Debate on the institutional treatment of the work of art “Cigаni i psi” by Zorаn Todorović

Cultural Center REX

27. 04. 2012 12:00

The debate held as part of the programme THINK ABOUT OTHERS – THINK ABOUT YOURSELF is aimed at examining the role of institutions in the production and presentation of this particular work of art, which has not been the topic of the discussions that the work in question has prompted so far.


The work of art "Cigаni i psi" was displayed at the 50th Belgrade Art Salon curated by the director of the Museum of Modern Art, Branislava Anđelković. The event was founded by the city of Belgradeand isorganized with its support. The exhibition was held in the Museum if Yugoslav History. When making this art work, the author used a miniature camera carried by one or more children who were encouraged to panhandle. The device was carried by stray dogs too. After the work was shown it sparked controversy on the Druga scena (Another Scene) mailing list (, but there was only a small number of official reactionsand they were published in the form of essays or comments. One of them was an essay by the art historian and theorist Nikola Dedić published in the journal Treći program for which the author received the Lazar Trifunović prize awarded by Cultural CentreBelgrade. The essay and the prize provoked a reaction of Democratic Roma Association (DRA) followed by a response from the director of Cultural CentreBelgrade, Mia David. The Lawyers Committee for Human Rights(YUCOM) intervened with the state Commissioner for Protection of Equality regarding the prize, namely, the choice of recipient, but no response to the complaint has been received to this day. The links to the award citation and the above-mentioned reactions can be found at the bottom of the following page.

The representatives of the institutions that co-produced the work, presented it to the public, or promoted it, as well as a select group of guests from the country, region and abroad, artists, theorists, custodians, lawyers, activists, representatives of the organizations active in the field of promoting and protecting human rights, integration of young people and children into the society, child psychology specialists and other speakers and comment submitters, both those who have already taken part in previous analyses, reviews and discussions and those who have never before expressed publicly their views of this work of art or its institutional treatment are all invited to participate in the debate.The participants will include, among others, Suzana Milevska (art theorist and custodian from Skopje, Macedonia), Mia David (acting director of Cultural CentreBelgrade), Jelena Vesić (independent custodian and art critic, Belgrade), Sunčica Ostoić (independent custodian, Zagreb, Croatia), Milan Antonijević (lawyer,Lawyers Committee for Human Rights(YUCOM), Belgrade), as well as others who are focusing on similar issues in the domains of art and politics or showing an interest in this case, namely its possible legal, cultural or political repercussions.

The debate is part of the Crossroads East West intercultural dialogue programme, implemented as part of Engine Room Europe, a three-year project that received the support of the European Commission and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia.