The publication continues to be issued to this day.
The abstract drawing by Elmar Kits is dated 1954. Kits only showed his abstract work publicly in 1966, when he held a solo exhibition at Tartu Art House. Along with other exhibitions the same year, this exhibition is considered to be one of the most remarkable events in Estonian art history, and ‘the manifestation of modern art and the top event in the 1960s’. The solo exhibition of work by Kits led to a turn in Estonian art life: abstract art, which was criticised before, became more accepted.
Nevertheless, this abstract drawing in the collection of Indrek Hirv is not well known, and it therefore remains unacknowledged. Kits drew it casually as a gift for his friend Louis Pavel, Hirv’s father, during a drinking party in 1954. It is drawn in brown pencil, and the shape of a bottle is recognisable in the picture. The words tänane õhtu. ukrainskii (tonight. ukrainskii) are also written on the drawing, and the date 3 February 1954.
Indrek Hirv considers this work to be a masterpiece in his collection in the context of cultural opposition, because it contrasted clearly with the prevailing Socialist Realism, and anticipated the exhibition that took place over ten years later, and the art reforms in the 1960s in general.
He has also offered this drawing to exhibitions, but it has nevertheless not so far been seen by a wider audience.
Era Milivojević first carried out the work ‘Taping the Slave’ in 1969, followed by ‘Taping the Mirror’, while his first performance, ‘Taping the Artist’, was staged at the exhibition in 1971. In the words of the artist, a performance is created by including the person in the work itself. This is a photograph of the performance enacted in the Student Cultural Centre in Belgrade. The photograph records the creation of a living sculpture produced by the artist himself, Era Milivojević, in collaboration with another artist, Marina Abramović – the taped artist.
The work was incorporated into the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art in 2007 thanks to funding provided by the City Assembly of Belgrade.
The three artists’ main concept was to problematize the characteristics of avantgarde art by raising the question in the title of their work What is Avantgardism? Can it be considered an avantgarde act that Miklós Erdély, György Jovánovics and János Major exhibited a coat? As they state in the text accompanying János Major’s coat (exhibited on June 24–July 7 1973, together with other artworks by Miklós Erdély, György Jovánovics, János Major), their aim was to liberate the avantgarde from its charges, as it indicated prohibitions from the beginning of its history. The coat considered as a symbol of the bureaucrat referred to the state officials, the only people who came to the Chapel in a coat. Questioning if exhibiting the coat is an avantgarde act is at the same time a concept artwork, as the coat can be considered both a readymade object and the illustration of the idea of the act of exhibiting that. Tamás Szentjóby reconstructed and exhibited the coat in 1995 at the Víziváros Gallery as his own artwork, thereby appropriating the work from his partner contributors and contextualizing the meaning of avantgarde on a new level.
(Miklós Erdély: Newspaper Cake, 3×4, Artpool, Budapest, 1993)The first realization of Miklós Erdély’s idea of the Newspaper Cake was made by Gábor Altorjay in 1967. The version in the Artpool’s collection was done on the occasion of the exhibition 3×4 in 1993 by the organizers following the original concept. Regarding Erdély’s idea in the 1960s, the “cake” is constructed of round newspaper cut-outs glued to one another and sliced up as a cake. Tamás Szentjóby referred to the cake as a dish that is “eaten by everybody every day,” interpreted as a metaphor, for “stuffing” society with information.