Group of Six Artists

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In the late 1970s (1975-1981), the 'Group of Six Artists' (Boris Demur, Željko Jerman, Vlado Martek, Mladen Stilinović, Sven Stilinović and Fedor Vučemilović) began exhibiting in open air spaces in an attempt to circumvent the traps set by art institutions. The young artists displayed their work on sunbathing boards and on the grass between the bathers on the bank of the river Sava (in Zagreb), they projected slides and films on to buildings, exhibited on city squares, in the streets, in universities in Zagreb, on the sea shore of Moščenička Draga, in Belgrade, Venice and elsewhere. They called their shows “exhibition-actions” because, alongside some finished works, most of the work and actions were created on site and in response to the situation. They acted spontaneously, as a loose association of artists who expressed their ideas in works that often challenged the established ethic and aesthetic order and sought to subvert the society in which they lived. The Group’s exhibition-actions usually lasted a day and employed the guerilla tactics of constant harassment. These were permanent "mini" revolts, protests suffused with a critical spirit and imagination which was at once mocking and joyful. To change life, to change art, never to submit to the rules and demands of the system nor to the inherited traditions of art - this, in short, was the romantic aspiration of them all. Each of the artists looked for an area where he could act freely and push forward the limits of the possible. They each abandoned or broke with some form of practice. They were not interested in the work of art as a final product, they presented their ideas in expendable materials, with the stress on the working process. They were confidently provocative, drawing on the experience of Fluxus and Conceptual art. The emphasis of their work was on tautology as the heritage of Conceptualism, the analysis of the medium, and the self referentiality of the work. The work often referred to the status of both the artist and his work. The exhibition-actions involved communicating with the audience. What mattered was the event, the get-together.
Source: Branka Stipančić, "Some Aspects of Croatian Contemporary Art 1949-1999".

  • Maj 75, Zagreb, 1978-84 & 1990. Artists' magazine.