Maja Fowkes: The Green Bloc: Neo-Avant-Garde Art and Ecology Under Socialism (2015)

4 December 2017, dusan

“Expanding the horizon of established accounts of Central European art under socialism, The Green Bloc uncovers the neglected history of artistic engagement with the natural environment in the Eastern Bloc. Focussing on artists and artist groups whose ecological dimension has rarely been considered, including the Pécs Workshop from Hungary, OHO in Slovenia, TOK in Croatia, Rudolf Sikora in Slovakia, and the Czech artist Petr Štembera, Maja Fowkes’s innovative research brings to light an array of distinctive approaches to nature, from attempts to raise environmental awareness among socialist citizens to the exploration of non-anthropocentric positions and the quest for cosmological existence in the midst of red ideology. Embedding artistic production in social, political, and environmental histories of the region, this book reveals the artists’ sophisticated relationship to nature, at the precise moment when ecological crisis was first apprehended on a planetary scale. ”

Publisher Central European University Press, New York and Budapest, 2015
ISBN 9789633860687, 9633860687
viii+299 pages
via Memory of the World

Reviews: Katalin Cseh-Varga (Springerin, 2015, DE), Juliane Debeusscher (Critique d’art, 2018).

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The Grand Illusion: Tito and 24 Million Metres of Celluloid (2014) [Serbian/English]

15 November 2017, dusan

The Grand Illusion is dedicated to the great passion of Yugoslav president Josip Broz Tito (1892-1980) for all forms of moving pictures – movies, newsreels and other film and documentary forms. The project is based on the carefully maintained records of films which Tito watched from 15 March 1949 to 16 January 1980.

The Grand Illusion is about Tito as a watcher of films, but also about him as an actor, shadow director and most powerful producer. About a man who watched an average of 280 films a year, in all his residences, on land, sea and rail. About his encounters with the greatest film personalities of the second half of the twentieth century – Simone Signoret, Yves Montand, Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, Vivien Leigh, Orson Welles, Richard Burton and Laurence Olivier. About a statesman who was relaxed and entertained by film, and who could say about films “they simply blow your mind”, but who knew how to promote and sell them to serve him for educational purposes, as well as to prepare for travelling or when someone was coming to visit him.”

Publisher Museum of Yugoslav History, Belgrade, 2014
ISBN 9788684811259, 8684811259
67 pages

Exhibition
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Radical Education Collective (eds.): New Public Spaces: Dissensual Political and Artistic Practices in the Post-Yugoslav Context (2009)

27 July 2017, dusan

“This reader draws its inspiration from encounters and conversations with activists, artists, critical thinkers, curators, militant researchers and writers from Belgrade, Helsinki, Istanbul, Ljubljana, London, Pristina and Prizren in April and May 2008 at the social centre ROG and the AKC Metelkova mesto in Ljubljana. Those encounters challenged not only the distinction between ‘serious’ discussions and ‘informal’ debates – that instantly reproduce linear time and hierarchical space – but also our mutual ability to listen, talk and share experiences (instead of consume information). Contributions were subsequently elaborated into the reader, which consists of two parts. In the first part, engaged collectives reflect on the organisation of different political issues: from anti-capitalist and student struggles, to immigrant workers and the re-appropriation of public spaces in the region. The second part focuses on specific art collectives from Kosovo and Ljubljana, which are occupied with the question of space: why was space so important when rethinking the relation between art and politics, and also what can one do with the space? Here, a set of political practices enabled art collective to undermine the presupposed liberal border between public and private. The reader concludes with a presentation of some art projects that intervened and articulated spatial and visual transformations in the post-Yugoslav context.”

Edited and compiled by Gal Kirn, Gašper Kralj, and Bojana Piškur
Publisher Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, and Modern Galerija, Ljubljana, 2009
ISBN 9789072076878, 9072076877
194 pages

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