A still from Marina Abramović’s performance piece Rhythm 5 (1973–74) is the compelling and apposite cover image of art historian Marko Ilić’s A Slow Burning Fire: The Rise of the New Art Practice in Yugoslavia, a social history of the New Art Practice and related arts collectives that emerged from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s in the capitals of the federation. In the piece, described by Abramović as “the ritualization of the communist five-point star,” and first performed at the Students’ Cultural Center (Studentski Kulturni Centar, or SKC) in Belgrade in 1974, a large five-pointed star made out of wood and wood chips and soaked in petrol becomes a sacrificial frame.1 Abramović sets fire to the star, transforming the wood into a red-orange blaze that creates an illuminated version of the red star that adorned the center of the Yugoslav flag, added by the Partisans after World War...
Review: A Slow Burning Fire: The Rise of the New Art Practice in Yugoslavia, by Marko Ilić
Joscelyn Jurich is a writer and PhD candidate in communications at Columbia University, where her research focuses on cultural production in conflict and post-conflict contexts, including the former Yugoslavia. Her writing and research on photography and film has appeared in Afterimage, Journal of Visual Culture, Studies in Documentary Film, and Performing Human Rights: Contested Amnesia and Aesthetic Practices in the Global South, edited by Liliana Gómez (2021).
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Joscelyn Jurich; Review: A Slow Burning Fire: The Rise of the New Art Practice in Yugoslavia, by Marko Ilić. Afterimage 1 December 2021; 48 (4): 75–81. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/aft.2021.48.4.75
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