Curatorial collective What, How and for Whom / WHW announces the open call for applications to participate in the first year of WHW Akademija, a new international art study programme in Zagreb, Croatia. The program runs from 22 October 2018 to 19 June 2019.

Application deadline: 20 June 2018

Selection interviews, in person (for Zagreb-based applicants) and over Skype, will be conducted between 2 and 6 July 2018.

Results will be announced by the 16 July 2018.

WHW Akademija is a new program for emerging artists. It is an intervention in the field of art education, aiming to enable new forms of self-determination for the participants, based on modes of critical reflection, curiosity and encounters among artists, artworks, arts professionals, scholars and practitioners in various disciplines. The name WHW Akademija takes as its title the acronym of the three basic questions of every economic organization, What, How & for Whom, which are also the title of the curatorial collective WHW. WHW Akademija departs from the notion of the ‘conscious citizen’, aiming to offer a broad educational spectrum and access to conflicting ideas and opinions, as well as to incorporate principles and values applicable to wider social and political life. It should be a place for testing ideas, making discoveries and encouraging trials and errors.

In 2018 – 2019 the resident professors throughout the program are Ben Cain and Tina Gverović, who will share their time in continuous weekly contact with the students, and Sanja Iveković, who will participate on the monthly basis. The guest professors for this year include Pierre Bal-Blanc, Rajkamal Kahlon, Wendelien van Oldenborgh and Adam Szymczyk. Students will be invited to participate in shaping part of the program connected to the local guests and initiatives.

Advisory Board members of WHW Akademija are David Maljković, Emily Pethick, Kathrin Rhomberg and Christine Tohme.

WHW Akademija is realized in partnership with the Kontakt Art Collection. The collection focuses on experimental and neo avant-garde art activities in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe from the late 1950s onwards. Different artistic positions included in the Kontakt Art Collection will be one of the foundations of discussions and other formats in WHW Akademija.


WHW Akademija is a 9-month study program for 10 to 12 international students. It is open to individuals seeking to deepen their formal, theoretical and critical skills in art and who are at the beginning of developing an independent artistic practice. Tuition is free and all participants will have access to a shared studio space and a small production fund. A limited number of scholarships to cover basic living expenses in Zagreb will be available upon application. Some of the program’s lectures and seminars will be public. The working language of the academy is English.

The 2018-19 programme is divided into two semesters (October 2018 – January 2019 and March – June 2019) which include continuous support provided by resident professors, Ben Cain and Tina Gverović and Sanja Iveković. The resident professors will teach group and individual critique sessions. Each semester will also consist of 2 two-week workshops led by guest professors, Pierre Bal-Blanc, Rajkamal Kahlon, Wendelien van Oldenborgh and Adam Szymczyk. The guest professors (one artist, one curator) per semester will each conduct a two-week workshop consisting of both collective work and individual critiques with the students. Additionally, each semester will include 2 seminars (led by international and local guests, to be announced later), as well as two seminars based on the works in the Kontakt Art Collection led by WHW.

The program will begin on 22 October, with an in-depth introduction to the program, for the students to get to know each other’s practices and Zagreb’s local cultural and activist scene.


For 2018-2019, students will be selected through an open call. Applicants should be practicing artists with or without formal training.

Your application should include the following information:

A full CV
A short biography of 250 words
Statement about your work (max. 2 pages)
PDF document with works descriptions and captioned images, max 20 pages, including links to media from YouTube, Vimeo and SoundCloud

Please include your surname in the title off all the submitted files.

Application package should not exceed 25 MB in total.

Please send all the materials by 20 June to

Candidates are considered on merit, as well as on their application’s relevance to the aims of WHW Akademija. The Advisory Board selects an initial shortlist of candidates for interviews. Shortlisted applicants will be contacted for a Skype or in person (for those based in Zagreb) interview on short notice. Applicants will be notified by 16 July, 2018.

Applicants must commit full-time to the assigned schedule. External engagements must be kept at an absolute minimum and should not interfere with attendance and participation in the program.

The program is open to applicants from all countries.

We confirm the receipt of all applications. Please get in touch if you do not hear from us within a week of sending your application. For additional questions, please contact


WHW Akademija tuition is free. A limited number of financial support grants are available on a need basis for covering basic living costs in Zagreb for candidates coming from other cities in Croatia or from abroad. If you are in need of a grant support in order to be able to attend the program, please indicate this information in your application.


Pierre Bal-Blanc is an independent curator based in Paris and Athens. He was curator for documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel. His last project Der Canaletto Blick- The Canaletto View in 2017 was a commission program for the Erste Group Bank AG at Erste Campus in Vienna Austria. Project Phalanstère is his last book published by Sternberg Press in 2017. His exhibition sequences La monnaie vivante/Living Currency (CAC Brétigny/Micadanses, 2005–06; Stuk Leuven, 2007; Tate Modern London, 2008; MoMA Warsaw and Berlin Biennale, 2010) and Draft Score for an Exhibition (Le Plateau Paris, Artissima Torino, Secession Vienna, 2011; Index Stockholm, 2012; catalog NERO Publisher Rome, 2014) negotiate the current and historical analysis of the body and the strategies related to performance in visual arts. He has realized among others The Death of the Audience (Secession, Vienna, 2010; catalog Ver Sacrum Verlag Niggli AG Sulgen/Zurich, 2011) and Soleil politique, an exhibition at Museion in Bolzano, Italy in 2014.

Ben Cain lives and works in London and Zagreb. Ben completed his MA at Jan van Eyck Akademie, Maastricht in 2000, and a BA in Interactive Art in Manchester in 1997. Throughout his career he has worked with sculpture, installation, theatre, sound, performance, and publication. Ben Cain’s practice deals with themes of work, labour, and artistic action. He has recurrently explored art’s ambiguous relationship to industry, commodification and immaterial labour, and is interested in how artworks might pose questions about what we think they are doing and, by implication, our role as viewers in their social and cultural production. His work has been exhibited internationally including Manifesta 9; Busan Biennale, South Korea; Wiels, Brussels; Supplement, New York; Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool; Turner Contemporary, Margate; BlueCoat Gallery, Liverpool; South London Gallery, London. He is a tutor in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins (XD Pathway) and he runs a residency program at CASS School of Art, both in London.

Tina Gverović works with installation, drawing, painting, sound, text and video. Her work – often in the form of immersive, disorientating installations – engages with space, territory and identity and how these concepts are bound to imagination. She finished MA at Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht and holds a doctorate from Middlesex University in London. Her work was recently shown as part of the 57th Venice Biennial, Trigon – Post Environment in Künstlerhaus Halle für Kunst & Medien Graz, Suzhou Documents – Biennial, Tate Modern, and Busan Biennial. She is a tutor in Fine Art at Camberwell College of Arts in London and Dutch Art Institute Roaming Academy.

Sanja Iveković was born in Zagreb, Croatia, where she currently lives and works. She was raised in Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and belongs to the artistic generation covered by the umbrella term New Art Practice that emerged after ’68. Iveković continuously contested the role of art in society through a wide range of media, at the points of intersection between gender, nation and class. Her work from the 1990s deals with the collapse of socialist regimes and the consequences of the triumph of capitalism and the market economy over living conditions, partucularly of women. She has participated in numerous international biennials and major exhibitions, such as 38.EVE International Biennial, Limerick; Kiev Biennial, Kiev (2015); Documenta 8, 11, 12 and 13, 14 (1987, 2002, 2007, 2012, 2016), Artes Mundi, Cardif (2014); Istanbul Biennial (2009, 2007). She had solo exhibitions at DAAD Gallery in Berlin, 2015; the South London Gallery/Calvert 22; MUDAM, Luxembourg; MAC/VAL, France, 2012; MoMA, New York, 2011; BAK Utrecht Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 2009.

Rajkamal Kahlon’s interdisciplinary practice questions the formal and conceptual limits of painting, photography, and sculpture. Drawing on history, archives, and literature, her research undergoes a process of creative transformation resulting in sensual, formally rigorous work that is about reclamation and the transcendence of history. Kahlon is a past participant of the Whitney Independent Study Program, New York, and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine. She received her MFA in Painting and Drawing from the California College of Art, Oakland. Kahlon’s work has been exhibited widely in museums, foundations, and biennials in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, including the 2012 Taipei Biennial; Meeting Points 7: Ten Thousand Wiles and a Hundred Thousand Tricks, 21er Haus, Vienna and other venues (2013–14); Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; MUAC – Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City; Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art, Oldenburg; Museum of Modern Art Warsaw; NGBK – neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst Berlin; Queens Museum, New York; Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York; Artists Space, New York; Apexart, New York; and e-flux, New York.

Adam Szymczyk was Artistic Director of documenta 14. He was a co-founder of the Foksal Gallery Foundation in Warsaw, at which he worked as Curator from 1997 till 2003, when he assumed his new post as Director at Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland. In 2008 he co-curated with Elena Filipovic the 5th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art under the title When Things Cast No Shadow and in 2012 he curated Olinka, or Where Movement Is Created at Museo Tamayo in Mexico City. He is a Member of the Board of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw and Member of the Advisory Committee of Kontakt. Art Collection of Erste Group and ERSTE Foundation in Vienna. In 2011, he was recipient of the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement at the Menil Foundation in Houston.

Wendelien van Oldenborgh develops works in which the cinematic format is used as a methodology for production and as the basic language for various forms of presentation. She often uses the format of a public film shoot, collaborating with participants in different scenarios, to co-produce a script and orientate the work toward its final outcome. With these works, which look at the structures that form and hinder us, she has participated in various large biennials and in smaller dedicated shows. Recent presentations include Cinema Olanda, solo at the Dutch Pavilion, 57th Venice Biennale (2017) and As for the future, solo at DAAD Gallery, Berlin (2017). Van Oldenborgh has exhibited widely including in RAW Material Company Dakar (SN), Tate Liverpool (UK), Muhka Antwerp (B), Van Abbenueum Eindhoven, Generali Foundation Vienna as well as 2nd Biennial of Kochi-Muziris 2014, Danish Pavilion at the Venice Biennial 2011, 4th Moscow Biennial 2011, the 29e Bienal de Sao Paulo 2010 and at the 11th Istanbul Biennial 2009.

The WHW Akademija is funded by Kontakt Art Collection and the Foundation for Arts Initiatives. Additional funds for the public program have been granted by the Ministry of Culture of Republic of Croatia and City Office for Culture, Education and Sports of the City of Zagreb.