Sunday, September 27, 2009

Culture of Cyrillic

By Jelica Tapuskovic

Belgrade, Aug. 27,2009 (Serbia Today) - The exhibition “Culture of Cyrillic” was held in the Library of the City of Belgrade from August 7 to 21. This group exhibition represents calligraphic, typographic and design work of most eminent Serbian artists, who were inspired by Cyrillic alphabet. Exhibition showed the beauty of Cyrillic and its technologic implementation in modern media and informatics technology. Everyone who visited this exhibition could see about 50 articles of typographic alphabet, verse and text citations, letters, books, tools and bijou decorated with this alphabet. In addition, visitors could see paper and gadgets used earlier for writing.
The First old Slavic alphabet showed on Balkan at the end of 9th century. It developed from the need to exchange Greek alphabet with language and letter of orthodox old Slaves. At that time, the liturgy was held in Greek, Latin and German languages, and because of that it was very hard to understand Christianity. At that time, two brothers showed up, Christian monks and missionaries Cirilo and Metodije who made some changes. To spread Christianity, they had to translate some religious books, so they made up a new alphabet – precursor of Cyrillic. They made up new signs for some letters. Almost ten centuries after that, at the beginning of the 19th century Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic made a reform of that alphabet. He made it more simple by using a principle “Write as you are saying it, read as it is written”. He thought that alphabet of Cirilo and Metodije had many needless signs, and that each sign needed only one letter. So he made new signs which are using now. Cyrillic alphabet is not characteristic only for Serbia. Seven Slavic nations are using it, like Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Macedonians, Bulgarians, and also some nations from former USSR, Asia and eastern Europe.
Because of all those facts, this exhibition was very interesting. Visitors could see works of eminent Serbian artists like Miodrag Vartabedijan, Aleksandra Dodig, Stjepan Fileki, Darko Novaković, LJudmila Stratimirović, Duško Trifunović, Olja Ivanović, Ivan Apostolski, etc.
Besides, there were also exhibited works of students, and new “Publicum calendar”, made by American designer Paula Sher who was inspired by Cyrillic.
On the exhibition it is possible to see parallel table of Letter of Vinca and contemporary Cyrillic.
During the exhibition, a “Workroom of Cyrillic” was oganized, dedicated to children who were practicing to prepare writing tools, to draw letter signs. They were practicing calligraphy, etc.
Organizer of this exhibition, which has an aim to show beauty of typography and calligraphy of Cyrillic alphabet, is a communal society “Culture of Cyrillic”, made by University professors, students and freelance artists.

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