Yugoslav avant-gardes and metropolitan Dada (1916-1927): Multidirectional and Transnational Genealogy
Slovenian Research Agency
Project type: postdoctoral project Z6-1882
Project title: Yugoslav Avant-Gardes and Metropolitan Dada (1916-1927): Multidirectional and Transnational Genealogy
Annual workload: 0,91 FTE
Project duration: 24 months
Start date: 1 July 2019
End date: 30 June 2021
The European artistic avant-gardes that emerged after World War I (1914-1918) strongly influenced the perception of the role of art in today’s society. This project recognizes the importance of avant-garde heritage in contemporary times and highlights the insufficiently researched history of European avant-gardes, particularly the lack of theoretical reflection on the South Slavic avant-gardes of the former Yugoslavia (Ljubljana-Zagreb-Belgrade, 1921-1927) and their productive interactions with historically parallel “metropolitan” Western European movements. It particularly focuses on the already expressed but insufficiently researched dialogue of Yugoslav avant-gardes with the Swiss and French phases of Dadaism (Zurich-Paris, 1916-1920, 1919-1922). The project will take advantage of the recent increase in the volume of digitized archival sources available in open access, which provides an opportunity for a new insight into the history of the paths, influences, and development of modernism and avant-garde art in Europe. The research will focus on questions of national and transnational politics and culture, striving to reveal the subjectivization processes that these radical movements sought to establish and the methods they used.
The project will examine the politics and poetics of Yugoslav avant-gardes by mapping, categorizing, and analyzing their most innovative and experimental forms of literary and visual narratives, using the Swiss and French periods of the Dadaist movement as an important reference point. The literary-theoretical research in the field of semiotics and imagology of avant-garde magazines (e.g., Zenit, Tank, Dada) will obtain material for study from digital and physical archives accessible in Belgrade, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Zurich, and Paris. The establishment of conceptual designs and mapping of these artistic manifestations and their interactions will contribute to the integration of the history of South Slavic historical avant-gardes into the main currents of European avant-gardes and the local tradition of former Yugoslav states.