The Yugoslav Documents exhibition held in 1989 in Sarajevo was one of the last large-scale
“Yugoslav exhibitions” before the dissolution of the country. To understand the socio-political
context of that decade better, and to answer the question how and why such an exhibition was
possible in 1989, we should explain with a handful of events and contextual factors of the late
1980s, including the political climate, the cultural politics of the time, and give a brief overview of
postmodernism as the leading artistic style of the day in Yugoslavia.
Written for the The Heritage of 1989. Case Study: The Second Yugoslav Documents Exhibition, Moderna galerija, Ljubljana
By the end of the Middle Ages, madness had replaced leprosy as the illness that existed on the margins of society. Sebastian Brandt’s book Stultifera Navis (Ship of Fools), from 1494, is a symbol of this process. The Ship of Fools wandered the rivers of Europe, and madmen travelled on it to some other world(s). Madness was fascinating because it was a different kind of (forbidden) knowledge related to the end of the world, and Foucault described the ship as a heterotopia: an inventive space, a reservoir of imagination. In the 18th century, when ideas based on reason became the primary source of legitimacy, madness was locked away from the rest of the world. In the so-called “great confinement” process of enlightened absolutism society created a space in which criminals, the poor and the mad were locked up and excluded, kept in a kind of total institution. In the 19th century these houses of confinement were replaced by lunatics’ asylums.
First presented at the Glossary of Common Knowledge seminar in Moderna galerija, Ljubljana.
Words like solidarity, fraternity, equality, peace, and fight against imperialism, colonialism, and apartheid resonated at the NAM summits, at UNESCO seminars on culture, at political rallies around the world, in museums… It also seemed as though art and politics were united in their quest to create utopian models adapted to social and political changes. It is no coincidence that experimental museology and concepts such as the integrated museum, the social museum, the living museum, and the museum of the workers were widely discussed in the so-called Global South.
The text was first published at the L’Internationale on-line: http://www.internationaleonline.org/
Presented at the seminar “commons” in the frame of the Glossary of Common Knowledge, Moderna galerija Ljubljana: http://glossary.mg-lj.si/
This text is based on the concepts, working methodologies, and deliberations of institutions conducted by the initiative Radical Education (RE) between 2006 to 2014. RE was initiated as a project within a public art institution – the Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana – in order for it, through analysis of its own work, to direct itself towards a different level of relationship with this institution and others like it.
Education in the Museum.pdf
First presented as lecture held at the Nova Gallery in Zagreb, currently run by What, How and For Whom? (WHW), in December 2014. It appeared in Serbo-Croatian in April 2015 at http://dematerijalizacijaumetnosti.com and first time in English in the ArtLeaks Gazette no. 3.
RhR_Laura Lima – pdf
RhR was initiated in its First Movement by Laura Lima who was, at that time, assigned as its administrator; “Laura Lima in the service of RhR”. This did not necessarily mean she was its sole author, because nomenclature did not mean much in such circumstances. Instead RhR was an “instance” which referred to both the instance of thought and the set of actions launched during that process. In the RhR instance Lima worked with the production of a collective body that continually reinvented itself in the landscape, by way of recomposing various bodies in new, experimental couplings and collectivities. So it was not so much about creating work as such but a question of leaving one’s territory and entering another. It was also about finding another language within the art language, a specific need to create barbaric words and from all that realize a new notion, a new concept, with other words, to enter a new territory – a construction, as she put it, “between poetry, reason, madness, existence and power”.
Published in: Laura Lima: On_Off, Editora de Livros Cobogo, Rio de Janeiro, 2014