From 2018 to 2022, the program of WHW Akademija hosted the following eminent international curators, artists, scientists, activists, and cultural workers: Zbyněk Baladrán, Ivana Bago, Ben Cain, Yael Davids, Tim Etchells, iLiana Fokianaki, Tina Gverović, Sanja Iveković, David Maljković, Kate Sutton, Pierre Bal-Blanc, Ana Janevski, Kathrin Rhomberg, Alex Baczyński-Jenkins and Kasia Wlaszczyk – KEM collective, Dan Perjovschi, Vlatka Horvat, Marwa Arsanios, Aude Christel Mgba, Pablo Martínez, Hana Miletić, Jelena Vesić, Želimir Žilnik, Dubravka Sekulić, Zdenka Badovinac, Christine Tohmé, Leire Vergara, Daniela Ortiz,Denise Ferreira da Silva and Valentina Desideri…
The Advisory Board members of WHW Akademija are David Maljković, Emily Pethick, Kathrin Rhomberg and Christine Tohmé.
Adapting to the colossal and unpredictable changes that affected the ways in which both learning and artistic exchanges can happen during the pandemic, WHW Akademija has been testing the ways to enable the production and dissemination of knowledge focused on collectivity and imagination, with an emphasis on various forms of artistic production in times of crisis. Based on modes of critical reflection, curiosity, and encounters among artists, artworks, arts professionals, scholars, and practitioners in various disciplines, since 2018 WHW Akademija has enacted and established innovative forms of education and collaboration in different formats: workshops, intensives, exhibitions, summer schools, actions in public space, lectures, conversations, practical workshops, podcasts, and performances.
WHW Akademija 5th generation
The fifth edition of WHW Akademija is designed as an educational model that combines both online and physical interactions, exploring participatory approaches to artistic and knowledge production. In light of the transition from the pandemic to an increasingly severe crisis marked by ongoing wars, growing austerity measures, a deepening international recession, and escalating ecological disasters, WHW Akademija 2023 aims to foster an environment for engaged eco-social participatory cultural production. The program focuses on eco-social and somatic practices, artistic ecologies, care, collectivity, and degrowth. It seeks to investigate methodologies developed by artists and cultural workers to effectively engage with their artistic, social, digital, and ecological environments.
The 2023 program features twelve participants and two guest participants for the WHW Akademija Summer School: Gleb Amankulov, Larissa Araz, Kemil Bekteši, Klara Burić, Katja Crevar, Aria Farajnezhad, Đejmi Hadrović, Hu Yun, Mari Kalabegashvili, Ivana Mirchevska, Jelisaveta Rapaić, and Rita Süveges. The WHW Akademija Summer School welcomed Pennie Key and Lena Pozdnyakova, two alumni of the Rijksakademie residency program and Neue Nachbarschaft // Moabit Mountain.
The professorial team for 2023 consists of Yael Davids, Adelita Husni-Bey, Miguel A. López, Pablo Martínez, Marina Naprushkina, and WHW. Through seminars and workshops, the program challenges and reimagines the structures that shape our bodies, communities, and environment. Zagreb’s semi-peripheral location, situated between the north and south and influenced by both socialist planning and capitalist extraction, provides an intriguing context for cultivating fresh perspectives on eco-social values.
WHW Akademija Summer School
WHW Akademija Summer School took place from May 16 – 23th 2023 at the Youth Culture Centre Ribnjak and partly in public spaces in Zagreb. This was a continuation of the collaboration between the WHW organisation and the Youth Culture Centre Ribnjak. The Centre is known for their work with children, young people and marginalized groups and refugees (especially from Ukraine). Their programs include musical education, theatre and dance, among others. The WHW Akademija Summer School was led by independent researcher and educator Pablo Martínez and artist and educator Marina Naprushkina. The format of the WHW Akademija Summer School was based on a series of workshops and collective discussions and smaller-scale artistic interventions, done in collaboration by the participants of WHW Akademija, alumni of Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten and participants of Neue Nachbarschaft/Moabit / Moabit Mountain College (Pennie Key and Lena Pozdnyakova). For its last, 4th day of the WHW Akademija Summer School,an open forum was organized to exchange the skills and experience with the local community. Through a series of bodily and somatic collaborative exercises, seminars, presentations, discussions, workshops, and collective actions, the WHW Akademija Summer School initiated an intense exchange between the participants, the professorial team, and the local setting.
Gleb Amankulov (b. 1988, Minsk) completed his degree at the Belarusian State Academy of Arts in Minsk and at Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna in sculpture and spatial strategies class by Prof. Monica Bonvicini and Prof. Iman Issa. He participated in various group exhibitions, his works have been shown at Leopold Museum, WAF Galerie, TWQ Wien, Hoast, Periscope Salzburg, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna etc. He works with temporary site-specific arrangements using found and borrowed furniture / utensils / objects of interior design. In his practice he reflects upon the economy of art production, distribution of power and notions of identity. He’s also interested in displaying, underlining and challenging formal, contextual and historical aspects of used / found / borrowed objects as well as reflecting the context and space they appear in. He received Academy Prize 2022 and Kunsthalle Prize 2022, shortlisted for Ö1 Talent Grant 2022 and received Startstipendium bildende Kunst 2022 from Federal Ministry Republic of Austria. He is currently based in Vienna.
Larissa Araz (b. 1990, Istanbul) is an artist and founder of Poşe artist run space in Istanbul, Turkey. She studied Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, NY, USA and Visual Arts at Koç University in Istanbul, TR. In her practice she focuses on alternative histories through non-human witnesses, denied evidences and the construction of dominant ideologies through institutional knowledge production. She was a recipient of the Prince Claus Seed award in 2021. She participated in Saha Studio residency from 2019-2020 and Arter Research Program in 2020-2021.
Kemil Bekteši (b. 1997, Belgrade) is Bosnian/Serbian/Kosovar visual artist. He completed his master’s (2021) degree at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo. In 2018/19 he studied contemporary art at Faculdade de Belas Artes do Porto (Portugal). He was awarded the Golden Badge of the University of Sarajevo for undergraduate and master’s studies, and was named the best student of the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo in graduate and master’s studies. In his artistic practice he often deals with topics related to identity, geopolitics, and nationality. His artistic practice employs a range of media, including perforamnces, works in public spaces, objects, and installations, often site/time specific. In 2020, he became the youngest finalist for the ZVONO award (YVAA – Young Visual Artists Awards, Bosnia and Herzegovina), and in 2022 he became a finalist for the MANGELOS Award (YVAA – Young Visual Artists Awards, Serbia). He is co-founder and associate of the Gallery of Contemporary Art “Manifesto” in Sarajevo. He lives and works between Sarajevo and Belgrade.
Klara Burić (b. 1997) is an artist from Croatia. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 2021, and she finished her BA with the highest honors (summa cum laude). working in both traditional and digital media, she focuses on sculpture and installation art. In her process-based works, she researches ethical, ecological and socioeconomic phenomena that occur in her own environment. By creating digital surroundings, modeling and casting synthetic as well as organic materials (clay, wood, resin) and presenting scents, her installations are simulacrums of ever changing nature. During and after her studies, she exhibited her works in solo exhibitions, as well as in numerous national and international group exhibitions.
Katja Crevar (b. 1990, Zagreb) relocated from Croatia to Denmark in 2016, where she continues to live and work. She received her BFA in 2021 from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts where she currently pursues an MFA at The School of Conceptual and Contextual Practices. Her work embodies personal notes through variety of media and techniques given by the context(s) in which she keeps re-inventing herself. At the moment she’s interested in expanding her education and artistic practice inside the collaborative, experimental and research based context(s), with focus on working inside the public space(s) and human contact.
Aria Farajnezhad (b. 1989, Ahwaz) is a multidisciplinary artist and organizer with a background in engineering and a long-term engagement with rhythm and playing percussion. He is a sound and image examiner and his work encompasses a variety of mediums, leaning towards speculative forensis. Farajnezhad is a former fellow at Ashkal Alwan’s Home Workspace Program (Beirut, Lebanon) between 2018- 2019 and a former participant in the Spring Curatorial Program 2022: Art Geographies (Vienna, Austria). Between 2020-2022 he has been co-running the project space Circa 106. (Bremen, Germany). Aria holds a Diploma from the faculty of fine arts at the University of Arts Bremen where he completed the Meisterschüler*innen program in July 2022. His works includes lengthy research-based sound/video installations deploying essayistic writing, editing, and poetry, and drawing to unfold over various mediums spanning from publication, acoustic improvisation to film, and sculpture. He has also participated in the artist-in-residence at Künstlerhäuser (Worpswede, Germany) as part of the Zefak Collective, through which they initiated Future Archives (2020), an ongoing platform that has been invited since its formation to various events and venues.
Đejmi Hadrović is a Slovenian media artist in photography, video, installation, and performance art. She holds BSc in culture and anthropology and continued her master’s studies focusing on Time-based media at the University of Art and Industrial Design Linz in Austria. In 2017 she became a Ph.D. scholar at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. She is YVAA winner in 2022 in Slovenia.
Hu Yun (b. 1986, Shanghai) is based between Belgrade and Shanghai. In his practice, Hu Yun revisits historical moments in order to provide alternative readings, a process that also informs the artist’s self-reflection on his native and personal ties. His selected solo exhibitions include Image of Nature (Natural History Museum, London, 2010); Our Ancestors (Goethe Institut Shanghai, 2012); Lift with Care (2013) and Narration Sickness (2016) at AIKE Shanghai, and Another Diorama (2019, NUS Museum Singapore). His works have been exhibited at the Power Station of Art (Shanghai), Centre Pompidou (Paris), CCA Londonderry, The Cultural Centre of Belgrade, Para Site (Hong Kong) and Times Museum (Guangzhou). Hu Yun has also participated in the 4th Guangzhou Triennial (2012, China), 11th Gwangju Biennale (2016, South Korea), 6th Singapore Biennale (2019, Singapore) and 10th Asia Pacific Triennial (2021, Australia). He is the co-founder of art e-journal PDF (2012-2013).
Mari Kalabegashvili (b. 1999, Tbilisi) is an emerging multimedia visual artist and cultural practitioner based in Georgia. She received her BA degree from the Visual Arts, Architecture, and Design School at the Free University of Tbilisi, and continued to study as a guest student in the class of Prof. Schneider at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in Germany. Having an interdisciplinary background in cultural affairs, Mari’s works take on an organizational role and create a determination to synchronize with the dynamics of the given environment in its context without being distanced from it. With cross-pollination methods of practice and community-oriented projects, Kalabegashvili builds up her works using contradictions as an entry point and poses the question of what happens after “ever after”. Apart from her individual praxis, she is currently involved with the Parallel Class project creating alternative educational initiatives for high school students throughout the country.
Ivana Mirchevska (b.1992, Skopje) is a visual artist and researcher working across moving images, text, sound and installation. She holds a BFA in Painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Skopje (2015) and MFA in Visual Arts from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan, Italy (2018/2019). Her research is drawn to topics that come from the intersection between the technologies of vision, the spatial configuration of the gaze and the body. She is one of the co-founders and curator of the Underground is Easier to Breathe Festival – a platform for ephemeral and experimental art practices curated by Kula Collective from Skopje. Her work has been shown in the context of BANG BANG Festival- LATE TO THE PARTY : MACEDONIAN PERFORMANCE ON VIDEO, Museum Tinguely, Basel, Switzerland (2022), Supernova Regeneration Festival, Denver, USA (2021); Dislocations, Scottish Graduate School for the Arts and Humanities (2021); Fuori Visioni Festival 6| Tra muro e confine-Atto I e II, Piacenza, Italy (2020-2021) and others. She is the recipient of the Denes Award for Young Visual Artist (2022) in North Macedonia.
Jelisaveta Rapaić (b. 1997, New Jersey, USA) is a cultural worker and an interdisciplinary artist, currently working as a public program curator and PR for Kunsthalle Bratislava. She has gained her Master’s in Fine Arts at the studio VVV of Intermedia at Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, SK (2021), during which she participated in a student exchange program at KASK & Conservatorium / School of Arts Gent, BE (2020) at the Media Kunst and Performance studios and she took part at BAK (basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, NL) Summer Winter School in Bratislava, SK (2019). At the beginning of the pandemic (2020) she opened a traveling pop-up hair salon where she offered hair cutting therapy sessions in exchange for goods and services, titled We Are Open. After finishing her studies she took part at the Cite Internationale des Arts, artist residency in Paris, FR (2021). Some of the exhibitions she took part in are Whoever Settles in a Perfect Home Will Have to Move, Glassbox Nord, Paris, FR (2023), Dizzeyland, Medium Gallery, Bratislava, SK, (2022), Language in Common, Youth Biennial, Belgrade, (SRB, 2021).
Rita Süveges is a visual artist based in Budapest, her practice is research-based. She works with communities through knowledge-sharing performative events, and for the exhibition context, she uses a wide range of installative media, focussing on the transdisciplinary reframing of environmental issues. She is enrolled in the Doctor of Liberal Arts program of the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts. She is a co-founder of xtro realm artist group, editor and author of extrodæsia and the Climate Imaginary Reader and curator of ACLIM! part of OFF-Biennale Budapest 2021. Süveges was also a volunteer board member of the Association of Studio of Young Artists Budapest from 2018-2021. She was awarded the Smohay Award, Derkovits Grant, New National Exception Grant, Visegrad Scholarship, and was nominated for the Strabag and the Esterhazy Art Award. She won the TótAlJOY Prize in 2023. She took part in residency programs in Cité des Arts de Paris, International Studio and Curatorial Program New York, Meetfactory Prague, MQ/Q21 AIR Vienna, and exhibited in the Ludwig Museum, Koblenz, Off-Biennale Budapest and CHB, Berlin, among others.
Pennie Key (Penelope Koliopoulou) is an artist born in Athens. She received an MFA in Fine Arts from Goldsmiths in 2016. She was a Rijksakademie resident for 2020-2022 and the recipient of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation award ARTWORKS 2021. Other residencies include Saari in Finland and Can Serrat in Spain. Pennie has shown work institutionally in Gfzk Leipzig, Künstlerhaus Dortmund, Arti et Amicitiae Amsterdam, MoMa Thessaloniki and various project spaces in the U.K., Belgium and Mexico amongst others. Her biggest accomplishment to date is leading a well-attended PE class for artists, 2 years in a row.
Lena Pozdnyakova is an artist, curator, and researcher from Almaty, Kazakhstan. The scope of her work in collaborative projects and research involves questions related to the culture-nature dichotomy and the notion of the Anthropocene as a not-an-abstract concept but the embodiment of daily life. She is an alumna of the Design Theory and Pedagogy program at the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles. She has earned a Bachelor’s in Architecture Degree from Sheffield University and a Master’s in Architecture from DIA University of Applied Sciences. She became part of the2vvo artistic practice (duo with Eldar Tagi), a project for interdisciplinary research. Since 2016, Lena has been working towards expanding her work to embrace more socially-engaged projects through collaboration, practices of care, intergenerational work, and community involvement. Currently, she works with kids at Neue Nachbarschaft Moabit during the weekly arts day and cooperates with Lumbung radio on a project that de-institutionalizes audio format and listening experience through transdisciplinary and intersectionality.
Seminars, workshops and intensives During the first two days of the WHW Akademija Summer School participants held presentations about their work and professional development. Seminars and workshops began from the second day, starting with Feldenkrais lesson held by Yael Davids in the morning. The Feldenkrais doctrine is geared towards our conditions and process of learning – a potential that can be applied towards other learning systems. Yael Davids gave Feldenkrais lessons throughout the WHW Akademija Summer School during which she showed a sequence of basic, distinct positions that we go through as part of the process of maturation, and which are also an echo of the evolution process: from lying/crawling to standing. During his workshops, PabloMartínez formed a chorus of voices with the participants of WHW Akademija Summer School to activate a kind of living, embodied archive of working conditions in art. Through writing, listening, storytelling and sound experimentation, they approached the forms of production in the field of contemporary art. This set of practices aimed to reveal some of the procedures of institutional mechanics and their violence against workers. The participants were instructed to go into public space and record sounds and voices, contemplating on the conditions of cultural workers and their own personal experiences as young artists. One of the results of the workshops held by PabloMartínez were four group sound recordings which were edited into short audio works presented on the last day of the workshop. In her workshops, Marina Naprushkina focused on socially engaged practices achieved through collective practice and shared her artistic and activist practices based on the experiences working within self-organized structures and collaborative models, such as the Office For Anti-Propaganda, Neue Nachbarschaft/Moabit or Moabit Mountain College.