This paper deals with a re-reading of avant-garde and critical art practices that were emerging and developing in the interwar period in Yugoslavia, and their interrelations. Unlike dominant modernist art historical analyses that see a discontinuity and breakup with the avant-garde practices that pre-date it – in the “socialist art” of the fourth decade of the twentieth century – this research is trying to read the above mentioned art practices as a certain continuity and with organic coherence. Through a case study of artistic practices of Mirko Kujačić, the paper will show strong influences of Zenithism and Surrealism on the “socialist art”, defining it the art of “critical realism” (term by Lukács). It is stated that one can find avant-garde tendencies in the art of critical realism that take on different art methods and forms due to the changed socio-political circumstances, fast fascistization of the society and the proximity of war. In such political atmosphere, the avant-garde currents are reflected in the “temporal overlaps” of art and politics.
Introduction of temporality – limited duration, movement, change – fundamentally changes the way a work of art functions: permanence, constancy, ‘eternity’ are no longer its implicit features; a work of art is not necessarily an object, but also a certain activity, process, experience. A work of art takes over the logic of fluids: its material component, such as shape, size, format, has become variable, while the method of functioning has become fluid. This change cannot be observed independently of the technical reproduction, primarily of film, which for the first time introduces movement in the once static, unchanging image. Temporality spreads through film and moving images in other areas of visual research as well, the effect of which is appearance of a number of new artistic practices: early in the 20th century, within avant-garde, through neo-avant-garde phenomena to the contemporary art in which such a way of functioning becomes dominant.
The text “Sketches for the theory of new media” suggests open problems for eclectic discussion of new media in the field of contemporary aesthetics and art theory; it indicates the status of new media artwork and the replacement of the concept of artwork by artistic apparatus. More precisely, ‘new media’ denotes different artistic practices that are based on innovative working with artistic or extra-artistic media. ‘New-media artistic practice’ denotes introducing non-standard media into a standardized and customarily closed art discipline. For instance, new media may signify introducing photography, film or video into the respective contexts of painting, sculpture or music. ‘New media’ also denotes experimental investigations of the relations between various traditional and new media within traditionally defined mono-medium practices. Therefore, ‘new media’ likewise denotes all those intermedia and hybrid art practices that emerge in combinations of different kinds of media (the mixed media, multimedia, poly-media, extended media, art and technology, computer art, cyber art, tactical media, etc). Whereas the hybridization of media was important for the 1950s and ’60s neo-avant-garde practices, it was introduced into art education only in the seventies. ‘New media’ denotes precisely those art practices that are based on artwork-programming (computer art, digital art, cyber art). In parallel with ‘new media’, one may also use the term ‘meta-media’, as defined by Lev Manovich. Meta-media is identified with computer multimedia and digital communication networks. The new-media art is no longer interested in observing and presenting the outer world in a new way but in finding new ways to approach and use data previously accumulated in the media. Meta-media art and culture are based on the digital computer as a technology vital for processing, representing or simulating information, which means imitating and positing the sensory effects of all other media.
Walter Benjamin coined the notion of aesthetization of politics/politization of art in his analysis of historic avant-garde movements. In this paper, this notion is applied to Early Modern art, i.e. to those moments in history in which forced breakings occurred from the established political and ideological institutions, namely to Florence in which Cosimo I de’ Medici ascended the ducal throne in 1537, and to the French Revolution. In both cases, breaking with tradition implied new iconography that represented the immediate result of newly established political needs. In the analyses of these phenomena, we deduced several characteristics shared with historic avant-garde, such as terminus post quem as breaking point in historical time, new iconography as reflection of new political and social circumstances, necessity for directing public conduct and promoting new ideas, as well as ephemeral and spectacular character of events in which public took active part in adherence to new ideals.
The subject of this text is the relation between art and politics as it was practiced at the time of the rise of the European political Left, above all in the regions of the pre-war and post-war USSR. The thesis defended in the text is that all the totalitarian social-political systems form, in principle, a uniform attitude to arts as a powerful potential media for the promotion and transmission of their ideological and political messages, which mostly brings artistic creations to the verge of kitsch if not to its very centre. The other part of the thesis deals with events on the ex-Yugoslav post-war political and art scene, highlighting its specific features, especially those contained in the fact that kitsch was present on that scene rather as an (anti)-style of political life – above all of the language of the ruling politics of the time – than as a non-art.
Multidisciplinarnim pristupom analizira se kompleksnost ideološke i perceptivne produkcije erotske avangardne fotografije, pre svega dadaizma i nadrealizma. Identifikacija žene i njene erotičnosti u sistemu avangardne reprezentacije prati ideje o ženskom telu i odnosu žene naspram avangardne ideološke konstrukcije. Erotska fotografija u delima avangarde prvenstveno se ogleda u destrukciji dominantnih perceptivnih predstava, kao i u preispitivanju vizuelnih ideoloških formalnih i tematskih elemenata. Fotografski univerzum “epohe spavanja” sublimira erotizam kao konstitutivni element nadrealističkog pokreta. Halucinantna fantazija nadrealista, Nikole Vuča i Vana Bora, demaskira stvarnost tako što transfiguriše vizuelne kodove reflektujući nesvesna i seksualna ograničenja i provocirajući građanske moralne norme. Nadrealistička erotska fotografija počiva na modelu subverzivne seksualnosti u okvirima desadovskog sveta.