Soros Centers for Contemporary Art

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The SCCA (Soros Centers for Contemporary Art) was an autonomous regional program of the Open Society Institute (OSI). The network was established in Eastern Europe during the early nineties by the American philanthropist, stock investor, and political activist George Soros. The SCCA was an institutional mechanism of the post-socialist transition, and its primary role was the modernization of the artistic discourse in the former socialist countries and the republics of the former USSR.

The Soros centers sprouted from a small programme called Soros Foundation Fine Arts Documentation Center which was established in 1985 in the Budapest Műcsarnok (Kunsthalle), as part of a cooperation between the Műcsarnok and Soros Foundation Hungary. In the early nineties, under the directorship of Suzanne Mészöly, this program was renamed “Soros Center for Contemporary Art” and gradually implemented in other Eastern European countries.

In 1992, in addition to the already existent SCCA Budapest, the OSI opened five more offices in Bratislava [1], Moscow, Prague, Tallinn and Warsaw; in 1993, there were established offices in Bucharest, Riga, Vilnius, Kiev, Ljubljana [2] [3], Zagreb [4] and Sofia. From 1994 to 1999 more centers were opened in St. Petersburg, Belgrade (1994), Skopje, Chișinău (1996), Sarajevo (1996), Odessa (1996), Almaty (1997) increasing their number to 19. (Source)

"The Soros Centers for Contemporary Art (SCCA) Network supports the development and the international exposure of contemporary art in Eastern and Central Europe, the countries of the former Soviet Union, and Central Eurasia as a vital element of an open society. Each SCCA stimulates its country’s contemporary art community by providing artists, arts professionals and organizations with opportunities to develop projects, participate in contemporary art exhibitions, access information, and develop contacts locally and internationally. The SCCA network links all of the SCCA offices, facilitates communication and information exchange between them, offers educational opportunities and professional training network-wide, and promotes artistic collaboration throughout the region."
--- "SCCA Network" (brochure) published by Open Society Institute Budapest, 1998.

Publications (selection)[edit]

  • PlatformaSCCA, 4 nos., eds. Barbara Borčić, Urša Jurman, et al., Ljubljana: SCCA-Ljubljana, Jun 2000-Sep 2005. (Slovenian)/(English)


Exhibitions about SCCA[edit]