Announcement of interesting Croatian Publication

Suzana Marjanić: Kronotop hrvatskoga performansa: od Travelera do danas. Zagreb: Udruga Bijeli val, Institut za etnologiju i folkloristiku, Školska knjiga, 2014. (In Croatian)

The Chronotope of Croatian Performance Art: from Traveleri to the Present Day (Kronotop hrvatskoga performansa: od Travelera do danas) covers the life of performance art in Croatia from two standpoints: the avant-garde from the early 1920s (e.g. the group of high-school students Traveleri, who, among other things, performed street actions by subversively greeting horses, and not coach drivers or noble passengers) and the conceptual groups from the 1960s and 1970s when performance art in was initiated by its originators, Tomislav Gotovac, Sanja Iveković, Vlasta Delimar etc. Art historian Ješa Denegri wrote in the catalogue of the exhibition New Art Practice 1966–1978 that activities within the former Yugoslavia were so intensive at the time that they were even then difficult to register and catalog. With their performing concepts they were highly influential (Gotovac’s work greatly inspired Marina Abramović as she has repeatedly emphasized).

Presented according to the performance centers (Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, Pula – Labin, Rijeka, Osijek, Varaždin…) the author decided not to use the possible subtitle “history of Croatian performance art”, but the (Bakhtinian) collocation “chronotope of Croatian performance art”. In its temporal narrative, social and political changes which follow through the book [monarchist – The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes/ The Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1918-1939); socialist – Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1945-1991); democratic – Republic of Croatia (1991- ), and entering the European Union in 2013] created unique context for development of performance arts and their themed repertoire; from turning upside-down the norms of aristocratic class in its decline, rebellion against communist regime oppression, fights for the feminist movement, sexual rights battles and finally activism and a harsh critique of neo-liberal consumerist society.

Each chapter of the book begins with a theoretical background followed by interviews with individual performance artists as well as actors, musicians, theoreticians, and art historians. This part of the book keeps up with the chronology through the living words of its protagonists. The book consists of 15 chapters, 3 forewords, a timeline, 149 interviews, 1860 photographs… 2096 pages!

Beautifully designed and conceptually crafted as the book-altar for artists whose art clashed with all ideologies.


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