Project Biennial primarily associates the period of the Cold War (in which SFRY had a very specific role), time of fears of a nuclear disaster but also a time of utopian ideas about world peace, the present time, which is characterized by an apocalyptic scenario end of the world. The goal of Project Biennial, no matter its biennial form, is to establish unique institution – a hybrid museum as a result of the merger of military museum and contemporary art museum. Entire Project is inspired by the nuclear shelter a military object today, without any function, and thus no future. The organizers believe that contemporary visual art can save the bunker from the inevitable disappearance and thus save extraordinary artifact of Yugoslavia’s socialist past, Cold War era and global paranoia of nuclear war.
Project Biennial processes sustainability by taking a different path, the artworks that inhabit the Object D-0 are permanent components of the Project, which also guarantee the existence of the Object D-0 ARK. Project Biennial is an attempt to transform not only the bunker but also the priorities of society.
1st edition was opened in partnership of the Republic of Serbia and Montenegro in 2011, 2nd edition of the Project Biennial that was organized in partnership with Republic of Turkey and Republic of Croatia in 2013 and 3rd edition of the Project Biennial was in partnership with Republic of Austria and Republic of Albania.
Federal Republic of Germany, Republic of Poland and Republic of Italy are partner countries in organization of the 4th edition of the Project Biennial of Contemporary Art D-0 ARK Underground.
The Object D-0 itself has intact infrastructure and up-to-date technology of the past, which makes it a ready-made museum of the military history. Together with artworks that accentuate its extraordinary features, ambience and cultural significance, it has evolved into phenomenon that attracts two kind of visitors to the city of Konjic. Those interested in military and political history and those inclined to arts. The artists from around the globe offer them simultaneous experience of hard fact and its reflections in the works.
Atomic War Command (Object ARK) was built from 1953 until 1979. Cost for the construction of this object was 4.600.000,00 US Dollars. Object consists of 12 connected blocks and occupies a space of 6.500 square meters. Originally designed as an atomic shelter, an object of great historical significance, the context of this artistic project has more importance, providing the possibility of a new, non-traditional approach to the promotion of culture and contemporary art. Researching the relations (and mutual conditioning) between the divided global society in times of imposed peace, balance of blocks that in the same time meant division into the sphere of interests (sphere of influence, common identities, joint political systems…) and strategy of maintaining the balance conditioned by the imaginary scenarios of possible conflicts and new end of the world, and today’s’ world defined by global market logic, media society and generally accepted cultural patterns and identity, brings us to a whole range of interesting questions and dilemmas.
All editions of the Project Biennial (2011, 2013 and 2015) attracted a large number of students from primary and secondary schools throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as students of B&H Universities. Atomic shelter, which has for years been the secret, awakens the curiosity of ordinary citizens. After three editions of the Project in Atomic shelter are now 125 artworks of 102 artists that are coming from 32 countries.
Project D-0 ARK in last eight years has been recognized as promoter of regional cultural values and has been rightfully proclaimed as a Cultural event of Europe in 2011 by the Council of Europe. Presidency of B&H gave a patronage to the Project Biennial in 2011. In 2013 and 2015 Project Biennial has been organized under the UNESCO patronage. Project Biennial became a symbol of the power of culture, to build bridges between people and thus presents a place of dialogue and openness. During the period from 2009, six countries joined the organization of this Project. Ministers for Culture of the Republic of Serbia, Montenegro, Republic of Turkey, Republic of Croatia, Republic of Austria and Minister of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina have signed Declarations of support to the Project Biennial as most important regional cultural project.
In cooperation with The Commission to Preserve National Monuments of B&H, Atomic shelter Object D-0 ARK was placed on the list of protected Cultural and Historical Monuments of B&H in June 2014.