Doček 2022 was a series of artistic programmes inspired by the character and work of Nikola Tesla, who himself found a way to make a bridge between the old and the new, to transform the old into the new by studing the energy, and thus contribute to one of the epochal changes in our civilization. Inspired by the work of one of the World’s greatest scientists, a Serb by origin and the first honorary citizen of Novi Sad, we created a symbolic bridge between the ’old’ and the ’new’ year.

The ‘Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture’ Foundation, with the great help of the City Administration for Construction Land and Investments, and in cooperation with the Novi Sad Faculty of Technical Sciences, the Novi Sad Academy of Arts and the spatial design studio ‘Modelart Architects’, enabled a group of artists to guide Novi Sad residents through inspirational spaces of a baroque town that was transformed by impressive artistic interventions.

The Varadin Bridge, the old building of Beogradska Street and the Belgrade Gate itself – all architectural objects which we had to pass – took on a monumental game of light, movement and sounds through wired, dynamic, wireless and interactive audio-visual lighting technologies, including 3D projections.

Tesla Light Gallery was a product of the combined creative energies of several of today’s internationally recognized artists from different cities that have carried the title of European Capital of Culture. Award-winning visual artist Petko Tančev came from the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv (ECoC 2019). Ivan Marušić Klif’s experimental work has received accolades in the Croatian art scene; he was the director of the Vector Hack Festival of experimental graphics in Rijeka (ECoC 2020 – 2021) in 2018 and 2020. The project included the talents of Italian artist Alberto Novello, known for his use of repurposed found or deconstructed analogue devices from the past (oscilloscopes, early gaming consoles, video-mixers and lasers) in order to research the connection between sound and light in the form of contemporary installations and performance. This team of experienced artists – all of whom, except Ivan Marušić Klif, were in Serbia for the first time, were joined by set-design students from the Faculty of Technical Sciences in Novi Sad; the project was implemented in cooperation with the City Administration for Construction Land and Investments (Novi Sad) and Modelart Architects spatial design studio (Novi Sad), while Milica Stojšić worked as a curator and art coordinator for the Tesla Light Gallery.

After the visual spectacle that turned the entire Suburbium into a light stage, the event Tesla – Light Gallery festival  continued with a series of concerts on New Year’s Eve, as well as on 1 and 2 January. As part of the musical part of the programme, which continued the tradition of celebrating the New Year and complete the modern and experimental visual ambience of the celebration in the Suburbium, local and regional performers performed, including – well known to the Novi Sad audience – Croatian electropop duo Nipplepeople, which gathered after 30 years for this occasion, Belgrade band ‘Kanda, Kodža i Nebojša‘, as well as Novi Sad DJ trio Noise Destruction. The two evenings of the concert were marked by two Austrian bands – Elektro Guzzi, whose music examines the limits of live performance in the field of techno music, but also the iconic duo Kruder & Dorfmeister, known for their trip-hop remixes of pop and hip-hop songs.

The event-zenith of the programme arch Doček, which was the most complex event of the whole year in terms of production, was the grand opening play called Zeniteum :: 2022, which symbolically transformed mathematical calculations into a dance and music symphony. It hid the human need to communicate with the unknown that surrounds them, to let their voice ‘through the universe and centuries’. Expect :: the unexpected!

After the great performance of the opening ceremony, which combined many artistic and scientific traditions, both local and European, the celebration of 7530 continued at more than 50 locations in the city. Novi Sad residents and their guests had a chance to hear some of the world-famous performers who performed for the first time in Novi Sad on 13 January. Among them was one of the world’s most famous fado singers from Portugal, Carminho, whose first album has already reached the platinum release and who was the winner of the Golden Globe for best performer. 

They were accompanied by the famous English drum and bass band ‘Rudimental’, as well as the electronic band from the nineties ‘Morcheeba’, which also comes from England. On the other hand, the Novi Sad audience heard well-known local and regional performers such as the local icon of ethno music, Biljana Krstić with the Bistrik Orchestra, one of the most prominent performers of the Yugoslav and Croatian scene Josipa Lisac, and regionally known singer-songwriter Damir Urban and many more.

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