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After YugoslaviaThe Cultural Spaces of a Vanished Land$
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Radmila Gorup

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804784023

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804784023.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

Zenit Rising

Zenit Rising

Return to a Balkan Avant-Garde

(p.135) 8 Zenit Rising
After Yugoslavia

Marijeta Božovicć

Stanford University Press

The interwar Zagreb journal Zenit (1921–1926) staged experiments with word and image, and included texts in two alphabets and in at least five languages. The small but ambitious group of artists and writers associated with the journal strove to evolve a radical, collective, and ephemeral new form of art. This early Balkan avant-garde sought to turn its double marginalization into an advantage. The essay argues that this deeply self-conscious avant-garde evolved radical notions of “marginal art,” anticipating debates in the Frankfurt school and ongoing today. The ideas of Zenit move beyond the historical avant-garde. This chapter raises broader questions about art practice and the cultural heritage of the twentieth century. The Balkan avant-garde offers an antithesis to the monuments of high modernism. Despite the evident differences, a profound continuity exists with other ongoing cultural debates about marginalization and competition with dominant cultures.

Keywords:   the Balkan avant-gardes, “marginal art”, Zenit, post-Yugoslav avant-gardes, historical heritage, Balkanizing Europe, high modernism

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