The Aesthetics of Resistance* reading group opens its series of events with a screening and discussion of Kino Beleške (Film Notes) by Lutz Becker on May 8th while on May 9th Joanne Richardson presents her new video collaboration with David Rych, "Red Tours" (2010), followed by a discussion about counter-documentary and making art politically.
Kino Beleške / Film notes
Counter-documentary and making Art Politically
Kino Beleške / Film notes
“For many years lost and recently found, Kino Beleške was produced in 1975 in collaboration with the group of artists, curators and critics gathered around the Student Cultural Centre – Belgrade. The film includes verbal statements and performative gestures of the numerous protagonists of the New artistic practice in former Yugoslavia, referring to the role of art in society and re-thinking the concepts of form, autonomy, economy, politicality and institutionalization of contemporary art. (16mm b&w, 45 mins.)
Participants were Marina Abramovic, Dunja Blazevic, Jesa Denegri, Goran Djordevic, Nesa Paripovic, , Bojana Pejic, Zoran Popovic, Jasna Tijardovic, Slavko Timotijevic, Rasa Todosijevic, Biljana Tomic, Goran Trbuljak, Dragomir Zupanc
The idea of making a film about artists and ideas connected with SKC came up during the April Meeting of 1975. We were thinking of making an artist.s news-reel, a format that could be repeated once a year to provide a record of events at SKZ. Taking the theme from Dziga Vertov.s revolutionary newsreel Kino Pravda (Film Truth), we named our production Beleške (Film Notes). Filming and editing took place in November 1975. Its making was a collective collaboration of all participants. I was assisted by the artist- filmmaker, Zoran Popovic. The form of the film was determined by specific ideas and demands of the participants. For most of them it was important at this moment in the political evolution of Yugoslavia to verbalise ideas and ideological positions concerned with art in society. Kino Beleške shows a series of individual statements and performances mostly recorded with a static camera.
Dunja Blazevic, the director of the SKC, spoke about contemporary art praxis and related it to the principle of Socialist self-management, which in the opinion of many contained the potential to fundamentally change the cultural value of art and the artists role in society. - The art critic Jesa Denegri, promoter of New Art in Belgrade, gave a sceptical view of the notion of art as social action. He was critical of those who thought that changes in art could be made through changes of the internal structure of art language, or worse, a return to the artistic values of the past. - Goran Djordjevic standing silently in front of the camera presented some of his subversive aphorisms as voice over. Aware of the anomalies of Modernism and the fragility of artistic freedom he asked: Was intellectual peace only a truce? - The predominant view of the artists appearing in the film was that self regarding art criticism had to move on to a more engaged criticism on art as cultural institution. Over shots of snow-covered Belgrade Marina Abramovich read the programme listing of TV Belgrade for 29 November 75, the Day of the Yugoslav Republic. The drabness of this programme reflected the ideological stagnation and poverty of the official cultural effort. Its inclusion illustrated eloquently the cultural alienation and parallel existence in which the SKZ group of artists lived and worked”. [LB]
Lutz Becker will be in attendance.
* The Aesthetics of Resistance is new series of screenings, events, reading groups and discussions that takes its name from the book by Peter Weiss. “In this book working class students seek ways to express their hatred for the Nazi regime. They meet in museums and galleries, and in their discussions they explore the affinity between political resistance and art. Weiss suggests that meaning lies in embracing resistance, no matter how intense the oppression, and that we must look to art for new models of political action and social understanding”.
A reading group of The Aesthetics of Resistance meets regularly at Bishopsgate Library (a world-renowned collection on London, labour, freethought and co- operation). This series extends this energy to a wider public and is part of The Museum of non Participation.
This event is part of the TRANSEUROPA Festival which proposes itself as "the first transnational festival of arts, culture and politics happening simultaneously in 12 cities throughout Europe. It is not 12 different festivals happening at the same time, but one bottom-up festival taking place throughout Europe".