Duplex 10m2, catalog
Duplex 10m2 has a phoenix-rising-from-the-ashes story. Let me tell it to you. Duplex Gallery was started in 2004 by a French couple, Pierre and Claire, who came to Sarajevo as Erasmus students to the art academy and decided to stay. Talking to local artists, friends with nowhere to exhibit their work, they opened a gallery with 10 square meters of space (well, technically 6.8 meters) and named it Duplex 10m2. After seven years of monthly, even biweekly exhibitions, they were forced to close in 2011 due to a lack of funding. Performance artist Ulay (Uwe Laysiepen) knew of Duplex and offered a donation to keep them going. This was a moment of vision.
Instead of using Ulay’s donation to keep the doors open a little longer, they funded the printing of a catalog which documented all the exhibitions of Duplex to date. The catalog was used to showcase the gallery’s work, to raise its profile, and to set the stage for its resurrection. Duplex reopened in 2012 in a larger space, renamed Duplex 100m2. Today it is sustained by facilitating the sale of Bosnian artists’ works at prestigious art fairs such as Young International Art in Paris. Bosnian works are being sold abroad as serious art, while Bosnia and Herzegovina as a nation still lacks a state-level ministry for culture and its oldest museums are closed due to a lack of basic funding.
I was only able to visit 10m2 once, to see a lithography exhibit, but I plan to visit 100m2 as often as possible… For now I sit in my apartment in my little town in eastern Bosnia, read the catalogue, and feel so inspired. You can download a PDF copy of the Duplex 10m2 catalog for free. 170 projects, 324 pages.