Sarajevo ~ Bosnië-Herzegovina
Ars Aevi (1992, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina) When bombs were falling on Sarajevo in July 1992, a group of intellectuals decided to create a museum of contemporary art as a symbol of belief in the future and in the city as a crossroads of oriental and occidental cultures – a place of diversity and tolerance which successive empires were unable to destroy. The organisers initiated an intense process of intercultural networking with artists and galleries. Through liaisons with international museums and curators, artists were invited to donate works to this unique museum. The resulting collection of outstanding contemporary art is a manifestation of artists’ solidarity with people in conflict situations. With no permanent base, Ars Aevi set up temporary exhibitions and presented art in public spaces, such as supermarkets and bus stops. It initiated seminars promoting multicultural dialogue and training courses in museology and has now begun to build permanent spaces for its collection. In 2003 Ars Aevi curated the country’s first participation in the Venice biennale. Ars Aevi is awarded for the boldness of its initiative, for its dedication to intercultural communication, for manifesting the power of culture in a conflict situation and for striving towards a future in which artistic vision can help us all to envision a different reality.