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Alienation Effects

Alienation Effects: Performance and Self-Management in Yugoslavia, 1945-91 OPEN ACCESS

Branislav Jakovljević
Copyright Date: 2016
Pages: 382
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    Alienation Effects
    Book Description:

    In the 1970s, Yugoslavia emerged as a dynamic environment for conceptual and performance art. At the same time, it pursued its own form of political economy of socialist self-management. Alienation Effects argues that a deep relationship existed between the democratization of the arts and industrial democracy, resulting in a culture difficult to classify. The book challenges the assumption that the art emerging in Eastern Europe before 1989 was either “official" or “dissident" art; and shows that the break up of Yugoslavia was not a result of “ancient hatreds" among its peoples but instead came from the distortion and defeat of the idea of self-management. The case studies include mass performances organized during state holidays; proto-performance art, such as the 1954 production of Waiting for Godot in a former concentration camp in Belgrade; student demonstrations in 1968; and body art pieces by Gina Pane, Joseph Beuys, Marina Abramovic, and others. Alienation Effects sheds new light on the work of well-known artists and scholars, including early experimental poetry by Slavoj Žižek, as well as performance and conceptual artists that deserve wider, international attention.

    eISBN: 978-0-472-90058-9
    Subjects: Performing Arts
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Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations
  1. InPerestroika Timeline, the Saint Petersburg art collective Chto Delat? establishes a connection between the crisis that spelled the end of the Cold War and the one that shook world markets some twenty years later.¹ The instal lation consists of simple gray-scale images, with captions painted directly on a gallery wall, beginning with Leonid Brezhnev’s death in 1982 and proceeding with a series of political and cultural events that mark the decade that followed, such as the 1985 appointment of Mikhail Gorbachev as the general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party; the 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear plant; the...

  2. ONE Bodywriting (pp. 33-115)

    On the front page of its weekend issue for February 28–March 1, 1987, the Sarajevo dailyOsloboðenjepublished in big, bold letters the headline “The Serpent Egg of New Collectivism.” An additional line above the headline conveyed the editors’ dismay—“Is even this possible!”—and the blurb below explained what the hubbub was all about: “The creation of Ljubljana’s NK, approved as the official poster for Youth Relay, is a copy of a Nazi poster” (Idrizoviæ 1987: 1). Thus broke one of the greatest in the series of scandals that shook Yugoslavia in its waning years. The article continued...

  3. In the immediate aftermath of the May–June 1968 uprisings around the world, posters with the slogan “Marx Mao Marcuse” began appearing on the streets of Rome. While in Italy (and elsewhere in Europe) student protests were spawning radical political groups, Herbert Marcuse offered his vision of a new society to an audience gathered on the other side of the Adriatic.¹ In a talk entitled “The Realm of Freedom and the Realm of Necessity: A Reconsideration,” which he gave on the small island of Korèula off the coast of Croatia, he called for the “transformation of work itself,” which would...

  4. The emergence of conceptual art in Yugoslavia coincided with the period of dismantling of a socialist market economy and return to a conservative form of socialism under the guise of a better and improved self-management introduced by a new constitution in 1974 and the Law of Associated Labor in 1976. According to official histories of Yugoslav self-management, alongside with nationalism, centralism, and “leftist deviations,” “the tendency toward increasing strength and independence of techno-managerial social forces” was perceived as one of greatest threats to Yugoslav socialism. Dušan Bilandžić and Stipe Tonković, the official historians of Yugoslav self-management, write that if “until...

  5. A-effect? Afterword? Afterlife? This is where the bottom falls off; where the big fracture yawns to swallow people, images, performances, stories, buildings, relationships . . .

    In December 1988, unable to curb inflation, the prime minister of Yugoslavia, Branko Mikuliæ, resigned. This was the first resignation of a politician in such a high post in the history of Yugoslavia—and the last one. The following March, Ante Markoviæ, an engineer by training with a long career in management in some of the leading enterprises in Croatia, was named the prime minister. His government implemented an aggressive reform program that curbed...

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
This book is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International.
Funding is provided by Knowledge Unlatched