University of New South Wales (UNSW) Art & Design

Jan Kempenaers, Podgarić, 2010. Photography.
November 6, 2016

November 9–19, 2016

Opening: Tuesday, November 8, 5–7pm

Kudos Gallery
6 Napier Street
Paddington NSW 2021
Hours: Wednesday–Friday 11am–6pm, Saturday 11am–4pm
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“The politics of the day forms our collective memory. The politics of memory enables a regime to record its version of the past. History is conditioned by this shared remembrance.”

The decaying monuments from Tito‘s Yugoslavia form the backdrop for Monumentalism—an exhibition curated by Anthony Bautovich at University of New South Wales Art and Deisgn (UNSWA&D) Kudos Gallery in Sydney opening on November 8, 2016. Currently undertaking his Masters of Curating at UNSWA&D, Anthony has been awarded the 2016 Kudos Gallery Early Career Curator Award. The son of migrants from the former Yugoslavia, the curator’s interest in art from Eastern Europe was the catalyst for Monumentalism. The exhibition will bring together International and Australian artists to respond to the emotional, political and social impact of the failings of the single party state.

Austrian artist Marko Lulić will exhibit his video work—Kosmaj Monument. Lulić’s video was exhibited as part of the two-person exhibition Spomenici revolucije at the MAK Center in early 2016 with LA artist Sam Durant. Lulić’s work is concerned with the intersection of architectural modernism, ideology, and aesthetics.

All of Them in There, a single channel video by Kuba Doarbialski will be one of five large projections. Dorabialski’s interest in the aesthetics of Eastern European politics stems in part from his Polish background and from his interest in the violence the capitalist state wreaks on its citizens.

Croatian multimedia artist Igor Grubić will exhibit his film, Monument. Shown as part of the exhibition Concrete at Monash University Museum of Art in Melbourne in 2014, curated by Geraldine Barlow, Monument is a poetic-experimental documentary, structured as a series of nine meditative portraits of the brutalist memorials from the former Yugoslavia.

Sydney artist and musician Tim Bruniges will be creating a site-responsive sound installation. Using live input, amplification and feedback his immersive sound work will intersect with the architectural installation of artist Biljana Jancić.

The iconic photographic series Spomenik by Dutch photographer Jan Kempenaers will be shown as a dissolving projection. The series features images of 26 of the futuristic memorials from the former Yugoslavia.

Sydney based artist and musician Kusum Normoyle will exhibit her video—Accord with Air (Tjentiśte 2012). Shot at the Tjentište monument in the Sutjeska National Park in Bosnia, the video features a voice, feedback and noise performance. Normoyle will be performing a new iteration of her work on opening night.

Memorials from the past, these abstract structures were commissioned by President Josip Broz Tito to convey a sense of confidence and strength in the new Socialist Republic. Designed and built in the 1960s and 70s by leading architects and sculptors including Vojin Bakić and Bogdan Bogdanović, these gestures to modernism are located at sites of battles and concentration camps commemorating the victims of fascism in WWII.

Devoid of signs of ideologies, war heroes or religions, these abstract forms were symbols of a modern and unified future. Established as recreational areas to visit and cultivate a sense of national and cultural togetherness, these remote and isolated memorials now lay idle.

As the Balkans War took hold in the early ’90s and Yugoslavia fell apart, the monuments became touchstones for the inherent hatreds from the past. Many of the monuments have been destroyed and even today the remaining memorials are being dismantled for their raw materials. The authorities turn a blind eye. From triumph to tragedy, these abandoned and decaying forms are a reflection of a broken and disbanded state. The original intention for the creation of the monuments has resulted in their demise. Politics created the monuments and politics has destroyed them.

For further information contact Anthony Bautovich at [email protected].


University of New South Wales (UNSW) Art & Design presents Monumentalism

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University of New South Wales (UNSW) Art & Design
November 6, 2016

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