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8.4.2008 | Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin

Modernism and its discontents: The Croatian avant-garde of the 1950s

Lecture by What, How & For Whom (WHW)

"To those who will unreservedly enthuse over all our creations— we respond that we doubt the sincerity of their enthusiasm. To those who see these works as import, epigonism, or imitation— although they do not really deserve an answer—we respond that cultural goods belong to the whole of humanity. To those who are skeptically waiting for history to give its sound judgement, so they could give their own—we respond that fresh fruit is more wholesome than the conserved one. To those who claim that this painting is unsocialist, we respond by asking if they already possess the formula of socialist painting. To those who attentively follow every new attempt in the field of human progress and who will tell us their outlook on particular works—we respond by gratefully acknowledging their attention." (Excerpts from Exhibition Manifesto [Kristl, Picelj, Rašica, Srnec/members of EXAT51], Croatian Architects’ Association, Zagreb, 1953.)

In a lecture centering on the radical experiments and architectural pavilions of EXAT51, What How & for Whom discusses the vicissitudes of modernism in Croatia in the postwar period.

What, How & for Whom (Ivet Ćurlin, Ana Dević, Nataša Ilić, Sabina Sabolović) is a nonprofit organization for visual culture and a curatorial collective based in Zagreb. A new installation by David Maljković making reference to the work of EXAT51 is on display at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, as part of the 5th Berlin Biennale.