Introduction at the end of the last century of art period from industrial revolution till today, without any doubt is the most exuberant in the whole history of art. following the phase of pretty slow development, the process has become suddenly very intense after the french revolution, moving in the direction which for a long time seemed obscure, today there is no doubt that it was the direction of dying. the first symptoms of this process were noticed in england, but soon they spanned over those countries which were going through those changes later defined as the most decisive revolution in the history of art in general.

although the first signs appeared in england, the process was most clearly visible in france due to the effects of french revolution. paris has become an artistic mecca for the foreigners who used to pilgrimage and still do, from all the parts of europe, and from other continents as well. the process per se, is very complicated, but not as mush so that we couldn’t define some of its basic elements.

  1. centralization of the instruments of ideological and commercial power. paris, its galleries, exhibitions, museums, magazines, are becoming the absolute arbitrators of art.

 

  1. cosmopolization of art through parisian models. is being done consistently, beside delays of as much as a hundred years, according to the time when the specific country has entered the industrialization phase. (this argument, at the first sight – but only at the first sight – goes against the main thesis about the role of industrialization).
  2. dying of national and local models of art which have been tapering away, under the pressure of the concept of global metropolis. National metropolises are soon overtaking the role of branches (london, berlin, münchen, moscow, sidney, rome, new york, san francisco, sao paulo, hong kong, shanghai etc.).
  3. progressive acceleration of so-called developmental process of pictorial form. this acceleration of the switch of pictorial concepts is commensurate to the time distance from the date of industrial revolution in england and france. It’s been followed by the characteristic battles between the protagonists of specific concepts, battles between the groups, scandals, quarrels in the press, protest performances etc.
  4. parallel appearance and deepening of the historical hiatus between art and audience, i.e. society.
  5. parallel development of the products of machine civilization, the usage of which seemed to be exactly adequate for the construction of artistic creations on the new level. And for the renovation, the revival, the new renaissance of art. hunger for the renovation will be constantly present in this process, so in this case one almost institution called avant-guarde has played exquisite role.

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representatives of the youngest generation of explorers of the social domain, which is still being called “art”, have appeared in public during the recent several years, appeared and have been active, either independently or in the group performances. profiling of those groups differs from the profile of the groups from more or less recent past. In cases where the group has been formed or is being formed, the informal character of the group has been declared in advance. ,,incoherence in declarative terms. performing that is pointing to the individuality.” – is introductory line in the collective declaration of the group whose performing for several years already has been manifested in the form of „exhibitions – actions“ (demur, martek, m. stilinović, s.stilinović, f.vučemilović). although they perform most often together, they categorically reject to be put inside any kind of frames, even giving the name of the group, which used to be necessary earlier, opposite to the traditional frames of the groups from previous times, this generation, again categorically, rejects formulation of any collective and general program. what could look like a program, they consider to be some kind of necessary information about the initial assumptions:

„character of criteria is changed; it used to be focused on the valuation of the work and now its focus is valuation of the process of work “.

,,exhibitions – actions are non-compacted entities“.

„information about the individual work is given by the work itself as well as by our participation“ although, beside proclaimed anti-homogeneity, their works, their exhibitions, their actions, their interventions, even partially declarations itself, include some collective decisive for the new approach still “artistic”:

„this type of performing excludes theoretical and program principles” (from the introductory information in this catalogue, as well as from the catalogue of the recent exhibition in the gallery of student center in belgrade).

„forms of presentation include our practice (direct work) as much about (non)homogeneity. (certain contradictions, as well as certain uncertainties are less important than attitudes that have been manifested on this way or another).

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what is usually called generational problem, today appears to be the least so. level of change in attitudes of the youngest generation when compared to the previous ones shows the move of the mind which couldn’t be seen in the whole historic development of our art, from karas to račič and in the following half century after račić. late romantic rebellion of young račić expressed by „manet hat nicht so gemalt“, has overgrown into the conscious of our art ideologists and critics lead by krleža and babić, into revolutionary dimensions, present today in attitudes of the youngest generation, this račić-krleža’a revolution is downsized to adequate size: to dimensions of the humble wish to get closer to own time, not counting the relation of being half century late, practical consequences of this račić’s cult are being paid by the additional half century delay of the same type of “peeling” the canvas on easel.

it has turned out that the revolution has been brought by the „men with messy hair“ and it took seventy years after račić to happen. those same “men with messy hair” which were just recently hunted by our honest citizens through their government representatives, and whose hair has been cut as sheep’s. both hair-cut and “having a messy hair” are attitudes. and behavior. the first don’t need any explanation. but for the second ones it still hasn’t been defined precisely enough that they were revolution. after several centuries (nobody know how many) revolution of human behavior. according to that also progress of mind, and maybe also one of the conditions for the big progress which will be expressed in (near or not so near) revolution of thought. but let’s go back to the practical attitudes of the young, still art. let’s try to define their basic principles in brief:

  1. rejection of the system of aesthetic evaluation and introduction of the criteria of the work procedure. it practically means to reject the painting, as artistic painting. aesthetics have been totally lost, together with “spiritual” value of the work of art.
  2. the most decisive in the attitude of this generation, as well as the newest, is relation towards work. all accents are being put on the work process.
  3. exhibition of art works that is conceived and prepared in advance has been rejected as presentation of the goods for sale. on the contrary, exhibition is at the same time action in process of which the art works are being made. at the same time accent is put precisely on the process, action.
  4. (partial) giving up from the artistic way of thinking. inasmuch as the basic principles of artistic speech are being rejected, creation of illusions and symbols. so, there are no more metaphorical intermediaries in communication, but direct communication between artists and media – and means of presentation include practice (direct work).
  5. attitude of openness to the new media is connected with this attitude. and in case of new media accent is put on photography and film.
  6. principle of identification
  7. and the last consequence – identification of thinking and practice,

– painting that existed as a picture of the world doesn’t exist any more. picture of the world has been eliminated. definitely. at least when it comes to history. painting is not being painted any more… ,,… those paintings created ambient, boris demur said, in which it has been intervened by color, afterwards. Finished paintings I used to rub with sand, wash with soap, I used to rub the painting with color for 20 minutes and then blacken 20 papers with ink etc …” (b. demur, interview) the painting is not called a painting any more. it’s been called the work. “in those works accent is on the working procedure…“ (b. demur, interview).

on another place in the same interview, demur, informs about his method in other words: „pictorial inevitably results in the aesthetic object, and I insist on the process of production itself which has analytic character, while result as aesthetic object is of no interest for me. process of work is engaged in the work and performing itself is accented on it.”

demur has used the whole catalogue of his solo show in the gallery in student center in belgrade, as the information about his relation towards work. since those attitudes are for the most part accepted by ž. jerman, stilinović brothers and f. vučemilovića, maybe they could be quoted as being communal. attitude toward work is applied inasmuch as the work is not some intensely “spiritual” effort of the higher order, but valuable only by its result which is of the highest order: picture of the picture of the world. sanctus art. one of the candidates of the future religion. essential part of numerous religions and candidate of the religion of the future itself.

no matter how questionable it is, for “the men of action” the work itself stands on the first place, work process and “analysis of work as identification of thinking and practice…”

the following principal demur’s attitude, relevant for all the “men of action” and art generation “seventy seven” is the principle of exclusion of all assumptions of creation of illusions and. symbols: “with this work all the assumptions of creation of illusions and symbols by idea and material are excluded”. maybe the new generation is not (and it should be) aware of the fact that this attitude is “a wooden stake” for the artistic way of thinking. maybe it’s not aware, and it should be because the consequences of this attitude are heading to the gunfight with art which they still produce and exit from the circle of social elite to whom they still do belong “a lot so” according to their work, or are becoming close to, according to the number of years they are active in this work.

maybe someone will say that this song about identification of thinking and practice is not new and that it is being sung solo and in choir ever since the classics of materialism till „praxis“. this remark would without doubt be true if anyone from the field from g. courbeta till m. stilinović has been thinking on this way at all. but no one did. attitude that “thinking and work are identified” implies the basic line of social development in general, and the visible end of the artistic way of thinking.

 

  1. thesis – manual and machine work are two historical phases of human work

history of humankind

knows

two different

phases of work.

manual work

and

machine work.

 

social production

has been characterized by

manual work

from prehistory

till industrial revolution.

 

manual work

is

also

the basic condition

of artistic or naive

way of thinking.

 

machine

has revolutionized

human work

by mechanizing it.

 

appearance of machine

in the process of work

has caused

numerous consequences

from the level of work itself

till the level of consciousness.

 

  1. thesis – about artistic and functional way of thinking

(way of production has defined the way of thinking)

historical

appearance

of machine

has caused

the most decisive changes

firstly mechanizing

work and production

and then

or parallel with it

the way of thinking as well

which started get its shape

based on the system of functioning.

 

on all levels

from separate work of machine

till social use

of mechanization

and industrialization.

 

  1. thesis – essential quality of artistic painting is manual work

of production

artistic painting

has been produced

for millennia

by technology

of manual work.

 

for all that time

whole production

has been produced

in the same technology

 

manual way of production

has conditioned

for all that time

respondent way of thinking

shaped on the system of emotions

 

produced for millennia

on this basis

art was accessible

to changes only conditionally

in relation to basis.

 

when art has

after the middle ages

inherited religion

as a space of

the highest possible

reach of „spirit “

it was only

revolution

of secularization

of emotion

the place of soul

has been taken by the spirit.

 

  1. thesis – about abruption of communication between art and society

 

history of modern art

wouldn’t have been anything else

but history of hiatus

between society (19. and 20. century)

and its art

when that art

would be its.

it would have been absurd

but it’s not.

history of modern art

is a history of hiatus

between society

and art

which

but is not

its.

 

history of modern art is

only history

first of resistance

of industrial society

which is developing

in terms

of ever more developed

mechanization and industrialization

against

primitive manual technology.

 

history of modern art

is at the same time

history of resistance

of the new

functional

way of thinking

against the old artistic

and its consequences.

 

in attempt to explain

the causes of the hiatus that appeared

between society and art

historians have

neglected the fact

 

that producers

of artistic paintings

have remained with technology

of manual production

which proved to be

historically

outdated.

 

  1. thesis – introductory thesis about principles of functional thinking

 

first machine

is

the first

model

of objective

and functional

thinking.

 

first (photography) photo-machine

is

the first model

of objective

and functional

way of watching

(perception).

 

  1. thesis – about photography as a model of functional way of thinking

 

industrial revolution

which launched

social use of machine

in the work process

has caused numerous changes

in the field of social ongoings.

machines

started producing

new machines.

among others

machine for production of paintings

has been produced.

 

painting produced by machine

has initiated new problems

in art and around it.

demanding new definitions

painting produced by machine

has demanded from society

new definitions

of culture

and different structure

of so-called cultural life

indicating contours

of a completely

new

civilization

 

photography

and manually produced painting

have one and only one

tangent.

both are paintings

 

differences between them

but

are putting under question

their relatedness

technology

and function

of photography and artistic painting

are pointing towards that

two different phenomena are in question here

which belong

to different

civilizations.

pointing at the same time

on different origins

in ways of thinking

which conditioned them.

 

photography

is one of the first indicators

of functional thinking.

photography is at the same time

one of the first phenomena

of the new way of watching.

objective perception.

photography as painting

is

a result

of total

absence of emotions.

 

photography is

for everyone

readable

it doesn’t ask for neither assumes

the need for an intermediary

in aim to achieve communication.

photography doesn’t „represent“

anything else but that

which it is

and everyone sees that.

photography is

not only the expression of functional thinking

neither only result

but the instrument of thinking

(watching)

photography shows

specific

relation

towards

time.

not touching the past

neither future

it is practically

only in present time.

 

from that point of view

come out some

still not registered dimensions

 

photography

is not a phenomenon of art

it doesn’t function

as artistic painting

as well as photo-machine

doesn’t function as artist.

 

artistic use

of photography and film and TV

is a misbelief

of transitory period.

 

 

  1. thesis – character of mass-media is non-artistic

 

photography

film

and television

are not media

of art.

 

they are the result

of the machine technology

and functional thinking

 

the claim is not true

that mass-media

use art.

opposite claim is true

art uses

mass-media

changing

and distorting

their functions

in this transitory period

 

responding functioning

of mass-media

is intended for

the second civilization

from which society knows only

machines that overtook function

of manual work

so photography film television

computer.

 

katalog. izložbe – akcije, cęfft, zagreb, 1977.