In honour of our lost Victory Day celebration. Commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Sétif, Guelma, and Kherrata massacres (instant Huda Jama squared). Part of the The Gallery as a Medium
Programme organized by the Boća Cult followers. Direct artistic online assembly on Friday, 8 May announced by the GalerijaGallery from Slovenia and TV Krpelj from Vojvodina. The versatile exhibitionist, Anti-Sisyphus, and amateur actor Bogdan Milošev – Boća has been revealed to be a secret weapon in the fight against stereotypes.
You might try and imagine the following mental iconic scene of the Vršac underground: great-grandad Boća teaching his two grown up sons, Wostok and Zlikovac, how to masturbate. All the while, Nataša, an orderly at the mental asylum and Boća’s former daughter-in-law, insists his husband’s “projects” are little more than a sham: “There’s no such thing as the Vršac underground scene! You made that up, pulled it out of a hat! […] Sure, there were a couple of movies shot on location here, there were people drawing and making music too, but… you basically allowed a bunch of layabouts and crazy people to spout gibberish in front of TV cameras, scrape and torture instruments, and scratch paper, all the while barking your idiotic orders at them! […] If it were up to me, you’d all have been sent to the salt mines, at least then you might have done something useful for a change!”
Start of the live assembly: Saturday, 9 May 2020 at 7.45 pm www.galerijagallery.com
2. Kiss me right in the ass!
The story of a senior citizen who became a punk. A documentary about a former vet and expert on microbiology who in his golden years became a porn cartoonist, the frontman of an underground band, a poet, and the star of cheap movies.
Boća ended one of his best performances with the following one-liner: “If I didn’t exist, somebody would damn well have had to jack me off into existence!” And not just him – the same goes for his fellow microbiologist, the local vet Debes Christiansen, who converted his lab, which primary focused on testing salmon for viral infections, to one equipped to test people. It was his work that stopped the spread of COVID-19 on the Faroe Islands.
3. Requiem for the Chief of the Barbarians
Dedicated to Bogdan Milošev – Boća
Live broadcast from his house in Vršac, Vojvodina. Performance of a new musical work by DJ Zlikovac and a performance by the Tehno Muda group.
A few updated Liberation Front mottoes: Let's cast out cultural imperialism from our doorstep! Expropriate the powers that be! For solidarity and unity in the Yugosphere! Beneath the paving stones – the beach! We who call the Balkans home cry anti-culture, anti-Europe, huzzaaaah, we are the comrades of all barbarian poets living on every continent on Earth!
4. The Penultimate Treat (Bonus)
Genius loci, the guardian spirit of a place
We continue the acclimation to our spiritual séance in Boća's Vršac, a medium sized town a mere 90-minute north-easterly drive from Belgrade. The place records the strongest winds in the country, locally known as košava. They appear over Vojvodina when there is an anticyclone over Ukraine and Romania and a low-pressure system over the Mediterranean. The squally wind is a bit like the bora and no matter where you start from, you always get the impression that Vršac lies somewhere in a far and distant land. The place is a historical and cultural melting pot of Slavic, Germanic, Romanic and Hungarian influences. Then there are those who say it reminds them of a kind of Serbian Twin Peaks.
Just a stone's throw away from Vršac, jutting out of what was once the ancient Pannonian Sea, lies the Gudurica Peak, the tallest "summit" in Vojvodina. Rising 641 meters above sea level, it is as high as Rašica, the favourite hiking destination of many Ljubljana locals, is low. But when you live in a low-lying plain, even that's a sight to see and children on school trips come from every part of this autonomous region to climb it.
Both 641 meter hills have an observation tower at the top. The villages of Rašica and Gudurica are separated by 550 km, as the crow flies. Rašica was the first Slovenian village during World War II to be burnt down by the Germans (in 1941) as retaliation for the six soldiers killed by resistance fighters. The villagers were cast out. In 1946, following the end of the war, the German ghost town of Gudurica in Vojvodina, which gives its name to the Gudurica Peak, became home to 161 Slovenian families, giving the place 721 inhabitants. The Slovenian colonists named the streets of what was then the largest Slovenian village in Serbia after national poets and writers, something we still see today: Prešeren Street, Župančič Street, and Cankar Street.
The town of Vršac has one more "natural marvel". Two hundred meters from Boća Milošev's family home (where this year's annual celebrations to mark the Slovenian Day of Uprising Against Occupation will take place), we find the Doctor Slavoljub Bakalović Specialist Hospital for Psychiatric Disorders, one of the three largest institutions of its kind in the country. Factories are built near where you find raw materials, I guess it's the same with lunatic asylums. As a matter of fact, an alternative story about how the town was founded revolves around this place. It all started with a gigantic loony bin. One by one, the cured and discharged patients built houses, started families, and slowly, the town began to take shape. The inhabitants are no longer seen just in the hospital wards, but also freely wandering the marketplaces, parks, and streets.
In his song “1999” (written in 1982), Prince presciently asks ”Mommy, why does everybody have a bomb?” Our erstwhile compatriots in a part of the former Yugoslavia, decided to call it quits, spat on the corrupt system, and grabbed for their cocks. The virus of barbarism and counterculture spread in a climate of unending emergencies – the third longest period of hyperinflation in world history, the nearby text-book examples of ethnic cleansing, the growing black market for everything from cigarettes to heavy artillery, juvenile prostitution, pyramid schemes posing as banks, an influx of heroin, and hunting for food scraps in the trash.
The first prize awarded to Boća’s five-year-old granddaughter, Lola, for the entry she submitted to an anti-Nazi drawing competition organized by comics magazine Stripburger only serves to confirm this sad state of affairs. Back in (the actual) 1999, when the last vestiges of the former federation were finally snuffed out by NATO’s bombs, the Tehno Muda group announced its existence to the world in Boća’s distinct voice, not unlike the one used by Josip Broz Tito in his commanding speeches. No sooner was one evil extinguished from the earth, an altogether different one reared its head.
As the country started to disintegrate, a few individuals began cobbling together and joining various organically created movements. They started making and printing fanzines, had comic-book-drawing “jam sessions”, and discovered a whole new medium – the comic book film! Their sense for the zany invited the collaboration of perverts, recovering alcoholics, children, bat meat connoisseurs, and accidental bystanders.
Artists need to unearth authentic human (and other) beings and record their tempestuous existence to the fullest extent possible. They need to perceive the wonderful world of side effects, which give rise to antiaesthetics and constructive amateurism. The Western art world should take note.
Beyond the emergency situation
Dear taxpayers and other visitors! As soon as we're once again able to see each other in the flesh, you are all cordially invited to the sixth floor of the former Ljubljana-Šiška municipal building, to what was once the administrative office for assessing compensation for the use of building land (CUBS) and is now one of the smallest gallery spaces in Slovenia and home to GalerijaGallery for the past four years. We will continue with the project dedicated to Bogdan Milošev – Boća where we left off, but this time as an exhibition at GalerijaGallery. The exhibition is scheduled to open in the presence of the artists from Vojvodina and a healthy dose of brandy, just as soon as the current restrictions on travel are lifted. You will also be able to see several attractions in one: a) a mini retrospective, b) the first posthumous project of a GalerijaGallery artist, c) a group exhibition (of the various artefacts created by Boća in the collective spirit), d) a comprehensive presentation of the Vršac underground scene, as well as e) the demystification of the contradictions inherent in its construction.
Not unlike the members of the former OBERIU collective, the last avant-garde movement in the Soviet Union, the self-taught authors from Vršac are tripping before the gates of hell. In Serbia, business as usual is assured by a vojvoda Šešelj sycophant and in Slovenia by a a former “communist” and arms dealer who refuses to pay the National TV Licence Fee. Let us extend a hand. In the age of the coronavirus, absent a sex partner with a perfect bill of health, our own hand is still the safest bet. Welcome to the sequel to the same movie.
Vasja Cenčič, Project Curator