EXPLOITATION OF THE DEAD

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Exploitation of the Dead (1984 -1990), installation view at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, 2012

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Exploitation of the Dead (1984 -1990), installation view at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, 2012

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Exploitation of the Dead (1984 -1990), installation view at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, 2012 

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Exploitation of the Dead (1984 -1990), installation view at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, 2012

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Exploitation of the Dead (1984 -1990), installation view at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, 2012

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Exploitation of the Dead (1984 -1990), installation view at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, 2012

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984-1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984-1990

EXPLOITATION OF THE DEAD 

Mladen Stilinović: The Exploitation of the Dead refers to several things: first, to the exploitation of dead poetics of painting – Suprematism, Socialist Realism and geometric abstraction. Secondly, to the exploitation of dead signs; for me these signs are dead because they have lost their meaning, or the meaning is so transparent that it is in fact dead. For other people, of course, these signs are not dead. Thirdly, signs of cross and star  initially represented man, and were later used by religion and ideology for their purposes; today, and this is a personal interpretation, they have become signs in cemeteries, not dead signs but signs of the death. This could also be said for colors red and black. Another thing: the exploitation of the dead also concerns a practice present in religion and ideology, as well as in some of the art in the 1980s, and that is the exploitation of dead religions, ideologies and poetics in a way that is irresponsible, aggressive and boring. I am simply following this practice in some of these works (in some not). I invent nothing but merely copy. Of course, when religion, ideology or art want to “resuscitate” a dead religion, ideology or art, the term exploitation of the dead is never used, but rather revival, tradition, nostalgia, craftsmanship…

It is, of course, all true, but if the dead are to be exploited, we must be aware that it is a brutal act and the dead are dead indeed; also, this act concerns the one who exploits the dead. There is no art without consequences.

Mladen Stilinovic talked to Darko Šimičić, 1987. First published in the catalogue of the exhibition Exploitation of the Dead, Gallery of Expanded Media (PM Gallery), Zagreb, 1988

(Translated by Maja Šoljan)

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984-1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984-1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984-1990        

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984-1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984-1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984-1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984-1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984-1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984-1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984-1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984-1990

 

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984-1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984-1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984-1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984-1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984-1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984-1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984-1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984-1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984-1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984-1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984-1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984-1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984-1990

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Exploitation of the Dead, 1984-1990, installation view at Documenta 12, Kassel, 2007

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead/Colors of Dead, 1984 -1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead/Colors of Dead, 1984 -1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead/Colors of Dead, 1984 -1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead/Colors of Dead, 1984 -1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead/Colors of Dead, 1984 -1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead/Colors of Dead, 1984 -1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead/Colors of Dead, 1984 -1990

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Exploitation of the Dead,1984 -1990, installation view at Gallery PM, Zagreb, 1988

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Exploitation of the Dead in workers’ canteen as a one day project for TV film , Zagreb, 1989

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead/Dead Optimism, 1984-1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead/Dead Optimism, 1984-1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead/Dead Optimism, 1984 -1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984 -1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984 -1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984 -1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984 -1990

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From the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984 -1990

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Exploitation of the Dead, 1984-1990

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