City art to sit on

Belgraders get artistic benches thanks to the Telenor Foundation 
Belgrade, August 3, 2008 – Concrete benches of unusual shapes and colours, designed by several Belgrade artists, are now placed at the plateau in front of the Cultural Heritage Preservation Institute at Kalemegdan, in the Students Park, and along the Sava River waterfront. 

Thanks to the Telenor Foundation, this unique city furniture has been presented within the closing exhibition at the Belgrade Summer Festival (BELEF) Art2SitON. Artistic benches at the city’s busiest locations will remain for permanent use of Belgraders. While relaxing and sitting comfortably in them, the citizens can now also in Kalemegdan use fast Telenor Internet for free until end-September.
As the main sponsor of the exhibition and the golden sponsor of BELEF, the Telenor Foundation, with its partner on the project – the Kiosk Contemporary Art Platform, helped the creative solutions by visual artists Igor Stanglicki, Žana Poliakov, Mladen Hrvanović, Stefan Ikonić, and Aleksandar Denić decorate the city. They designed one bench each, cast in ten differently painted models. Some of the artists also participate in the related “Start Up the City” project of the Foundation, which includes painting murals in cities across Serbia.
“We are glad that art and creativity become part of our everyday life, open new perspectives, encourage thinking, and make our life more beautiful. The Telenor Foundation was established in the aim of improving the life of the community where it operates through corporate social responsibility activities, and was more than happy to support the Art2SitON project,” says Sandra Štajner, the Chief Communications Officer in Telenor and a member of the Board of Directors in the Telenor Foundation.

This central exhibition of BELEF rounds up the main idea and objective of the festival to change the looks of the city through art and leave permanent marks on everyday paths of passers-by. The benches will be regularly maintained by public utility company “Zelenilo Beograd”, and renovated each year during BELEF.

“The Art2SitOn project personifies BELEF’s core strategy by addressing the question of how to transform an annual event into a permanent cultural and artistic intervention by locating new places for cultural events, designing art at various sites around the city , changing its infrastructure. This turns art intervention into a permanent public artwork with a clear function in everyday life of citizens,” says Dorijan Kolundžija, the Art Director of BELEF 08. 
With art projects such as Art2SitOnBelgrade joins many European cities where similar concepts were tried out with great success.
The Telenor Foundation, established in March 2007, has so far supported dozens of carefully selected projects from the area of culture, art, care for the youth, and support to endangered social groups.