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essay about authorbibliographyartist's influences
MARKO RISTIĆ
country
Ex Yugoslavia
period
1915-1946

Marko Ristic is one of the main protagonists of the Serbian Surrealist scene. During his stay in Paris in 1926 -1927 he had the opportunity to meet André Breton and the Surrealist Circle. A Visit to Breton's flat filled with surrealist works, inspired the concept of his Surrealist Wall, where in time, surrounding the Owl by Max Ernst which became the Wall's backbone, he included works by Yves Tanquy, Andre Masson, African masks and fetishes. The Wall wasn't finished until the 1960's.

During his stay in Paris, Ristic also created the La vie mobile cycle, which consists of eleven collages and two drawings. The cycle included fragments of maps, newspapers, postcards, photographs, letters with stamps, colored papers, cards, invitations, newspaper ads and other memorabilia collected in Paris, which enhanced the different impressions of the city which had inspired him. The Title La vie en mobile was taken from the poem by Vane Bor. The visual and textual segments had equal importance. Discontinuity and the aggressiveness of the fragments caused confusion in the eye of the observer and were its main features. 

After his return from Paris in 1928, Ristic published the anti-novel Without Measure, and during the same year in collaboration with Vane Bor, a series of photograms in Vrnjacka Banja. Ristic's Photograms from this period were characterized by overlapping motifs which achieved an bizarre atmosphere. Ristic and Bor also published the book M'VRAUA in single edition. Only the collage entitled “Immoral” (contrasting humorous texts with confusing imagery) was preserved and  was published in the almanac "L'Impossible" 1930, edited by Ristic.

The first issue of Almanac, among other things, published the Surrealist Manifesto as well as a series of twelve of Ristić's collages entitled “Crustaceans on the Chest”, and a screenplay by Aleksandar Vučo. The collages were based on the silent movie principles, with visual narrative interrupted by texts.

Ristic was also one of the editors of the magazine "Surrealism Here and Now" in 1931. and 1932, which marked the end of Serbian Surrealism. Nevertheless, he continued his artistic and publishing activities. In collaboration with Vane Bor he wrote the book Anti-wall. He continued writting lyrics and poems, and during 1938 contributed to the Parisian magazine "Minotaure".

Ristic's poem Turpitude was confiscated and banned by the State Prosecutor in 1938 "because in its entirety it is a crime punishable under the Law of the Protection of Public Security and Order in the Country". Ristic received this rulling on July, 17, 1938. This Paranoid - Didactic Rhapsody, as indicated in the subtitle, was a surrealistic poem in which the author, in accordance with the principles of surrealist aesthetics, incorporated eroticism, war and daydreaming. It was illustrated with drawings by Krsto Hegedušić. Following the ruling, the entire edition of Turpitude was destroyed. However, police officials kept a few items which were later found at flea market, while only one copy of the book remained with Ristic. Magazine Delo published Turpitude for the first time in 1955.

During the World War II  Ristic spent some time in captivity, and since 1944 his political texts have been published in the magazines "Politika / Politics" and "Borba / Fight". Ristic is one of the founders of the magazines "Svedočanstva / Testimonials" (1952.) and "Delo / Work" (1955). In 1951 he was appointed Yugoslav ambassador to Paris and became a member of the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts in Zagreb, through written correspondence.

Marko Ristic was born in 1902 in Belgrade, where he earend his degree at the University of Belgrade in 1925. He died in Belgrade in 1984.