GROUP APRIL: HISTORY CLASS No. 2, Announcement on the occasion of the action carried out at the opening of the reconstructed building of the Cultural Center of Novi Sad (KCNS)
HISTORY CLASS no.2
Announcement regarding the action for the opening of the reconstructed building
Cultural Center of Novi Sad (KCNS)
Last night, on April 5, 2011, during the city celebration, in front of the renovated building of the Cultural Center of the city, an action of the April group called HISTORY HOUR no.2. The members of the April group expressed their protest by gathering and displaying a banner that read: HISTORY WAS DELETED AT THIS PLACE BY DECISION OF THE CITY ADMINISTRATION.
With the new architectural solution which completely erased the memory of the Youth Tribune, the current editorial policy, funds, and interests of the city administration, as well as the non-existence of archives on the activities of the Youth Tribune - we believe that history has been systematically erased. It is not only the suppression of the importance of one institution in order to present the new one as "better" and "more exclusive", but also the erasure of cultural heritage from the time of socialism, in order to present the modern moment marked by neoliberal cultural policies as the only relevant one. So, the anti-socialist consensus is once again at work. DELETING HISTORY has been recognized as a common denominator of the transformation and privatization of public spaces for culture, namely the Belgrade Youth Center and the Novi Sad Cultural Center.
A special paradox is expressed in the extremely undemocratic character of the celebration of this public cultural institution, which was closed to the public (!?), Without the possibility of asking questions at the press conference, but the entire protocol was (mis)used for party promotion of city government and justification for three years. breaking the deadline in reconstruction. At the same time, citizens were offered a program in front of the building in the Catholic Gate, which with its character can only be interpreted as an insult to common sense when it comes to contemporary art and cultural production.
Forty years ago, the CCNS building was the site of the Youth Forum, one of the most important cultural and youth institutions in the history of Novi Sad, which promoted the public character of artistic, youth, and intellectual practices, progressive editorial policy, and the place of artistic experiment, especially during the 1960s. them and until the early 1970s. With the change of the political climate in the then state after 1971, such open practices were sanctioned, and in the following years, the name of this institution was renamed KCNS.
Until this reconstruction, on the facade of the building of the Youth Tribune, ie KCNS, there was a mark of the Tribune in the form of an old board, which was removed during the reconstruction. Also, the destruction of the recognizable architectural design of the facade from 1966 removed the last memory that this cultural institution ever functioned in that place. Giving the name "Youth Forum" to a club within the CCNS is not a move towards preserving the heritage of this institution, as it could be done, but passivates the attitude towards that heritage, establishing a false continuity. The essence is in the permanent absence of the content that was the medal of the Youth Forum, starting with the editors who were up to 25 years old, experimental artistic practices, and nurturing critical discourse, the energy that has been squeezed out of the CCNS space for decades.
April Group "April Group", whose members, signatories, and implementers of "History Hour" in Novi Sad directly refer to the already existing forms of association of the protagonists of the neo-avant-garde art scene gathered at the Youth Forum in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They practiced monthly renaming of their forms of association, and in January they were called - January Group, in February the February Group, while the "establishment" of the March Group was planned. In this way, the April Group can only support the reconstruction/actualization of progressive experiences from our recent past as well as our relationships, not institutions.
The first "History Hour" was performed on February 25, 2011, by artists and activists Ana Vilenica, Sasa Stojanovic, and Aleksa Golijanin at the entrance of the Youth Center in Belgrade, on the occasion of removing memorials from the SFRY era during the reconstruction of the building and installation of new ones. More about the action at: