The Association: APSOLUTNO
The association APSOLUTNO was founded in 1993 in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia. The products of their association is created through collaboration of its four members ( Zoran Pantelic, Dragan Rakic, Bojana Petric (and Dragan Miletic from 1995 till 2001) Since 1995 the works have been signed APSOLUTNO, without any reference to personal names. The word APSOLUTNO means ABSOLUTELY (adv). Grammatically, adverbs can modify various elements and take different positions within a sentence. This flexibility is an important characteristic in the work of the association. The word APSOLUTNO is often used in titles of the works to emphasize certain meanings.
The artistic activity of the collective ceased in 2005, since when its experience has been transferred and integrated in new forms aimed at creating conditions for and examining artistic production and artistic organisation. This was APSOLUTNO's website for a number of years.
The production of APSOLUTNO started in the field of fine arts. Gradually, it has developed to include not only aesthetic, but also cultural, social and political aspects. The work of APSOLUTNO is based on an interdisciplinary research into reality, with the aim to make it open to new readings.
This is an open process, which focuses on diverse phenomena in the surroundings, and therefore requires continuous perceptiveness in order for such phenomena or places to be noticed, understood, interpreted or marked. Projects are often realized in public spaces or in locations for specific purposes (such as a shipyard, a bridge, cemetery, borders etc.).
The artistic conception is based on the principle that the way to the global, i.e., universal, is through the local. Therefore, projects typically start in a response to a sociological, cultural or political stimulus from the immediate surroundings.
The choice of medium is a very important part of the creative process, as APSOLUTNO regards the medium as an equally relevant element of the work. APSOLUTNO is a collective of three members, dealing with interdisciplinary art work and media pluralism.
APSOLUTNO uses various types of texts (such as a report, advertisement, essay, poem) and stylistic devices (the use of citation, the language of computer communication, etc.) not only as an explanation of the work but also as its integral part, which, explicitly or implicitly, conveys certain content - criticism, irony, paradox or absurdity.
milana rakica 15
21000 novi sad, yugoslavia
phone/fax: ++381 21 2339
The association Apsolutno presented its production in numerous exhibitions, festivals and symposia at home and abroad, including:
BITEF 96, Belgrade; Kwangju Biennial ’97, South Korea; OSTranenie festival, Dessau 1997; The 44th Festival of Short and Documentary Film, Belgrade; Transmediale, Berlin 1998; ISEA, Liverpool 1998; The Wroclaw New Media Festival 1999; The Media Festival Oberhausen 2000; The VIPER Media Festival 2000, Basel; “Inside/Outside” 2000, Warsaw; “Hiroshima Art Document 2000”, Hiroshima, Japan; Tribu’ dell’arte, 2001, Rome; TELE[VISIONS], 2001, Vienna; EVIDENCE, DVC Gallery, San Francisco, CA; Biennale Big Turin 2002, Turin; The European Biennial Manifesta 4, Frankfurt; De Appel, Amsterdam; Artists’ Space, New York; etc.
1995 APSOLUTNO 0005
This project was created as a response to the miscommunication and undefined obligations of those who are in the chain of art system in FR Yugoslavia. For that reason the association APSOLUTNO presented their virtual project which expressed their critical attitude towards the lack of care and irresponsibility of the gallery owners and organizers of exhibitions. The INVISIBLE ENERGY PLAQUE was presented at the opening of the exhibition and it red:
- the organizer imagined an exhibition
- the artist imagined a project
- it is up to the viewer to imagine an aesthetical experience
The exhibition, under the title "Energies", was supposed to represent an overview of the contemporary art scene in Vojvodina, Northern province of Serbia.
1996 APSOLUTNO 0004
The starting point for IN MEMORIAM, a project realized on the occasion of the 1000th anniversary of Austria, was taken from the recent history of the Balkans. IN MEMORIAM is based on a parallel drawn between two important events in Austrian and Yugoslav history: the assassination of Prince Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914, and the assassination of King Aleksandar Karadjordjevic in Marseilles in 1934.
Two authentic banknotes from the perid, the Austrian Crown and the Yugoslav Dinar, were used in this project. APSOLUTNO exchanged both the images of the monarchs and their respective coats of arms on the banknotes. In this way two new bank notes, the APSOLUTNO Crown and the APSOLUTNO Dinar were created. The exchange rate between the two currencies was then determined and entered into the official currency list of the Raiffeisenlandesbank Steiermark bank. According to the list, these two currencies are of equal value.
IN MEMORIAM was first presented at the Merzweckbau Symposium in Schrattenberg, Austria in 1996.
1996 APSOLUTNO 0004
The project HUMAN is focused on the global events on the European territory. Marking the borderline which divides Europe into East and West is in the basis of the project. This borderline has a long history during which it has gone through a number of changes, but its meaning always prevailed. This borderline exists as an invisible curtain which either tolerates or prevents different forms of communication on various levels. Since 1989 and the fall of the Berlin wall, we have been witnesses of a geopolitical regrouping followed by the disappearance of borders between the states in the western part and the establishment of the new "united" Europe, while in the eastern part a multitude of new nationalistic states with strictly controlled borders were formed. In this action the association APSOLUTNO marked the above mentioned line[WE-EE] by placing a traffic sign with the inscription"MAN" on no-man’s-land between the borders of the countries along the line. Thus the association pointed out the [in]equality of PEOPLE and their destinies in both of these entities of European territory. The word HUMAN which is on the signs, is written in the official languages of the neighbouring countries.
The invisible Borders
Apart from marking the borderlines which divide Europe, parallel part of the project HUMAN is recognition and marking of the "invisible" lines which divide a geographical whole or an urban entity. The divisions instigated by war, economic, legal, political or cultural disputes, cause a form of [un]communicativeness between people. These borders carry psychological weight because unlike official borders they have no barriers nor signs but it is obvious that the border exists.
The action of marking the invisible division line between East and West Mostar carried out in Mostar in 1996, Bosnia and Hercegovina featuring Armin  born and raised in the West part of the city, currently displaced into the East part.
Berkeley, CA, USA, University of California - Art Department
Enschede, The Netherlands, Dutch Art Institute
San Francisco, CA, USA, Yerba Buenna Center for the Arts, "Colloquium on Net.Art"
Belgrade, Yugoslavia, School for theory and history of art, CCAB
Paris, France, VIA #5, Art Festival
Wroclaw, Poland, WRO99 - Media Art Biennale
Vienna, Austria, Akademie der bildenden Kunste
Berlin, Germany, Shift Gallery - "shift-tage"
San Francisco, CA, USA, SFAI - Center for Digital Media class, "Artist in Cyberspace"
Graz, Austria, Forum Stadtpark Gallery - symposium
Vienna, Austria, Basis Wien, TGH CD Rom
Munich, Germany, CLUB 2
Munich, Germany, MEDIENFORUM, Literaturhaus
Dessau, Bauhaus Dessau, "Apsolutno - Interventions In The Urban Space"
Dessau, Bauhaus Dessau, "The Semiotics of Confusion"
San Francisco, CA, USA, SFAI - New Genres department class, "Installation"
Maastricht, Netherlands, Jan van Eyck Academie - "en/passant 99" programme
Sofia, Bulgaria,Gallery of Foreign Arts
Varna, Bulgaria, TED Gallery
Pula, Croatia, INK
San Francisco, SFAI - New Genres department class, "Beginning Video"
Dortmund, Germany, MeX, Kunstlerhaus
Kassel, Germany, Dokumenta X - "Hybrid Workspace" [Terminated by Pit Schultz]
Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 5.LUR, production Fund for an Open Society
Somerset, UK, Nettlecombe Studios, Shave Farm '97
Belgrade, Yu, Cinema Rex, 21. oktobar, The Absolute Sale
Sombor, Yu, City Cultural Centre Gallery "Laza Kostic"
Dessau, Germany, Bauhaus, The International Electronic Media Forum "OSTranenie"
Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 4.LUR, production Fund for an Open Society
Budapest, Hungary, C3, Center for Culture and Communication