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TUNE IN SCREENING:: Psychedelic Moving Images from Socialist Yugoslavia 1966 - 1976
02. October 2011

Stephan Stoyanov Gallery
29 Orchard Street
New York


   Sunday, October 2nd opening reception 6 - 9 pm
  Through October 30th Wednesday through Saturday: 11am to 6 pm and Sunday: noon to 6 pm

curated by Branko Franceschi


The Tune in Screening program focuses on film production and popular music created in Yugoslavia from mid 60s to mid 70s. It presents a variety of materials, predominantly a 75-minute loop of experimental film and rock music that exemplify the openness and permissiveness of Yugoslavia’s brand of socialism when incorporating culture from the capitalist West. The Tune in Screening program demonstrates how imports from the West had a profound effect on the local society, arts and, especially, the public visibility of this psychedelic lifestyle and popular culture.

The first half of the decade was marked by the highest GDP in Yugoslavia’s history and an opening of the country’s borders to all citizens for travel or work abroad. But towards the decade’s end, an economic decline and cracks in the monolithic state began to appear and would continue throughout the 70s. While on one hand, the state apparatus was supportive of some of the most radical and internationally recognized artistic manifestations of the era, such as New Tendencies Movement (1961 – 1973), GEFF – Genre Experimental Film Festival (1963 – 1970) and Music Biennale (1961 – ongoing) in Zagreb (Croatia), or BITEF, International Theatre Festival (1967 – ongoing) in Belgrade (Serbia), it was at the same time harshly repressive with crackdowns on demonstrators, the imprisonment of political opponents and cultural workers, bans on movies and periodicals promoting cultural and political ideas, and attempts to introduce Western-style democracy to the country. Nevertheless, the combination of these opposing policies served to create one of the most vibrant and culturally exciting societies of the era, featuring distinctive inventions such as the Self-management mode of Socialism and the Non-aligned Countries Movement, which together positioned Yugoslavia as something of a global phenomenon and leader.

The changes in Yugoslavia’s socialist society from 1966 to 1976 coincided and were closely intertwined with the complex political and social changes that were occurring globally. Yugoslavian socialism was greatly influenced by the transformative movements throughout the world. Notions of counterculture and social (r)evolution, when introduced in the local context, were used to promote its specific goals of softening the socialist rule, gaining more civil liberties, introducing higher life standards and more color into both everyday life and the accompanying pop culture.

In the process, great art was created. This program also features a selection of Yugoslavia’s pop and rock music classics to accompany the presentation of some of the period’s most significant artworks. These artworks, unlike the official state-sanctioned modernism on one side of the era’s aesthetic divide or its underground conceptual and neo-avant-garde counterpart, were boldly present in the everyday life of all citizens. 

Films:

Vladimir Petek, Aquarelle, 8 mm, b/w film, hand colored, 4’25’’, 1966
Naško Križnar, (OHO), 19th Nervous Breakdown, 8 mm, b/w film, 4’03’’, 1966 (featuring Marko and Marika Pogačnik)
Ante Verzotti, Fluorescences, super 8mm, 4’2’’, 1967
Ivan Martinac, Focus, 35 mm, b/w, 7’12’’, 1967
Marjan Ciglič, (OHO), Fullya Qwanso, 8 mm, color, 5’39’’1967
Marjan Ciglič, (OHO), OU, 8 mm, color, 3’25’’, 1969/70
Miroslav Mikuljan, Seisana, 8 mm, 16mm, b/w, 4’53’’, 1970
Slobodan Šijan,  Kosta Bunuševac in a Film About Himself, 8 mm, color, 15’, 1970
Petar Trinajstić, Oh Fish, My Little Fish, 8mm, color, 3’33’’, 1973
Ljubomir Šimunić, Gerdy, The Wicked Witch, 8 mm, color, 14’, 1973 – 1976

All films transferred on DVD.

Visual Arts

- Marko Pogačnik (OHO), Rolling Stones, object painting, 1968
- Marina Abramović, Rhythm 2, 1974 performance documentation, super 8 mm, 2 screen projections, b/w, color, mute, (33’53’’ & 25’24’’), transferred on DVD

Music:

- Uragani: Shell (1967)
- Grupa 220: City (1967), Somewhere There Is Someone like You (1968)
- Josipa Lisac: My Life (1970), Evening at Luna Park (1973)
- Time: Song No 3 (1972), King Alcohol (1972), Truth Machine (1972)
- Korni grupa: Voice from the Coast of Color (1972)
- Indeksi: Tide (1973)
- Zdenka Kovačićek: Click Theme No 1 (1973, live with Nirvana)


Acknowledgements:

Films by Vladimir Petek, Marjan Ciglič and Naško Križnar, and Marko Pogačnik object painting, thanks to Marinko Sudac Collection
Films by Ivan Martinac, Miroslav Mikuljan, Petar Trinajstić, and Ante Verzotti, thanks to the Croatian Film Club’s Association
Films by Slobodan Šijan and Ljubomir Šimunić, thanks to the authors
Marina Abaramović’s performance documentation. thanks to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb
Music thanks to Croatia Records, except Korni grupa by anonymous.

Special thanks (in alphabetical order): Nathalie Anglès, Lindsey Berfond, Želimir Koščević,  Diana Nenadić, Natalia Mount, Marko Pogačnik, Stephan Stoyanov, Marinko Sudac, Siniša Škarica, Stevan Vuković.

Program is possible thanks to the grants by CECArtslink & Ministry of Culture Republic of Croatia