Heroes we love is a multidisciplinary project dealing with perennially controversial topic of socialist heritage of European art of 20th century and gathers NGO’s and institutions from Central and Southeast Europe (Bulgaria, Poland, Albania, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina). The leading partner of the project is the Art Gallery Maribor. The project aims at connecting contemporary art practice with the research of the social art phenomenon in its cultural, socio-ideological and political context starting from the foundation of socialist countries of Eastern Europe up to the present moment, and at acquainting new public with the topics it comprises.
The objective is to draft the development of socialist art, varied art forms and visual manifestations, to map relevant works and artists, presenting different case studies and linking them to the contemporary art trends. The project will initiate the dialogue on the background of socialist art in Eastern Europe, different practices and differences in relation to the geopolitical framework of the development of practices. It will focus on questioning the role of socialist art in the period of economic transition and social transformations, as well as identifying potentials of socialist art in the context of the present and the future. Heroes we love are divided into four topics: politics, aesthetics and art during socialism, socialist monuments and modernism, heroic art and social realism, post-socialism and nostalgia. Project will ensure theoretical framework, map specific works, art forms and artists, and discuss conditions in which they were created. Conferences, lectures and panel discussions will be held concurrently with the series of art interventions in public areas as well as workshops following the project segments so as to bring contemporary art practice and public closer to the topics.
Final results will be travelling exhibition and concomitant publication comprising gathered material and knowledge acquired during the project, aiming at launching a public debate on linkage of socialist art heritage and current international trends. International conference proposed by the Museum of Yugoslav Art will deal with the phenomenon of nostalgia through different political and cultural contexts in various European countries. Yugonostalgic and Tito-nostalgic culture related to the celebration of Youth Day will have a special place. Encompassing perspectives and experiences from different countries, the conference goal is to lay the groundwork for mapping and research of the forms and visual manifestations of nostalgia. The conference will gather custodians, theoreticians, researchers and artists who will have the opportunity to share experience and knowledge and jointly set the basis for the exhibition.