1976: Motovun Video Meeting

Research project 2014 – 2015

Exhibition, publication 2015

Curated by Branka Benčić


MOTOVUN VIDEO MEETING 1976 is a research project, publication and exhibition about the anthological  video encounter in Motovun, an international video workshop with Croatian and Italian artists that took place in Motovun in 1976.

In the 1970s, the video becomes the dominant moving images medium and the new media – photography, film and video – come onto the art scene. The Motovun encounters demonstrate the potentials of video art and transnational networks as a possibility for the new generation of artists and curators. In this context, the 1976 video workshop in Motovun, dedicated to identity, plays the key role.

The workshop was organized by Museum of Contemporary Art (Zagreb), Galleria del Cavallino (Venice) and Etnographic Museum (Pazin)

Through photographs, documents and video works, the exhibition will remind us of a Motovun encounter. It will gather participants and question the impact, position and importance of the project, as well as individual works.

Croatian and Italian artists participated in the 1976 Motovun encounter: Sanja Iveković, Dalibor Martinis, Goran Trbuljak, Claudio Ambrosini, Michele Sambin, Luigi Viola, Živa Kraus, Zdravko Milić, some of them completing their anthological works.


In the period between the 60s and the 70s in Yugoslavia, experimental film and video art share a similar history, stem from similar economic, social and cultural contexts and although they use different technologies, they share close production conditions (cinema clubs or workshops) and develop within the confined possibilities given by the hardly available cinematographic, television or video equipment. Due to a lack of video equipment, the early video works of Croatian artists are largely created abroad, at exhibitions like Trigon in Graz (1973) or using video equipment offered by foreign galleries, like in the case of the gallery del Cavallino in Motovun and the video workshop in Brdo in Istria organized by the Krinzinger Gallery from Innsbruck. The desire of a certain number of artists in Yugoslavia to work with video could only be realized sporadically and there were just two institutions that followed its development – the Contemporary Art Gallery in Zagreb and the Student Cultural Center in Belgrade, as opposed to Italy which has a much longer tradition of work with video.

Video as a new artistic medium was accepted fast and with great enthusiasm among artists, despite difficulties in production. It has inspired a new approach to contemporary art and took over a leading position in experimental artistic practice, paving the way for the new media.

Focusing on the theme of “Identity”, in cooperation with Paolo Cardazzo of the gallery del Cavallino, the Museum in Pazin and the curator Marijan Susovski of the Contemporary Art Gallery in Zagreb, the video meeting in Motovun was organized within a wider visual arts meeting with the participation of 15 artists from Croatia and Italy, 8 of which took part in the video meeting: CLAUDIO AMBROSINI, SANJA IVEKOVIĆ, ŽIVA KRAUS, DALIBOR MARTINIS, ZDRAVKO MILIĆ, MICHELE SAMBIN, GORAN TRBULJAK, LUIGI VIOLA , producing 24 video works. In the introduction Marijan Susovski points out “the wide possibilities that video has in art, that is, the great possibilities for the personal expression of the individual, regardless of the kind of message, esthetic, social or another.” Closer to the format of photography or the amateur super8, the video-image is of a more chamber character and taken more personally, we connect with it more emotionally and identify with the author – continues Susovski, pointing out the spontaneity of video as medium.

Publication is available here

The project is organized in the framework of Cinemanic / Think Film, established in 2002 as a sidebar program of the Pula Film Festival, is a long-term interdisciplinary research platform questioning the connection between film, moving images and contemporary art.  It presents recent Croatian and international production of art films / videos, experimental films and multimedia installations as well as the audiovisual heritage. The 14th edition of Cinemaniac is built on the basis of previous experiences and research into experimental film practices and the audiovisual heritage, first of all as a research continuity launched with the project The Invisible MAFAF. It establishes the continuity of the research into historical narratives about the beginnings of video art in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as a contemporary art practice, as well as mapping the development of the new media art in the 1970s.