Photo documentation of the exhibition: Novi Sad Neo Avantgarde of the 1960s and 1970s in Zagreb

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  • kuda.
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Photo documentation of the exhibition: Novi Sad Neo Avantgarde of the 1960s and 1970s in Zagreb

Gallery Nova of the collective WHW, 17 - 27.01.2006.

Producenti i ko-kustosi izložbe: Centar za nove, Novi Sad


Editor and the producer of the exhibition: New Media Novi Sad

The Continuous Art Class
The Novi Sad Neo-Avantgarde of the 1960’s and 1970’s

History is not given. It needs to be constructed.

Within the project EastArt Map, the Irwin group from Slovenia started a project of mapping; creating a history for Eastern Europe's post-war artistic legacy. As a result of specific political circumstances and the lack of a developed artistic market, this history has not been included in the corpus of the 20th Century art history.

Although characterized by local specificities, the Novi Sad neo avant-garde of the 1960s and 1970s has been treated like other Eastern European arts. Other than a few exceptions, it has not been the focus of scholarly research. This is closely related to the social framework in which this artistic practice was carried out, as well as to the obstacles this social context engendered. Together these help to illustrate the impact of youth movements during that time, the geopolitical position, and internal affairs of Yugoslavia, particularly within the local context of Vojvodina and Novi Sad.

The protagonists of the Novi Sad conceptual artistic scene created through their work a universal non-territorial discourse, observed in their unrestrained communication and freedom of expression. At the same time, their engagement was based on the local context, precisely referring to specificities of the times and the locality in which they were working.

The exhibition "The Continuous Arts Class" at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Novi Sad is part of a long-term project entitled "The Continuous Arts Class"; a symbolic follow up of the "The Public Arts Class" project, which was carried out in 1970 on the Danube Pier in Novi Sad by the protagonists of the current conceptual art scene.

"The Continuous Arts Class" aims at presenting a fruitful and creative production through documentation, action, exhibitions, and performances of great significance for Europe and the region. The realization of this project indicates a common belief that it is possible to interpret the importance that this artistic scene had for the art history of that time. An interdisciplinary approach is needed in order to recognize the practices of that period, which would correspond to the practice itself. This means it should include visual arts, linguistics, performance, conceptual art, philosophy, sociology, and literature.

So far, within "The Continuous Arts Class" project, the following has been realized: a pseudo-opera "King of the Forest" directed by Andras Urban, written by Slobodan Tisma; processing and digitalization of the artistic legacy of Bogdanka and Dejan Poznanovic; a colloquium entitled "Culture in the City Centre" held on 20th December 2004 at the Cultural Centre of Novi Sad the fiftieth anniversary of the "Youth Tribune" (originally Tribina mladih) in Novi Sad; presenting the Novi Sad neo avant-garde and conceptual art scene of the 1960s and 1970s at the exhibition "Belgrade Inc." in July 2004 and in Vienna as a separate part entitled “Novi Sad Konc.”; international exhibition "On Difference" held in Stuttgart, in May 2005.

The goal of "The Continuous Art Class" project is to recognize and overcome the problem and negative selection perpetuating in our cultural environment. Introducing to a wider audience the activities of individuals and groups that were active during the 1960s and 1970s; thus enabling the establishment of continuity from this period, which constitutes a necessary basis for rejuvenation of current cultural values and cultural production.

Many thanks to Slobodan Tišma, Čedomir Drča, Bogdanka Poznanović, Želimir Žilnik for their contribution to the realization of the exhibition. Many thanks are owed to those who have donated material from their private archives.

New Media, Novi Sad