“Nika Autor: The News Is Ours!” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova

“Nika Autor: The News Is Ours!” is an exhibition currently being held at the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova in Ljubljana, Slovenia, until 26 April 2015. The exhibition presents videos, photos and notes which look at the social and political situation of former Yugoslavia. Its title comes from the 1971 American newsreel Finally Got the News and the 1936 French newsreel La vie est a nous; the first of which is about the League of Revolutionary Black Workers in the Detroit automobile industry, and the second a political propaganda film commissioned by the French Communist Party. “The News Is Ours!” is the continuation of the eponymous exhibition presented at Paris’ Jeu de Paume in 2014 at the invitation of curator Nataša Petrešin–Bachelez; the exhibition in Ljubljana is to present two new works, For Slava and Falsches Bild, as well as recently-uncovered documentary materials and videos which explore the history and economic dynamics of the...

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Marina Abramovic’s autobiographical performance in NYC

New York, 11 December 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). The Park Avenue Armory in New York is presenting a performance by Marina Abramovic entitled The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic, directed by Robert Wilson, until 21 December 2013. The exceptional three-hour long production portrays Marina Abramovic’s life, from her childhood in Serbia to her work as a performance artist. The show is performed by Willem Dafoe, Antony Hegarty (of band Antony & The Johnsons), and the artist herself. Abramovic plays the role of herself and that of her mother, who was the director of the Museum of the Revolution and Art in Belgrade in the 1960s, and purchased artworks for public institutions in the former communist state of Yugoslavia. She was a woman who was renowned for her authority and rare displays of affection, and Abramovic has said of her: “I learned my self-discipline from [my mother] and I was always afraid of...

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Heirs of Ambroise Vollard demanding 429 paintings to Serbia

Paris, 20 April 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA). The descendants of Ambroise Vollard (1866-1939), a Parisian art dealer who actively supported avant-garde artists (Cézanne, Picasso, Matisse, etc.) and discovered Van Gogh, officially registered a complaint against Serbia. According to the complaint registered by the descendants’ lawyers and detailed by the Reuters agency, the National Museum of Belgrade has 429 ill-gotten works, seized by the Yugoslavian Government in 1949. These works had been entrusted by Vollard, before he died in a car crash in 1939, to a friend in Belgrade called Erih Slomovic. Being Jewish, he was sent to a concentration camp and died there in 1943. Still according to the complaint, the Serbian government then seized the works. These proceedings are based on court judgments pronounced in France in 1996 and in favour of Vollard’s descendants. These court judgments are about the 190 paintings left in Paris by Slomovic. According to François Honnorat, the French lawyer summoned by Reuters, these works’ situation has been known for decades; no museum or curator owning them could be ignorant of it. Ambroise Vollard, born in Saint-Denis-de-la-Réunion in 1866, was a recognized art dealer, notably portrayed by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. He commissioned the Suite Vollard, a series of a hundred of Pablo Picasso’s most famous engravings. Picasso had not finished it when Vollard died and so gave his name to the series. About fifty pastels by Edgar Degas, lithographs by Paul Cézanne and Mary Cassat, and works by Renoir and impressionist painters are among the 429 works concerned by the...

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