March - December 2006
Along with a comic story in the form of an interview with Jonathan Richman published in California-based Dream Magazine (previously seen in Belgrade's Vreme and Lisbon's Underworld), the month of March saw the launch of Aleksandar Zograf's very first book published in Hungary, with a publishing house named Open Book (Nyitott Konyvmuhely). Zograf presented his book (Pszichonauta) at the comics festival in Budapest, including a slide-talk hosted by none other than legendary Hungarian artist Triceps.
From March 6th to 11th an Independent Comix Festival in Vienna presented an exhibition of Aleksandar Zograf's comics and Gordana Basta's embroideries, with a slide show at the Machfeld Gallery. Zograf's previous experience with comics workshops in Austria was, coincidentally, docummented by the publication of two books in Graz: Balkan Konsulat and STORMY, the latter a collection of works created during TONTO Comics festival.
The death of Milosevic in his cell at the Hague War Crime Tribunal was followed by an invitation by Italian big time weekly Internazionale , for which Zograf has created a one page story titled Addio Milosevic, reprinted subsequently in Greece (Galera) and Hungary (Magyar Narancs) , along with the American web site The High Hat http://thehighhat.com/Marginalia/006/Zograf_Milosevic.html
After publishing several of his stories in Greek, Galera magazine has invited Zograf to the Kare Kare comics festival , held at Arts Center, in Athen's Elefterias Park, March 24th – April 1st. Zograf returned to Athens in May, to participate in the European Social Forum meeting, which actually ended with street riots.
Along with the number of other artsists from Serbian/Ex-Yugoslav independent scene, Zograf was represented in a new book by noted British writer , Tony White - "Another Fool in the Balkans" ( Cadogan Guides) , which is a recommended read.
The month of April was when Romanian Hardcomics put out the 6th issue of their 'Anthology' , including a translation of Zograf's two page travelogue from Bucharest. From April 28th to May 9th Pancevo was the place where 5th edition of GRRR!, International Comics Festival was held, with Aleksandar Zograf as an art director.
October 3rd was the date of the slide show at Werkstattkino in Munich - it was followed by an Italian tour, including an exhibition/talk in Lodi and Bologna, where the second volume of Appunti (collection of Vreme magazine weekly comics) was launched http://www.flashfumetto.it/produzioni/news_pagina/id-87
In Viterbo, Zograf and Basta were present at the first edition of INDaYs (Independent Comix Days), this year based around the unusual topic " Poor is the Country That Needs Rescue by the Superheroes". At the same time some of Zograf's sketchbook drawings were published in "Notebook", a collection of artists' sketches edited by Dario Morgante (editor of Rome's Coniglio Editore).
At October 19th, National Library in Belgrade hosted Zograf's talk dedicated to "true life comics", in connection with the release of the Serbian edition of Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis. National Library of Serbia stands as well behind the project titled "Radoslav's Time", presented during October in a form of exhibition at Toronto's Roberts Library - it's based on Zograf's story inspired by a notebook ( found at the flea-market ),by certain Radoslav, who described his life in Belgrade during the hardships of WW2. The story originally apeared in Vreme magazine, and in this exhibition stands in comparison with the 15th Century monk personal testimony found inside a manuscript called Radoslav's Gospel.
During the late October Aleksandar Zograf was the guest of the Amadora comics festival in Portugal - along with the exposition of his own comics, he was the curator of an exhibition dedicated to Eastern European comics, and author of the comprehensive article on this topic published in the festival's catalogue. During his stay in Lisbon, Zograf was present at the session at Mike Goes West studio, which produced a series of prints based on Zograf's drawings. To continue the nice collaboration with Poruguese artists, Zograf was also featured in CINECOMIX by (actually a film-maker) Edgar Pera. CINECOMIX is a photo-strip published in several instalments in one of the most important national dailies, Publico.
During November Aleksandar Zograf and Gordana Basta were guests of the Balkan Black Box, festival of South-Eastern European film in Berlin, which hosted an exhibition of comics and embroideries...
January - February 2006
PEN AND NEEDLE is the name of the exhibition (January 31st - February 10th) held at the OZONE gallery in downtown Belgrade, along with a slide lecture THE LIFE AND COMICS OF ALEKSANDAR ZOGRAF on February 3rd (http://www.o3.co.yu/-exibitions/jan-zograf/zograf.html).
Along with Comics that Zograf has created for the weekly magazine Vreme (www.vreme.com) are embroideries based on his drawings and created by Gordana Basta (These embroideries were on display during Zograf's solo exhibitions in galleries such as Liquid Ad Store in Munich or Mondo Bizzarro in Rome, etc).
The exhibition has also pointing to the two most recent collections of Zograf's Vreme comics, that came out in Italy (titled Appunti, see http://www.stradanove.net/news/testi/fumetti-06a/faaaa0401061.html) and Croatia (titled Tusta i tma, see http://www.vbz.hr/knjiga.asp?isbn=9532015078).
The response to the exhibition was very enthusiastic, with authors appearing on the national TV news and talking to most important national daily Politika http://www.politika.co.yu/cyr/tekst.asp-t=26807&r=70.htm
Last but not least, there was a large billboard in the heart of the town, announcing this expo, which attracted attention of the puzzled and confused people in the cars and public buses...
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