In spite of academic recognition of the art practices from the ’70s and ’80s, current historiography in Serbia has not covered all of it, particularly not the women artists. This paper argues for the idea of creating spaces for public recreation and archiving the fragile female art practices. Starting from the Fluxus perspective and the equivalence of art and life principle, Dragana (Jovanović) Žarevac moves into the art-world with sound performances in SKC Belgrade, in 1979. Since the ‘90s, the experts have recognized her solely as a video artist known as the ZKM (Karlsruhe) awardee. However, her early Belgrade phase (1979-1988), related to performance, was omitted. More than 15 solo or in-pair performances have been performed in the galleries of SKC Belgrade, SC Zagreb, ŠKUC Ljubljana, Biennale of Youth - Rijeka, Hamburg (Boris Nieslony’s artist centre), Düsseldorf (Klaus Rinke’s class). This indicates that her performances were staged in the most important galleries in Yugoslavia, those which founded conceptual and post-conceptual art, but outside of the mainstream art-scene memory and thus, unfairly neglected. By the end of the 70’s and the beginning of the ’80s, the alternation of two waves of visual art happened in Yugoslavia: New artistic practices, based on the achievements of the avant-garde, and postmodernist tendencies. Since she integrates the elements of both standpoints, a more comprehensive research and historicizing of Žarevac’s work represents a missing link between the ’70s and the ’80s in the context of heterogeneous Serbian and Yugoslav visual art. Musically educated, integrating minimal music, the achievements of the OHO group, La Monte Young and body art, Dragana Žarevac, dedicates herself to analytically structured performance staging archetypal polarities. Drawings, scores, synopses, textual and photographic material provide insight into the very structural processes of building the artwork and carry the potential of archiving performance.
Towards the Reinterpretation of the 1980s in Yugoslavia. Research in Dragana (Jovanović) Žarevac’s Performance Archive
Documentation and archives on performance and other ephemeral artistic practices represent a topic that has been much debated in recent decades by researchers and art theoreticians. Today, when we speak about performance as a process of ‘transformation’ 1 which envisions an exchange between artistic practice and scientific analysis, many contemporary scholars 2 in Western academic discourse who deal with theory of performance mostly advocate for the importance of ‘performance material traces’ and tend to refute Peggy Phelan’s assertions that ‘performance’s only life is in the present’. 3 While discussions on this topic continue in the academic community, and while the slow-moving museum system is adapting to new methodologies of performance documentation and preservation, much of the archive concerning performance art done by Yugoslav and Serbian artists within the rich Students’ Culture Centre (SKC) programme during the 1970s and 1980s awaits its historicisation, or will unfortunately disappear forever. The New Art Practice 4 of 1970s perceived through the period of activity of the ‘first generation of artists’ 5 gathered around the SKC underwent a certain historicisation, though apparently not ever enough. While the art of the 1980s remains insufficiently clarified, it was mostly presented through the gradual abandonment of the New Art Practice principles, as well as through a revival of painting and art object, and influenced by the Transavantgarde, Neo-Expressionism or by the New Wave in the field of music, film and television. Local researchers have not done enough to exhaustively process the entire historical period of the SKC from the early 1970s to the 1990s, when this institution’s programme was relevant not only within national setting but also internationally, and which, today, 50 years after the establishment of this institution, requires urgent multidisciplinary and intersectional approach by experts of various kinds. The concept of the art programme at the SKC Gallery during the 1970s, and also the 1980s emphasised the social dimension of art and supported the expressive strategies of the authors who aspired to the artist’s ‘first-person speech’, which included body language, gestures and artistic behaviour, performance, and so on. A participant of the scene, the art historian, critic and at that time curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, Ješa Denegri, stated for Radio Belgrade 2 6 in an interview on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the SKC:
Programme editors at SKC were familiar with world art practices and not only followed them, but were part of those practices
– they were often on the front-scene of these events or brought the actors of these events to our milieu, and not just artists, but also the critics who were important at the time […] and that had to lead to a change, not only in the current programme but in the understanding and critical interpretation of art.
Circumstances, and the nature of dematerialised art practice lent a hand to the internationalisation of the SKC programme, because
it was no longer necessary to finance expensive transport for works of art, it was sufficient that the artist comes in person and performs.
What of these ephemeral art practices remains today in private and institutional archives? How much do we know about them?
Attitude towards documenting, archiving and preserving performance
Today, we are aware of the fact that performance has no other way to be historicised than through documentation, which allows generations of researchers to analyse and historicise it, 7 but in the past, in the moment of performing such an artistic practice, there was no clear awareness of the need for documenting and archiving performances. Ješa Denegri also talks in the above-mentioned interview about the attitude of the local museum institutions at that time towards documenting, preserving and acquiring such art:
The museum was relatively open to events on the stage in the Yugoslavian space. … but imagine now one institution that had
settled its programme mechanisms … which, when the issue of acquisition arose, could not simply say what, let alone take a decision to allocate funds for some phenomena that confused even the people who worked professionally in those institutions. […] At that time, it was not clear what was the work of art there, whether it was the moment of the act itself or whether it was what remained recorded as a photo, film or video document. 8
There was no clear differentiation between the ‘live’ artistic act and the technologically mediated performance documentation itself, while
about the documentation of the preparatory process − artefacts such as drawings, notes, scores, scripts, synopses − was not even thought of. That was left to the care, or neglect of the artists themselves. The SKC archive which kept photos, catalogues and posters has only been partially processed, but it has not yet been digitised. Art works by a number of the artists from the 1970s were collated in the early 2000s within the framework of certain exhibitions 9 or owing to the interest of local and foreign experts, collectors and institutions; archives and documentation were also searched for within the artists’ personal archives, within the SKC Archive and the like. Whether we will have access to any such archive depends on the nature of the artists themselves and their way of curating their own archive. The attitude towards the documentation of these ephemeral artistic expressions was partially established by certain artists, for example by Marina Abramović, as the artist whose work will be discussed in this essay, Dragana (Jovanović) Žarevac 10 testifies herself.
The 1980s from a different angle
In the mid-1970s, the stimulating atmosphere at the SKC gave birth to the Second Generation 11 of artists, which brought together young, academically educated artists, along with those who had been educated in the technical and natural sciences, in the fields of linguistics and contemporary philosophy. They were connected by a mental, conceptual and analytical approach to art. Their work is situated in the interspace between sound, music, performance, language and analytical drawing, but it should be underlined that the decade of the 1980s brought individualism in artistic practices to the stage, so that a typical representative of the decade cannot be clearly established. Unfortunately, in all the reviews-by-decades of the 1980s Belgrade scene, 12 the professional community has mostly followed the formally educated artists who accepted the ‘big change’ and who embraced ‘new painting’ or ‘new sculpture’. What also made it difficult to adequately monitor the SKC Second Generation artists’ production locally is the fact that a large number of them emigrated from the country in the second half of the 1980s, or early 1990s, including Dragana (Jovanović) Žarevac, Zoran Belić Wiess, Paja Stanković, Maja Savić, Jelena Mišević, Miloš Raičković, Miodrag Lazarov Pashu, and others It is especially noticeable that, during the 1970s and 1980s on the SKC scene, as well as in other New Art Practice sights, there were very few women artists who expressed themselves through performance, body art and other innovative forms of artistic expression. The First generation produced only one woman – Marina Abramović, and in the Second Generation there was a small number of female protagonists, some of whom joined the ‘new painting’ in the early 1980s, some emigrated, some ceased practicing art, and some unfortunately died. 13
In her early phase, Žarevac was, according to her interests and expression, nearest to the young composers of minimal music from the
group Opus 4 14 and with Miroslav Miša Savić, 15 with whom she collaborated on several compositions and performances, and who was also the editor of the Music Programme at the SKC (1975–1995). She followed the work of composer Miloš Raičković, collaborated with artists Zoran Belić Weiss, Paja Stanković, and among women artists, she had the closest relations with the violinist Jelena Mišević and with Maja Savić (member of Group 143). This group of artists from the 1980s, whose expression consists of highly analytical works based on sound, performance, minimal art and minimal music, has not received adequate historicisation to date, and unfortunately it is completely unknown in what condition the individual personal archives of artists are, and how far it will be possible to reconstruct the art events on the SKC scene in that period.
This paper attempts to highlight the urgent need to study the performance documentation archives from 1980s in Yugoslavia; not
only are they under-researched as such, but that kind of research and publishing the archives of artists from that period could also challenge the worn-out canonical narrative according to which the decade belonged solely to the ‘new painting’. By revealing and focusing on the individual archives of the artists who at the end of the 1970s and during the 1980s were dedicated to performance art or minimal music, it will be possible to discern the continuity between the conceptual art practices of the early 1970s and performance practice during the 1980s that was further developed through media art − video art, electronic music, installations − and remained associated with the ideas of the New Art Practice. Žarevac’s artistic opus is precisely such an example − from meditative music/sound performance to video art, without abandoning the standpoints of the New Art Practice representatives.
Individual practices in the 1980s – Žarevac’s performances
This essay focuses on Žarevac’s performance art practice from her early Belgrade phase (1979–1988), and whose archives could also open up a new topic, along with observing the side connections of art with language, linguistics, ancient traditions, philosophy, minimal music, sound experiments and other forms of multimedia. Žarevac moved into the art-world with sound performances in the SKC in 1979. Since the 1990s, experts have seen her solely as a video artist, known for performing at the Centre for Art and Media (ZKM) in Karlsruhe. However, her early Belgrade phase related to performance has been omitted. More than fifteen solo or in-pair performances 16 were per formed in galleries at SKC Belgrade, SC Zagreb, ŠKUC Ljubljana, Biennale of Youth – Rijeka, Hamburg (Boris Nieslony’s Artists Centre), Düsseldorf (Klaus Rinke’s class). Her performances were staged in the most important galleries in Yugoslavia, those which founded and promoted New Art Practice, outside of the high modernism and postmodernism mainstream art scene. At the end of the 1980s, she moved to Paris and her ‘French phase’ video art begins in 1989. Subsequent study residencies abroad, international awards and acknowledgments contributed to the full affirmation of her video art practice, which resulted in this artist being presented in the most important world institutions, namely, the ZKM in Karlsruhe, Tate Modern London, Centre Georges Pompidou Paris, The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and in other significant galleries, museums and festivals.
Research into Žarevac’s performance practice is not possible without insight into the artist’s archive, which is not extensive, but which has
been carefully kept and organised. The essay is one of a series of different working methods I use, in collaboration with the artist, seeking to contextualise Žarevac’s art practice and thus contribute to clarifying the art movements on the local scene in the 1980s. In addition to working with the archive, participating in the production of this artist’s re-performances, curating her exhibitions and conducting public talks with her at the invitation of various galleries and museums, trying to point out the importance of researching the archives of the artists working around the SKC in the 1980s, I claim that each individual archive bears the potential to generate new knowledge and redefine the attitude towards the 1980s, seen solely as the emergence of eclectic postmodernism, the turn from the conceptual to a market-driven negation of conceptual and post-conceptual art, and the revival of traditional media.
Research into Žarevac’s archive, as well as numerous interviews with the artist, has helped to discover and clarify the various influences on which the conceptual foundation of her artistic expression was formed, as well as the socio-cultural climate in which she worked. She spent the period from 1976 to 1988 in the SKC, first as a member of the audience, and then as a participant in numerous programmes. In the period of her artistic development, numerous artists who performed at the SKC and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade, had an important influence on Žarevac. In the process of her explorations of the possibilities of perceiving reality through the dimension of specific spiritual states, she was marked by particular influences of philosophical-theoretical thought and practice by artists such as Marko Pogačnik, Katalin Ladik or Joseph Beuys, as well as other Fluxus and Minimal artists, and particularly La Monte Young and the other composers gathered in the Fluxus movement as well.
A music education (1964−1978) in piano, flute and solo singing, led her towards sound and the use of the voice. Simultaneously with her
studies of Spanish and English language and literature at the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade (1979−1984), she studied Sanskrit and Vedic grammar at the Institute for Foreign Languages, Belgrade (1977−1982) and at the Deccan College, Pune, India (1978), which significantly shaped her artistic expression. As a foreign languages student, she often assisted in translating various texts for the visual arts department at SKC, and for a while she also officially worked as an assistant to the music programme editor Miroslav Miša Savić at the SKC. That is where she had an opportunity, translating texts on land art, minimal art, post-minimal art 17 and minimal music, to become acquainted with the work of John Cage, La Monte Young as well as with work by Joseph Beuys, Robert Morris and others. As she witnessed the lectures by the Slovenian artist Marko Pogačnik 18, a member of the OHO group (1965–1971) and the Šempas community (1971–1979), which he held in SKC in 1981 and 1983, she was particularly influenced by the basic paradigm formed by Pogačnik that underlies his work, expressed as ‘Art of Life – Life of Art’. She was open to his thesis on anthropocentrism, stating that ‘beings and phenomena of the world are autonomous and not dependent on human control, and that the anthropocentric approach to life is outdated according to the cosmic cycles that move the universe’. Fascinated by the study of Sanskrit with the famous professor Radmilo K. Stojanović, discovering a new view of the world and life, Žarevac found significant references for her work in the opus of La Monte Young, American composer and Fluxus member who studied classical Indian singing, living according to the Vedic canon, and who incorporated semantic elements of shamanic rituals and Indian music into his minimalist works. In contact with his work, 19 On the connection with Cage and La Monte Young, it can be seen in the preserved SKC editions, such as the catalogue and collection of texts Nova/Minimalna muzika, ed. by Miša Savić (Belgrade: SKC, 1977), where translations of texts by Michael Nyman, John Cage, Steve Reich, La Monte Young, Miloš Raičković, and interviews with Phil Glass and
La Monte Young, were also published. [/ref] she discovers possible methods of combining Vedic knowledge, Sanskrit, musical education and contemporary art, i.e. a thing she has always strived for − uniting the knowledge of ancient traditions and contemporary expression.
Also, in the second half of the 1970s, numerous other events and personalities had an important influence on Žarevac, such as the work
by John Cage seen at the exhibition Music, Sound, Language, Theatre: John Cage, Tom Marioni, Robert Barry, Joan Jonas: Etchings from Crown Point Press 20 in the Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art in 1981. Avant-garde and experimental music has been institutionally rooted in Yugoslavia since the 1960s, within a network of cultural institutions such as the Youth Tribune (Tribina mladih) in Novi Sad (the site of numerous of Katalin Ladik’s performances), in Belgrade at the Belgrade International Theatre Festival (BITEF) and in Music Department in SKC, and also in Zagreb at the The Zagreb Music Biennales. Marina Abramović influenced Žarevac with her body liberating performances, but Katalin Ladik also did, with her performances in Belgrade in the 1970s, 21 and moreover with the relation between the body, voice, text and sound, as well as with the vocal-shamanic elements of the performance, which was greatly important for the later expression in Žarevac’s performances. According to the artist herself, she learned about the world’s authors of minimal and experimental music in the SKC editorial office, and later, when she lived in Europe, she listened to them all live: La Monte Young, Meredith Monk, Philip Glass in Paris, and Cage’s music concerts in Germany.
Broadly educated, surrounded by composers and students of mathematics, electrical engineering and philosophy within the Second
Generation, Žarevac prepared her analytical drawings, notations and presentation of her first performances. She dedicated herself to analytically structured sound performance, sound installations and composing minimalist music. The uniqueness of her performances, situated in a synergistic interspace of music, language and the visual, is reflected in the use of instruments, sound and voice, while her ideas and concepts are firmly based on the starting points of the 1960s ‘heroic era’ of performance art and the aspiration to become liberated from the conservatism of rationalist and technocratic Western culture through a return to primordial vibrations and Eastern civilisations − ancient teachings, language and ritual.
‘Embodied Archive’ – work with Žarevac’s early performances archive
Žarevac devotedly kept her own performance archive (as well as video works archive): preparatory notes, sketches, texts, notations and synopses, which preceded the enactment of a certain performance, and, concerning the other types of documentation, such as photography or video recording of the performance, it depended on the institution in which the performance was completed. So, for some performances, only a single or no photographs have been preserved, and some, again, have dozens of photographs. It should be emphasised that not all potential sources have been exhausted, and that research of the photo-archive continues. Žarevac has built her relationship with the archive over time, becoming more and more systematic in its organisation. Also, the archive was collected
for a practical reason – to apply for membership in The Association of Fine Artists of Serbia (ULUS), as well as in France in La Maison des Artistes, in order to provide her with the status of an independent artist.
The research of Žarevac’s performance archive, which began in 2017, led the curator-artist duo 22 to produce a video re-performance. The three performances from the early phase Flautaum 23 23, Flauta8 24 and Nodus Vitae 25 were staged again, four decades later, at the same places where the performances were originally performed (SKC Gallery Belgrade, ŠKUC Gallery Ljubljana), this time for ‘the eye of the camera’, respecting the ‘neutral visual code’. Žarevac’s early performances were conceived as a ‘meditative space with duration’ or ‘infinite being in time’. 26 She declares:
In my performances, I closed myself in a kind of concentrated action, at the same time giving the audience an opportunity to close themselves in some kind of their own meditation or make contact with themselves. 27
Advocating equivalence between art and life, Žarevac in her performance enables the audience to live new experiences and insights, which
is the result of her great familiarity with world cultures, ethnographies and knowledge of ancient civilisations: Egyptian mythology, Indian
philosophy, history and para-history of medieval Europe, Christian and Oriental kinds of vocal performance in prayer-chanting and other songs, of Indian tribes’ beliefs in South America and the like.
The performance Fields of Change (1988) is the last performance she showed at SKC Belgrade before leaving for Paris in 1988, which at the same time represents a seminal point of junction between two media in her work − performance and video. The philosophy of the dematerialisation of the art object found an ideal continuation of the art practice in forms of action, behaviour, happening and performance through the ephemeral medium of video. The ‘first-person speech’ existing in Žarevac’s performance was translated into the field of video art, much like the practices of other women artists in Yugoslavia – Viktorija Vesna Bulajić, Vesna Tokin, Sanja Iveković, Nuša Dragan, Marina Gržinić, Breda Beban and others.
Conversations with the artist, recorded during the production of video re-performances in the SKC and ŠKUC and ‘reviving’ the archives by performing ‘live’ for the narrow circle of the crew recording the performance, significantly helped me understand Žarevac’s meditative performance. The production of the video re-performances made the professional public take interest in getting to know her early art practice, so that in 2021 she held two exhibitions: ‘Memory of the Body. Memory of the Object’ (‘Memorija tela, memorija predmeta’) at the Gallery of the Goethe Institute in Belgrade, as part of the programme dedicated to Joseph Beuys and Klaus Rinke, and the exhibition ‘Expanded Presence – Embodied Archive’ (‘Prošireno prisustvo – Otelovljeni arhiv’) at the Gallery-Legacy Milica Zorić and Rodoljub Čolaković – Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, curated by Slađana Petrović Varagić and Miroslav Karić. Within both of these exhibitions, the artist and the curators dealt with performances and early video works archives. The exhibition Expanded Presence
− Embodied Archive, in addition to the early performance archive, also presented a production of video re-performances as ‘embodied historiography’ that enables the recognition of the constative and performative function of re-performing, while from my perspective, this deeply introspective process of re-experience produces a new work of art – performance archive > re-performance > re-performance as footage for a new artwork > video installation as ‘embodied archive’ in a new context. Work with the archive of the artist Dragana Žarevac, exhibitions, accompanying programmes, encouraged the interest of local professionals in the art scene of the 1980s in discovering another character of this heterogeneous decade. Work with her performance archive is not described and analysed in depth in this paper, it is given as a case study, which seeks to confirm that there is an urgent need to do systematic research of the performances archives and ephemeral art practices of artists who were active in the 1980s in the Student Cultural Centre in Belgrade, which will significantly contribute to the better critical reception of this art, redefining the image of the art scene of this decade through observation of the continuity between conceptual practices of the 1970s and performances involving video and media art during the next decade.
- Auslander, Philip, ‘Live and Technologically Mediated Performance’, in The Cambridge Companion to Performance Studies. Part II – Body Politics: The Individual in History, ed. by Tracy C. Davis (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008), pp. 107–119 <https://doi.org/10.1017 /CCOL9780521874014.008>
- Auslander, Philip, Liveness: Performance in Mediatized Culture (New York: Routledge, 2008)
- Bedford, Christopher, ‘The Viral Ontology of Performance’, in Perform, Repeat, Record: Live Art in History, ed by Amelia Jones and Adrian Heathfield (Bristol and Chicago: Intellect, The University of Chicago Press, 2012), pp. 77–87
- Bishop, Claire, Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship (London and New York: Verso, 2012)
- Borčić, Barbara, ed., Videodokument: Video Art in Slovenia 1969–1998 (Ljubljana: Soros Center for Contemporary Arts, 1999)
- Büscher, Barbara, ‘Lost & Found: Archiving Performance’, MAP – perfomap.de (2009) <http://www.perfomap.de/map1/ii.-archiv-praxis /lost-found-archiving-performance> [accessed 15 December 2020]
- Clarke, Paul, ‘Performing the Archive: The Future of the Past’, in Performing Archives / Archives of Performance, ed. by Rune Gade and Gunhild Borggren (Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 2013), pp. 363–385
- Denegri, Ješa, Osamdesete. Teme srpske umetnosti (Novi Sad: Svetovi, 1997)
- Denegri, Ješa, Sedamdesete. Teme srpske umetnosti (Novi Sad: Svetovi, 1996)
- Denegri, Ješa, Studentski kulturni centar kao umetnička scena (Beograd: SKC, 2003)
- Đurić, Dubravka, and Miško Šuvaković, eds., Impossible Histories – Historic Avant-Gardes, Neo-Avant-Gardes, and Post-Avant-Gardes in Yugoslavia, 1918–1991 (Cambridge, Massachusetts, London: MIT Press, 2003)
- Foerschner, Anja, and Rachel Rivenc, ‘Documenting Carolee Schneemann’s Performance Works’, Getty Research Journal, 10 (2018), 67–189
- Frieling, Rudolf, ‘Correspondence with Dragana Žarevac’, in Internationaler Videokunstpreis (Karslruhe: ZKM, 1998), pp. 72–91
- Gržinić, Marina, ŠKUC Galerija / ŠKUC Gallery 1978–1988 (Ljubljana: Galerija ŠKUC, 1988)
- Heathfield, Adrian, ‘Then Again’, in Perform, Repeat, Record: Live Art in History, ed. by Amelia Jones and Adrian Heathfield (Bristol and Chicago: Intellect, The University of Chicago Press, 2012), pp. 27–37
- Jones, Amelia, ‘“Presence” in absentia. Experiencing Performance as Documentation’, Art Journal, 56, no. 4 (1997), 11–18
- Jovićević, Aleksandra, and Ana Vujanović, Uvod u studije performansa (Beograd: Edicija Reč, 2006)
- Lavaert, Sonja, and Pascal Gielen, ‘Umetnost – odsustvo mere’, interiew with Paolo Virno, in Umetnik/ca u (ne)radu, ed. by kuda.org, Kristijan Lukić and Gordana Nikolić (Novi Sad: Muzej savremene umetnosti Vojvodine, Centar za nove medije Kuda.org, 2012), pp. 11–36
- Merenik Lidija, Beograd. Osamdesete (Novi Sad: Prometej, 1997)
- Merenik Lidija, ‘Selektivna hronologija. Nove pojave u slikarstvu i skulpturi u Srbiji 1979–1989’, in Umetnost na kraju veka, ed. by Irina Subotić (Beograd: Clio, 1998), pp. 87–116
- Mije, Ketrin, ‘Konceptualna umetnost kao semiotika umetnosti’, Polja, 156 (1972), 8–12
- Milovac, Tihomir, ed., Insert – retrospektiva hrvatske video umjetnosti (Zagreb: Muzej suvremene umjetnosti, 2008)
- Petrović Varagić, Slađana, ‘Infinite Being’, in Expanded Presence − Embodied Archive, exh. cat., ed. by Miroslav Karić, Slađana Petrović Varagić (Belgrade: Museum of Contemporary Art, 2021), pp. 31–40
- Phelan, Peggy, Unmarked: The Politics of Performance (London and New York: Routledge, 1993)
- Savić, Miša, ‘DŽ URA’, in Moment (Gornji Milanovac: NIRO, Dečje novine, 1987), 51–54
- Savić, Miša, ed., Nova / Minimalna muzika (Beograd: SKC, 1977)
- Schechner, Richard, Performance Studies: An Introduction (New York: Routledge, 2002)
- Sretenović, Dejan, ‘Mnogo života performansa. Kratki pregled’, Aparatus, 11 (2020 <http://www.apparatusjournal.net/index.php/apparatus /article/view/239/519> [accessed 25 March 2021]
- Susovski, Marijan, ed., Nova umjetnička praksa 1966–1978 (Zagreb: Galerija suvremene umetnosti, 1978)
- Tomić, Biljana, Dragana Žarevac (Beograd: SKC, 1988)
- Video interviews with the artist Dragana Žarevac, (12 November 2019, 13 November 2019 and 25 November 2019)
- White, Robin, Music Sound Language Theater: John Cage, Tom Marioni, Robert Barry, Joan Jonas: Etchings from Crown Point Press (Oakland: Point Publications, 1980)
- Adrian Heathfield concludes that the multiple life of performance ‘… suggests that one of performance’s most consistent and recurring conditions is transformation’, thus opposing Phelan and suggesting that one should deal less with ontology, but with the ontogenesis of performance.
See Adrian Heathfield, ‘Then Again’, in Perform, Repeat, Record: Live Art in History, ed. by Amelia Jones and Adrian Heathfield (Bristol and Chicago: Intellect, The University of Chicago Press, 2012), pp. 27–37 (p. 32). ↩︎
- Amelia Jones, Philip Auslander, Christopher Bedford, Barbara Büscher,
Franz Anton Cramer, etc. ↩︎
- Peggy Phelan, Unmarked: The Politics of Performance (London and New York: Routledge, 1993), p. 146. ↩︎
- The term New Art Practice was introduced by art historian Ješa Denegri in order to describe the media-nomadic practices in Yugoslav art in the late 1960s and 1970s. See: Ješa Denegri, Sedamdesete. Teme srpske umetnosti (Novi Sad: Svetovi, 1996), p. 22. ↩︎
- During the 1970s, the Group of Six Artists stood out and involved Marina Abramović, Gergelj Urkom, Zoran Popović, Raša Todosijević, Neša Paripović and Era Milivojević. ↩︎
- ‘Zlatni presek (Golden Ratio)’, Radio Belgrade 2, 7 April 2021. Courtesy of the author journalist Mirjana Boba Stojadinović, an integral raw recording of the interview with Prof. Ješa Denegri was obtained. ↩︎
- Amelia Jones, ‘“Presence” in absentia. Experiencing Performance
as Documentation’, Art Journal, 56, no. 4 (1997), 11–18. ↩︎
- Ješa Denegri, Sedamdesete. ↩︎
- Raša Todosijević had a retrospective exhibition in 2002 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade (MSUB); Marina Abramović was only retrospectively presented at MSUB in 2019 within the exhibition The Cleaner, produced by the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, in collaboration with the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Humlebæk) and the Bundeskunsthale (Bonn); Neša Paripović’s retrospective exhibition ‘A Becoming through Art’ (‘Postajanje umetnošću’) was held at MSUB in 2006, but Zoran Popović, Gergelj Urkom and the recently deceased Era Milivojević have so far not had a national retrospective. ↩︎
- As a member of an informal group of young artists and students that gathered at SKC during the second half of the 1970s and which dealt with experiments in the field of psychotherapy and theory, she had the opportunity to experience a visit by the editor of the SKC Visual Art Programme, Biljana Tomić, and the artist Marina Abramović to her group.
Abramović presented her work to the members of the group, showing them neatly preserved and organised documentation of her performances. According to Žarevac, it was the first time she had seen such a carefully collated and preserved archive of a single artist’s own work, and that left a significant impression on her, along with the presentation of the performance as a form of artistic expression. ↩︎
- During May 1981 in the SKC Gallery, Žarevac participated in the exhibition ‘Second Generation’ (‘Druga generacija’), which also included Miško Šuvaković, Paja Stanković, Maja Savić, Vladimir Nikolić, Nenad Petrović, Zoran Belić Weiss, Tahir Lušić, Nada Alavanja, Mirko Dilberović and Jelena Mišević. ↩︎
- Such as Ješa Denegri, Osamdesete. Teme srpske umetnosti (Novi Sad: Svetovi, 1997). Lidija Merenik, Beograd. Osamdesete (Novi Sad: Prometej, 1997). Lidija Merenik, ‘Selektivna hronologija: nove pojave u slikarstvu i skulpturi u Srbiji 1979–1989’ in Umetnost na kraju veka, ed. by Irina Subotić (Beograd: Clio, 1998), pp. 87–116. ↩︎
- Nada Alavanja, a graduate in art history, a member of the group Alter Imago, a painter, has lived in Germany since 1993 and her work has been partially historicised within the cross-section-texts scene, while the practice of other women artists from the 1980s has not been researched and collated, among them:
Jelena Mišević, a violinist, who lives in Germany today, and who was active on the SKC scene during this period with musical and sound performances;
Maja Savić, a member of Group 143 who studied mathematics and whose approach was marked by a logical analysis of visual (photography, analytical drawings) and textual structures. Her work has been partly historicised, along with the exhibition and book about the Group 143;
Smiljana Kudić was also active during the 1980s, characterised by her work with hair, later she lived in Great Britain for a while, but today her work has been completely forgotten;
Maja Tanić, a student at the Faculty of Fine Arts, was recognised for her installations − drawings with a large amount of pigments on the floor, and she is not present on the scene today. ↩︎
- The Opus 4 group was active from 1976 to 1982 at the SKC, and members of the group included the young composers Milimir Drašković, Miodrag Lazarov Pashu, Miroslav Savić and Vladimir Tošić. The group was dedicated to multimedia artistic experiences in the spirit of Minimalism and Fluxus; their artistic expression was influenced by John Cage, Philip Glass and in addition to composing and performing minimal music, they also dealt with visual art, through various media like graphic art, film, photography, slides, video, body art, performance. ↩︎
- Miroslav Miša Savić, composer, artist; he was an active participant of the European Project of Minimal Music. With over a hundred works written for classical instruments, his work also includes experimental body art and performing forms, minimal and electronic music and interactive installations. ↩︎
- The first performance Flautaum (1979) was staged in the SKC Gallery; followed by Two (Dva, 1980) with Paja Stanković in the SKC Gallery; Sound 7 (Zvuk 7, 1980) in the Collegium Artisticum Art Pavilion in Sarajevo (B&H), Rhythm (Ritam, 1980) in the Künstlerhaus in Hamburg, Rhythm – Two Times (Ritam – dva puta, 1980) in SKC Belgrade – Klaus Rinke’s workshop, Balance Exercise (Vežba ravnoteže, 1981) in the Student Centre Gallery in Zagreb (Croatia); Flauta8 in ŠKUC Gallery – Ljubljana (Slovenia), and for a second time in the Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf (return visit of Klaus Rinke’s class). At the 11th Biennale of Young Yugoslav Artists – Rijeka (Croatia) she performed Identification Exercise (Vežba poistovećivanja, 1981) and participated in the performance Body Gong (Telesni gong, 1981) together with Miroslav Miša Savić, at the opening of the Biennale. The sound work Tai-Chi Sound (TaiChi zvuk, 1982) was recorded in the Third Programme Electronic Studio of Radio Belgrade, broadcast at the Radio Biennale in Paris and was displayed at the Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade. Between 1986 and 1988, Žarevac realised her performances at music festivals or as part
of the SKC visual art and music programme: Nodus Vitae (1986) in the SKC Gallery; Lamento Da Historia performed as part of the event The Other New Festival: The Third Time (Drugi novi festival: Treći put) at the SKC Concert Hall in Belgrade; within the festival Communications 86 – Secrets of the City (Brewery in Skadarlija, Belgrade) she participated with the performance Historia Urboscura; Responso, Ergo Sum (1987) at the Festival of New Arts in Studio M – Radio Novi Sad. At the 14th Biennial of Young Yugoslav Artists in
Rijeka she performed The Walk (Hod, 1987) and the performance Untitled (1987) with the artist Ilija Šoškić at the Kunstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin the same year. Also, she composed the music for Ilija Šoškić’s performance Contemplation (Kontemplacija) staged in SKC in 1987.
The performance Fields of Change staged as part of the event Summer Artists Meeting (Letnji susret umetnika) at SKC Belgrade (August 1988) within a programme that included Marina Abramović, Dragoljub Raša Todosijević, Vlado Martek, Ilija Šoškić, Radomir Damnjan, Miroslav Miša Savić, Zoran Belić Weiss, Milan Grigar, Milovan Marković, Viktorija Vesna Bulajić, Dragan Srdić, Sissel Tolaas (Berlin), Dragana Žarevac. ↩︎
- In her archive there is hectographed material for the exhibition ‘Information: Minimal Art & Post-Minimal Art – Examples of the Second Sculpture 1961–1979’ (‘Informacije: Minimal Art & Post-Minimal ArtPrimeri Druga skulptura 1961 – 1979’) organised in the SKC Gallery, January 1980, edited by Miško Šuvaković and Biljana Tomić, in which there are translated texts, by Manfred Schneckenburger, Robert Morris, Joseph Beuys, Alice Aycock and others, and Dragana Jovanović, among others, was mentioned as the translator. ↩︎
- Marko Pogačnik’s lecture ‘Venice – City of the Future’, held at the SKC on 12 December 1981, as a three-day workshop on the essence of the city, Belgrade, held from 12 to 14 January 1983 (source: SKC archives). ↩︎
- On the connection with Cage and La Monte Young, it can be seen in the preserved SKC editions, such as the catalogue and collection of texts Nova/Minimalna muzika, ed. by Miša Savić (Belgrade: SKC, 1977),
where translations of texts by Michael Nyman, John Cage, Steve Reich, La Monte Young, Miloš Raičković, and interviews with Phil Glass and La Monte Young, were also published. ↩︎
- BITEF, Dom omladine Beograda (Belgrade Youth Center), SKC Belgrade – Festival Expanded Media (Festival proširenih medija) and the Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art (Salon Muzeja savremene umetnosti u Beogradu). ↩︎
- Balance (Balans), video re-performances, Serbia, 2020, HD, 20’14’’, production: Filmart & Dragana Žarevac. Artist Dragana Žarevac and curator Slađana Petrović Varagić initiated the project Balance in 2018 with the support of the Film Center Serbia. ↩︎
- Flautaum is a musical performance (1979, SKC Gallery) enacted within the Video − Video Performance I event, which included three segments: Minimal Music, Analytical Drawing and Performance Meeting, and in which, in addition to participants from Yugoslavia (Raša Todosijević, Neša
Paripović, Miroslav Miša Savić, Miodrag Lazarov Pashu, Radomir Damnjanović Damnjan, Ivan Ladislav Galeta, Sanja Iveković, Dalibor Martinis and others) artists from Germany also contributed (Joseph Beuys, Wulf Herzogenrath, Ulrike Rosenbach, Rebecca Horn and others). ↩︎
- Flautaum is a musical performance (1979, SKC Gallery) enacted within the Video − Video Performance I event, which included three segments: Minimal Music, Analytical Drawing and Performance Meeting, and in which, in addition to participants from Yugoslavia (Raša Todosijević, Neša Paripović, Miroslav Miša Savić, Miodrag Lazarov Pashu, Radomir Damnjanović Damnjan, Ivan Ladislav Galeta, Sanja Iveković, Dalibor Martinis and others) artists from Germany also contributed (Joseph Beuys, Wulf Herzogenrath, Ulrike Rosenbach, Rebecca Horn and others). ↩︎
- In the ŠKUC Gallery in Ljubljana (Slovenia), within the programme ‘Presenting the SKC from Belgrade’ (‘Predstavljanje SKC iz Beograda’), which took place during April 1981, Žarevac enacted the performance Flauta8 within the programme called Sound installations. Presenting the SKC from Belgrade included − projects: Milovan Marković, Veso Sovilj, Zvonimir Santrač, Nebojša Ružić, Vlasta Mikić, Milorad Vujašanin, Maja Tanić, Smilja Kudić, Mileta Prodanović; sound installations: Jelena Mišević (violinist), Dragana Jovanović, Zoran Belić Weiss; and other programmes ↩︎
- In 1986, within the event ‘10 + 5’ at the SKC Gallery Žarevac staged ‘Nodus vitae’ – a work that results from the research of language or inter-linguistic space, so that the performance starts from the visual figure, moves through the linguistic-narrative and acoustic to end in the space that structures the object which produces the sound. ↩︎
- Slađana Petrović Varagić, ‘Infinite Being’, in Expanded Presence − Embodied Archive, exh. cat., ed. by Miroslav Karić, Slađana Petrović Varagić (Belgrade: Museum of Contemporary Art, 2021), pp. 31–40 (p. 39). ↩︎
- VOĐENJE: Dragana Žarevac –Prošireno prisustvo – Otelovljeni arhiv, SEEcult.org, ed. by Miroljub Mima Marjanović, 8 July 2021, <https://www
.youtube.com/watch?v=43VSEtwtpuQ> [accessed 20 August 2021]. ↩︎
Slađana Petrović Varagić, independent curator and producer. She holds an MA in Art History from the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade (2001) and an MA in film and media, University of Belgrade, Faculty of Dramatic Arts Belgrade (Serbia). Since 2006, she has been a programme coordinator at the Independent Film Centre Filmart that has carried out several projects, such as Criticism on the Spot, Photo-documents, IVA.lab, among others. From 2002 to 2005 she was programme manager and custodian at the Art Gallery Pozega (Serbia); from 2005 to 2006 she worked as a curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina (Serbia); from 2009 to 2016 she ran the Cultural Centre Pozega as a manager and worked there as a custodian (2016–2017). She has curated numerous exhibitions and projects in the field of visual arts and film, produced more than ten video-art works and several fiction and documentary films. She is a member of AICA Serbia, NUNS (IJAS) and Art Rights Justice – EU working group.