Post-conceptual artist Mladen Stilinović was born in Belgrade in 1947 and spent most of his life in Zagreb. As a young man he left high school and opted for self-education. He was interested in history, theatre and the visual arts, and he wrote poetry. From 1969 to 1976, his primary field of interest was experimental film. He was a member of the Group of Six Authors (1975-1981) together with Vlado Martek, Boris Demur, Željko Jerman, Sven Stilinović and Fedor Vučemilović. He was one of the co-founders of the Podroom Gallery, and ran the Extended Media Gallery in Zagreb from 1981 to 1991. He cooperated with the IRWIN group on the Retroavangarde project in 1994.
Stilinović's artwork ˝Work is a Disease. Karl Marx˝ was censored by the Party in 1981. It was exhibited at the Youth Salon, and removed by Party. But he exhibited it again in the group exhibition in the SC Gallery three months later. “Work” aroused great interest among experts, and Stilinović described it as follows: ˝When I started making artworks about work, like ‘Work is Disease (Karl Marx)’ (1981), in Yugoslavia it was interpreted in two ways: the first was that it was an actual Karl Marx citation; the second interpretation argued that I signed it as Karl Marx, which was true. I was making fun. During the socialist regime, anything signed by Karl Marx was taken as an absolute truth. So I was being ironic˝ (link: http://www.flashartonline.com/article/mladen-stilnovic/).
Stilinović's artistic work includes collages, photographs, artist's books, paintings, installations, actions, films and video features. He continued the tradition of avant-garde art by advocating the social dimension of art. Consequently, he was critical of the artistic establishment of the 1970s and 1980s, and critically, cynically and ironically commented on social reality. His most renowned artistic cycle is the "Exploitation of the Dead", with other recognizable works such as "Money", "Death" and "Economy".
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- Belgrade, Serbia
Date of death
Authors of this page
- Bencetić, Lidija