After his death in 1961, Elsa Maidaniuk sent the bulk of his personal archive and library to the Ukrainian Museum-Archives in Cleveland, due to their connection to Evhen Batchinsky. Amounting to nearly 1,000 items, Maidaniuk's collection consists of many Ukrainian language books published in the years 1917-1921, as well as books in other languages from that same time. She also sent journals, several maps, and photographs. Among the later were 13 pictures of injured soldiers on the way to Ukraine from Finland, who crossed through Sweden in 1918. She also sent 74 postcards and 20 negatives of Maidaniuk's original works. The documents include his diplomatic passport issued by the Ukrainian People's Republic (UNR), various visas issued to him while carrying out his duties as secretary of the Ukrainian ligation in Stockholm.
These papers were part of a larger transfer of documentation from former UNR diplomats and government representatives to archives in North America, in particular to the Ukrainian Museum-Archives in Cleveland. Despite the transfer of the Evhen Batchinksky papers to Carleton University in Canada, the UMA retains quite a bit of documentation from this period, thanks to the Maidaniuk papers and other materials that were not transferred to Carleton in the 1970s. This documentation shows very early and committed opposition to communism, in particular to the Bolshevik Revolution. Alongside other political visions articulated during the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917, representatives of the Ukrainian People's Republic declared independence for Ukraine and worked hard to establish diplomatic relations during the liminal period between the collapse of empire and the establishment of the Soviet Union in 1922. These documents provide an important window into the roots of cultural opposition to communism in Ukraine, highlighting nettlesome issues that remain unresolved to this day.
- Kyiv City, Kiev, Ukraine 02000
- Odessa, Ukraine 65000
- Stockholm, Sweden
- Vienna, Austria
Makavejev is one of the founders of the Black Wave, a movement of Yugoslav cinematography. His movies criticize the rotten nature of society, from both communist and capitalist influence. As a supporter of the psychologist Wilhelm Reich, Makavejev often composes his studies into his films. His film Misterije organizma [Mysteries of Organism] (1971) pays homage to Reich'srevolutionary-psychology, never widely recognized.Though the film was banned in Yugoslavia soon after its premiere it was screened again a decade later, in the 1980s.
Makavejev has been the editor of magazines including Student, Književne novine, and Danas. He has also written film reviews and articles on social for many publications, including Polja. In 1958, he published a scenario,“for Godless ballet with pantomime,” as he called it,under the title “Hardboiled Hearts”(Polja, Issue 34, 1958), as a satirical comment on the cultural situation in Yugoslavia. In his later texts, such as “A Bit of Man-eater, A Bit of Philistine”" (Polja, Issue 45, April 1960), and “Young Intellectual Today” (Polja, Issue 49/50, December 1960), Makavejev uses satire to critique Yugoslav society, especially its youth.
Makavejev emigrated to the United States in the early 1970s, where he lectured at Harvard University. He then returned to Serbia and currently lives in Belgrade.
- Belgrade, Serbia
Kazimir Malevich (b. 1879 in Kyiv and d. 1935 in Leningrad) is a leading member of the “Russian” avant-garde. Malevich was born to Polish parents in Kyiv, living in villages in the Ukrainian countryside until the age of 17. Art historians argue that Malevich’s early life had a deep impression on his work, his use of vibrant colors and his engagement with primitivism being two of the clearest examples. One of the pioneers of abstract art, Malevich was a central figure in a succession of avant-garde movements during the period of the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917 and immediately after. The style of severe geometric abstraction with which he is most closely associated, suprematism, was a leading force in the development of constructivism, the repercussions of which continued to be felt throughout the 20th century. Under increasing pressure from the authorities in Leningrad, Malevich traveled abroad, after the government closed the Leningrad GINK-hUK (State Institute of Artistic Culture) the year before. He participated in several exhibitions in Berlin and Warsaw in 1927 and sought for a way to remain abroad outside the reach of the increasingly conservative Soviet leadership. The Polish authorities denied him refugee status, believing him to be a true Bolshevik, even though his work was being suppressed along with that of other avant-garde artists. A group of Ukrainian officials and artists in Kyiv came to Malevich's aid, among them Ivan Vrona, who offered Malevich a teaching post at the Kyiv Art Institute, where the former served as rector. Malevich’s work was suppressed by the Soviet authorities in the 1930s and remained little known during the following two decades. The reassessment of his reputation in the West from the mid-1950s was matched by the renewed influence of his work on the paintings of Ad Reinhardt and on developments such as Zero, Hard-edge painting and Minimalism.
- Kyiv City, Kiev, Ukraine 02000
- Saint Petersburg, Russia
István Malgot (1941-) is a sculptor, puppeteer, and director. He is a founding member of the Orfeo group.
In 1964, he began his studies at the University of Fine Arts. Two years later, he got in touch with young undergraduates, who were enthusiastic about Maoism and were grouped around György Pór. They criticized the Hungarian communist system and contended that reform was necessary and inevitable. In the so-called Maoist trial, Malgot was given a suspended sentence, but the case was a warning to him.
Sculpture was not the most important field in his activity. He directed theatre performances for decades. He often used masks and puppets, and he combined their visual effects with the human body. In 1969, he founded Orfeo at the university with others. Orfeo was based not only on artistic activity but also on the criticism of the communist system from the left. The members of the group wanted to have an impact on society with the help of art.
In 1972, Orfeo was attacked by the communist cultural leadership and critical articles were published in the central communist press. The accusations were focused on the alleged dissemination of hostile, Western ideology and the immoral lives of the members of the community. The author of the article in the journal of the Hungarian Young Communist League, entitled Hungarian Youth, condemned Malgot as the main guilty party, who allegedly wanted to cut children off from their parents and intended them to create a big family, a commune. He wrote that Malgot broke the rules of social coexistence. In the end, the prosecution did not penalize the members of the group, but they were banned from every community centre. István Malgot and Tamás Fodor got a notice indicating that they were being accused of spreading antisocial views.According to the former members of the group, Malgot was not an ideal leader. There were a lot of conflicts surrounding him. After the theatre and puppet group broke off, from 1974 Malgot worked as a director in different theatres, and he established a short-lived Gypsy company. In the 1990s, he traveled a lot in southeastern Asia, and he even wrote a controversial travel book. Éva Forrai in her review (which was published in the Hungarian journal Magyar Narancs) blamed him for propagating sex-tourism and pedophilia. In 2015, his sculpture works were exhibited in Budapest.
Božidar Mandić was born on 1 January 1952 in Novi Sad. He was part of the avantgarde scene in the late 1960s and during the 1970s that gathered around Youth Tribune, Index and Polja. He was a member of the groups January, February, March and, subsequently, Intima, an informal urban hippy commune in Novi Sad.
He was among the youngest members of Youth Tribune and he established the group Stinking Bill and Company (Smrdljivi Bil i kompanija) in 1970 with Vladimir Mandić (unrelated). Subsequently, Božidar initiated The Academy of Fine Arts in Shed (Likovna akademija u šupi) as a reaction to the educational system. Božidar's significant performances aimed at shocking people and raising their cultural awareness. The majority of these performances were inadequately or not at all documented.
He says about himself: “I did not belong to schooled art. Rather I made a leap from a conceptual family into an elementary culture and ‘wildism’ [divljizam] – aesthetics which signify the beginning of a new civilization, even if I'm the only one for whom it holds significance.” (Milenković, 2015, p. 105)
He came to age in the company of the members of Youth Tribune and, in the words of Nebojša Milenković, he witnessed “the brutal blow they suffered from the communist bureaucracy”. In the 1970s the alternative counterculture operated on communal principles and Božidar, together with those banned from Youth Tribune organized an urban commune at 18 Tesla Street, Novi Sad, because all means of institutional action were cut off. The commune was occasionally raided by police, as they were seen as drug addicts and as a danger to society.
The art of Božidar Mandić in the 1970s focused on creating ‘incidents’ and ‘spaces of incident’ in traditional culture. Vujica Rešin Tucić coined the term “tradition of the avantgarde” which refers to the concept of tradition and acknowledges the right of every person to choose the tradition to which they belong, place of birth notwithstanding.
In the commune on Tesla Street, Božidar and Braila, his spouse, hosted vegetarian lunches every Friday at 3PM and invited friends for conversation, being one of Božidar’s art forms. After being advised to leave this address by the police, Božidar and Braila purchased property on Rudnik mountain in 1977 near the village of Brezovica and they moved to the forest with their newborn daughter Ista. Božidar made his alternative way of practicing and living art into immediate reality. They established the Family of Clear Streams commune, or, as Božidar likes to call it “The Institute of Freedom Under the Open Sky”, where he still lives and makes art. He is active in the fields of literature, alternative theatre, theatrical directing and journalism.
- Majdan Rudnik, Serbia