After literally spending a good part of the morning walking around, asking people for directions and going around in circles we finally found it!
We desperately wanted to see some contemporary art in Sarajevo and good job we didn’t give up looking for the Ars Aevi Museum, otherwise I wouldn’t be here with now writing, and you reading about it!
It’s not exactly easy to find and the people we stopped in the streets didn’t really know where it was exactly (at least the ones we met). We walked all the way to the bridge designed and founded by Renzo Piano thinking the museum would have been there, but we were wrong! Only later we understood that there is a designed project for the future museum to be built in 2014, but what about the one mentioned in the guide?
At last a guard sent us in the right direction (Skenderija Centre), we won! 🙂
There aren’t any signs leading to the Ars Aevi, so you just have to be patient and keep looking for it because it does exist!
To our surprise the entrance was FREE of charge which is always a bonus and could be an encouragement for budget travelers thirsty of art and with limited funds, like us!
The building looked like a kind of wooden warehouse, it is in fact classified as ‘art depot’ a really unusual structure compared to other museums visited in the past. The art pieces displayed are there only temporarily, at least until the future museum will be built. This ‘storage/exhibition space’ and the collection itself has a very interesting story behind that makes it even more interesting and unique to its kind.
The Ars Aevi Project started during the first year of Sarajevo’s siege during the Civil Bosnian War, the idea behind it was to express a ‘cultural resistance’ against the continued offences and violence inflicted to the city.
They wanted to demonstrate that despite the terrible situation Sarajevo was living in, the war wouldn’t destroy the intellectual and artistic side of the besieged city. Considering the Ars Aevi project is still alive and survived the war, they did a good job.
I just found the whole story an extremely impressive act of courage and rebellion at the same time and I deeply admire the people that started the project and that are still working on keeping it alive and developing it.
The exhibition itself has some interesting works and some great photography. Apparently there are more than 160 international artists that have contributed to create the Ars Aevi collection. We have been told that unfortunately not all pieces are exposed due to the lack of space, hence why the urge and need to have a dedicated and big enough structure to host the entire collection and any other coming.
I personally liked how the whole exhibition is set up and organized, nothing too fancy and sophisticated, but it gave me a cozy, welcoming and warm feeling.
It might not be everybody’s cup of tea, usually contemporary art isn’t, but it is definitely worth paying a visit to.
Admission: Free entry
Location address & map –
Collection of the Ars Aevi – Museum of Contemporary Art Sarajevo
Terezije bb, 71 000 Sarajevo
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Phone: + 387 33 216 919
View Ars Aevi, Sarajevo in a larger map
With a promising future laid ahead before it, the Ars Aevi Collection is a must see not only for the budget traveler, but also for the art critic & historian in all of us wishing to immerse themselves in Sarajevo’s past & future.