Enjoying the Fruits of Yugoslavia’s Third Way



The exhibition ‘Enjoying the Fruits of Yugoslavia’s Third Way’, curated by Michael Zinganel is currently on view at the Galerie Gebhart Blazek in Graz, Austria. The exhibition showcases both the heritage of Yugoslavian mass tourism and its architecture and invites contemporary Croatian artists to reflect on the topic.

Enjoying the Fruits of Yugoslavia’s Third Way

Tracing for Clues in Hotels and Ruins of Late Modernity

Opening of the Exhibition: Wednesday, March 2nd 2016, 7 p.m.
Galerie Gebhart Blazek. Berber-Arts
Leonhardstrasse 12, 8010 Graz / Austria
Duration of the exhibition: March 4 to April 8 2016
Open from Tuesday to Friday 11 a.m. to 6.30 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Modern art, interior design and furniture played a crucial role in the development of the new ambitious hotels and resorts built during the 1960s and 70s at the Yugoslavian Adriatic coast. Tourism had been considered as a tool for the modernisation of the Yugoslav society and the hotels had been intended to be also show-cases and stages to display the success of the Third Way to both domestic an foreign guests.

Holidays by Austrian citizens to then socialist Yugoslavia – mostly to the Croatian Adriatic coast – therefore represented not only a trip into a deviant political system but also an aesthetic experience of Modernity, that significantly differed from the rustic Austrian tourism landscape.

What then had been restricted to elitist avant-garde art exhibitions in Austria (e.g. the Trigon series in Graz starting in 1963), was implemented into buildings for mass tourism and consumption also addressing the working and middle class. This is why the current exhibition in Graz is shown in the “showcase” of a commercial gallery in the midst of the City’s public space.

Hotel interiors bygone by innovation, demolition and plunder, will be shown by paper walls based on old photographs, with reproductions of painting and enamels by Edo Murtić, sculptures by Dušan Džamonja, tapestry by Jagoda Buić, designs for interior and furniture by Bernardo Bernardi, Zdravko Bregovac, and Igor Emili. Furthermore presented are original objects recently found in hotels of the 1960s and 70s that would be highly desired collector items in many other nations, sold in vintage-design shops. These historical artefacts will be juxtaposed by a few works of contemporary artists dealing with the legacy of Socialist Modernisation in Tourism in Croatia, e.g. video- und photo works by Daniele Ansidei, Ryan S. Jeffery, and Slaven Tolj.

Curator: Michael Zinganel