About the project

The Biševsko ljeto (BiLJET, eng. Biševo Summer) aimed to gather artists and other creative individuals to form an active alternative community that would achieve a sustainable symbiosis of tourism and culture on the remote island of Biševo. For eight weeks, 23 participants explored the theme of the “Voyager”, transforming their isolation and cooperation into a research journey, developing ideas spontaneously in response to their environment.

One of the residencies was the Curator’s week titled “Who is the Curator? – Challenges and Revision of the Profession”. In it, six art historians, cultural workers and curators and gallerists discussed what it means to be a curator in Croatia today, what reforms are needed, and how to catch up with global trends?

In “Signaling of the Island – Hidden Diaries of the Island”, artists, designers and scientists from different fields initiated the project, and in cooperation with the local population, determined strategic pathways not known to the wider audience, to be gradually mapped with each subsequent residence.

Two art associations also participated in BILjET: the Association for Contemporary Art “KVART” and our own Split Nomad Gallery. The members of “KVART” independently and collectively performed several artistic interventions in space, including the “surprised” islanders and tourists along the way. Abandoning the familiar environment of crowded neighbourhoods, they intervened on an island devoid of the urban themes they usually deal with.

Split Nomad Gallery, as one of the first pop-up art galleries in Croatia, continued its tradition of nomadic activities in alternative locations. Our Nomads took on the role of travelers and, upon arriving on the island, deprived of all social and personal layers, created on the spot, expressing themselves through illustrations, comics, graffiti and other media. Their work also led to new ideas and a couple of new collaborations to boot.

We decided to commemorate the success of the first BILjET through exhibitions and multimedia events that presented works created during the residencies and from everyday life on the island. In this way, we wanted to revive the atmosphere of the residences within galleries of four Croatian cities: Zagreb, Galerija Siva; Šibenik, Galerija Matija; Pula, Galerijski prostor HUiU; and Split, Studio -21-.

Within the event, organizers and residents met informally to show that art can coexist in locations like Biševo, where seasonal tourism prevails, and that the project could be replicated in similar contexts, enriching otherwise isolated places devoid of cultural or other content.

Through their work, the residents highlighted the responsibility art has in society and promoted the idea that it could, by itself, help organize a community, while also respecting the scarcity of the island’s resources. In doing this, they wanted to negate the fact that remote islands have to depend only on the success of the summer tourist seasons, while completely lacking awareness of the influence culture and art could have in building their community.

The residencies were attended by Lili Poljak, Iva Sabolić, Sanja Milovac, Ivan Svaguša, Petar Reić, Tina Dragović, Petar Aleksić, Boris Šitum, Luka Duplančić, Bojan Krivokapić, Manuela Pauk, Filip Smrekar, Karla Čurčinski, Martina Bobinac, Sabina Damiani, Ivana Meštrov, Natasha Kadin, Antonia Dorbić, Iva Gavrilović, Alen Marić, Vana Božić and Sara Evelyn, and organized by Ana Bratić, Mirela Jusupović and Stjepan Tafra.


Photos from BILjET 2021. art residency – Traveler