Female Artists in the First Person

Female Artists in the First Person

It is a real challenge to write history of art in an essay form and cover the period from 1945 to the present day, especially when taking into consideration the changes in the cultural sphere, socio-political circumstances, conditions of artistic production, or paradigms in the visual arts. Also, it should be taken into account that we started researching, collecting first-person statements1 of female artists from Yugoslavia and Serbia, and writing texts about their works in 20222, and so far we have included forty texts in the Secondary Archive. This text was written in accordance with the collected materials, but also with a vision to include the voices of other female artists in the coming years.

After breaking off relations with the Information Bureau of the Communist and Workers’ Parties (abbreviated Informbiro or Cominform) in 1948, the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia (FNRJ) entered into hostile relations with the Eastern Bloc, causing an economic crisis that led to reforms and the rejection of the Soviet-type planned economy in 1951, and its replacement with the Socialist self-management model, as well as the political and economic rapprochement with the Western Bloc. Solving the issue of property relations, the abolition of private property and the collective management of production were prerequisites for the establishment of uncompromising equality through social property. It is also important to point out the signing of the declaration on joint cooperation and politics – the founding of the Non-Aligned Movement by Josip Broz Tito, Gamal Abdel Nasser and Jawaharlal Nehru in Brijuni in 1956. The goal of the organization of the Non-Aligned Movement, which consisted of over a hundred countries (almost two-thirds of the members of the United Nations), as written in the Havana Declaration of 1979, was to ensure “the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of the non-aligned countries in their struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, apartheid, racism, including Zionism and all forms of foreign aggression, occupation, domination, interference or hegemony, as well as against bloc politics”3. When we talk about the period of the Cold War, apart from the so-called East and West, it is extremely important to point out the global South, that is, the Southern political constellations.

Political and economic reforms in Yugoslavia also coincide with visible paradigm changes in the visual arts that correspond to the similar tendencies in the West, which is generally understood as the advancement of artistic freedom during the Cold War. We observe these changes through the appearance of state-promoted socialist modernism4, which according to Jerko Denegri is a moderate version of high modernism. The term Yugoslav Art Space5, introduced by Jerko Denegri, refers to a geographical, political and cultural zone that is polycentric, but at the same time shares the common artistic life of several national communities.

At the time of the founding of the Non-Aligned Movement, a close cooperation with Italy and the United States of America was significant in the field of culture and art. An illustrative example of this collaboration is the artist Olga Jevrić, who broke with the tradition of realistic sculptural forms in the 1950s and created a unique artistic expression, which was noticed by the international community of art critics at the 19th Venice Biennale in 1958. Olga Jevrić was awarded a scholarship for a one-year study program in New York by the Ford Foundation in 1966. Herbert Read included the works of Olga Jevrić and Olga Jančić in his review of modern sculpture6. In addition to sculpture, it is also important to note that in painting, Mira Brtka holds an important place within socialist modernism and she had her first solo exhibition in Rome in 1964.

When we discuss the position of women, it is important to point out that during the National Liberation Struggle (WWII) women were fighters and that gender equality was unquestionable on a declarative level. The Women’s Anti-Fascist Front (AFŽ) was founded as a part of the partisan movement in 1942, and as an organization it joined the People’s Front of Yugoslavia in 1945. The significance of AFŽ, apart from the mobilisation of women during the war, is also reflected in the insistence on the “necessity of a revolutionary change in the position of women in society”, as well as on the creation of conditions for mass literacy of women after the end of the war in order to “get them qualified for the inclusion on an equal basis in all processes of social life and for participation in the construction of a new society and the national government”7. At the beginning of the 1950s, AFŽ pointed to the gap between declarative equality and the actual position of women, and its closure in 1954, and the creation of the Union of Women’s Societies8, is proof that the revolutionary ideals, which were considered too radical, did not take root in practice9. Through her works based on the “quasi-archive” principle, artist Milica Rakić speaks about the revolutionary potential of AFŽ and women’s emancipation from today’s perspective.

Student protests10 in 1968 were the direct reason for the establishment of a network of student cultural centres in Zagreb (SC) and Belgrade (SKC) in 1971, as well as in Ljubljana (ŠKUC) the following year. These institutions, along with the Youth Tribune in Novi Sad11, were the main promoters of the neo-avant-garde, i.e. new artistic practice during the 1970s, as well as postmodern tendencies and alternative youth culture during the 1980s. Jerko Denegri borrows the term new art practice from Catherine Millet, and uses it for the first time on the occasion of the exhibition “New Art Practice 1966-1978”. The term new indicates that this is a set of innovative artistic phenomena that are significantly different in relation to the previous phenomena of socialist modernism, Art Informel, New Figuration, Neo-Constructivism, etc.; the term artistic points to the conclusion that this is not about outside-art or anti-art; the term practice emphasises that we are talking about processes, operations, acts, performances, and not about final and finished aesthetic objects12. Katalin Ladik begins her artistic practice, which is rooted in poetry and vocal liberation, at the Youth Tribune programs. In addition to promoting Yugoslavian artists, the Belgrade SKC was also a gathering place for numerous international artists and theorists.

The international conference “Comrade Woman: The Female Question – A New Approach?”13 was organized in SKC in October 1978, as the first autonomous meeting of second-wave feminists in Yugoslavia, and the first such gathering outside the Western European context14. The conference was accompanied by an exhibition organised by Biljana Tomić and Bojana Pejić, with the participation of artists: Nil Yalter, Judy Blume, Nicole Croiset, Věra Chytilová, Liliana Cavani, Rony Daopulo, Annabella Miscuglio, Anna Carini, Dacia Maraini, Jasmina Tešanović and Goranka Matić. Goranka Matić exhibited her photographic work “Portraits of Women, October 1978”, and Jasmina Tešanović showed her film “Love is nothing but words”. In addition to playing an important role in connecting Italian and Yugoslav feminists, Jasmina Tešanović directed the film “Comrade/ss Woman”, which is an important document on the aforementioned conference. In 2012, artist Darinka Pop-Mitić created a visual chronology of the “Comrade/ess Woman” conference, highlighting its formative significance within the exhibition Miraz (Dowry)15.

During the 1980s, there were visible changes in the editorial policy of the SKC in Belgrade, which corresponded to the changes in the visual arts, and were reflected in the fostering of the “New Image Art”. The editors of the Art Program of SKC at that time were Biljana Tomić, Bojana Pejić and Lidija Merenik. Lidija Merenik gave the most comprehensive review of “New Image Art 1979-1989”16 so far, noting that her research focus was on sculpture and painting (in which an important place belongs to Marija Dragojlović and Nada Alavanja), and to a lesser extent on photography17. New Image Art played an important role in the reception of postmodernism and produced significant works that are crucial for the interpretation of the postmodern strategy in art. Two artists, Dubravka Đurić (performance and poetry) and Dragana Žarevac (performance and music), will explore the marginal areas of performance in their work. Apart from being important for the emergence of alternative culture, the 1980s were also the last decade of the joint “Yugoslav Art Space”.

The last gathering of Yugoslav artists was at the 16th Biennale of Young Yugoslav Artists in Rijeka in 1991. Due to numerous political problems, the exhibition was titled Youth Biennale, and while it was taking place, the war started, first in Slovenia, then in Croatia, as well as in Bosnia the following year. At this exhibition, on the initiative of the director of the Modern Gallery, Berislav Valušek, a significant anti-war gesture took place, the paintings were turned towards the wall, the sculptures were covered with a white canvas, and the projections were turned off, while the exhibition itself was open to visitors18. The disintegration of Yugoslavia in the bloody wars that were fought during the 1990s, in which genocide was committed, ethnic cleansing and pogroms were carried out, as well as the organized expulsion, capture and killing of civilians, represents the political and social framework for production of contemporary art as well. This context is at the same time a historical frame of reference, as well as the subject of numerous artistic interventions. Therefore, it is not surprising that in the Secondary Archive one can find first-person statements of female artists who give their outlook and refer to war and nationalism, through political or social determination or directly through their works. I would like to refer to the statements, but also the artistic practice of Vesna Pavlović, Goranka Matić, Milica Tomić, Jasmina Tešanović, Jelena Trpković, Jelica Radovanović, Darija Radaković, Vesna Vesić and Jelena Jureša, who directly question the politics of war through their art practice.

Three themes dominate contemporary art: war, politics and technology. Therefore, the language of interdisciplinarity, which defines not only the thematic but also the visual-aesthetic framework, characterises visual arts created since the 1990s. It is important to note that Marica Radojčić, a globally recognized researcher and professor of mathematics, was active in the visual arts during this period, and that she is one of the international pioneers of merging art and science, as well as of computer-generated art. Since the 2000s, this approach has become more and more present internationally in contemporary art, and therefore I would also point to the artists Ana Knežević, Zorica Ćolić, Sunčica Pasuljević Kandić, Anja Tončić and Sanja Anđelković, who are working in this field.

From the statements of female artists in the first person published in the Secondary Archive, we can conclude that the issue of the relationship between the body and politics, the origins of which can be traced back to the 1970s, gained momentum during the 1990s, and reached its full bloom in the work of female artists post 2000s. It is the body that represents the intersecting place of repression of the patriarchy and political state apparatuses, which female artists – using different strategies, from provocation to subversion – employ to address inequality both within the social and art system. The thematic framework is wide: (de)construction of identity; the issue of sexuality and love; political and class positions; the relationship of the state, administrative and ideological apparatus towards the body; economic and war migrations; cultural politics in art; social reach of participatory art; representation of the female body and the role of women in society; the issue of health and its social, economic and political conditions; domestic, reproductive and artistic work, paid and unpaid; politics of remembering and forgetting; ecology and ecofeminism; etc. I have marked off this framework, with interweaving subjects, relying on the statements of Ivana Smiljanić, Mima Orlović, Bojana Knežević, Vahide Ramujkić, Marina Marković, Ivana Ivković, Katarina Zdjelar, Jelena Micić, Milica Rakić, Isidora Ilić, Rene Redle, Zorica Čolić, Neda Kovinić, Milena Maksimović, Andrea Palašti, Marianna Feher Nikolić, Aleksandra Saša Jeremić, Jelena Mijić, Anastasija Pavić and Adrienn Ujhazi.

The text was written by Dejan Vasić (2022).

1The title of the text "Female Artists in the First Person" by which I refer to the fact that it was written relying on statements from the Secondary Archive, through the feminization of the noun also refers to the text by Jerko Denegri "An Artist in the First Person", Umetnost (Art), no. 44, Belgrade, 1975.
2In the initial phase of the project during 2022, I edited and wrote texts together with my colleagues Mirjana Dragosavljević, Simona Ognjanović and Jelena Vesić.
3From the speech by Fidel Castro, which he gave as the chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement at the UN on October 12, 1979.
4The interpretation of modernism within Yugoslavian socialism was given by Jerko Denegri and Lidija Merenik. According to Lidija Merenik, post-war modernism is characterised by a certain ahistorical or apolitical language and, as such, fits into Lukić's thesis about aestheticism as a conservative artistic phenomenon. This apolitical expression was relatively quickly accepted and tolerated as a form of institutional art. It legitimised hegemony in various ways - supported the cultural establishment and its claim to possess knowledge of aesthetics (Huyssen). Lidija Merenik, "High Modernism or Socialist Aestheticism?" web source:

Considering both the conservative and the emancipatory side of aestheticism, Jerko Denegri will use the term socialist modernism. Jerko Denegri Inside or Outside 'Socialist Modernism'? Radical Views on the Yugoslav Art Scene, 1950–1970, in: Dubravka Djurić and Miško Šuvaković (eds.), "Impossible Histories: Historical Avant-Gardes, Neo-Avant-Gardes, and Post-Avant-Gardes in Yugoslavia, 1918– 1991", The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts / London, England, 2003, p. 170–208.

5Jerko Denegri "Yugoslav Art Space", Sarajevske sveske, volume 31, 2017. Web source: http://sveske.ba/en/content/jugoslovenski-umetnicki-prostor.

6Herbert Read's book A Concise History of Modern Sculpture, Thames and Hudson, London, 1964.

7For additional information see: Miroslava Malešević, "Female", Serbian Genealogical Center, Belgrade, 2007, p. 54.
8Neda Todorović Uzelac states that the Union of Women's Societies was a platform that served to mobilise all citizens on tasks concerning women, especially regarding the issue of motherhood. The role in the household and motherhood was again put in focus, although several important issues were also resolved, such as maternity leave, the right to abortion, etc. In: Miroslava Malešević, "Female", Serbian Genealogical Center, Belgrade, 2007, p. 61.
9It is also important to mention the exhibition curated by Marija Đorgović, Ana Panić and Una Popović The Women's Side at the 25 May Museum (now: Museum of Yugoslavia) in 2010. Link to the catalogue in Serbian and English: https://www.muzej-jugoslavije.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Zenska-strana.pdf.

10When Hrvoje Klasić writes about the events in Belgrade, he uses the term professor-student demonstrations in 1968, because he believes that the professors led that rebellion, participated in it, printed leaflets, and were at the head of the barricades (he refers to professors Ljubomir Tadić, Mihajlo Marković and Zagorka Golubović). In: Hrvoje Klasić, "Yugoslavia and the World in 1968", Naklada Ljevak, Zagreb, 2012.
11Youth Tribune, founded as part of the youth branch of the National University in 1954, promoted modernist art throughout the 1950s and 1960s, and over time became a place for dialogue on contemporary social and political issues.
12Jerko Denegri, Seventies: Themes In Serbian Art, Svetovi, Novi Sad 1996, p. 22.
13Link: https://www.arhivaskc.org.rs/hronografije-programa/velike-manifestacije/5840-drug-ca-zena-zensko-pitanje-novi-pristup-27-30-oktobar-1978.html.

14You can read more about the conference "Comrade Woman: The Female Question – A New Approach?", as well as about the exhibition in: Jelena Vesić, “The Conference Comrade Woman – Art Program (On Marxism and Feminism and Their Mutual Political Discontents)“. Link:  http://tranzit.org/exhibitionarchive/the-conference-comrade-woman-art-program/.

15The exhibition "Miraz" (Dowry) was curated by Dunja Blažević and was held in several cities, in Sarajevo, Ljubljana, Trieste, Belgrade and Zagreb. The term "dowry" is related to the patriarchal tradition and culture in which the place and position of women in the family and society are clearly defined. On this occasion, the concept of dowry was used as licentia poetica. It symbolically signifies the relationship between personal inheritance, that which is carried and taken out of "home" and that which is acquired and shaped as a lived life experience or as one's own choice of human, social, historical and/or specifically female values. You can find more about the exhibition at the following links:

16More on this at: Lidija Merenik, “New Phenomena in the Serbian Painting and Sculpture 1979-1989 A Selective Chronology”. Link: https://www.rastko.rs/likovne/xx_vek/lidija_merenik.html.

17Photographs of New Wave bands take a significant place in Goranka Matić's art practice. Link: https://secondaryarchive.org/artists/goranka-matic/.

18For more information, I recommend reading Ana Marija Milčić's graduation thesis "Biennale of Young Yugoslav Artists in Rijeka", University of Rijeka, 2014. Link: https://www.academia.edu/34105590/Biennale_mladih_jugoslavenskih_umjetnika_u_Rijeci_diplomski_rad_pdf.

19Together with my colleague Simona Ognjanović and the team from the Center for Cultural Decontamination, we launched the research and exhibition project "Art After Crime" in 2020. For more information on the conclusions of the cultural-political aspect of the project, visit the following link: https://www.czkd.org/en/2021/12/art-after-crime-cultural-political-aspects/.

Umetnice u prvom licu

Pravi je izazov pisati istoriju umetnosti u formi eseja, i obuhvatiti period od 1945. godine do danas, posebno kada se imaju u vidu promene u kulturnoj sferi, društveno političkim okolnostima, uslovima umetničke proizvodnje, ili paradigmi u vizuelnim umetnostima. Takođe, treba uzeti u obzir i da smo istraživanje, prikupljanje iskaza u prvom licu umetnica1 iz Jugoslavije i Srbije, i pisanje tekstova o njihovim radovima započeli 2022. godine2, i do sada u Sekundarnu Arhivu uključili četrdeset tekstova. Ovaj tekst pisan je u skladu sa sakupljenim materijalima, ali i sa vizijom za uključivanje glasova drugih umetnica u narednim godinama. 

Nakon prekida odnosa sa Komunističkim informacionim biroom (skraćeno Informbiro ili Kominform) 1948. godine, Federativna Narodna Republika Jugoslavija (FNRJ) ušla je u neprijateljske odnose sa Istočnim blokom, što je dovelo do ekonomske krize koja je uslovila reforme i odbacivanje planske ekonomije Sovjetskog tipa 1951. godine, i njegovu zamenu sa Socijalističkim samoupravnim modelom, kao i do političkog i ekonomskog približavanja Zapadnom bloku. Rešavanje pitanja svojinskih odnosa, abolicija privatne svojine i kolektivno upravljanje proizvodnjom bili su preduslovi uspostavljanja beskompromisne jednakosti kroz društvenu svojinu. Takođe je važno istaći i potpisivanje deklaracije o zajedničkoj saradnji i politici – osnivanje Pokreta Nesvrstanih, od strane Josipa Broza Tita, Gamal Abdel Nasera i Džavaharlal Nehrua na Brijunima 1956. godine. Cilj organizacije Pokreta Nesvrstanih koju je činilo preko stotinu zemalja (skoro dve trećine članica Ujedinjenih Nacija), kako je napisano u Havanskoj deklaraciji iz 1979. godine, bio je da osigura „nacionalnu nezavisnost, suverenitet, teritorijalni integritet i bezbednost nesvrstanih zemalja u njihovoj borbi protiv imperijalizma, kolonijalizma, neokolonijalizma, aparthejda, rasizma, uključujući i cionizam i sve oblike strane agresije, okupacije, dominacije, mešanja ili hegemonije, kao i protiv blokovske politike“3. Kada govorimo o periodu Hladnog rata, osim tkz. Istoka i Zapada od izuzetne je važnosti ukazivati i na globalni Jug, odnosno na Južne političke konstelacije. 

Političke i ekonomske reforme u Jugoslaviji koincidiraju i sa vidljivim promenama paradigme u vizuelnim umetnostima koje korespondiraju sa sličnim tendencijama na Zapadu, što se uglavnom razume kao promovisanje umetničkih sloboda u vreme Hladnog rata. Ove promene uočavamo kroz pojavu državno promovisanog socijalističkog modernizma4, koji je prema Jerku Denegriju umerena verzija visokog modernizma. Termin jugoslovenski umetnički prostor5, koji uvodi Jerko Deneri, odnosi se na geografsku, političku i kulturni zonu koja je policentrična, ali istovremeno deli zajednički umetnički život više nacionalnih zajednica.  

U vreme osnivanja Pokreta Nesvrstanih, u polju kulture i umetnosti značajna je i bliska saradnja sa Italijom i Sjedinjenim Američkim Državama. Ilustrativan primer ove saradnje jeste umetnica Olga Jevrić, koja je tokom 1950ih prekinula sa tradiciojom realističnih skulpturalnih formi i stvorila jedinstven umetnički izraz, što je primetila i međunarodna likovna kritika na 19. Vencijanskom bijenalu 1958. godine. Olga Jevrić boravila je na jednogodišnjem studijskom programu u Njujorku, kao stipendistkinja Ford Fondacije tokom 1966. godine. Radove Olge Jevrić i Olge Jančić, Herbert Rid uvrstio je u svoj pregled moderne skulpture6. Pored skulpture, važno je napomenuti i da u slikarstvu značajno mesto unutar socijalističkog modernizma pripada i Miri Brtki, koja je svoju prvu samostalnu izložbu imala u Rimu 1964. godine. 

Kada govorimo o položaju žena, važno je istaći da su tokom Narodnooslobodilačke borbe žene bile borkinje i da je na deklarativnom nivou jednakost polova bila neupitna. Antifašistički front žena (AFŽ), osnovan je u okviru partizanskog pokreta 1942. godine, a kao organizacija ulazi u Narodni front Jugoslavije 1945. godine. Značaj AFŽ-a osim u mobilizaciji žena za učešće u ratu, ogleda se i u insistiranju na „nužnosti revolucionarne promene položaja žena u društvu“, kao i na stvaranju uslova za masovno opismenjavanje žena po završetku rata kako bi se „osposobile za uključivanje na ravnopravnim osnovama u sve tokove društvenog života i za učešće u izgradnji novog društva i organa narodne vlasti“7. Početkom 1950ih godina AFŽ ukazivao je na rascep između deklarativne jednakosti i stvarnog položaja žena, a njegovo gašenje 1954. godine, i stvaranje Saveza ženskih društava8, predstavlja dokaz da revolucionarni ideali, koji su smatrani isuviše radikalnim, nisu zaživeli u praksi9. Umetnica Milica Rakić kroz svoje radove bazirane na principu „kvazi-arhive“ iz današnje perspektive govori o revolucionarnom potencijalu AFŽ-a i ženskoj emancipaciji. 

Studentski protesti 1968. godine direktan su povod za osnivanje mreže studentskih kulturnih centara u Zagrebu (SC) i Beogradu (SKC) 1971. godine, kao i u Ljubljani (ŠKUC) naredne godine. Ove institucije uz Tribinu Mladih u Novom Sadu10, bile su glavni promoter neoavangarde, odnosno nove umetničke prakse tokom 1970ih, kao i postmodernih tendencija i alternativne omladinske kulture tokom 1980ih.  Jerko Denegri od Katrin Mile (Catherine Millet) preuzima, i prvi upotrebljava termin nove umetničke prakse povodom izložbe „Nova umetnička praksa 1966-1978“. Termin nova upućuje nas da je u pitanju skup inovativnih umetničkih pojava bitno drugačijih u odnosu na dotadašnje pojave umerenog modernizma, enformela, nove figuracije, neokonstruktivizma, itd.; termin umetnička upućuje na zaključak da se ovde ne radi o izvanumetnosti ili antiumetnosti; termin praksa naglašava da je reč o procesima, operacijama, činjenjima, vršenjima, a ne o finalnim i završenim estetskim objektima11. Na programima Tribine Mladih, svoju umetničku praksu koja je bazirana na poeziji i vokalnom oslobađanju započinje Katalin Ladik. Beogradski SKC je pored promovisanja jugoslovenskih bio mesto okupljanja i brojnih internacionalnih umetnika i teoretičara.

Međunarodna konferencija „Drug-ca žena, žensko pitanje-novi pristup“12, organizovana je u SKC u oktobru 1978. godine, kao prvi autonomni sastanak feministkinja drugog talasa u Jugoslaviji, i prvo takvo ukupljanje izvan zapadnoevropskog konteksta13. Konferencija je bila propraćenja izložbom koju su priredile Biljana Tomić i Bojana Pejić, uz učešće umetnica: Nil Jalter (Nil Yalter), Džudi Blum (Judy Blum), Nikol Krozet (Nicole Croiset), Vera Hitilova (Vera Chytilova), Lilijana Kavani (Liliana Cavani), Roni Daopulo (Rony Daopulo), Anabela Miskuljo (Annabella Miscuglio), Ana Karini (Anna Carini), Daća Maraini (Dacia Maraini), Jasmina TešanovićGoranka Matić. Goranka Matić izlagala je svoj foto rad „Portreti žena, oktobra 1978“, a Jasmina Tešanović je prikazala svoj film „Ljubav je u stvari govorljivost“.  Pored toga što je odigrala važnu ulogu u povezivanju feministkinja iz Italije sa jugoslovenskim, Jasmina Tešanović je snimila film „Drug-ca žena“, koji je važan dokument pomenute konferencije. Umetnica Darinka Pop-Mitić 2012. godine napravila je vizuelnu hronologiju konferencije „Drug-ca žena“, ističući njen formativni značaj u okviru izložbe Miraz13.

Tokom 1980ih godina, vidljive su promene u uređivačkoj politici SKC-a u Beogradu, koje korespondiraju sa promenama u vizuelnim umetnostima, i ogledaju se u promovisanju „umetnosti nove predstave“. Urednice Likovnog programa SKC u to vreme bile su Biljana Tomić, Bojana Pejić i Lidija Merenik. Do sada najobuhvatniji pregled „Umetnosti nove predstave 1979-1989“14 dala je Lidija Merenik, uz napomene da je njen istraživački fokus bio na skulpturi i slikarstvu (u kojem važno mesto priprada Mariji Dragojlović i Nadi Alavanji), i u manjoj meri na fotografiji15. Umetnost nove predstave odigrala je važnu ulogu u recepciji postmodernizma i dala je značajna dela koja su ključna za tumačenje postmoderne strategije u umetnosti. Preispitivanjem graničnih zona performansa baviće se dve umetnice, Dubravka Đurić (performansa i poezije) i Dragana Žarevac (performansa i muzike). Osim što su važne za pojavu alternativne kulture, 1980e su ujedno i zadnja decenija  „jugoslovenskog umetničkog prostora“.

Poslednje okupljanje jugoslovenskih umetnika bilo je na 16. Bijenalu mladih jugoslavenskih umjetnika, u Rijeci 1991. godine. Usled brojnih uznapredovalih političkih problema, izložba je otvorena pod nazivom Bijenale mladih, i tokom njenog trajanja počeo je rat, prvo u Sloveniji, a zatim u Hrvatskoj, kao i u Bosni naredne godine. Na ovoj izložbi, na inicijativu direktora Moderne galerije Berislava Valušeka desio se značajan anti-ratni gest, slike su okrenute ka zidu, skulpture su prekrivene belim platnom, a projekcije isključene, dok je sama izložba bila otvorena za posetioce16. Raspad Jugoslavije u krvavim ratovima koji su vođeni tokom 1990ih, u kojima je počinjen genocid, sprovođeno etničko čišćenje i pogrom, kao i organizovano proterivanje, zarobljavanje i ubijanje civila, predstavlja politički i društveni okvir u kojem nastaje (i) savremena umetnost. Ovaj kontekst je istovremeno istorijski referentni okvir, ali je i tema brojnih umetničkih intervencija17. Stoga nije iznenađujuće da se u Sekundarnoj Arhivi mogu pronaći iskazi  umetnica u prvom licu koje referišu neposredno, političkim ili društvenim određivanjem ili direktno svojim radovima na odnos spram rata i nacionalizma. Ukazao bih na iskaze, ali i umetničku praksu Vesne Pavlović, Goranke Matić, Milice Tomić, Jasmine Tešanović, Jelene Trpković, Jelice Radovanović, Darije Radaković, Vesne VesićJelene Jureše, koje na izravan način svojim delovanjem dovode u pitanje politike rata.

U savremenoj umetnosti dominiraju tri teme: rat, politika i tehnologija. Stoga je za vizuelne umetnosti koje nastaju od 1990ih i danas karakterističan jezik interdisciplinarnosti, koji definiše ne samo tematski već i vizuelno-estetski okvir. Značajno je napomenuti da u ovom periodu radi Marica Radojčić, globalno priznata istraživačica i profesorka matematike, i da je jedna od internacionalnih pionirki spajanja umetnosti i nauke, kao i kompijuterski generisane umetnosti. Ovakav pristup od 2000ih internacionalno postaje sve prisutniji u polju savremene umetnosti, i stoga bih ukazao i na umetnice Anu Knežević, Zoricu Ćolić, Sunčicu Pasuljević Kandić, Anju TončićSanju Anđelković, koje deluju u ovom polju. 

Iz iskaza umetnica u prvom licu objavljenih u Sekundarnoj arhivi možemo zaključiti da je pitanje odnosa tela i politike, čije početke možemo pratiti u 1970im, tokom 1990ih uzimaju zamah, i puni raspon doživljavaju u delovanju umetnica nakon 2000ih (nepomena za prevod: blooming, blosoming). Upravo telo prestavlja mesto intersekcije represije partrijarhata i državnih političkih aparata, koje umetnice koristeći različite strategije, od provokacije, do subverzije koriste kako bi adresirale nejednakost kako unutar društvenog i umetničkog sistema. Raspon tematskog okvira je širok: (de)konstrukcija identiteta; pitanje seksulanosti i ljubavi; političke i klasne pozicije; odnos državnog, administrativnog i ideološkog aparatusa spram tela; ekonomske i ratne migracije; kulturne politike u umetnosti; društveni dometi participativne umetnosti; reprezentacija ženskog tela i uloge žene u društvu; pitanje zdravlja i njegove društvene, ekonomske i političke uslovljenosti; kućni, reproduktivni i rad u umetnosti, plaćeni i neplaćeni; politike sećanja i zaboravljanja; ekologija; itd. Ovaj okvir, u prepletu tema, izdvojio sam oslanjajući se na iskaze Ivane Smiljanić, Mime Orlović, Bojane Knežević, Vahide Ramujkić, Marine Marković, Ivane Ivković, Katarine Zdjelar, Jelene Micić, Milice Rakić, Isidore Ilić, Rene Redle, Zorice Čolić, Nede Kovinić, Milene Maksimović, Andree Palašti, Mariane Feher Nikolić, Aleksandre Saše Jeremić, Jelene Mijić, Anastasije PavićAdrien Ujhazi.

Tekst je napisao Dejan Vasić (2022).

1Naziv teksta „Umetnice u prvom licu“ kojim upućujem na to da je pisan oslanjajući se na iskaze u Sekunarnoj Arhivi, kroz feminizaciju imenice referiše i na tekst Jerka Denegrija „Umetnik u prvom licu”, Umetnost, br. 44, Beograd, 1975.
2U početnoj fazi projekta tokom 2022. godine, editovanje i pisanje tekstova radio sam zajedno sa koleginicama Mirjanom Dragosavljević, Simonom Ognjanović i Jelenom Vesić.

3Iz govora Fidela Kastra koji je održao kao predsedavajući Pokreta Nesvrstanih u UN 12. oktobra 1979. godine.
4Interpretaciju modernizma unutar jugoslovenskog socijalizma dali su Jerko Denegri i Lidija Merenik. Po Lidiji Merenik, posleratni modernizam se karakteriše određenim aistoričnim ili apolitičnim govorom i kao takav se uklapa u Lukićevu tezu o estetizmu kao konzervativnoj umetničkoj pojavi. Ovaj apolitični izraz je relativno brzo bio prihvaćen (tolerisan) kao forma institucionalne umetnosti. On je na različite načine davao legitimitet hegemoniji – podršku kulturnom establišmentu i njegovoj tvrdnji da poseduje znanje o estetici (Huyssen). Lidija Merenik, „Visoki modernizam ili socijalistički estetizam?“ web izvor:

Uzimajući u obzir i konzervativnu i emancipatorsku stranu estetizma, Jerko Denegri će koristiti izraz socijalistički modernizam. Jerko Denegri Inside or Outside ‘Socialist Modernism’? Radical Views on the Yugoslav Art Scene, 1950–1970, u: Dubravka Djurić and Miško Šuvaković (eds.), „Impossible Histories: Historical Avant-gardes, Neo-avant-gardes, and Post-avant-gardes in Yugoslavia, 1918–1991“, The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts / London, England, 2003, str. 170–208.

5Jerko Denegri „Jugoslovenski umetnički prostor“, Sarajevske sveske br. 31, 2017. Web izvor: http://sveske.ba/en/content/jugoslovenski-umetnicki-prostor.

6Herbert Read's book A Concise History of Modern Sculpture, Thames and Hudson, London, 1964.

7Za dodatne informacije pogledati: Miroslava Malešević, „Žensko“, Srpski genealoški centar, Beograd, 2007, str. 54.
8Neda Todorović Uzelac navodi da je Savez ženskih društava bio forma koja je služila za mobilizaciju svih građana na zadacima koji se tiču žena, a naročito oko pitanja materinstva. U fokus je ponovo stavljena uloga u domaćinstvu i materinstvu, iako je rešeno i više značajnih pitanja, kao što je porodiljsko odsustvo, pravo na abortus itd. U Miroslava Malešević, „Žensko“, Srpski genealoški centar, Beograd, 2007, str. 61.

9Važno je spomenuti i izložbu koje su autorski kurirale koleginice Marija Đorgović, Ana Panić i Una Popović Ženska strana u Muzeju 25. Maj 2010. Link ka katalogu na Srpskom i Engleskom jeziku: https://www.muzej-jugoslavije.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Zenska-strana.pdf.

10Hrvoje Klasić kada piše o događanjima u Beogradu, koristi izraz profesorsko-studentske demonstracije 1968, jer smatra da su profesori vodili tu pobunu, učestvovali u njoj, štampali letke, i bili na čelu barikada (misli na profesore Ljubomira Tadića, Mihajla Markovića i Zagorku Golubović). U Hrvoje Klasić, „Jugoslavija i svijet 1968“, Naklada Ljevak, Zagreb, 2012.

11Tribina Mladih osnovana kao deo omladinskog ogranka Narodnog Univerziteta 1954. godine, i tokom 1950ih i 1960ih promovisala je modernističku umetnost, a vremenom postala je mesto dijaloga o savremenim društvenim i političkim pitanjima.

12Jerko Denegri, Sedamdesete: teme srpske umetnosti, Svetovi, Novi Sad 1996, str. 22.

13Link: https://www.arhivaskc.org.rs/hronografije-programa/velike-manifestacije/5840-drug-ca-zena-zensko-pitanje-novi-pristup-27-30-oktobar-1978.html.

14Više o Konferenciji „Drug-ca žena, žensko pitanje-novi pristup“, kao i o izložbi možete pročitati u Jelena Vesić „The Conference Comrade Woman – Art Program (On Marxism and Feminism and Their Mutual Political Discontents)“. Link: http://tranzit.org/exhibitionarchive/the-conference-comrade-woman-art-program/.

15Izložbu „Miraz“ kurirala je Dunja Blažević i održana je u nekoliko gradova, u  Sarajevu, Ljubljani, Trstu, Beogradu i Zagrebu. Pojam „miraz“ vezan je za patrijarhalnu tradiciju i kulturu u kojoj su mesto i položaj žene u porodici i društvu jasno definisani. Ovom prilikom, pojam miraza je upotrebljen kao licentia poetica. On simbolično označava odnos ličnog nasleđa, onoga što se nosi i iznosi iz „kuće“ i onoga što se stiče i oblikuje kao proživljeno životno iskustvo ili kao vlastiti izbor ljudskih, društvenih, istorijskih i/ili specifično ženskih vrednosti. Više o izložbi možete pronaći na sledećim linkovima:

16Više informacija pogledati u: Lidija Merenik, „Selektivna hronologija: nove pojave u slikarstvu i skulpturi u Srbiji 1979-1989“. Link: https://www.rastko.rs/likovne/xx_vek/lidija_merenik.html.

17Značajno mesto u opusu Goranke Matić zauzimaju fotografije bendova Novog Talasa. Link: https://secondaryarchive.org/artists/goranka-matic/.

18Za više informacija preporučujem čitanje diplomskog rada Ane Marije Milčić „Bijenale mladih jugoslavenskih umetnika u Rijeci“, Sveučilište u Rijeci, 2014. Link: https://www.academia.edu/34105590/Biennale_mladih_jugoslavenskih_umjetnika_u_Rijeci_diplomski_rad_pdf.

19Zajedno sa koleginicom Simonom Ognjanović i timom Centra za kulturnu dekontaminaciju, 2020. godine pokrenuli smo istraživačko-izlagački projekat „Um(j)etnost nakon zločina“. Za više informacija o zaključcima kulturno političkog aspekta projekta posetite sledeči link: https://www.czkd.org/en/2021/12/art-after-crime-cultural-political-aspects/.

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