THIS IS ALL FILM! Experimental Film in Former Yugoslavia 1951-1991
22 December 2010 — 28 February 2011
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Participating artists: Ante Babaja, Žarko Batinović, Breda Beban and Hrvoje Horvatić, Luka Bezić, Mate Bogdanić, Krešimir Buljević, Ana Nuša Dragan, Srečo Dragan, Ivan Faktor, Petar Fradelić, Ivan Ladislav Galeta, Karpo Godina, Tomislav Gotovac, Ljubiša Grlić, Zlatko Hajder, Jovan Jovanović, Branko Karabatić, Željko Kipke, Tomislav Kobija, Vladimir Kristl, Dušan Makavejev, Davorin Marc, Ivan Martinac, Ivica Matić, Miodrag Milošević, Zdravko Mustać, OHO, OM Production, Mihovil Pansini, Neša Paripović, Živojin Pavlović, Vladimir Petek, Zoran Popović, Vasko Pregelj, Miloje Radaković, Kokan Rakonjac, Vinko Rozman, Franci Slak, Aleksandar Srnec, Aleksandar F. Stasenko, Mladen Stilinović, Lazar Stojanović, Milan Šamec, Slobodan Šijan, Ljubomir Šimunić, Dušan Tasić, Sava Trifković, Ante Verzotti, Lordan Zafranović, Edvard Zajec, Ira Zorko.



Curators: Bojana Piškur, Ana Janevski, Jurij Meden, Stevan Vuković

 

Experimental film is one of the most exciting forms of cinematic expression and, paradoxically, also one of the most ignored by the various (historical, theoretical, critical, economic, educational, etc.) discourses on the cinema. It has long been predominantly the domain of rather marginalized theory and practice, separated from the mainstream.

 

In all of the former Yugoslavia experimental film almost unfailingly derived from the tradition of the so-called amateur film, whose home ground consisted in the numerous cinema clubs (kino klub) that flourished in all major cities of the former federation. The line separating amateur film from experimental film is thus unclear not only due to the subjectivity of judgment, but also because the former term in its most widely accepted meaning refers to the production conditions, while the latter term designates the aspirations, procedures, and effects of a specific cinematic expression. Furthermore, the terms experimental film and its more or less synonymous avant-garde film never really took hold in our current or former countries; thus the Croatian (or more specifically the Zagreb) school tried to shape new theories and practices, such as "antifilm", while the Belgrade school struggled with the even looser term of "alternative film".

 

One short-term result of such interdisciplinary connections was a far richer and more diversified film production, while one of the long-term results may have been that this selfsame production made less of an impact historically as a whole. Publications dealing with the history of Slovenian film are few, and in them we search in vain for any mention of amateur or experimental film. The whereabouts of the few known archives (e.g. that of the ŠKUC Gallery, which in the 1970s and 1980s was one of the few venues in Ljubljana that sustained continuous promotion and production of experimental film) are unknown; and none of the present-day professional national archives is engaged in systematically maintaining extensive film oeuvres. Unlike the disastrous state of affairs in Slovenia (and slightly better one in Serbia), the avant-garde film in Croatia has been treated far better: there are monographs, historical overviews, numerous DVDs, even restored copies of film (thanks to the Croatian Film Clubs' Association); but above all, experimental film has been seamlessly integrated into the national film history as one of the principal sources of new ideas and film professionals.

 

The exhibition at the Moderna galerija will be the first comprehensive presentation of the phenomenon of experimental film in former Yugoslavia in a museum setting, linking it also with other art forms. The focus will be on the most prominent experimental filmmakers, developments and trends, festivals (GEFF, the Mala Pula, Belgrade Alternatives, Marčevska osmica in Novi Sad, Amateur Film Festival of Slovenia etc.), production associations (cinema clubs etc.), formal and informal networks, and on films "made with other means".