Repetition 9 Press Release

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The Present and Presence
Repetition 9
An exhibition of works from the Arteast 2000+ and Moderna galerija’s national
collections
Curated by: Zdenka Badovinac, Bojana Piškur, Igor Španjol
Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, +MSUM, Permanent exhibition
Contemporary art is inherently international and based on tendencies that began evolving in
the 1960s. The exhibition of the Arteast 2000+ collection puts historical works in dialogue
with recent production, focusing on the heterogeneity of histories dependent on the subject of
historicizing and the retrospective deconstruction of contemporaneity under specific
circumstances. Deriving from Eastern European modernism, heterogeneous narratives are the
basis of contemporary art production in the region. The Arteast 2000+ collection presents the
media and the practices that have evolved since the 1960s: proto-conceptual art and the socalled new artistic practices of the 1960s and 1970s, the retro-avant-garde and the subculture
of the 1980s, and the contemporary art of the past decades. Another aim of the exhibition is to
redefine the parallel forms of historicizing, either undertaken by the artists themselves (selfhistoricizing) due to specific historical circumstances or based on personal testimonies, and
the narratives that evolved through the mass media (television, the press) or in private
archives. In addition to presenting the history of art, the show further underscores some major
ruptures in the broader historical and sociopolitical context that impacted both the collecting
and exhibiting policies of Moderna galerija and the constitution of contemporary art.
The display on the first floor of +MSUM thus highlights works by artists and art groups that
deal with the principle of collective work itself, the self-organized forms in art, and the
critique of the art system, or rather, the absence of a fully-fledged art system (Gorgona,
Kazimir Malevich, Goran Trbuljak, Goran Đorđević, Zoran Popović, Raša Todosijević).
Since we are especially interested in the material conditions of art production we have given
prominence to works in which the artists deliberately recreate the dominant patterns of how
the broader social circumstances condition individual conduct. In addition to underscoring the
performative nature of the works we thus give emphasis also to the performative nature of
historicizing. This is especially apparent in works that explicitly relate to the trauma of the
absence of a functioning art system. We have focused on body artists, who treat the body not
only as an artistic medium, but also as an instrument of revolt against ideology, oppression
and disempowerment (Marina Abramović, Tomislav Gotovac, Ilija Šoškić, Geta Brătescu,
Zofia Kulik, Sanja Iveković, Jan Mlčoch, Petr Štembera), and artists working with language,
producing visual or concrete poetry (Carlfriedrich Klaus, Jiří Valoch, Alenka Pirman, Miklós
Erdély, Josip Vaništa, Ivan Kožarić, Mangelos, Vlado Martek). In the 1960s, language was
used to comment on itself, creating, thanks to its visual and typographical characteristics, a
specific poetic space with its arrangement and meaning. Also in the case of recent languagebased works, their critical intellectual impact in the public sphere cannot be separated from
the intimate nature of the creative process.
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