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Artist in residence program at KC Grad

Since 2014 Cultural Center Grad has been developing an artist in residence program titled “Inspiration Belgrade”. In cooperation with international cultural centers, institutes and embassies in Belgrade, as well as with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia, program has hosted many artists from Germany, Austria, Spain, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Japan, USA, Australia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The aim of the program is to introduce artists, curators, and theoreticians to domestic art scene and enable the realization of future projects that involve cooperation with local artists. The focus of the program is to present the potentials of the local art scene to a wider audience.

Sven Marquardt (Germany) / May 2 – June 6, 2018
NEXT project

During May and June, for the first time in a thirty-year-long career, well-known Berlin based photographer Sven Marquardt will work on a project outside of his hometown. The great inspiration he found during his stay in Belgrade in June 2017 will be translated into a series of photographs whose main actors will be Belgraders. His stay will be realized in cooperation with the Goethe Institute. Sven Marquardt will stay in Belgrade from May 2nd till June 6, 2018.
Sven Marquardt is a German photographer who recorded first photographs in the early eighties in eastern Belin. Since then, he has been intensively engaged with his projects using analog photography with natural lighting, which is the specificity of his artistic work. Over the past few years, his work has achieved remarkable success. A series of photographs, in which he mainly presents portraits of people he works with or meet. His photos were presented in many Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Brazil, Georgia, Spain, the Philippines, Australia and Serbia.

Marquardt has a rich artistic career, mostly formed by the socio-political situation before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Born in 1962, his career began in the early eighties, working first as an assistant to the famous photographer Rudolph Schafer, primarily in fashion photography. Since 1986 as an independent photographer he publishes his work in many well-known German magazines such as Das magazine, Der Sonntag, Neues Lieben, and also participates in group and solo exhibitions. His work was censored in East Germany, and he encountered censorship because of fostering a specific visual identity that was allegedly not in accordance with the standards of the appearance of men in the socialist state.

In June 2017 Sven for the first time introduced his work to Serbian audience at extremely successful exhibition “Future’s Past”. Photographs that were created during the eighties in eastern Germany but also in recent years in Berlin were exhibited in Big gallery of Cultural center Grad.. The exhibition reflected three decades of his work. Greyscale photos are embroidered with symbolism as well as references from art history that are not so easily visible and require careful observation.

Working at the entrance to the renowned Berlin club Berghain is certainly inspiring for Marquadt, although he prefers to first get to know his models and place them in a precisely designed décor, which turns into a spontaneous background dominated by the strong presence of the subject in juxtaposition with accessories and props. Everything is in sharp contrast, hence the choice of black and white technique that enhances this contrast: photographs taken in the daylight give a mostly dark atmosphere and aura of nighttime events. Impressing the parts of the past into the future and the present is a common thread in his opus.

In addition to the photographer’s career, Sven is known as the “face check” of the famous Berghain techno club. Anyone who has entered, or has not entered Berghain, knows that Sven is waiting at the end of the line and decides whether someone will enter the club or not. Anyone who has planned to go to this place thinks that he knows the safe entry strategy, and he can find out about it on several blogs and YouTube tutorials, but he may not know that since 2007 Marquardt was responsible for designing the visual identity of Berghain’s OstGut Tone label.

It may be interesting to note that on the cover of the album by one of Berlin’s techno producers, Len Fakija, is his photo-mysterious portrait of an elderly woman, with prodigious but very attractive look.

The author of the project is Ljudmila Stratimirovic, artistic director of the Cultural Center Grad.