Crveni Peristil

Chromatic shaping of the ambience of the Peristyle, intervention in space, Split, 1968

he intervention with red color on the sidewalk of the antique Peristyle in Diocletian’s Palace , Split on 1/10/1968, included students from the Teachers’ Academy and pupils from the Applied Arts School in Split, Pavle Dulčić, Toma Čaleta, Vladimir Dodig Trokut, Slaven Sumić, Nenad Ðapić, Radovan Kogej, Srđan Blažević and Denis Dokić. he action was colloquially named Red Peristyle. It gained the status of domestic urban legend. And of a footnote to the world’s contemporary art compendiums as some art historians consider this action as one of the pioneering in the realm of conceptual art. he participants were arrested and ined the next day on the grounds of the deile- ment of a historical monument and public space. he reasons as to what has prompted the action widely difer. According to Vladimir Dodig Trokut, the coloring of the 12 squares, 12 meters for 12 participants, was based on the wholesome system of didactic education and grounding in the art history coming from the professor Boze Jelinic, who was the spiritual leader of the group. he members have informally met since 1966, taking part in the alternative ilm practices as members of the Kino Club Split. Pavle Dulčić developed his own concept of Informel painting and Constructivist, cybernetic projects. Toma Čaleta and Trokut were active from the radical political position, inspired by the entire political events in Europe of the time, and the Marxist philosophical group Praxis (active in former Yugoslavia in the 60’s). he initial color ideas included orange (revolutionary color of the West); the anarchist combination of red and black and, inally, red that used as a symbolic attack on the existing politi- cal (communist) system. Sumic, later, stated that they even considered the red and white combination, but gave up on it because the obvious Croatian national symbolism would have likely meant the long–term jail sentence. It is generally assumed that Red Peristyle was not a neutral act of abstract nature, nor an intimate, in- vidualist story of “crazy youth”, but rather that it relected the state of civil consciousness, of dissatisfaction and reaction against the existing order of values in the society of the time, especially in culture and politics. After Red Peristyle, the group continued with its public actions of remonstration. Four members of the group, among them Pavle Dulcic and Toma Celata, have committed suicide, the act which, along the contradictory testimonies, have further contributed to the myth of the Red Peristyle.