The Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb



December 2011
3.12.2011 - 5.2.2011
Over the years our overloaded attics and basements become ‘’depots’’ filled with objects that you traditionally don’t find in museums. Finally they can be exhibited in the Museum of Contemporary Art. Even though you’re not a collector, you find it very difficult to give up all of these things because of their special personal meaning. Regardless whether you think these objects are not appreciated enough as valuable design items or they just possess pure sentimental value, we invite you to make them part of an alternative exhibition of socialist memories of the time between 1950 and 1974 at the Museum of Contemporary Art as a parallel to the ongoing exhibition Socialism and Modernity.
Your objects – for example, an old RIZ or ISKRA television set, INKER porcelain cups, Končar heaters, tin candy cans and others – will be registered, photographed and exhibited in the Museum lobby, thus making a personalized addition to the exhibition as a historical presentation of the life of that era. Upon completion of the exhibition, all the objects will be returned to the owners through our Intermediary. More about the action: and phone: +385 1 605 2735

Free, guided tours for group visits of workers
We cannot promise heaven to the working class, and it would probably be boring there, but we can promise an interesting exhibition: Socialism and Modernity. This exhibition will remind us how socialist society, despite being presented as having no social classes, was divided into the working class and the red bourgeoisie; how we once lived on credit and loans; how we travelled to the sea in cars without air conditioning; how we watched the San Remo festival and listened to Radio Luxembourg through gigantic RIZ radio receivers and many other things that today seem so distant and unreachable. Also, we’ll find out how we lived in this modern era of unstoppable progress, what it was like to be living the future here and now, moving on the assembly line of prosperity, in constant struggle for quicker, stronger and more beautiful… Is socialism a finished project and what have we learned from this era? Can we look at the past without nostalgia, critically and tolerantly?
Free, guided tours for workers groups from Croatian factories and companies are provided by the Eduaction team. Group reservations: and phone +385 1 605 2719

Wednesday, 7/12/2011/ 4 pm, exhibition space
FREE WEDNESDAY – Tvrtko Jakovina, PhD: Guided tour of the exhibition about a country that couldn’t go towards the West and didn’t want to go towards the East. Yugoslavia was the first country in the Non-Aligned Movement since 1961, and this movement became one of Yugoslavia’s main diplomatic tools in international relations. A strategy of ambitious reforms was chosen but it struggled with constant failures. Professor Tvrtko Jakovina from the History Department at the University of Humanities and Social Studies will give a lecture on how art mirrored politics through the Cold War problems on one side and struggling to create a specific socialist model on the other.

Thursday, 8/12/2011/ 4 pm, exhibition space
ACCESS – guided tour by Nada Beroš, head of the Educational Department, for the disabled, visually impaired and hard–of–hearing (with translation into sign language)

Friday, 9/12/2011/ 5 pm, exhibition space
Nada Beroš, head of the Educational Department, gives a guided tour for people over 60 years of age.

Friday, 9/12/2011/, 6 pm
EVERGREEN FILM CLUB: John Lennon - Nowhere Boy, Metropolis Cinema
The Museum of Contemporary Art continues with the Evergreen Film Club program in which every month we have a special offer for pensioners and disabled persons. For a ticket price of HRK 10 these groups get a guided tour of the current exhibition and a special projection of a movie in our Metropolis Cinema. This month we offer the movie John Lennon - Nowhere Boy and the exhibition Socialism and Modernity: Arts, Politics and Culture 1950 – 1974. What are the differences in the atmosphere of the ‘60’s in Great Britain and Yugoslavia? Did the working class in the West have it better than in the East? What does this have to do with the appearance of a young rebellious rock generation with John Lennon as the symbol? Learn this and more in the movie by Sam Taylor Wood - John Lennon: Nowhere Boy; Great Britain, 2009, 98 min. Starring: Aaron Johnson, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Anne – Marie Duff.
About the movie: Imagine John Lennon’s childhood…Liverpool 1955: a smart but problematic 15-year-old boy lives in a family with secrets. Two unbelievable women live in constant confrontation over John – his mother and his aunt who raised him. Craving for a normal family, John escapes the everyday life to the exciting world of rock ‘n’ roll where he meets Paul McCartney. Unfortunately, John is affected by tragedy as soon as he starts his exciting new life. This resistant young man nevertheless finds his way and becomes the symbol that we all know today.

Saturday, 10/12/2011/ 5 pm, exhibition space
Ljiljana Kolešnik, PhD: Modernization processes and their relation to art and popular culture development, guided tour from the co-author of the exhibition Socialism and Modernity

SUNDAY, 11/12/2011/ MSU DAY FROM 11 AM TILL 11 PM

Sunday, 11/12/2011/, 6 pm, in front of the Reading Room
PRESENTATION: Ante Radonić, head of the Technical Museum Planetarium in Zagreb
Ante Radonić discusses how two superpowers, the USSR and the USA, started their space race by building the first rockets – carriers that could launch artificial satellites in the Earth’s orbit. How did the USA accelerate its space program development to catch the USSR? What were the technical characteristics of the rockets that symbolized the rivalry between the USA and the USSR? What were their failures?

Sunday 11/12/2011/ 1 pm, exhibition space
Sandra Križić Roban, PhD: Guided tour of the exhibition Socialism and Modernity
Co-author of the exhibition and art historian Križić Roban will focus on the necessities of post-war restoration and the growing construction of buildings and development of industry, which provided a crucial role for the architects and city planners in the development of socialist modernism. Strategies mirroring the spirit of the age and the ideas of progress in the post-war era had a firm framework in the agricultural plans and scientific principles taken from the soviet ideology. In this guided tour we’ll learn how these processes developed in the ‘60s and ‘70s in Croatia.

Sunday 11/12/2011/ 5 pm, exhibition space
Dejan Kršić: Guided tour of the exhibition Socialism and Modernity
This guided tour by a graphic designer, publicist and co-author of the exhibition shall focus on the first phase of graphic design development in Yugoslavia–a time of powerful modernization processes of form and technology. Even though this period is largely identified with the domination of geometrical abstraction and the work of Ivan Picelj, the modernistic character of the time is best seen in its diversity.

Tuesday, 13/12/2011/ 4 pm – 6 pm
WORKSHOP: CHRISTMAS TREES IN THE PAST AND NOW/ Green Room, 2nd floor of the Permanent Display, age: 6 – 12
How did our mothers and grandmothers decorate Christmas trees? What did Christmas without Christmas look like during socialism? How much do the decorations differ from those we have today? Lack of today’s abundance of Christmas decorations inspired our parents during socialism to be creative and innovative in making Christmas tree decorations from everyday materials. Decorating the house was a family tradition of making individual and unique products. In this workshop we’ll try to make few of these ‘’retro’’ decorations for our present Christmas trees. Workshop author: Marijeta Karlović, art historian. We kindly ask you to register at: until 12.12.2011

Wednesday, 14/12/2011/ from 5 pm, exhibition space
For elderly visitors we organized a guided tour of the exhibition included in the ticket price for the concert of Anica Zubović in Gorgona Hall at 6 pm. Ticket price for persons over 60 years of age is HRK 20. For other visitors it is HRK 40.

Wednesday, 14/12/2011/, 6 pm, Gorgona Hall
Anica Zubović, one of the legends of the Yugoslavian music scene, is singing today accompanied on piano and by the young baritone Ronald Braus. In a conversation between songs, we’ll find out why Anica decided to become a festival singer after a classical education 60 years ago. How did Nikica Kalogjera persuade her to record his version of the song ‘’Somewhere in a Far World’’ for Radio Zagreb, which became a big hit in the ‘50s? After that Anica recorded a Croatian version of the Italian hit ‘’Like Poison Ivy’’ (from the San Remo Festival, 1958), which launched her to a number of then very popular music festivals. What is Anica doing today and how does she spend her retirement? We will find out in a conversation between her and her colleague and friend Ronald Braus, an interesting singer, vocal pedagogue and author of the musical project ‘’Opera b.b.’’, the first Zagreb travelling opera theatre.

Thursday, 15/12/2011/ 10 am, Mobile Museum, Children Clinic, KBC Rebro
The little MSU Eduaction Team, Petra Srbljinović and Petra Böhm, will visit children in the Children Clinic KBC Rebro with stories about toys as they once were. Through conversation with the children they will find out what the best toys we could think up would look like and try to help the children to draw, glue or shape them from different materials.

Saturday, December 17th 2011, from 4 pm to 6 pm
WORKSHOP: LITTLE TOY FACTORY / Extension, age: 6 to 12 years
Motivated by the exhibition Socialism and Modernity and by the exhibited toys produced by the toy factory Biserka, once an indispensable part of every child’s room, our workshop will become a little toy factory where we will produce simple elements out of cardboard packing that we will then paint and assemble in order to make toys such as vehicles, houses, bridges, radio and TV sets, beds, chairs…We believe that our imagination will be additionally stimulated by the exhibited newspaper covers and posters, furniture and many other details that formed part of the daily life in the mid 20th century.
Workshop supervisor: Ksenija Filipović
Registration at: / tel.: 01 605 27 00, no later than December 14th 2011


Every Tuesday, from 11 am to 1 pm, MSU café
Children of different ages are invited to join small workshops that are organized every Tuesday during January. We encourage children to go through parents’ wardrobes to look for old encyclopaedias, an inevitable part of every childhood in the pre-internet era, and bring them to MSU. We will organize quizzes and test the quality of answers and the time we need to find them using Google and Wikipedia on one side and the books 1000 zašto, 1000 zato (1000 Whys, 1000 Becauses ) and “Svijet oko nas” (The World Around Us) on the other side. Two teams will be formed and they will have to answer some 20 socio-historical questions related to socialism and modernity using written or electronic sources.
Workshop supervisors: Marijeta Karlović, Petra Böhm, Petra Srbljinović, Martina Vidas Butorac
Registration at:

Saturday, January 14th, 12 pm
Thematic walk through New Zagreb
Marijeta Karlović and Vladimir Tatomir: Preserved Zapruđe
A thematic walk through Zapruđe will help us discover unknown facts about that neighbourhood. Not many people know that originally, as conceived by Mayor Većeslav Holjevac, Zapruđe was planned on a much larger area than is now occupied by the two neighbourhoods Zapruđe and Središće. The initial purpose of a large sign with the inscription “Silver City”, now at the intersection of Avenue Dubrovnik and Avenue V. Holjevac, was to emphasize the aluminium lining of the buildings in Zapruđe as a climax of modernist architecture and the use of prefabricated building materials and technologies. Due to its state of preservation, Zapruđe offers an excellent example for the examination of the construction principle of the ‘60s, as well as insight into the functioning of the city institutions, city development during socialism and western influences.
Guides: Marijeta Karlović and Vladimir Tatomir, Muzej Kvarta

Meeting place: 12 pm Ivan Meštrović Square

Thursday, January 19th 2012, from 4 pm to 6 pm

Round table: “Why are we afraid of socialism?”

Participants: Darko Polšek, PhD, Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Zagreb; Srećko Horvat, publicist; Tvrtko Jakovina, PhD, Department of History, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Zagreb; Nevena Škrbić Alempijević, PhD, Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Zagreb
Despite the fact that during socialism Croatia witnessed progress, became a mid-developed industrial country with respectable universities, sports clubs, and developing cities and was for the first time in its history led by politicians of global importance, the discussion about that period of its history still suffers from de-contextualisation or a negative approach. Can we consider such an approach to be valid or are we still compensating for the injustice committed during socialist times – violation of freedom of speech, secret service surveillance, etc.? Is Croatia ashamed of itself? Though socialism in Croatia is still considered to be taboo, the mentioned structures are constantly underlined as targets of lustration procedures. How are other ex-socialist countries dealing with their socialist heritage? These and other topics will be discussed at the round table accompanying the exhibition Socialism and Modernity.

Saturday, January 21st 2012, from 4 pm to 6 pm

Workshop: How did the cover become art?
Off school, age: 8 to 13 years

Our workshop will motivate little “researchers” of socialist culture to explore covers of the women’s magazine Svijet (World) displayed at the exhibition Socialism and Modernity. We will discover their graphic design and compare them with today’s similar magazines with the final goal of creating a new version that will reflect the spirit of our times. We will combine, cut and glue together multicoloured paper shapes of different sizes and use pencils, markers and highlighters. Bring your favourite magazine and change its design with simple interventions.
Moreover, we will learn more about EXAT 51, a group of artists and architects who were active during the 1950s and supported the equality of fine and applied arts. They supported abstract art and applied it in the shaping of objects, magazine covers, interiors and exhibition set-ups. Aleksandar Srnec, one of the members, is certainly a name we must learn and remember.

Saturday, January 21st 2012
Free architectural consulting for the inhabitants of New Zagreb
MSU lobby, from 12 pm to 6 pm
Useful changes to the living environment
Emergency Architecture is a project by the NGO Archisquad with the aim of improving individual and collective living habits in New Zagreb as well as the space that they are sharing. The project consists of an open, free architectural advisory centre where local inhabitants can learn how to improve their constructed environments with a small budget. Visitors and locals are invited to participate and share their living experiences and needs. After the cases are presented, a team of experts will suggest exact solutions on how to improve our living environment with small interventions that are sometimes only emotional and do not require extra costs. Archisquad – Group for the Architecture of Conscience- was founded in Zagreb in 2006 by a group of young architects who deal with topics of socially aware architecture. Their projects include educational, artistic and architectural pro bono projects. They have received international awards. Among their recent projects is the scenic design for the play This Could Be My Street at ZKM dealing with the topic of youth violence and the consequences of its avoidance. The pilot project Emergency Architecture was successfully launched at the Gallery “Prozori” in spring 2011 and continued during the festival Vizura Aperta 2011 in Momjan. Its third stage is organized at MSU in cooperation with the local inhabitants of New Zagreb.
Emergency Architecture team: Ana Dana Beroš, architect; Vedran Družina, student of architecture; Mirna Horvat, architect; Luka Juras, designer; Hrvojka Kalogjera, architect

Participants are advised to bring materials (plans or sketches of their apartments, photos of their rooms or specific details) to facilitate the presentation of their needs and requests. Discussion with the team can continue via e-mail.
Registration at: / tel.: (01) 605 27 19

Thursday, January 26th 2012, at 5 pm
Conversations on architecture and town planning: Visions of the future
Participants: Vedran Ivanković, PhD, Faculty of Architecture, University of Zagreb; Lana Lovrenčić, Platforma 9,81, Zagreb
Moderator: Sandra Križić Roban, PhD

Taking two important examples of Modernism, Vukovarska Street and the Zagreb Fair, the conversations will evolve around the visions of the future offered by Croatian architects in the period from 1950s until 1970s.

1st topic: Vukovarska Street, a symbol of Croatian post-war urbanism, represents the nucleus of architectonic development that many saw as a socialist opposition to Le Corbusier and the “decadent West”. As political dogma dissolved during its construction, it acquired a specific form becoming a unique symbol of late Croatian modernism. Its progressive vision is characterised by relatively low buildings dominated by free, public spaces and large parks. In one of the versions, the building of the Croatian Parliament was planned in the central space, but the location turned out to be politically unacceptable and therefore the parliament was never built there. It reflects the destiny of the entire street that remained the only unfinished part of the vision of Croatian future.
Lecturer: Vedran Ivanković, PhD, Faculty of Architecture, University of Zagreb

2nd topic: Zagreb Fair on the right bank of the Sava River from 1955 to 1990
The Zagreb Fair on the right bank of the Sava River is most certainly one of the most important projects in Zagreb in the second half of the 20th century. The decision from 1953 to move the fair to a new location marked a change in the development of the city and the beginning of a great political and economic project for Zagreb and all of Yugoslavia. From the architectural and urban perspective, Zagreb was given a chance to build a new fair. Pavilions were designed by Croatian and foreign architects, while the urban matrix resulted from two contrary concepts, one by M. Haberle and the other by B. Rašica. The building of the Zagreb Fair provided an incentive necessary for the urban development of south Zagreb (the construction of the “Freedom” bridge provided the conditions necessary for the building of the residential area). The Zagreb Fair was the most prominent fair in Yugoslavia. After moving to the new location, the number of participants grew every year, so the fair ranked among the top five fairs in the world. That was precisely the reason why it became the place where the Non-Aligned Movement promoted its economic ambitions as well as its non-interference policy.
Lecturer: Lana Lovrenčić, Platforma 9,81, Zagreb

Saturday, January 28th 2012, from 6 pm to 8 pm
Participants: professor of sociology Biljana Kašić, PhD; art historian Sonja Briski Uzelac, PhD; Jagoda Kaloper, artist
Moderators: Liljana Kolešnik; PhD and Dean Duda, PhD
New social movements of the ‘60s presented an entire set of emancipatory initiatives that reached their global peak and were later transformed into the symbol of the decade in the student demonstrations of 1968 that, like elsewhere, broke out in Yugoslavian university centres. Collective, mass and non-institutional resistance was directed against existing social injustice. The protests became battlegrounds for social change. What were the results of art and political emancipatory practices in the period of socialist modernism? What is the relationship between socialism and new social movements at the time of intense anti-war and anti-nuclear campaign, at the time of protests against racism, feminist movements, the New Left, counterculture, sexual revolution, Woodstock, Yugoslav Black Wave and the magazine Praxis?


Wednesday, February 1st 2012, at 5 pm
Dean Duda: guided tour of the exhibition Socialism and Modernity
In his guided tour, Dean Duda, co-author of the exhibition, will focus on the relationship between socialism and popular culture and the manifestation of the notion of modernity in everyday life during socialism.

Saturday, February 4th 2012, at 12 pm
Workshop Emergency Architecture – presentation of the results
Off school, from 12 pm to 2 pm
The results of the workshop Emergency Architecture led by Archisquad will be presented to the audience. After having worked with the inhabitants of New Zagreb with the aim of improving their individual and collective living habits, the team will present exact solutions and offer advice on improving their built environments with minor interventions.

Project manager: Nada Beroš, senior curator
Collaborators: Petra Böhm, Marijeta Karlović, Petra Srbljinović, Ksenija Filipović
Additional information on educational programs:

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