Text topic: Esthetization of Politics and Politization of Art
Text author: Предраг Драгојевић
The paper analyzes newspaper articles written towards the end of the 1980ies (1987-1988) about the so called Terazije fountain (which existed between 1927 and 1947 at the Terazije Square in the center of Belgrade, Serbia – not to be confused with the older Terazije fountain from 1860 that still stands). At first glance, this was an example of investigative journalism, where one searched for some lost (removed or destroyed) and “forgotten” fountain, by using contemporary documents, photographs, recollections, eyewitnesses, etc. Speaking in terms of methodology, this investigation had a strategy to establish facts (descriptions of the fountain, chronology of its removal); to understand the fountain in its cultural and historical context and recognize the changes of its meaning and symbolism during 30ies, late 40ies and in the 80ies; to re-evaluate the fountain; to restore it as a piece of the national heritage and bring it back to the contemporary Belgrade. However, the investigation identified an enormous lack of knowledge in history, art history, architecture, urbanism, anthropology, technology, etc. It was carried out as a patchwork of anonymous comments, so the articles were inconsistent and displayed many controversies. The activity of the author therefore resembled pretty much the job of a moderator on the Internet-based forums or social networks. At the same time, opinions of experts and scientists were eliminated as irrelevant, their books considered as non-existing and cultural institutions as incompetent. The story of the fountain appears to be just a stone for a political stone soup; the point of the paper was to criticize the cultural policy, social policy, political leaders or the post-war basis of the socialist Yugoslavia and to promote a new ideology and a new political strategy that was fully introduced in the 90ies.