artistic practice and professional relationships in the United States.