Rasa Todosijevic (born in 1945) was the ﬁrst to criticize the dominant aesthetics and cultural ideology of Sober Modernism in Serbia after 1971. Leaving behind painting as a form of expression,he started to lead the open and unstable life of an artist-nomad.His works existed in the spaces between traditional realms of art.He made neo-Dadaist use of objects (ready-mades), did performance art,environmental works,sculpture,photography,and ab- stract analytical as well as ﬁgurative painting,and wrote theoretical treatises, reviews, and other kinds of prose. For him, every product, mode of expression, and representation or behavior allowed for very different interpretations.
The performances that Todosijevic realized in his ﬁrst period, from 1971 to 1973, were under the inﬂuence of American neo-Dadaism and its subversive use of objects and the human body. After 1973, he created a se- ries of performances,Decision as Art(1973),Drinking Water(1974),and Art and Memory (1975),in which he established relations between the primary powers of his own body (he drank water until he began to vomit,and explored the boundaries of memory) and the powers of discourse (of slogans and statements that frame the social,cultural,and artistic identity of an artist).
With the series of wall drawings One Line in an Empty House, 20,000 Lines in a Gallery, and 200,000 Lines for the Paris Biennial (1977),he questioned the relation between a work of art and the institution in which it is exhibited.
In the 1980s and early 1990s, Todosijevic proceeded in three directions,in all of them deconstructing the refurbished pillars of contemporary Serbian culture.
Works of Rasa Todosijevic simulated the extant spiritual,intellectual,social,and political confusion,the chaos and entropy.It is Todosijevic’s intention that his works cause surprise and confusion.And,really,although the viewer at ﬁrst simply looks and reads,the continuous gaze then reveals paradoxical and disconnected levels of signiﬁcation:a Serbian nationalist slogan and the German (Gothic) inscription, a Jewish religious symbol and a German Gothic inscription with a message that is actually a Serbian nationalist slogan (only, of course, if it is not in German), and an arbitrary connec- tion between the political slogan,speciﬁc national or religious symbols,and objects from everyday life (plates,a can,chairs,etc). In this manner,Todosijevic relates conﬂicting objects and narratives, suggesting the arbitrary dramas of what could perhaps be called a “neo- postsocialist,” eclectic,and posthistorical populist society.
text : Postmodernism and the Post-Socialist Condition- Politicized Art Under Late Socialism
Ahmanson Murphy Fine Arts Book, editet by Ales Erjavec ,with foreword by Martin Jay
and contribution by Boris Groys,Misko Suvakovic,Peter Gyorgy,Gerardo Mosquera, Gao Minglu