Text topic: Themes
Text author: Sanja Čokolić, Zorica Grubišić i Neven Duvnjak
This article analyses the action of painting Split’s Peristile in red color, which happened in January 1968. The Peristile is in the central square of the well known Roman Diocletian’s Palace, around which the modern town of Split has formed. In the first part of the article, authors theoretically discuss the influence of culture, nation and ideology on social and spiritual reality. As far as culture is concerned, two components are emphasized. The first one consists of norms, values, customs, beliefs and behaviors, and the second one refers to the individual in interaction with traditional elements of culture. When speaking about nation, authors stress the influence of politics, because any theoretical definition of the nation legitimizes one sort of political demand, and de-legitimizes others. The notion of ideology and its historical development in the West is more extensively discussed, with emphasis on Mannheim’s differentiation of particular and total notion of ideology. Having in mind the town in general, authors discuss it as a place of co-existence of architecture, habits and people. Cultural-civilizational characteristics of modern cities as well as the state of mind in Split in 1968 are elaborated. After a theoretical introduction, and on the basis of a great number of resources, the process of Peristile painting is presented in detail. The manner in which this artistic performance was carried out is extensively described. This part of the article is supplemented with biographies of artists who directly or indirectly participated in the mentioned performance. Among other things, it turned out that protagonists still cannot agree as to who constituted a group called “The Red Peristile Group”. There are also disagreements about the motifs for painting the Peristile red. Some of them considered it was a pure artistic act and others - an ideological and political action. References are made to the sharply opposed reactions of artist, politicians, and intellectuals towards the shocking act. Some of them have qualified it as an act of vandalism, a joke of political officials, youth folly, and even an occult act under the influence of drugs. Conclusion can be drawn that the action “The Red Peristile” was an important artistic performance which has disturbed a lethargical state of mind in Split of that time.