Newsreel 62

Performing the Museum
KGLU, Museum of Contemporary art, Slovenj Gradec, curator Andreja Hribernik, 2015

Spatial video installation
Video( Newsreel 62, color, 13'), documentation, wallpaper, framed text (each 20cm/30cm)

In 1966, with the help of youth work brigades, the lottery, the support of the wider local community, and the now bankrupt construction giant Vegrad, 2,000 m2 of new exhibition premises were built in mere 50 days in Slovenj Gradec. The gala opening that followed was sponsored by the UN, one of whose founding members was also the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia. The round 20 years after the end of WWII and 20 years after the adoption of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights set the context of the exhibition entitled Peace, Humanity and Friendship Among Nations. It looked to the past and considered a better tomorrow. For eight months, it united artists from the West, Yugoslavia and the “Third World”.
Majority of the works that the artists donated or sold to the new collection have been preserved to this day. Via the Yugoslav Embassy in Damascus, two works arrived at the exhibition, but are now lost. Their prices: 15 and 25 dollars. Titles: Family and Worker. What were these images? What images can we imagine today, when, almost half a century after the exhibition, Yugoslavia has been wiped off the map and Syria is in the process of being wiped off as well?
How telling: the first award went to a Swedish artist for his work entitled War, which not only reflected the past, but also pointed to the unthinkable threat of the future. Also this work was lost in the collection.
Istallation show also tracing those works. The winning work War was found in one of the art auction. It was bought for 77 dollars and donated back to the collection, while The Syrian art works remained traceless. Instead empty frames on the wallpaer, representing refugees are installed.
The video Newsreel 62 juxtaposes these seemingly unrelated temporal fragments of the past and the present. It is an attempt at collaging unconnected and insignificant images and words in order to create a new experience in a world that is increasingly more similar to a “worldlessness” and to find a more “suitable” image.

Used material and documentation:
- Ervin Kralj, Dokumentarni posnetki gradnje KGLU, super 8, 1966.
- Arhiv RTV Slovenija, Mir, humanost in prijateljstvo, 24. 10. 1967.
- Arhiv Koroške galerije likovne umetnosti.
- Uroš Abram, Nočna straža, 2015.