The artistic selection of the author is comprised of landscapes from the collection of Josip Broz Tito – 45 paintings and 10 prints. These works illustrate the trends in Yugoslav art, but when viewed from another aspect, they are a reflection of ideology of the regime. They are not just innocent representations of nature and cities, but have a clear role in political propaganda, as images of new society and a historic confirmation of new Yugoslavia. Landscapes that methodically represented carefully selected moments from the early life of Josip Broz Tito, thus contributing to development of his cult, which was one of the legitimizing bases of the regime, are an inseparable part of the exhibition.
The time period in which the landscapes given to Josip Broz Tito were made spans eight decades of the 20th century: from ‘Spring’by Ivan Grohar from 1903, to the last works of Peđa Milosavljević and Vasilije Jordan. Besides artistic depictions of Tito’s home town, made by famous Yugoslav artists including Stojan Aralica, Josip Generalić and Vilim Svečnjak, the Belgrade exhibition will also include 11 models of houses in which Broz lived or stayed in different periods of his life. The models were made with great precision and dedication by amateurs – pioneers, pupils, college students and pensioners.
By exhibiting the following models – the birth house in Kumrovac, the house in Smederevska Palanka where Josip Broz lived for only a year, the house where military and political counselling of the management of National Liberation Movement of Yugoslavia was held, the chalet on Zlatibor where he stayed in 1941 with Supreme Committee – the author Ana Panić points to mythical practice and methods in which biographical elements from Tito’s life were selected through different media, thus creating the myth of Josip Broz.
An integral part of the exhibition is video work of art called Products of Our Country and Framing the Space, by Jasmina Cibic, a Slovenian artist, made in 2012 and 2013 within the project called For Our Economy and Culture at the 55th Biennale in Venice, which fits the new interpretation of landscape and presenting how figurative images convey not only what is presented on them, but many other messages as well, ideological in this case.
Framing the Space was shot at Vila Bled, the summer residence to Yugoslavia’s President Tito. In its past, the building underwent numerous redesigns concurrent with national cultural and political imperatives. In 1930s it served the King of Yugoslavia, then the Nazi Jugend during the war. Tito entrusted its post second world war re-design to his official state architect, who had the task of transforming the building into a new, modernist architecture, deemed fit to illustrate a new national formation.
Ana Panić, Museum of Yugoslav History in Belgrade
Jasmina Cibic: Framing the Space, 2013
Single channel HD video, sound, 10:45 min
Stills photography: Pete Moss
© Studio Jasmina Cibic
Courtesy of the artist and Škuc Gallery