The Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCAB) in Belgrade, Serbia, potentially an architectural testament to modern art in and of itself, has been in a perpetual state of renovation since 2007 and closed to the public for more than a decade. As the video below points out, that sad fact has left an entire generation of Serbian youth and regional travelers without exposure to important and inspiring works of artistic expression. This effectively means that, unless adolescents choose contemporary art as an official area of study or self-curate as a hobby, they will never lay eyes on masterpieces by Picasso, Warhol or Lichtenstein amongst other major names. Despite crowds of protesters, the works of art have remained imprisoned in what could be considered an abandoned building … until now.
Thanks to the Serbian arms of global advertisers like Coca-Cola, BMW, Honda, Tommy Hilfiger, Fanta, Schweppes and more, those works are being set free in what people are calling the world’s largest virtual art exhibition. A free augmented reality app dubbed “msu ARt” is now transforming these brands’ billboards, posters, and print ads in 15 Serbian cities into works of art from distinguished MoCAB collections. Using this mobile app, pedestrians can simply view a billboard through the lens of their smartphone, and the branding message morphs into one of these priceless monuments to creativity in real time.
If this twist on old-world capitalism and traditional advertising isn’t cool enough, the app also allows the phone to act as an art exhibit curator, providing maps of what to see next and audio descriptions of each work on display. Plus, the upgraded version has incorporated the capability to turn 3D objects into sculptures in the museum’s rich collection regardless of location.
With the participation of 20 international brands and 1,700 outdoor ad spots, MoCAB’s reopening has become a virally hot topic. According to Serbia’s minister of culture, the museum must be finished and reopened by the summer of 2018. Once that happens, the app will become open-source to allow other museums to make use of it. Check out the list below for a full breakdown of who deserves credit for bringing this massive project to fruition:
Digital Creative Director: Vladimir Ćosić
Art Director: Zdravko Kevrešan
Copywriter: Sandra Stojanović
Account team: Jelica Jauković, Miloš Stanković
Strategic Planner: Katarina Pribićević
PR: Marija Vićić, Radiša Kričak, Ana Antić
The video above was created by advertising agency McCann Belgrade, which is part of the largest communication group in Serbia and in the entire Balkan region, McCann Grupa, headed by Mr. Srđan Šaper.