Ideology of Design at the "Art Always Has Its Consequences"

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Within the project and the exhibition Art Always Has Its Consequences (8. May – 2. June, Zagreb), presents:

Ideology of Design: Fragments on History of Yugoslav Design with documentation about series of exhibitions of Yugoslav graphic design Kontakt and and the new production – conceptual intervention of Dutch art&design collective Metahaven (

Ideology of Design is dedicated to contextualization of theories and practices of Yugoslav design during the long history of this socialist country. Through a series of documentary video interviews, the protagonists of design theory and practice, architecture, urbanism and art history talk about design as an interdisciplinary field which includes achievements from culture, science, architecture, technology and artistic practice, and is as such a fertile soil for sociological and philosophical discussions on technology and market; on social and political-economical dynamics and the labor process. A special aspect of the project was set on discussions and practices that took place at the time of socialist Yugoslavia, which tried to define the role of design in a (non-)market socialist economy; its functionalism and its being conditioned by the market, or its social engagement, and the role of design in forming a new relationship of man with material objects. Developing progressive, critical and contradictory positions, design simultaneously represented a symbol of the post-war reconstruction of a country under the wing of industrialization and liberation of man from material privation, but as decades went by, it played more and more one of major roles in building a socialist market society.

Documentary video interviews are realized in conversation with some of the most important protagonists of the Yugoslav theory and practice of design and history and art criticism, and among them are Jerko Denegri and Branko Vučičević from Belgrade, Matko Meštrović and Fedor Kritovac from Zagreb, Stane Bernik from Ljubljana and Branislav Dobanovački from Novi Sad.

Ideology of Design has been curated and produced by New Media and its premiere presentation was in late 2009 in Novi Sad ( Besides video-interviews, this exhibition setup is enriched with: documentation about series of exhibitions of Yugoslav graphic design Kontakt which was first time held in 1971 in Belgrade and the new production – conceptual intervention of Dutch art&design collective Metahaven ( which in critical manner actualizes and questions this specific heritage.

Kontakt - Exhibition of Yugoslav graphic design 1971 -1978

An annual ‘overview’ of the most successful Yugoslav graphic design – Kontakt – was founded at the Gallery of the Graphic Collective in Belgrade in 1971. It was organised upon the initiative of Slobodan Mašić, a Belgrade designer (who also designed all of the posters-catalogues of this event during the seven years of its existence), who cooperated intensely with Radoslav Putar, art historian, critic and curator from Zagreb (he was the author of the introductory texts and the art/design works selector), and later on, he cooperated with Stane Bernik, a Slovenian art historian and the editor of Sinteza magazine for many years. Kontakt congregated the most important names of the artistic and design scenes in order to present the most successful design of posters, catalogues, books and magazines during the ‘70s (although a smaller series of this exhibition was established in the 1980s, too), thus accentuating an important Yugoslav cultural production of those decades. Kontakt insisted on the necessity of the exchange of experiences and communication between the protagonists in this discipline within the still-existing Yugoslav space, more often than not hinting what the new means (new communication technologies) and forms of contacts of the cultural protagonists in this space and wider. It also insisted on providing a review of the most recent production of graphic design from its centres of production (Belgrade, Zagreb and Ljubljana). This also included round tables and debates as fringe events around the exhibition while the involvement of the cultural and social dimensions of design was obligatory. Kontakt was the foundation for Grifon – Yugoslav competition for the best graphic design also in the Graphic Collective Gallery, first time held in 1996. This event, due to the increased demand for national identification, was soon renamed to the review of the contemporary graphic design in Serbia, Montenegro and Republic of Srpska.

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Jigsaw Puzzle, 122 x 170 cm

Designers: Vinca Kruk, Dimitri van Loenen, Daniel Melse, Daniel van der Velden

A game piece proposing a shift from ‘socialism’ to ‘sociability’. An advertising slogan (Geopolitics. Easy to play – Hard to win.) has been adapted from the ‘Mastermind’ game and printed onto this jigsaw puzzle combining the unassuming colors of political maps with the operational controls of online social networking.