Neša Paripović

Neša Paripović began engaging in his artistic practice as part of a group of artists who came together around the Student Cultural Center (SCC) in Belgrade, which was founded in 1971. The SCC was one of the key institutions from which Serbia’s new artistic practice emerged as a result of post-1968 developments. The Center facilitated debate and discussions among artists whose friendship influenced their common activities and who came to form the nucleus of conceptual art in Serbia. In addition to Paripović, this loose group of six artists included Marina Abramović, Era Milivojević, Zoran Popović, Raša Todosijević, and Gergelij Urkom. Each of them pursued their own artistic careers, and this group’s gatherings were informal yet essential in defining a rupture with traditional notions of art via radical emancipation from its formal confinements. Within this context, Paripović developed a meta-visual language about the nature of art and the status of the artist, a language that has manifested itself in photographs, posters, language works, films, and videos since the beginning of the 1970s.

            The fact that the actual number of artworks realized by Paripović is rather limited can be attributed to the fact that the artist started off in a post-object phase, relegating the physical necessities of an artwork to the past—something Dejan Sretenović explains on the grounds that Paripović “still searched for a project appropriate to his artistic endeavor.” 1 Bojana Pejić, on the other hand, characterizes Paripović’s oeuvre as “asceticism, which, even though it sounds paradoxical, is based on hedonism.” 2 The inclusion of everyday life in the field of art entailed “dissolving the boundaries of qualitative differentiation between productive work and leisure, between spontaneous and symbolic forms of behavior, between mental and manual activities.” 3 Gauging the possibilities of how to operate within a certain social milieu moved Paripović to analyze the physicality of bodies and space, which produced results such as his seminal video work N.P.1977. The artist’s initials in the title signify a focus on his own persona—performing in front of lens-based media, but never “live” or vis-à-vis a specific audience. It is thus that notions of art’s ephemeral qualities become apparent in Paripović’s work, which has always relied on structuralism rather than on objectification.       




1 Sretenović, Dejan. Neša Paripović. Postajanje umetnošću. Radovi 1970–2005 / Becoming Art. Works 1970–2005. Belgrade: Museum of Contemporary Art, 2006, p. 79.

2 Cf. Pejić, Bojana. “Aktuelno: oldtamjeri [Of Topical Interest: Oldtimers],” in Moment, no. 15, Gornji Milanovac, 1989, p. 46.

3 Sretenović, p. 80.


1942, Beograd / RS, at that time Jugoslavija

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Courtesy Branka Stipančić, photo Mladen Stilinović
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