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Photo: Adam Sakovy
  • Photo: Adam Sakovy
In 1978, the Group of Six Artists started the magazine “Maj’75” (May’75). The magazine, named after the date of the group’s first exhibition-action, was yet another statement at direct communication with the public outside of the gallery. It should be noted that this self-organized activity was not a protest against galleries as in Western countries; rather it offered a constructive alternative to the inadequate gallery and publishing system in socialist countries that showed little or no interest in art based on concepts and analysis of the media.
From 1978 to 1984, seventeen issues of “May’75” were published, each issue coded by letters of the alphabet. The magazine was produced by assembling individual works. The artists made their own pages on A4 paper and then bound them together into a magazine format. In addition to the original six, over fifty artists from Ex-Yugoslavia, Germany, Ex-Czechoslovakia, and Italy amongst other countries were invited to contribute their work to the magazine.
The works including texts, concepts, projects, attitudes, ironical and political opinions, were executed in the simplest manner, either hand-written or offset printed, or as simple drawings, collages and photographs which lost almost nothing of their original quality when reproduced or multiplied. The magazine’s edition was between one hundred and fifty and two hundred. Pages were occasionally reproduced by screenprinting in the workshop of Željko Jerman and Vlasta Delimar. Most pages however, were hand-made. By repeating the same, simple and quickly executed work, the artist diminishes the significance of the original. Issues of “Maj’75” with their spontaneous use of available materials and technologies are obviously there to be used and handled, and although they are full of original works, there is nothing of a deluxe edition about them. “Maj’75”, financed by the artists themselves, was usually handed out for free during the exhibition-actions to other artists, friends, critics or passers-by. Later, when the Group of Six Artists no longer exhibited on the streets, distribution was usually managed through personal contacts and through mail. The magazine was never sold through bookstores or in galleries, not because its authors did not want this, but because it was impossible. Each private enterprise was met with countless obstacles in communist countries. “Maj’75” was thus completely unofficial. This had one advantage in that it avoided censorship, but also a drawback, in that the magazine remained little known outside a narrow circle.

B.S.
  • Artist: Group of Six Artists
  • Original Title: Maj '75 - Ex
  • English Title: May '75 - Ex
  • Year: 1990
  • Material: mixed media on paper, stapled
  • Dimensions: Original Size: each 29,5 x 21 cm (11 5/8 x 8 1/4 in.)
  • Inventory no.: K475
  • Category: magazine
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  • Photo: Adam Sakovy