OMEGA Man



by Jelena Spaic


Like The Last Man on the Earth, in Mission Impossible, armed with cartridge belt of mouth organ, metal armour of ribbed dolly, drums, guitar and memories of black & white heroes of adolescence, John Schooley and His One Man Band will jerk public out of trance from Belgrade in Dom Omladine (Belgrade Youth Cultural Centre), 2nd October.He will kick the drums, shaking himself while he plays guitar like in religious ecstasy, screaming and pulsating. One by one he will crunch by his teeth mouth organ, without giving the permision to disrupt us by one more working week in which begin this entusiastic man standing. More about show on www.badmusicforbadpeople.com

This senteces are from some "notable magazine":

Can you hear that steam whistle blow? It's John Schooley, man and band. This is a travelin' album – by rail, by wheel, by wood, and coal. No jet engines here, only industrial sweat and steel. Southern blues stripped to the bare essentials, John Schooley & His One Man Band multitasks like a train-jumper circa 1938 .Playing all the instruments on the album save cello and mandolin, Schooley grinds it out just the same live: guitar across his lap, foot on the kick drum, harp round his neck. He begs for a moonshine-serving sweatbox.

Razorcake Perfect flawless synthesis of the gleeful lawlessness of Hazil Adkins, the frantic stomp of Doo Rag/Bob Log III and the gut-wrenching power of the Immortal Lee County Killers.

New Blog: http://tiija.blogspot.com


"MANIK have a blog.

It’s very good, take a look:

TIIJA

This is definitely an Art Blog (rather than just a blog about art), that is it’s blogging as an artistic medium, or at least a medium for presenting art. I’m looking forward to seeing more of their work like this".-Rob Myers

Venice Biennale 2005 ,,, VOTE MISTER BIENNALE!

Dear friends,

Are you interested in the contest for BEST-LOOKING MAN at Venice Biennale 2005 organised by Katarina Radovic and Jadranka Ilic?

The rules are as follows(in the manner similar to Eurovision Song Contest):

The main category
MISTER BIENNALE - choose 10 and give points from 1 to 10
(10 for the best!)

MOST CHARMING - choose 3 and give points from 1 to 3

BEST STYLING - choose 3 and give points from 1 to 3

SELF-CONFIDENCE - choose 3 and give points from 1 to 3

Once you have made your choice, please contact us and send the results via e-mail:
frigideira@beotel.net

Interview with Rob Myers


Belgrade Thumbnail http://www.robmyers.org/art/1969/index.html

Interview with Rob Myers

by Nikola Pilipovic & Marija Vauda
MANIK

1.The highly developed products of software, net. or web art require a transparent (free) infrastructure and free access to source (code). Your work is connected with Creative Commons, Free Software, Free Culture.

Yes. I was using other people's work in my own from when I first started seriously making art. When I was at college I asked other people If I could photograph their work to scan in to the computer, and I took photographs at galleries (when you were still allowed to do that in London!). And when I did programming later we were given lots of code and we all looked at each others code.

Free Software/Free Culture is a way of reclaiming that way of working, of protecting and extending it.

How do you feel as an Individual, (after your experience in the collective project SoDa),

SoDA was a group of people who'd been at college together taking what we'd learnt out into the worlds of business and art. In 1996 at the height of the Internet boom those worlds seemed like they were very close, or that they could be.

I didn't like working on catalogues or websites with other people, with a client and a deadline.

about working in groups, institutions? Differences? Advantages? Difficulties?

Possibly I'm just antisocial but I like the way that the Internet and 'copyleft' licenses allow you to build on other people's work without having to have more than one ego in the room. I like being able to use what other people have made, culture is my nature. I'd hate to work on a project like Art & Language's early Indices, they had such bad internal politics. I'd rather share and participate in a public culture than get caught up in the problems of a private project.

But perhaps that just comes from feeling such an outsider and feeling so shy and awkward as a child.

"Net" art supposed the presence of many (virtual) people. You said that your work's connected with other people's work. But you don't like "more than one ego in the room". What is the artist's ego in the epoch of new technologies?

I suppose the danger of the artist's ego now is what programmers call "not invented here syndrome", resisting 'standing on the shoulders of giants'. For example people always want to write their own free/open license for their work, even though that's a bad idea. And people always want to write their programs from scratch, even though they could use other people's code. It's the same for making images.

The potential of the artist's ego is that individuals' sense of self will drive them to distribute and seek out work globally, which with free licensing and peer to peer technology means more people can build on each other's work than ever before. Imagine a global chain of Picassos and Braques.

Less body, more idea?

In films and television the expression of someone's self is usually through their body, how it looks, how they move and the actions they take, rather than their words or ideas. This is romanticism. But it is not the case that removing the limits of the body removes the negative expression of the animal self. Without physical limits animal minds tend to engage in flamewars on mailing lists...

Could you explain what "ego" represents to you?

I suppose it's arrogance and self-interest, self-defeatingly so. The negative of the social self, the bit that gets in the way of art being made by trying to make art. Possibly I mean "id" rather than "ego", but I don't know that there's such a clean split, and common usage of "ego" is generally negative; egomaniac, egotism.

2. Once you mentioned "Photoshop fascism". Could you explain that?

I did??? was probably referring to the use of image processing software (such as PhotoShop) to make people look more like an impossible, Romantic ideal:

like this.

Fascism loves "perfect" bodies. Beautiful bodies are seductive, they can hide ugly ideology. Technology allows most bodies to be made to look "perfect", ideal. It is anti-individualistic, it is certainly not democratic. The visual trappings of fascism imposed through technology. Are the ideological trappings hiding behind the pretty visuals?

If we use new technology as a weapons (to rebuild ourselves and the whole world) does that mean that our (supposed) ethic changes the weapon-nature of new technology into something good-natured?

It depends how strong the technology and the user are. Or maybe how strong their aesthetics are? In Surgical Strike I think I assumed that the technology, and the ideology it presupposed, was more powerful. I wouldn't be so defeatist now. As William Gibson said, "the street finds its own uses for things".

If it does we have a paradox: weapons questionable by the definition...?

Certainly the weapons can be used to attack themselves. And perhaps with general purpose machines (computers), the definition of what they are is what they are.

3. The aesthetic is kind of your "obsession".

Yes. It's an obsession because I feel I understand it so little but that it *must* be what art is about. I don't believe that a truly ugly art can be made, an art that is un-aesthetic but still conceptually interesting. All art "looks good" to someone if it is art.

I don't even know what 'aesthetic' means other than 'looks good'. But why does something look good? And what does that mean?

What about a "trash aesthetic" It looks like a rhetorical question, but could "ugly" things become a branch of aesthetics that you could accept?

My work has always had low cultural or non-artistic inspiration. And I like uncool popular music, and films, and television. Including MTV. And I am a big fan of Jeff Koons.

I went to London last week, and I saw a work by the graffiti artist "Banksy" in a new gallery near Denmark Street. I've never liked pictures of Banksy's work, but the real thing was very fresh and funny. It's not that I'm a snob, quite the opposite: I don't like the idea of bourgeois artists making authentic low culture inauthentic by appropriating it and doing it on canvas like 'proper' art.

I don't know about really embracing a "trash aesthetic". I'll need to think about that. I'd be worried about producing an "urban pastoral" (Julian Stallabrass). I'd rather not use low culture as a ventriloquist's dummy for my morality or my aesthetic. But maybe it could be liberating.

Aesthetic, ideology and technology in your work?

Every person has an aesthetic, every company or politician or religion does. I suppose that 'aesthetic' here means 'style', but 'style' that links to ideology. And I also feel there's a deeper sense of 'aesthetic', one that tells us how all these little aesthetics work. Like Chomsky Grammars. Aesthetics is to art as linguistics is to language. Maybe.

Ideologies are aesthetic, they are choices are about how things should look. Philosophy is actually a branch of aesthetics, and ideologies are degenrate philosophies. ;-)

And technologies are the products of ideologies. In a way they are physical ideologies, they are rules about what you can and cannot do. And technology is aesthetic, very aesthetic, it has to be made to 'look good' to the people who use it, not just visually but in its effects, what it does.

The best example of this connection is Surgical Strike, that was about, how the history of a technology (computing) that has come from a particular ideology (American militarism) may affect attempts to make an aesthetic (computer art). But 1968 and 1969 are about that as well, and Psychetecture was about how architecture serves capital by affecting your perceptions.

4. "Remixing"?

Not all of my work is literally remixing. That's more an early theme I've recently returned to. It's a theme I'm very glad to return to.

The series that are most obviously remix based are my early Mixes and sampling based work, Surgical Strike, 1968 and 1969, and Canto.

But my work always uses the ideas and imagery of others. Psychetecture was based on the calligrams of Ahmed Mustafah, Titled uses colour diagrams from famous twentieth century artists and I've mentioned the designers that influenced me. The only work I've made that wasn't directly influenced by anyone else is San Jose, which I regard as my weakest work.

But your works are formally ("they look like") Neo-Modern, Post- Hard-Edge. Does that style have a quality of expression that is lacking in more recent work?

When I got to art school there was a Macintosh there for the design students to use. But none of the artists were using it, so I had to look to designers to see how it could be used. The look of much of my work therefore comes from British graphic design in the early 1990s, especially design by the design groups 'Designers Republic' and 'Me Company'. The look of their work was in many ways a result of the availability of the Macintosh and programs like Illustrator or Freehand. The Macintosh was the lithographic stone of the 1980s/1990s. Think of Toulouse-Lautrec a hundred years earlier.

I have no problem with the idea that my art has been so heavily influenced, even determined, by technology. There's more to Lautrec than lithography and toothbrushes, there's more to the Impressionists than paint in tubes and state-sponsored colour theory, there was more to the Renaissance than plaster, perspective and archeology. There's always technology, and there's always more than technology.

I believe that much of the traditional role of art has passed into graphic design anyway. But some of its content remains left behind. Certainly its most important content. And that content is not caught by conceptual art, performances, or other attempts at making an "expanded image". Not in the way I personally wish to catch it. So I have to make images rather than any newer form of expression.I feel very awkward doing so.

5. Art & Language are your favorite artists. Your latest works are inspired by Matisse. Could you explain that?

It was an accident. :-)

Art & Language are interested in the canonical works of Modernism, which means they have based paintings on work by Picasso, Pollock, Rothko and others. They use these works to analyse their social content through their form. So I'd love to be able to say that I read up on Matisse's work then decided to make work that uses the social content of his work to make a serious point.

What really happened is that I found an image on the Remix Reading website, I liked some of the shapes in it, and I wanted to make work that was a remix. So I used those shapes, without thinking very much about what they meant, just enjoying working hard on the compositions. I think my subconscious remembered the Matisse prints that I sit next to in McDonalds with my children when we go for hamburgers sometimes(!), and that is what guided me.

But I am open to accident and humour (and embarrassment) in my work, so once I realised that the first work (Canto For Evie) looked like Mattise, I decided to make more work from the same source material. And I had to re-evaluate Mattisse, who I didn't like before. I'm now doing some paper cut-outs.

There is a quality my work often has where I don't know if I am being very, very serious or very, very silly. I think that quality is present in my best work, and I think it means that the work is doing something that can't be fully described in words. Which is one reason Art & Language give for making art rather than doing anything else; if it says something that you can't describe any other way.

6. Connection between theory and praxis? In computer generated art the artist must know so many thing. Isn't that a paradox in a time of narrow specialization?

But art is made for the ruling classes, and the ruling classes are now managers. Even the politicians are managers. Managers are not specialists, they have only general, conceptual skills. And so these are the skills we see artists using to make art now, to reflect the ego of the manager.

Therefore for an artist to learn a practical skill, like programming, well enough to practice it themself is the real paradox. Even although they do so alongside learning about many other things, such as aesthetics, or drawing, or art history. Specific ability in any area, rather than just general, conceptual, managerial ability is the paradox.

The Modernist artist was not a modern subject: even when they tried to be boring or ordinary they made this interesting and it took a heroic effort on their part to do so.

Your last comment invokes an essential, romantic vision of the artist. Tragic and impractical for contemporary aims. But your activity seems to us like something quite far from that. How do you live with this opposition?

Hacking is technological Romanticism. I am an art hacker (in the sense of a good programmer rather than a computer criminal).

My work is Romantic; emotion projected onto the environment. It's also tragic, it's melancholic and it's dispossessed. But it is a romanticism that finds its excesses funny, like the best Goths do.

A perky Romanticism. My Smileys are the art Munch would have made if he'd had access to a Macintosh and a presciption for Prozac. :-)
Rhizome Art Base http://rhizome.org/object.rhiz?33717 -2005

TV Show: – PROGRAM BREAK

by Aleksandrija Ajdukovic

Zoran Kesic's show PROGRAM BREAK on Belgrade TV Metropolis parodies all TV programs. It is science fiction, a comedy and a talk show at the same time. The essential thing about PROGRAM BREAK is Kesic’s sense of humour, shared by all the guests he invites in his studio. In one of his latest shows, there was a report on his experience after he had decided to work as a nude model in a drawing school. He discussed this phenomenon with his fellow models in the school; he interviewed them while walking in the streets. A young woman said: I’D LIKE TO TRY EVERYTHING. I DON’T WANT TO REGRET ONE DAY FOR NOT HAVING TRIED EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE! And when Kesic posed a question to an older gentleman: ISN’T IT LATE FOR A MAN OF YOUR AGE TO DO THAT,,, the gentleman remarked: NO! IT’S NOT LATE. IT’S NEVER TOO LATE!

JULIAN OPIE












by MANIK

Reality is an idea or symbol created by art, culture and media. Computer generated images replace the impulsive/natural look: a constructed sign is successful if it can be perceived in an instant.
With a strategy of simplification, toylike stylization and at the same time an attentive selection of details that correspond to the mainstream gaze of the "curious tourist", famous British artist Julian Opie returns a feeling of reality to the screen look. The "surplus of value" that Opie creates in his art is the subjectivity of the way he sees objects - as things that the public can recognise.
Known through works in traditional media: painting, objects, sculpture, Opie's opus actually lies interlaced between the virtual and the real, creating an alienating but at the same time infantile and harmless space.- MANIK

Edited by Rob Myers

http://www.julianopie.com/

SHOCKCORRIDOR - TV show

by Jelena Spaic

GET READY FOR THE GAME! The ShockCorridor show is about to begin on Belgrade Art TV, in just a few minutes!
We are appealing to all unstable and weak hearted to turn their heads from TV screens, children are asked to go to childrenrooms, religious should strengthen their faith in prayers, credulous should hold their amulets tighter than ever, vain should get rid of their mirrors, ‘cause it might not show any reflection, those with Oedipus complex should stick to their loving mothers, ‘cause pedophiles will buttress their authority by mentioning the name of St. Pahomije, cripples won’t take part in the Oscar race, murderers won’t turn out to be good guys in the end, acid consumer will put Lydia Lunch’s sexual fantasies on tape, the cocaine montage of five-minute Faust will change James Brown – which, in turn, will go unnoticed by Priest Cira/Spira because of Saca, whose inner organs will be pulled out through his rectum by an anonymous Japanese, just to punish him for having glanced at the "beautiful Pastor's daughter". ShockCorridor should be written in Byzantine font!! Authors of TV show: Aleksandar Radivojevic & Nenad Bekvalac

She Said ,,,

by Aleksandar Delibasic

HASIL ADKINS, one of the most celebrated one-man bands, PASSED AWAY last Monday. This hillbilly, who has lived in the hills of West Virginia, constructed his first toy guitar out of a washbowl and ironing board. Later on, already in the mid fifties, he got himself a vinyl press and was able to have his singles recorded and released. This, of course, meant that he had to produce all his singles one by one (there was no way of making more than one copy at a time). So, we are amazed to find out that no two identically recorded songs by this musician exist in the world (no need to mention that they are all live recordings)??
Not only was this weirdo the oldest among one-man bands, but he was also the best. Bob Log III and BBQ, who are leading figures in this form of rock music, only had good things to say about this forever-tipsy and bulky man.
When Bob Log III was in a visit to SERBIA-MONTENEGRO last year, we often talked about Hasil. Bob would describe his wild live shows with the utmost enthusiasm, adding that he was beating the cymbals with his fists („no matter how drunk he was, he could play more powerfully and much longer than any of us“). This rockabilly country’n’western weirdo left a handful of songs behind him, most of which were about things like chicken, girls whose heads he would threat to cut off on their first date, sex, hot dogs, etc.
Hasil owes a lot to Ivy and Lux from The Cramps, who prevented his work and talent from sinking into oblivion. Not only have they made a cover version of his hit single „SHE SAID“, but they also included the original version on their first compilation „Born Bad“, thus giving Hasil Adkins’s name a chance not to be unjustly obliterated from rock’n’roll history books.

http://www.badmusicforbadpeople.com/

Changed Times- Interview with Darko DZAMBASOV





















by Vladimir Panika

DARKO is musician and a programme editor of Akademija night club in Belgrade. I MET HIM IN THE STREET:
- DARKO, who can you recommend for a new web magazine, called Art AROUND Belgrade? I want to present artists.
- I know an artist who made a huge submarine as a tribute to 20 000 Leagues Under the Sea.
- But DARKO, it sounds too attractive, are you sure it is the quality?
- It is; CONSIDERING THE CONDITIONS IN WHICH OUR ARTIST WORK and all the local problems, it is a success.
- Are there any creative artists WHO ORGANIZE PARTIES, some DJ’s or CONCERT ORGANIZERS who attract attention with their artistic work?
- NO! There are people who routinely organize concerts, bring in foreign bands, but THAT's NOT WHAT YOU' re ASKING FOR!
- And what about DJ’s who ACT AS AUTHORS in the realization of club parties?
- NOBODY.
- But DARKO, back in the nineties you used to organize CONCERTS OF DEMO-BANDS in the Catacomb!? IS THERE SOMEONE TODAY who does the same thing?
-NO! That was seven years ago, the times have changed, YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND! There are day by day club events AND THAT's IT. As if you and I spoke different languages, it seems we cannot understand each other!

PHOTOGRAPHER PETROVIC














by MANIK

A democratic vision which “defines language and its users by means of an activity” (and not through substance) assumes that there are INSTITUTIONS OF POWER that represent the weapons of established speech. Language becomes AN ACTIVITY. It is active, since once established, the ability to speak absorbs every sense thus making language one of the elements in enchaining the INSTITUTIONALISED SPEECH.
Accompanying bureaucracy of a multitude o peripheries establishes the newspeak of transitional society. The new language is embraced by the intellectual élite along with the cynicism of their political victory. It is the language of a privileged minority class. What happens to the bodies of the periphery, on the outskirts of the revolving system of government, when they are not seen from a cosmic, however never so safe distance? What happens inside these limited, yet widespread mechanisms of the groups which also have their own technology, their own memory, collective recollection, their own foundation, but are as groups exposed to, or occupied, colonised, abused, normatively or even violently, by ever growing mechanisms and types of global domination? What happens when historical hegemony of a legal entity or several of them in competition, as an authorised version which is written and developed according to the needs, and in function of sovereignty, finds itself opposed to a multitude of comparatively independent and infinitely small counter-histories? The apologetics of the Sovereign, identities formed within current political arrangements and thus totalised, make the authority revolve, usurp and erase, thus also affecting even the peripheral, capillary authority, in its most local forms and institutions, shaped in haste, stripped off all grammatical processes which could have been built up by spontaneous subjectivity of a local man. Accelerated modernism defines this strategy as a chaos of sequences of occurrence of novelty by discharging dramatised “ethics” from this utopia. Drama is always based on feigned catharsis where the unbearably banished becomes the bearably perverted. Is this the origin of the concern of minority groups that they might end up in the same situation but that in the economic sense, all other types of tolerance apart, they cannot change their current position? Constantly in reforms, the language itself becomes a reform in itself. In the light of it all, these Serbs are no longer only Serbs, they do not witness their “golden age”, they do not lament or mourn; but place themselves in the inevitability of global allocation of percentage of capital share (“nominal capital”) in the reflection on one product, one statement/thing. Are you 30 % Serb and the remaining 70% Nokia? And in these 70% how many shares will tomorrow belong to F.C.Chelsea...? Often succeeds what is least expected to succeed. Thus seen, the surface of things should not take us in with its apparency. Gaping beneath it there is an abyss ...in the paradox of separation pre-conditions for progress are met. All successful theories are based on an error. It is not necessity that obliges, it is the outcome.We do not know of societies which, starting from the unity of “theoretical, practical and aesthetic” (J. Habermas) remained only on the aesthetic (cultural practices were denoted as the systems of signifying, as practices of representing, not as sources which produced beautiful things). But, neither we know of societies which managed to build up theory or subjectivity without art as an excess of imagination even if realities/successive paradigms keep denying it, produce and split apart the multiplying multitudes and empty meanings down to human material without attributes, abandoned and stripped down, to mere posing and helpless looking-on. A specific type of practical, as a process of disintegration of the theoretical and the aesthetic, wreaks havoc as a function of capital. A work/practice of art, indeed, communicates with disintegrations – alienations of all sorts – when it polemicizes, when it surpasses them, even when it is in error. Therefore, due to the intensity of this MONOLOGUE, the remains of elitist actions through modernist protocols tell that the most wretched creative and intellectual product, which precedes or results from it, is indeed in the ideal subject of the ideology – a new colonial comfort which is notoriously corrupted and therefore lazy and unreflexive – due to all the gifts of God in the Garden of Eden. Art as surplus and a sort of a break-up causes these repressions of unbearableness to at least disclose themselves. Thus it provokes censorship and aversion, curses and stupidity, so that it could be, at least silently, worthy of being regarded as an act of self-reflection, as the only remaining condition of freedom. Even if it is aware of the inflation of reflections on all the Others, little and big. Even if it is dealing with the subjects of its realm, overshadowed by extinct great stories whose death is still kept secret from us, like the death of distant stars. On the surface, great narratives are still valid only for the growing “grey areas”. Someone has to be the artist, the third person, to witness all this. Some have forgotten, others have forgiven, vanished, got tired...
Art is meta-production - TECHNE. Technology in its original sense is the skill which produces occurrence (of objects, of a system of signs, of concepts – symbolic articulation...), but also causes the takeover of responsibility to take place (aitia) as this occurrence also establishes a new order of things. All the components of a social group are PRACTICES. In its manifestation (of a practice) it is insignificant whether we are dealing with technology in a mechanical sense or with TECHNE as in art. This epiphany is fate which links the historical with the historic. By showing in his photographs the faces of “people without traits” (“Was not cognition first and foremost the cognition of personality, before it became the cognition of objects...?”) and belonging to these people by an affinity, Petrovic documents both their historical existence (diachronically) and their historic appearance (synchronically). A class of invisible (for whom?), but present, becomes the condition for all other manifestations of visibility. And these POTATO EATERS constitute the CENTRAL SUBJECT (U.S.A as a synonym for nominal capitalism, according to J. Habermas), outlining its outer borders. They are a living potential which, through its murmur and mutter of coming into existence sets into motion the dreams and activities of the Central Subject/a higher race about expansion.Foucault’s interpretation is that the question of race in its original form was not based on the difference in the colour of the skin. French bourgeoisie of the late 18th century considered itself a RASE. Such structural difference is a solid ground for establishing identity and for pragmatic action towards its development as a “Central Subject”. The next invention of the Western mind is the concept of CLASS, in its Marxist interpretation.
Photographer Petrovic says: “I photograph my people, the Serbs.” He archives an outward appearance and difference. By repeating one and the same picture, the selfsame view, he also establishes a floating articulation of one and the same group of people which is, naturally, divided into the neighbourhoods and small differences.Would it be different if he said “I photograph my people, invalids... gays ...feminists... artists... free people... hungry people.... detested people....”?
Yes, it would be different. The provocation is in the name and it refers exclusively to the “ultimate embodiment of political enjoyment”, which is the Nation. It is always the keyword, the password - when it is the matter of concern or when concern is wrapped into good intentions of dioxin, or indeed when there is no trace left of words and deeds. All the other places of speech are already co-opted, legalised, tamed to the good taste of the Citizen and classified for him to deal with these matters elaborately inside Offices. In this case, when Petrovic photographs his people, the Serbs, and persistently draws a borderline (and the place is almost unbearably recognizable) and installs a virus into the language by declaring, in the face of the progress of human civilization, that there is an outside, we want to believe although we are far away from it, separated, having lost the direction of our discourse; we want to believe that it suggests a feeling of open space, a rift, a yellow spot, a blind angle free from recognition... as a sign of vigilance and hope. According to Parveen Adams, it is vitally important in political and subjective sense to preserve this feeling which ought to be the guideline for a reasonable, responsible policy of concern.On his web site Petrovic wants this identity to be asserted through an interactive agreement. Wish becomes a sign. Unless you want to watch the Serbs – it is over. What exactly is this ultimatum released into the cyberspace? It is crucial to find out the standpoint for this question. Can this privilege of watching Serbs be seen in an ultranationalist-chauvinist light? Very often so, nowadays only in that sense because the ruling race, once again in the making –PRESENTS IT IN THIS VIEW ONLY. It is no longer a local process which takes place in the interaction Artist – Society - Ideology; it is a universal fact (only diminished to the level of provincial, offensive and unkempt, next-door-neighbour kind of thing), emanated in the interaction Individual – Central Subject/Higher Race, if for a moment we adopt a detached view and simplify things to a binary relation. This relation, however, does not include mythomaniac processes of art as part of the mind and typical narratives on a gifted Individual/Author as a modernistic project. When Petrovic’s Serbs are granted this position, there is no provocation any longer, since these are people who do not follow an artificial political project and do not really identify themselves with it; there is no aggressive ideological infrastructure or projection with a political aim to assert itself, to be mythologized and to draw state boundaries in war, following the ideology of blood and soil. However, this does not mean that the neighbours are of no use. It is rather an inwardly directed look into the picture which is based on the similarity of grim routines of everyday lives of the group members, which concentrates selected collective memory on life in its insignificantly different forms, without essential change, interruption or disorder. This versatile yet carefully chosen assembly, this panorama where mutual inward similarities triumph over differences, is isolated through an external historical view to a place where nothing happens; they are inserted into an interval, an illusion that they are exempt from regulation. Samples, protagonists of such a large number, who live chiefly and exclusively for themselves, guard the hierarchy of the existing structures, this anonymous and nameless power. For carefree people from a utopian future they could very well be those disfigured, monstrous phantoms of the night from a novel by H.G. Wells, who, as descendants and remnants of working class, drive them mad by running into them at night if they accidentally find themselves in the street.Hans Windisch, a socially oriented media theorist, realised at the beginning of the 20th century the political subversiveness of photography. He spoke of camera as a political weapon, of photography as “other nature”, pleading for “other conscience” and the power of photography to re-actualize conscience. A desire to see things from a different perspective is not a preparation of the intellect for its future “objectivity”, interpreted as disinterested observation; it is man’s power over his freedom of choice. By bringing out his “private” affinities (avoiding the issues of identity) especially when they describe obsession, the presence of one of a myriad possible daily routines, the artist is indeed exposed, not merely because of the danger of scandal (as scandal takes place elsewhere, in the corridors and labyrinths of institutions, not in public), but because he presents his imaginary self in its utmost consistence.
Denying us what we expect to see, or presenting the unexpected, photograph sets in motion the ACTUALITY OF GAZE (in its contours, in its phantasmagorical actualization it is a derivative of naturalism). The consequences of the occurrence of this actuality hit the senses even before their causes have presented themselves to our consciousness. It is not only our ratio that is intellectual, but our senses as well. This actuality, according to Sloterdijk, is in fact “the discovering of crises of civilization, the endeavouring of individuals to preserve themselves, as thoroughly intellectual beings, in the struggle with deviations and imperfections of their societies. This cannot be done by religion and ideology, fantasies of power and violence, the knights of utopia and the phantoms of perfection. Correct expression of this resistance, however we understand the term, is definitely PLEBEIAN INDIVIDUALISM, not some half-witted populism, pantomimic as ever, “cunning” and always at guard; it is life filled with wonder, without the monarch of the spirit, without authority or submission.”
Images: I S T I N I T I S T I

She has them AROUND her little finger






















Katarina Radovic about her work

PERSONALS is a series of photographs about people who send pictures of themselves to specialized magazines or internet sites, pinning their hope on finding a decent partner. What they usually do is register under my favourite category, FRIENDSHIP, although they know it’s a blatant lie. Not many of them like to get straight to the point. It seems quite enough for a start to have a photograph, the right and most representative one, whether it was taken especially for the occasion or chosen in desperation among some long discarded family or holiday snaps.

My intention is to make a statement about this phenomenon of self-advertisement and about human nature as such, by showing a series of completely staged scenes, which refer to timeless aspects of life, rather than to some current issues. People in my photographs are non-professional actors who successfully perform the roles they are assigned, presenting various levels of self-awareness, a choice of views as to what is charming and attractive, and what tends to pass as COOL nowadays. There is something exciting in elevating the ordinary to the status of spectacular, in questioning and stripping off the contraceptive masks of ideology, and in performing the autopsy on human experience. In the end, they all look completely happy and proud of what they are, while their private traumas and excesses escape recognition.

Why do I photograph myself in the role of others? In the series of (self-)portraits called WOMEN, I am presenting various imaginary types of women that I find attractive, according to a somewhat twisted taste. I believe there is an element of extravagance in them that is capable of touching even the coldest person. That is what motivates me to get to love them after a while.

These fictional females reveal their FACES. Wandering through the stereotypical systems of representation, they eventually express their unique fantasies and madness. WOMEN is not just the result of exploring the possibilities of emancipation in a society marked by gender differences; they are fabrications of everyday life, ironic statements about authenticity, an endless obsession with seduction, with hiding and showing, as well as with questioning the hegemony of the visible and the experience of feminine principle. I have my mission and I wish to awaken the women’s charm, the way it is shown in my photographs. Whether it is all me or not, it seems that we live at each other’s expense. They change my life.
K.R.

They are what they are & Layers






























































by MANIK

The daily performance of Chris Ashley's weblog is loaded by successive changes in construction that can be seen as a two-way text in space set in the unfolding now of a stream of consciousness. It is constituted by an HTML table and supplements of non-esthetic information. It is this that we introduce under the concept of layers because it is this that has resolutely been evaded in the realization (construction) of the very HTML tables – esthetic information. Layers thus refer to the date, name, text or poem-explanation added to the HTML.

It is the additions - the comments which translate, shift the work into performativity (event): Time as History. It happened!

HTML Propositions and directions are given in layers and refer to the object-HTML (“All drawings start with a small table, say 18 x 16, with each cell 20 x 20 pixels, everything is on the grid, right angles only, no diagonals; everything is hard edged; there are a limited number of colors -216 web safe colors; although one can make more than 216 colors, the number of colors actually viewable varies a lot from monitor to monitor") The act of constructing HTML tables belongs to the process of pleasure. Within the chosen framework there is a daily ritual confirmation of vitality-serializing: modules-units-cells are geometric forms mutually linked into line and surface structures (Sol LeWitt,Eva Hesse,Robert Morris) and inserted into the process of a time unfolding-weblog. The idea of serial art appears at the intersection of modernistic autonomy of the discipline of painting (sculpture) and post painterly strategies. The repetition confirms –‘the supreme principle of small differences’- a paradigm of limited supplies of units-colored squares, while the units of the paradigm, are similar as much as it is needed for the difference which separate them to be instantly be visible. For example ‘It is necessary for the squares on Mondrian’s paintings to be simultaneously corresponding square forms, but of different sizes and colors-. The supply of units-cells is limited (".... I enjoy the limitations and boundaries because I am presented with a set of solutions that I can't do anything about, that I accept") by the number of colors - colors frozen in an alternative by their size- in a frozen alternative of relations in a chosen alternative that rhetorically establishes a specific space – the way space is organized is decisive for subjectivity. Identities are partially constructed by the kind of space they exist within, which is here phallocentric, linear, ascending and affirmative in the tradition of the modernist paradigm.

LAYERS reveal the links and ways of bonding between the units-modules of visual tables and they open the access to the lateral (if for a second we have taken the position inside HTML) notes-intrusions. Ashley’s own text-layer takes on one method of criticism when it chooses one or the other place for the act-the activity-the space: fragments, German language verbs, Zen Buddhist concepts, names of places in Mexico, ‘places where I have slept’, bodhi, untitled and finally: in memoriam to Susan Zonatg who advocates (this where Ashley locates his stand) an noncritical critique based on the documental and the act, impersonal and organisational approach and procedure, in which the artist or the critique him/herself is the collaborator in the articulation.

Textual additions-layers do not break down nor deconstruct the poetic and metaphysical ideals of modernisms. Everything has already taken place and is a challenge, a debt to ‘official history’. To go back always, to confirm and add, add, add, because to stop speech means to step out into an irretrievable process.

Thus, the ‘intrusion’ or the import, most often, of a distant Other – that is sunk into history, myth or death. The beginning of conflict is located in the domain of language. The place/the time-the outer world about which the poet TU FU who lived 1000 years ago spoke, leads us and becomes the current place of concern about each part of the creativity process. This reflection on technique is put in the place of the distant Other, into the field of exceptional concern, for the very reason that the technique is the very essence of all creativity. Dating, the daily inscription into time and for time, is in the tradition of On Kawara’s ‘I’m still alive’. The edge place-the directions for looking are the titles- aggressively associative forms.

INTERTEXTUALITY The language conflict between pleasure originating from the mantric discipline which uses limitations and noises coming from outside- the rest of the world, is solved by colonization-importation-appropriation of the Outer-Other (civilizations that built their longlivety and anciency through the intuitive, meditative, htonic by which the continuation of both sides is established. Although they are imminently separated, they reveal something or somebody, which is quite illegible in the very object (HTLM) from the point of view of the outer, the transient-siginifiant.
The result of this esthetic contemplation is not new knowledge but totality of experience. The place of the paradoxes-plot-meaning-limitation has never been in the merging of the texts, visually organized compositions of tables and language commentaries (images and words). One stream of consciousness-visual information flows and fill-comply to the destiny-inertia of formal systems that are analytic and do not depend on representing the outer world. The pictorial autonomy of abstraction organizes the interior in a linear way while the plot; events and information come from the exterior. Pleasure is always with the Other and thus Ashley does not give it to the Hero (HTLM) nor to the Herald (layers), thus not to anyone or anyplace apart from that which has already been chosen-imported-appropriated to be the Other.

THE PASSIVE SPACE The procedure for taking the mantric form (“A sacred verbal formula repeated in prayer, meditation...«) is illustrated by the regularity of appearance-presence-dating, structure of the HTML and in the allocation, organization and choice of layers. In that sense it is also a passive space because it has been completed by being made into a contemplation.- They are what they are. Reconsiled. According to Heidegger the role of the artist in the creation of a work of art also becomes passive and unimportant, the important part is that the work of art has been created. Although they contribute to art becoming ‘something more’ the imported additions situate it into the middle of the syntagm ‘art as art’ (Ed Reinhart discussed the meaning of that syntagm in the 50s and 60s) not showing anything else (in a treacherous-breaking up way) but propositions in and about the work itself.

The spatial text-weblog is proposed for reception and is open to questions and answers that are situated into established knowledge and experience that are the formal consequences of art.

The performance-weblog, regardless how much it has been hidden and is closed into a visual structural autonomy, always allows for the possibility of surprise, and thus contrary to the established theatre performance, we do not known where, at what point, the text will flow out, bend, situate itself.

Chris Ashley lives in Oakland, is a former teacher still working in education, draws in his personal weblog "LookSee" everyday, and writes in his work weblog "AtWork ".

*MANIK

*Marija Vauda&Nikola Pilipovic

Edited by: Rob Myers

http://www.chrisashley.net/weblog/archives/cat_html_drawing.html

Aleksandrija Ajdukovic TIGER LADIES


















by Paula Muhr

Dom omladine Gallery, Belgrade
31st August - 19th September 2004

Aleksandrija Ajdukovic in her series of photographs entitled "Tiger ladies" traces a phenomenon which crosses boundaries between social classes, age groups, differences in professions and education. She approaches women in public spaces who are dressed in clothes with wild cat patterns and lifts them out of their everyday context.
By photographing them in a matter-of-fact manner, without any romanticising, Ajdukovic questions the extent to which they show, or even parade, rather than inadvertently disclose, their individual identity in public context. Code of dressing in this case presents a formal unifying principle, an element of social identity. Individual women exist in terms of difference, rather than similarity to other figures in the series - uniformity of the chosen wildcat pattern only offsets the diversity of social and personal distinctions.
The backgrounds are carefully selected to accentuate each model – some are simple and monochrome, and others have traces of rather distinct urban atmosphere in the form of posters or graffiti. Even the wild cat patterns themselves display a surprising variety of designs and colour combinations. Yet, the most striking element of the photographs are the poses these women take when photographed.
Aleksandija, obviously engages with her models, opening them up to the camera, without either idealising or criticising them. The portraits are a document of her street encounters with women who single themselves out of the crowd by adopting certain symbols, in this case dress patterns. It is questionable what their motifs for entering the process of this "urban camouflage" are. Could it be that they are looking for a way of expressing their individualism and femininity, are they conforming to a fashion style, or maybe sending signals of seduction?
When confronted with the series of portraits of these women in the gallery, the viewer is tempted to read their dress code as a cultural phenomenon, but, at the same time, cannot resist to compare them, looking for elements (other then the obvious dress pattern) which connect them, as well as set them apart. Aleksandrija photographed them with such subtlety and immediacy, that one is spontaneously attracted to these women who proudly present themselves for being looked at, almost as if they dressed that way in order to be photographed.

October in August&September


From: manik
Date: Tuesday, March 15, 2005 03:52:48 PM
To: list@rhizome.org
Subject: RHIZOME_RAW: WITH THE NAKED EYE


"October Art Salon" in Belgrade,most important review of recent Serbian art,dedicate to 20-th October- Belgrade's liberation day of Fascism,last year become international,moved on and exchanged in 11.September.Everything is possible and allow!Everything could be replaced and renamed.Presence of a few famous artists:Kabakov, Boltansky,Abramovic...and number of native artists were confirm this significant Idea.Open minded art photographer and freezer repair man Dragan Petrovic was confused:If October could be September,why handyman couldn't be The Artist?
Provoke by established and forced Great current topics applicable on Balkan and whole world(terrorism,democracy,guilt...)he avoid official curatorial selection and invade his new identity on opening ceremony.Dressed in workers clothing he remind careless people which standing next to dazzling Desire materialized in plentiful produced art works on terrible rest of working class.Correct expression for this resistance is plebeian individualism,not stupid populism,always pantomimic,cunning,always cautious;this is life full of amazement,without authority and subordination.This performance attract attention of public medium and encourage him to participate in "August Salon"(SKC Gallery,Belgrade,October 2004).His work there was performance-open repairing freezer

http://www.geocities.com/fotografpetrovic/octobersalon04.html

Welcome to My World!





















by Jelena Spaic

"Welcome to my world!”, says this little woman, her arms folded, to Dragan Petrovic. They are both smiling. She continues: “I guess it’s a bit of a mess around here, don’t hold it against us...” Petrovic interrupts her: “Indeed, just the way I like it.” he said and snapped.

Look how a master uses naïveté to display the soul! This photo weighs only 21 grams. The soul pulses through the spots on the blouse so powerfully that the little woman had to clench her fists to prevent it from coming out, leaking out from an almost surreal reality. Yellow becomes dazzling, so Petrovic had to snap; thus enframing the little woman within an idyllic landscape as if repeating the words from Brave new World: “Happiness is an absence of need for happiness”. And in the middle of all this an unrestrained, unimpaired hospitality, strong inner dynamism and an existential creativeness. “Nature is a dictionary” (Baudelaire) – and in Petrovic’s case people are the alphabet, they are the definite value and the bearers of undeniable naturalness of life. What is a man (in Petrovic’s view)? People on the photos are happy, undisturbed by all the things that can be discerned in the background as a string of problems; they measure blood pressure to a neighbour, they cuddle their loving girlfriends, they peek from behind their sisters to have their curiosity stilled by the camera. A middle-aged married couple returns from a visit to their neighbours or relatives, smiles on their faces (their content is emphasized by the light of a street lamp which, resembling the Moon, brings in a sense of romance, and by a broad smile of the man with the moustache - "A kiss without a moustache is like an egg without salt."). Other couples sit proudly and happily in their living rooms, at their dining tables; a whole family lies idle in front of TV as if there were no photographer around, while the camera assaults, invades privacy and instead of the heaviness of historically conditioned human state comes across the charm of penchant for bare spaces, filled at places with embroideries, paintings and reproductions in bulky frames (wallpapers, carpets, white and unmortared walls of new, unfinished houses...), various trinkets, kitsch, all the things rejected by the big city - "a new planetary folklore". Petrovic’s virtue lies in an unpretentious generalisation of human condition into joy and nonchalance. All these smiles are hidden behind a simple realism; this is the very essence of the “minimalistic” presence of camera. There is no intervention, this is reality the way it is, and we are happy (the way we are) – old (a grandmother in the bed as if posing as a model for “memento mori” with a juvenile portrait above on the wall) but not worried, or threatening, not solemn either, surely!; a large-moustached man with a hook instead of hand is gaping, as if he is about to say something to someone from this local committee office; he turned his back carelessly to the “red phone”, crossed his legs and extinguished his cigarette. This is what the foresight of a photographer is about, not to see, but to be there, in the midst of this benevolence. A masterful mimicry is also seen on the photograph of a pair meeting by the rose bush. The woman is looking at the camera, but with the same look she had for her partner, quiet, unchanged, as if continuing the dialogue with the young man, undisturbed by the presence of another person. A church steeple in the background enhances the impression of an amorous rendezvous, roses and the girl’s half-pensive gaze towards the camera seem to emphasise a hidden closeness, opposed by the inquisitive look of her partner who is waiting for her answer with his hands in his pockets. And for an instant, she is consulting with the camera!
The camera is now inside the dreams of a kid and a girl, it approached them silently so as not to disturb their nap. “Silence! Dreams at work!” Can you hear how Petrovic held his breath? He snapped and enframed spontaneous self-oblivion. The camera is recording another world inside this world.
What does Petrovic seek on the outskirts of the town? A mild smile of a woman wearing a flowery dress against the rules and restrictions chalked out on the tin door of the factory, their solemnity and the wish to juxtapose this woman to all the problems the photographer concealed behind the tin door, as if promising that he would prove beauty, the apotheosis of everyday life, of the world. And he is running after beauty! He is running after the young men on an MZ motorbike adorned with flowers, he has to be quick and he has to be young like them in order to enjoy their temporary importance; they are the most attractive sight at that moment, on the street lined with carefully trimmed flowers; Petrovic is not the only one watching them – there are also people (or girls rather) in the houses and outside. MZ is noisy, and so is the youth which yearns to justify its values; the photographer allows them that, it is his mission as well – to see this intense period intensely. “Why do you have such big eyes?” – “So that I can see you better.”
Three young men are smiling, their hands in the pockets of their trousers; two of them are wearing denim jackets, one of them has a packet of cigarettes sticking out of his pocket; they are a little cold, it is too early in the morning, they look a little broader and tougher with this nonchalant attitude towards the world (hands in pockets, jeans and checked shirts); three guys inside an unfinished house are smiling too, they are stripped to the waist, there are cigarettes around and an occasional beer for the workers – again the carelessness of youth in the middle of all these unfinished jobs, as if stimulated by the photographer who is smiling himself – with his exhibition called “1000 smiles” (D. Petrovic, 1993, Beograd, SKC).
What does Petrovic find? A longing for life entangled with the concept of provincialism borrowed from a folk song… Universal need for simple, yet astonishing beauty which provokes the benevolence of camera. Neatly arranged glassware in cabinets, for show and not to be used, dolls on the beds of guest rooms, embroidered table-cloths, sofa coverings, plastic table-cloths, chests of drawers filled with new bedclothes bearing the sweet smell of long years of dreams dreamt on large pillows made of feathers and pillowcases with embroidered details... Without any cynicism or pathos, he records aesthetic ideals combined, dislocated, dismounted and put together again in a peculiar fashion, characteristic of the protagonists, a wish for a more comfortable life (light sounds of a mandolin), a break, charm, complacency = folksiness. “I often slept in such rooms and I melted” - says Petrovic; this is what he sought, photographed and found.

more: http://www.geocities.com/fotografpetrovic/welcome.html

Sense and Sensibility


by MANIK

January 31, 2005

Sense is disjointed between seeing and thinking. Our reflection and receipt of that which we might comprehend depends on the conditions of its delivery from some enlightening Other. ASCO-O takes the role of meta-informer or an indifferent, alienating Other. It is an anonymously operated, web- and email-based list and chat room. At first sight, its rapid, automatic and non-hierarchical selection of messages, images (built in ASCII) and links seems a spasmodic attack on human (biological) mechanisms of perception; ('Human perception is very superficial' - P.Virilio). But, ASCO-O gives us a consistent proposition: five seconds 'full' followed by one second 'empty' (screens). In hiatus, in the place/time between, we can feel rave-like, corporeal sense. With rigorous concept and demanding no acclaim, ASCO-O has developed an intelligent platform probing the phenomena of perception-time-language-information-sense. After turning off this site we could feel the raw taste of the! unexplored: language as time/space, performing the dramatic act of 'flash back,' became, paradoxically, meditative and innocent. - Manik

http://www.o-o.lt/asco-o

Mimesis of the Non-Mimetic


by MANIK

February 24, 2005

Kinetoh is an Italy-based group that produces generative artworks. These authors, following traditions of European Neo-Constructivism, Neo-Plasticism and Lyric Abstraction, make series of software that produce high-resolution images reminiscent of Modernist forms. Kinetoh dismantles the models of the last avant-garde by creating the simulacrum of such from software programs capable of imitating, nearly perfectly, those materials that belong to classic art, like pencil, charcoal, and watercolor. These images stand as the mimesis of art that is inherently non-mimetic. Or, also, the virtual reconstruction of the end of high Modernity. Instead of targeting a movement well-established and recognizable, like Abstract Expressionism or Conceptualism, Kinetoh's strategy is to examine the second line and not so well-explored spaces in Modern Art. Just because of this, they maintain subversive potential (finally, Vermeer became famous in late 19th century, after the discovery ph! otography). There's the possibility that without photography we wouldn't be able to see importance of Vermeer's work. Similarly, we anticipate perhaps Kinetoh will open new spaces in art through their technologies. - Manik

http://get.me.it/kinetoh/

Image Worship
















Image worship, parody and image destruction in Serbia in the 1990s
by Anna Schober, Austria, 2004


Parody and irony, it is repeatedly asserted, have become ineffective forms of political speech and display since the end of the 20th century, because they have become a socially dominant way of talking and representing. Parody and irony are depicted as empty forms, that can no longer have any political explosive force . This text opposes this widespread opinion with a historical study of a milieu where, at the end of the 1990s, in a time of social crisis and of political upheaval, irony and parody were taken up euphorically by diverse actors, became linked to political claims and were involved in a kind of ”image-struggle”. A re-emerging image worship in Serbia in the 1990s, and the renewed effort to use images and media for political purposes, provoked a range of aesthetic responses, which engaged with and against each other in a struggle for recognition. In this ”image-struggle”, the aesthetic vocabulary of the avant-garde presents itself as a tradition that can be taken up and be used by different sides, that can constantly be re-actualised and linked to new demands, throwing up completely unforeseeable, milieu-specific articulations and relations.


Three photographs: 1990 – 1980 – 1999

Serbia 1990. In a photograph, taken during an unidentifiable gathering (picture 1), we can see a threshold, a passageway occupied by a lot of bodies in a rather run-down building. Out of the crowd squirms the robust body of a young man, who moves elastically up and is on the point of kissing a poster with a portrait of Slobodan Milošević, hanging from the door-beam. The accentuated, sporty, almost ”ragged” get-up of the unshaven young man in light track-suit-trousers and a turquoise sweatshirt, as well as the dynamically upwards turning movement and the simple portrait of the politician hanging form the door gives this scene the appearance of a spontaneous image-worship. With his eyes almost closed and the two hands as well as the mouth gently brought up to the portrait, the young man is completely caught up in an devout action. But his sporty get-up, his unshaven appearance and the stained clothes are in sharp contrast to this gesture of devotion. Above all, his appearance stands out against that of Slobodan Milošević’s, who is shown on this half-length portrait carefully shaved, with neatly combed hair, in a black suit, white shirt and narrow tie. Despite this contrast in the features of both of those involved in this act of worship, they are linked to a dynamic figure, which cuts the picture horizontally: the jumping body, the hands and the absorbed face of the worshipper forming a unity together with the smiling upwards inclined face of the image being kissed. The spontaneity and casualty of the action is also enhanced by the fact that all the other people present in this passageway are paying no attention to this scene; they are passing on the side, without in any way relating to it. Only for the photographer Dragan Petrović does this scene seem to have had something important enough for him to photograph it and add it to a collection of photographs he made in Serbia in the 1990s, almost incidentally, as a kind of annex to his regular work. Because officially, in those years, he was on the road trying to earn a living at public events, Christmas festivities, huge family meetings or private gatherings of the newly emerging upper-class. And in parallel he produced images of such confessions, of the emergence of new power-structures, but also of strange identifications and performances of the self. With images like this one, Dragan Petrović mutates from a contract photographer to a documenter and ethnologist. And we as viewers can read these photographs then as evidence of forms of the mise-en-scène of the self as well as of political power. For this we can also bring them together with other information, for example the tip from an insider pointing out that in the early 1990s the young man’s sweatshirt being stuffed into the elastic waistband of his trousers would generally have been seen as a sign of support for the then president.
This photograph documents a homage to a politician, as it took place in Serbia in the 1990s. A decade earlier, another series of photographs was produced, which also documented the worship of a politician, but which also opens up a difference to the picture by Dragan Petrović. Goranka Matić’s collection Days of Grief and Pride (1980) which emerged out of the three official days of mourning, records the later so famous mourning mise-en-scènes in the shop-windows in Belgrade’s shopping streets after Tito’s death. (picture 2) In every shop-window and in some of the sales-rooms there was a portrait of the marshal in civilian clothes or in military uniform with a black mourning band over the right-hand corner. In some cases red carnations had been arranged in front of the portrait and red cloth and/or the Yugoslav flag imaginatively draped around it. This always similar mourning mise-en-scène in always different shops sometimes led to almost surreal contrasts: Tito’s portrait sparkled for example from behind piles of artistically arranged shoes or between red-and-white sports wear; from one angle it dominated a whole arsenal of boxes of jewels, it was encircled by a lot of ”dancing” brides in white veils, surrounded by tailoring accessories, typewriters, candle-sticks, cakes, southern fruit, lamp-shades, pieces of meat or cosmetic articles. And sometimes it competed with the pictures of women advertising lipstick.
In contrast to what is happening in the photo by Dragan Petrović, here we are dealing with an officially ordained homage. The portrait of the deceased ”father” of the nation appears in numerous places emphasised by pedestals, drapes and tricks of mise-en-scène, but nowhere does it seem to attract such spontaneous homage from passers-by as it can be seen in the ”kissing-photograph”. On the contrary: the passers-by visible in these photographs all go hurriedly past the windows adorned with the Tito-portrait, and it is sometimes noticeable that the shop-assistants in no way relate to the image of the person being mourned. This is not to imply that there were not other, more or less spontaneous outpourings of grief: thus one repeatedly hears the story, that some people have cried for three days after the announcement of Tito’s death. Nevertheless, these images seem to document a gap between the ordained discourse of power on the one hand, and the experiences that people make of their situations on the other.