Research and exhibition about the 1976 international artists meeting in Brdo (Istria) are organized in the framework of 56. Annale in Poreč.
August 11 – September 10, 2016.
Curated by Branka Bencic, Ursula Krinzinger, Jerica Ziherl
“Brdo tape” produced by Krinzinger gallery includes works by artists from Austria and Yugoslavia (Gottfried Bechtold, Mladen Stilinović, Goran Trbuljak, Boris Demur, Raša Todosijević, Neša Paripović, Slobodan Šijan)
In the framework of the history of video art in Yugoslavia meeting of artists in Brdo 1976 has a formative role. Besides being the place of communal work of artists set within a pioneering “artist in residence” format, the 1976 international meeting of artists in Istria primarily opened a new possibility for the production of video art as a new and emergent media. In this matter, the role of Krinzinger Gallery and the personal engagement, vision and enthusiasm of Dr. Ursula Krinzinger in realizing the meetings in Brdo, played a key role. Interest in contemporary artistic practices and the recent occurrences in art, a place for meeting, exchange of ideas and collective work, set within a unique landscape and taking advantage of the geopolitical position of Istria, framed with natural and construed surrounding and architectural heritage, have thus inscribed themselves into then rising artistic, media-related and institutional practices.
In a period staring with mid-1970s, meetings of artists were linked with the phenomena of video and photography, with emphasised use of new media, production of site-specific projects and spatial interventions. Then upcoming generation of artists, which was active at the art scene from the late 1960 and throughout the 1970s, demonstrated a continued interest in minimalist sculpture, installation art, action, happening, performance, body art, language and visual poetry, all within the context of conceptual art and building on the context of The New Art Practice.
The early video developed in three directions. “Analyzing media, making social commentaries and recording the processuality are the forms which our artists apply in their video works”, claims Marijan Susovski in his review of early Yugoslav video production. [i] He continues by saying that the analysis of video media is pursued by Goran Trbuljak, Sanja Iveković, Dalibor Martinis and Slobodan Šijan. Video is engaged as the means of social commentary by Boris Bućan, Martinis, Mladen Stilinović, Neša Paripović and Raša Todosijević. The accent on processuality is found with Marina Abramović, Ilija Šoškić, Zoran Popović, Boris Demur. Susovski concludes by noticing that many of the listed authors demonstrate the overlapping interests.[ii]
The meeting of artists in Brdo in 1976, organized by Ursula Krinzinger, gathered a generation of artists from Austria and The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, mainly the protagonists of Zagreb and Belgrade conceptual circles. Brdo was the birthplace of diverse artworks, with their respective various origins and artistic positions, including the spatial interventions such as Minimalarchitektur by Karlo Baumschlager, actions, text-based art, photography and video employed as a form of documentation and media research. In a context of pioneering video work, Slobodan Šijan realized Samoubojstvo medija / Media Suicide as a work which examines the tautological and self- referential assumptions of video media. A performative video Work by Boris Demur is an issue on artist work, while Cenzuriram se / I am Censoring Myself by Mladen Stilinović is a form of social commentary on artist’s censorship and the critical relations existing between artist, context of video and the institution of television. Was ist Kunst, Patricia Hennings?/ What is Art, Patricia Hennings? is realized as a recording of performance by Raša Todosijević and articulates the views on art, displaying an ironic disposition towards “productivist and alternative aesthetics“.[iii] Video 1 by Neša Paripović is formed as a performance for camera wherein Paripović examines a genre of video portrait by doing a performance in a quotidian surrounding. The scene frames a space of room and a table, set up for a meal, where the artist performs ordinary acts. Bez naziva / Untitled by Goran Trbuljak unfolds in the wake of previous researches and interests in media, production and art system. The video is executed by Mladen Stilinović and Branka Stipančić, who follow the artist’s instructions in his absence.
Branka Benčić, from the catalogue
[i] Marijan Susovski: Video umjetnost u Jugoslaviji (Video Art in Yugoslavia), Spot No. 10, Zagreb, 1977.
[iii] Jasna Tijardović Popović: Fragmenti o filmu i videu (Fragments on Film and Video) in Video umetnost u Srbiji (Video Art in Serbia), Centre for Contemporary Art, Belgrade, 1999.