Ješa Denegri, Art Around 1968: The Other Line [ENGLISH]

Art around 1968: The Other Line

Written in 1980; publ. in Projeka(r)t, 7, July 1996, Novi Sad.


A number of events that took place between 1966 and 1969 marked crucial stages along the path towards the  dematerialisation of the art object – i.e. a the process which implied a transferral of working methods from the formal onto the cerebral plane. In his Precronistoria ('Chrono-History'), Germano Celant listed the following key points in the process: the exhibitions, Primary Structures (Morris, Judd, LeWitt, Andre, Flavin…), organised by Kynaston McShine and Eccentric Abstraction (Hesse, Nauman, Sonnier…), organised by Lucy Lippard, which were both held in New York, in 1966; then the first appearance of the group, BMPT (Buren, Mosset, Parmentier, Toroni) in Paris, in 1967; the exhibition, Non-Anthropomorphic Art (Kosuth, Ch. Kozloff…) – again, in New York; the first Arte Povera exhibition (Boetti, Fabro, Kounellis, Pascali, Paolini, Prini), in Genoa; Il teatro delle mostre, in Rome (mostly featuring participants from the Arte Povera circle); the founding of the group, Art & Language; the festival, Arte Povera + Azioni povere (Dibbets, Long, Merz, Pistoletto…), in Amalfi; Antiform (Morris, Serra, Hesse, Ryman…) and 5-31 January (Kosuth, Barry, Huebler, Weiner) – both in New York; Prospect '68, (Beuys, Broodthaers, Buren, De Maria, Merz, Nauman, Venet, Zorio…), in Düsseldorf; and on to the first museum presentations and exhibitions of The New Art: Op Losse Schroeven, by Wim Beeren, in Amsterdam, Harald Szeemann’s When Attitudes Become Form, in Berne, and Konzeption/Conception by Konrad Fischer and Rolf Wedewer in Leverkusen, in mid-1969…1

Art before and after 1968

The emergence of a new kind of art through the above-mentioned exhibitions (and many others of the kind) cannot be viewed separately from the context of social and spiritual tumult surrounding its birth. For, it was a moment, when an entire generation called out for a complete re-evaluation of the existing state, character, and even the very notion, of art, and life itself. This not only led to a series of technical innovations, but was conditioned by, and in turn conditioned, the overall existence of the artist, as an individual, and as a member of a minority group in society. Renato Barilli predicted that a future history of contemporary art would distinguish the situation pre-1968 and post-1968; he thought, though, that the ‘caesura’ should not be strictly related to the political developments, but primarily to the  spiritual and cultural situation, at a given historical moment.2 Marcuse’s well-known statements on the 'desublimation of culture' might be applied to current developments in the art of the time: it was a denial of the traditional aloofness and detachment of art, coupled with an emphasis on art’s close relationship to the genuine concrete, emotional and cerebral needs of contemporary men and women, and their need for the most immediate manifestation of individuality and spontaneous feelings of relief. The concept of the 'aesthetic’ – by no means synonymous with ‘beauty’, but in its original sense of triggering a sensory response – becomes one of the fundamental elements of the new spiritual climate. In his Essay on Liberation, Marcuse wrote:

'The term "aesthetic", in its dual connotation of "pertaining to the senses" and "pertaining to art" may serve to designate the quality of the productive-creative process in an environment of freedom…'3

Obviously, any art which is to correspond to the concept of an 'environment of freedom' could no longer be satisfied with the production of isolated, finished objects: it had to incorporate an emancipatory element into the artist’s behaviour, and this caused him to change his attitude, both towards his own practice and towards his overall place within the art world.

But these sociological and ideological insights, which help to attune us to the relationship between politics and culture in the spiritual climate around the year 1968, also carry the implications that we need to distinguish carefully between the artist's need for expression and the form in which it Is expressed. Thus, there is no doubt that the explosion of 'collective enthusiasm' (as Harold Rosenberg termed the Woodstock experience) and the contemporaneous poster production and the street manifestations of what Ursula Meyer referred to as 'the art of the May Revolt' fell into a different category from the art practices which took place in a smaller-scale specialist area, and which soon established a quite specific art scene, at a global level. Some critics tended to favour 'the avant-garde of the masses' (to borrow Maurizio Calvesi's expression), as a global countercultural movement – owing to its idealistic political and ethical radicalism – in preference to all forms of artistic professionalism, which inevitably bore the mark of individualistic behaviour.  However, it seems more appropriate to abandon the search for a perfect match and instead find ways of underpinning the structural differences between the two phenomena. For, while the former appears to present the apex of daily life, in all its intensity, the latter is actually a specific kind of art, which – despite the considerable degree of innovation involved in its methods and modes of display – still cannot dispense with the need to operate some kind of more or less codified and historically justifiable working terminology.

The Mental vis-à-vis the Vital

At the crucial juncture, when a number of New Art practices first made their appearance in several different centres all at once, they manifested their existence, critics were hard put to it, to try and produce a preliminary set of classifications, and to map and monitor developments within a wider context. Thus, for instance, Barilli suggested making a distinction between tautological and mystical Conceptualism, whereas Robert Pincus-Witten accentuated the difference between the epistemological and ontological ‘wings’ of Conceptual Art. Both critics soon proved to be too approximate, in the definitions they employed, which derived from the original term, concept. Namely, it is more appropriate to apply the often imprecise, or loosely handled, term, 'Conceptual Art’, to the  strictly analytical wing of the movement, which included Kosuth, Venet and the group, Art & Language; in order to find a designation for the other key aspects of The New Art,  we may be more justified, in using terms, such as ‘Poor Art’, ‘Earth Art', 'Land Art', and so on, in the way that Celant did, in his early promotional writings (Arte povera, 1969, Conceptual art – Arte povera – Land art, 1970). And it was Celant who, through those writings, offered some of the first theoretical postulates and critical modes of ‘reading’ Conceptual Art and Arte Povera. Celant’s definitions are worth quoting, for their instructional value:

'The task of Conceptual Art is to put a mental process before the artist’s form-related operability, so as to confirm the superiority of the concept, which makes the forms of presentation become irrelevant. The artist can utilize any kind of form, ranging from physical reality to the written or spoken word, but all of the forms used should be subordinated to the mental process and the concept which presupposes methodologically accurate and rational groundedness… Any reduction to a concept removes every interest in the object or its documentation, giving up the aesthetic, and employing primarily language itself in the scientific and philosophical sense, according to the logic based on the theoretical postulates of Anglo-Saxon thinkers such as Wittgenstein and Moore'.

As for the other, vitalistic component of the New Art, Celant wrote:

'Arte Povera is an art that in the linguistic and visual anarchy and in constant change of behaviour finds the greatest degree of creative freedom. That is art understood as an incentive to perpetual verification of its own cerebral and physical existence, as a force of existence that removes any fantastic or mimetic veil of artistic representation. Arte Povera is not an illustrative and theoretical art, it is not aimed at the process of presenting ideas but orients itself to presenting the phenomenalized sense and factual meaning of real things. An idea, event, fact or action – when materialized – becomes the focal point in the relation of simultaneity between idea and action, leading to an extension of experiences about the idea, event, fact or action addressed. It is not confused with ambiguous and polysemous statements, those are visual findings on a fact or a natural and human situation.'4

The Other Line

The exhibition, The New Art Practice 1966-1978, which was held at Zagreb’s Gallery of the Contemporary Art in 1978, to the accompaniment of a voluminous catalogue bearing the same title, demonstrated that a broadly based movement had already existed in Yugoslavia for more than a decade, and that it had evolved practically in parallel to the comparable developments in other parts of the world, listed above.  For this reason, we need to consider it as an authentic, lasting phenomenon, which deserves to be considered seriously, both for its socio-cultural implications and as an artistic event, in its own right.  We cannot necessarily claim that the movement was the product of a single generation, but we can see from the age of most of its exponents that they came from the generation born between 1940 and 1950, which had grown up in an urban environment, with a social mentality that had matured over a considerable period of time. The term, 'The New Art Practice', applies to the class of artists who felt an affinity with the tradition of the historical avant-garde at home and, especially, in other parts of Europe, and who were open to the latest manifestations of popular culture and the mass media. That is why, when it came to making choices about their lives and their art, they consciously sought to distance themselves from many of the inherited ideas and beliefs of the milieux from which they came. In post-war Yugoslavia, this was probably the first generation of artists, whose identity had been formed without feelings of nostalgia for local and patriarchal concerns; that, in fact, determined their overt distaste. both for the bulk of their predecessors' work and for  that of  the majority of their contemporaries. Thus, they saw themselves as separated and distanced from the common heritage and its visible manifestations. They counteracted this, by searching on the domestic scene for some rare and, therefore, precious ancestors and antecedents from the periods between the two World Wars (Zenithism, Dadaism and  Constructivism) and after the Second World War (Exat-51, New Tendencies, Gorgona, Radical Art informel). Together with these and other elements, they put together a whole nexus of ideas, sensibilities, attitudes, mentalities and modes of behaviour – in short, an entire world view, which was not, however, in any sense homogenous or stylistically coherent. The working description that was found for this was somewhat  tentative and imprecise, but otherwise handy and reasonably clear: 'The Other Line'.

The New Art Practice

The 1978 exhibition, The New Art Practice, in Zagreb and the accompanying, documentary catalogue offered not only a detailed survey of the most recent developments in The New Art in Yugoslavia, but constituted the first art historical study of the phenomenon. However, it brought together an extremely diverse range of artistic approaches. No other term in international use, such as  Conceptual Art, Arte Povera, Land Art, Body Art, and so on, proved capable, adequately of encompassing the entire range of  innovative art developments at the end of the 'sixties and beginning of the 'seventies. No other term was appropriate, because the various forms of artistic expression which cropped up at the same time in the different art centres in Yugoslavia were often quite dissimilar to each other, yet specific in their manner of articulation; therefore, they appeared quite distinctive, in comparison to what was going on abroad at the time. A situation like this called for a new, all-embracing description, which would be sufficiently general and broad in scope, yet clear  enough to be useable – hence, the adoption of the term, ‘The New Art Practice’.5

A couple of  features that distinguished the Yugoslav situation from that in other countries – particularly, in the beginning – were the number of groups that sprang up and the quantity of group exhibitions that were arranged. This kind of phenomenon tends to occur, whenever the social and cultural environment is resistant to change and progressive forces feel the need to band together, to achieve a common goal. In most cases, this was the objective of the artists who founded groups, such as OHO in Ljubljana (who later transfmuted into the Family at Šempas), Red Peristyl in Split, Kôd and (Ǝ in Novi Sad, Bosch+Bosch in Subotica, Verbumprogram in Ruma, Pensioner Tihomir Simčić, Tok/’Flux’ and Izložbe-akcije/Exibitions-Actions  in Zagreb (generating Podrum [’The Cellar’], later on), an informal group of six artists (gathered around the events of October ‘72 and October ‘75), and Ekipa A3 and Grupa 143 in Belgrade. The important aspect of all this was that the members of these sometimes loose and sometimes tight clusters were bound to each other, not only by their artistic affinities and ideas, but by the kind of lives they led. What brought them closer together was, among other things, their circumstantial, or self-imposed, geographical separation from other distinctive cultural and artistic circles.

One of the reasons for this distancing from one another lay in the fact that a considerable number of the protagonists of the groups contributing to The New Art were recruited outside the circle of artists with a regular art school training, or from the ranks of those who opposed the orthodox teaching practices to be found in the established art schools. In the event, it turned out that an educational background in the field of philosophy, theory of literature, linguistics, sociology, art history, or even one of the engineering sciences, could provide a better foundation for entry into the art world than a knowledge of classical fine art techniques, acquired at one of the art academies. This was particularly true, if conventional art school training was not backed up with the kind of broader intellectual curiosity and cultural awareness that would be virtual prerequisites for any artist today. Yet it quickly turned out that those artists who had received a 'non-professional' training  were more inclined to abandon their activities in the domain of The New Art Practice, as soon as they found way into areas for which they were more suited by their educational background. In contrast, artists who could be counted among the small number of critically-oriented individuals with an art school background often  started later, but stayed in the field for longer. This may be accounted for by the fact that they had already arrived at a greater professional awareness of what they wanted to achieve, as artists, aspiring, not only to change their mode of expression, but to build up a different professional status within their own system, as well as (for the more ambitious among them) earning a reputation  abroad.

Various motives, mostly linked to their own relationships between themselves, led to the quick disintegration of the majority of the above-mentioned groups, or brought about changes in their membership.

Despite this, however, these formal or informal groupings, together with a few hardened individualists who had stayed clear of being identified with a particular generation, played the role of initiators and protagonists of all important aspects of The New Art Practice, from inception to growth and development. And these practices took the form of a kind of artistic nomadism that was manifested in varied types of behaviour, invoking the use of an extremely broad repertoire of techniques in newly discovered, or hitherto neglected, media, such as photography, film, video, xerox, mail, artists’ texts, artists' books, and so on. These media were invariably treated from a conceptual standpoint, rather than a formal or aesthetic one.  Yet their strategy of nomadism meant that some of the adherents of The New Art also adopted the classical disciplines of painting ('Primary', or 'Elementary' Painting), works on paper (a more precise term for 'drawing) and printmaking (a better term for ‘graphics’). A substantial portion of their activity took place outside conventional gallery spaces, in remote and secluded locations in the countryside, town squares and streets, or in settings that were not normally used for the display of works of art, such as hallways and cellars, university assembly halls and private flats. This was, of course, a way of emphasising the one-off, alternative nature of the work, as a conscious expression of some kind of apostasy. In this way, The New Art Practice declared that it was not only a linguistically innovative kind of art, but also an existential option and experience, with fully determined ideological connotations. In other words, it communicated an attitude that was unwilling to adapt to any of the prevailing norms of behaviour in the country's rigorously organised social hierarchies and institutions.

From the Art Object and its Setting to the Artist’s Behaviour: Speaking in the First Person Singular

The New Art Practices in Yugoslavia's main urban centres from around the end of the 1960s almost up to the end of the 1970s took the form of  a series of disparate manifestations, involving different media, but united by a sense of  common spiritual endeavour. The same artists would often use a number of different media and techniques at the same time, as part of the same strategy of artistic nomadism. In each of these centres, what served as a catalyst for the development of  innovative practices at the inception of The New Art was the field of concrete and visual poetry, whose distinctive features were the  de-semanticisation and de-symbolisation of language, and linguistic elements. This initial experience encouraged artists who had already been involved with concrete and visual poetry to engage with the kind of materials that came to typify many areas of The New Art Practice. In those areas, artists experimented with intervening in different ways in an outdoor setting, in either the city or the countryside. When artists chose to work within a gallery space, they replaced the classic form of exhibition, composed of self-contained, fully finished, aesthetic objects, with temporary, in situ exhibitions of work which had been specifically designed, in advance, for the space in question. In all such cases, the events would be of limited duration and would fail to result in the production of any finite art objects; instead, any work on display would consist of various incongruous materials and ambient situations, in which the artist would intervene through his personal presence, in front of an audience. In some extreme cases, the artist would dispense with any material support or form of mediation and would focus instead of different modes of ‘behaviour’, in the spirit of certain kinds of artistic action, performances or displays that were closer to Body Art. Taken together, these different modes of behaviour formed part of an overall strategy, which we might label, in a form of convenient critical shorthand, 'the artist speaking in the first person singular'.

The need to document these transient manifestations of artistic behaviour led to the early introduction of  photography into the area of the New Art Practices, since a snapshot would often provide the sole evidence of an artist's various 'post-object' activities, which we can summarise as 'speaking in the first person singular'. However, it did not take long, for a number of artists to realise the potential for a far more independent exploitation of the photographic medium: photography soon came to be used, not merely to capture the happening or event for posterity, but to establish the autonomous status of a new artistic language that contained its own iconic information and unique potential, and allowed for the formulation of a vast range of artistic concepts.

 The relative simplicity of technical execution and broad availability of adequate cameras themselves resulted in an ever-increasing number of artists in Yugoslavia’s principal centres starting to exploit photography, as the prevalent medium within the repertoire of the New Art Practices. There were scarcely any practitioners of this art who failed to use this medium of photography, either to mediate the artist’s subjective approach, along the line of ‘individual mythologies', within the context of what we have repeatedly referred to as 'speaking in the first person singular', or as a unit of a particular vocabulary of signs, which the artist submitted to a process of analysis. Closely linked to this penchant for the use of photography was the predilection of many artists (often the same ones) for using short films of video. Again, this was either for documentary purposes, to document them 'speaking in the first person singular' or at the service of certain analytical procedures inherent to these media. Film was rarely resorted to, in comparison to the widespread use of photography, mainly because of the difficulty in obtaining film stock and equipment and the complicated technical and operational requirements of the medium. Yet these obstacles did not stand in the way of significant individual achievements in film and video, within the overall field covered by the New Art Practices.

Painting/Drawing/Printmaking/Sculpture/Outside and Inside the New Art

Nevertheless, the essential feature of the New Art did not consist in the definitive abandonment of the physical object or the material substance of which it was composed – i.e. in reducing everything to the pure concept. Nor did it consist in the introduction of new representational techniques, through the use of photography, film and video; nor in any programmatic replacement of the art object with the artist, or subject 'speaking in the first person singular'. Actually, the essential change in the status of the artistic process consisted in transferring the conception and execution of the work of art from the visual or morphological plane onto the mental, or cerebral, plane, where the meaning of the work is articulated and 'read'. These aspects of The New Art have been analysed in detail by Nena Dimitrijević, in the following, characteristic passage:

'An object no longer existed as an aesthetic thing, but as an indicator of the complex function which is an artwork. The road of liberation from the aesthetic object did not run through exhibiting in a locked-up gallery, or through the reduction of a monument’s dimensions to the size of an A4 sheet, but through dying out of the domination of the visual in a work in favour of the diverse messages it contained. The aesthetic object of yesterday offered all the information through its phenomenal quality and, owing to that, one could equally arbitrarily evaluate – by formal analysis – the engravings of Lascaux and the paintings by Olitski. The intentions and the ideological standpoint of the artist (if any of that was known) were just not-too-important tools in the interpretation of a work, for its morphological features were always the primary determinants… But abstraction is not a form of presentation, it is a system of the mind, so the abstractionality of a work does not result from the simplification of the visual model but from the multitudes of non-visual, mental messages the particular form contains. According to this definition, a piece of figurative painting, a bronze sculpture and a typed text can be at the same level of abstraction if accompanied by the needed quantity of mental implications that are not necessarily conditioned by their form.'6

If a statement such as this  can pass muster as an accurate and appropriate description of the principle characteristics of The New Art, there should be no  barriers to its legitimate introduction, even into the corpus of  work that remain linked to the ‘classical’ media, such as painting, sculpture, drawing and printmaking, when the procedures involved lead to a re-materialisation of the art object – provided, of course, that works of this nature reflect the kind of mindset referred to by Nena Dimitrijević, in her text. This may account for the fact that a number of artists, such as Damnjan, Boris Demur, Andraž Šalamun, Tugo Šušnik, Todosijević, Urkom and others, who had engaged with the dematerialisation of the art object, in their pursuit of Ambient Art or Performance Art, and in their use of  photography and video began to practise the techniques of Primary Painting, from the mid-1970's onwards. In doing so, they joined up with a number of trends that were variously referred to, on the internal art scene, as ‘Fundamental Painting’, ‘Analytical Painting’, ‘New Painting’, ‘Painting-Painting’, and so on. It was in the nature of these sub-genres of painting that there could be no question of reverting to some of the fine art features that characterised the vast field of  Abstract Art; on the contrary,  here, too, it was the question of implementing the basic principles of the New Art Practices: there could be no  overriding emphasis, in this case,  on technical innovation in the chosen medium, but a firm insistence on the different manner in which classical techniques of painting were to be applied. The same principled approach was applicable to the areas of drawing, printmaking and sculpture, and – as was characteristic of the New Art of the 'Seventies – it was documented and studied in a critical fashion, in  issue issue-related exhibitions, such as  Radovi na papiru ('Works on Paper') (Belgrade, 1976), Otisci ('Prints') (Zagreb, 1976), Grafičke mape ('Print Portfolios') published by the  Galerija Srećna nova umetnost (Happy New Art Gallery) (Belgrade, 1979) and Primeri druge skulpture ('Examples of the Other Sculpture') (Belgrade, 1979).

The Scene of the New Art as the Alternative Scene

In addition to the art produced as the basis for the phenomena we have just been discussing, the New Art 'scene' included an organisational component and some back-up in the areas of  art criticism and theory. More often than not, this support came from the artists themselves, rather than from professional critics. Considering the marginalisation to which the practitioners of The New Art had been condemned from the outset, it was an important task, for them to provide an adequate context for their activities, as was the task of spreading knowledge and information, both at a local level and in the other centres. The degree to which the artists could count on the existing institutions and mass media was extremely small, for these ‘channels’ were in the hands of the established artistic and social hierarchies, towards which The New Art, directly or indirectly, adopted a principled, and determinedly critical, stance. The situation gradually led to the establishment of a whole network of organisational strongholds, and this facilitated conducting a sustained campaign to promote new work and fresh thinking about art. The beginnings of the network, and further developments within it, mostly depended on the knowledge, initiatives, agility and contacts of a handful of individuals, who generally succeeded in realising the bulk of their projects, albeit on a reduced scale, with the slender resources at their disposal. The first centre to promote The New Art was the now defunct Gallery 212, at the theatre Atelje 212, during the BITEF-Belgrade International Theatre Festival. From1968 to 1971, the manager of this Gallery was Biljana Tomić. Apart from a number of Yugoslav artists, European exponents of The New Art who exhibited there included Pistoletto, with his performance, Lo Zoo and other artists, such as  Buren, Chiari, Vaccari and Kounellis; among the critics,  Celant staged his documentary exhibition, Arte Povera, and Trini came, as well,  as did Bonito Oliva, with his project Persona, Catherine Millet, and Jean-Marc Poinsot; Politi was also a guest, in his capacity as publisher of Flash Art. Walter de Maria's visit to Ljubljana in 1970, at the invitation of the Oho Group, was a remarkable event, as he co-produced a project with them during his stay there. The New Art gained its first foothold in Zagreb through an informal ‘gallery’ inside the entrance to a house at 2a Frankopanska Street, thanks to the initiative of Braco and Nena Dimitrijević. It was here that the exhibition, At the Moment, was put on, with the participation, among others, of Anselmo, Barry, Burgin, Buren, Dibbets, Flanagan, Huebler, Kounellis, LeWitt, Weiner and Wilson.

Soon after these non-institutional actions, some galleries within the Students’ Centres and cultural institutions for young people turned into major organisational strongholds, in the campaign for the New Art. These included the Tribina mladih (Youth Forum) in Novi Sad, the Students' Centre in Zagreb, the Students' Cultural Centre in Belgrade and, later on, the Galerija Nova in Zagreb and Students' Cultural Centre in Ljubljana. Thanks to the knowledge and agility of their managements, and the fact that they attracted, and welocmed, an ever-growing body of young artists, these centres quickly outgrew the role initially envisaged for them and turned into showcases for programmes that boasted a high degree of professionalism and earned widespread critical esteem.

Unlike the traditional types of institutions, on whose services artists could count while their work was on display,  these galleries, with which the New Art became associated, organised almost daily get-togethers, as a spur to companionship and intense work. This had a determining effect on their basic orientation, by greatly stimulating their output and influencing both the character of the New Art Practices and the artists' relations with the local scene. A key role was played by the Students' Cultural Centre in Belgrade, in fostering links with like-minded artistic circles abroad. The programmes that it devised – especially, during the April Encounters, which started in 1972 – attracted the participation of many of the great names on the global New Art scene, including artists such as Gina Pane, Beuys, K. Sieverding, U. Rosenbach, K. Klauke, members of the Art & Language group, Ontani, Clemente, S. Forti, Palestine, and others, along with a number of renowned critics, such as F. Menna, K. Honnef, B. Reise, and R. Brooks.7

From time to time, certain professional institutions, such as the Gallery of Contemporary Art in Zagreb and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade, also took on a promotional role and helped considerably to strengthen the position of The New Art and spread its reputation, farther afield. In this way, they helped to elevate The New Art above its initial, outsider position to the rank of a specific, highly-professional activity, in terms of its work and its concepts, though not yet its materials.

Heralding 'The Great Refusal’

The New Art of the 'Seventies was remarkably complex and diverse, for all that it largely depended on the roles and contributions of certain individuals. However it is relatively easy to identify a number of specific attributes and characteristics that were common to much of the work and corresponded to the inner needs that were experienced by many young people who had grown to maturity in the spiritual climate of 'The Great Refusal' of 1968.

These young people of '68 found that they could not accept the reality of what they faced and felt a strong urge to express themselves freely and realise their own potential, in circumstances that were invariably imbued with tension, uncertainty and friction, but which appeared to be inevitable, in the contemporary world. The New Art which emerged in a social and spiritual context such as this was thus endowed with some conspicuous activist traits; this art, and everything connected with it,  turned into an extremely vital, passionate and exciting, real-life situation. Even after things had calmed down and the dust had settled, it stayed in the memory of all those who had witnessed or experienced it, as an unforgettable period in their lives, when they had been able, for once,  to dedicate themselves, body and soul, to leading life to the full, in and through art.


1      G. Celant, Precronistoria 1966-1969, Centro Di, Firenze, 1976.

2      Renato Barilli, 'Il ‘68 e le arti visive', Qui arte contemporanea, 15, Roma 1975; republ. in: Informale, oggeto, comportamento: La ricerca estetica negli anni '70, Vol. 2, Feltrinelli, Milano, 1979.

3      H. Marcuse, An Essay on Liberation, Second printing, Beacon Press, Boston, 1969

4      G. Celant, 'Conceptual Art, Arte povera, Land Art, Body Art', Proceedings of Situazioni dell’arte contemporanea, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Roma, 1976.

5      Nova umjetnička praksa u Jugoslaviji 1966-1978 ('The New Art Practice in Yugoslavia 1966-1978'),  exh. cat., Galerija suvremene umjetnosti, Zagreb, 1978.

6      N. Dimitrijević, Platno ('Canvas'), exh. cat., Tendencije 5, Galerija suvremene umjetnosti, Zagreb, 1973.

7      J. Denegri, Studentski kulturni centar kao umetnička scena ('The Student Cultural Centre, as an Art Scene'), SKC, Beograd, 2003.


A number of events that took place between 1966 and 1969 marked crucial stages along the path towards the  dematerialisation of the art object - i.e. a the process which implied a transferral of working methods from the formal onto the cerebral plane... 

Povezane vijesti