(Art and Property Now and Other Essays)


PUBLISHER: [BLOK] | Local Base for Culture Refreshment

EDITED BY: Vesna Vuković, Ivana Hanaček, Ana Kutleša

TRANSLATION: Vesna Vuković

DESIGN: Hrvoje Živčić

LANGUAGE: Croatian

YEAR: 2018

"...Marxist literature and affiliation, to which he remained true to the very end, helped him realize early on that capitalism, as a specific historical order and, above all, as a socio-proprietary relation, is a source of injustice and inequality, and that these relations also build the sphere of art and are reflected in it, so he took it upon himself to, “help in the destruction of this society, no matter the size of [his] contribution”. Forever opposing the bourgeois culture and society and never shying away from taking a clear public stance on the relevant political affairs, Berger was a target of disapproval and insults – especially in the beginning. (...) Although it might not seem out of the ordinary from today’s perspective, it should be noted that Berger wrote those first texts – some of which have made it into this publication – at the height of the Cold War. At a time when conformism was the rule, particularly in the sphere of art, Berger openly stood by the socialist alternative to capitalism, and his faith in socialism as a society of equals continued to permeate his writing even after the fall of the socialist bloc.
His body of work is fascinatingly rich and varied: it includes ten novels, four dramas, three books of poetry and 33 books which defy strict disciplinary categorization – thoughts on politics, art and the everyday life of the dispossessed, and it deals with two fundamental preoccupations: the art and the experience of the oppressed. As a consistent critic of the world of art and the capitalist world, he saw in art a particular weapon: a way to dismantle the dominant image of the world and create room for insight into the experience of the oppressed. The pages of his books rustle with the voices of dead revolutionaries, the infirm, migrants, workers, peasants, Palestinians.

The scope of Berger’s work and the range of his texts of almost 60 years have made this limited choice difficult. It is an attempt at outlining the contours of possible political engagement in a narrow field of art. Naturally, the world has changed substantially since some of the selected texts were written, but many of Berger’s insights are still exceptionally relevant, even when it comes to generalizations. What is positively fascinating is their consistency, even when they are decades apart.

Finally, it is important to note that this is the first translation of Berger’s texts into Croatian. We are particularly pleased to have this precise release lay foundation for the Tendencija (Tendency) book series."

(from the Foreword)
The publication is financially supported by Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Southeast Europe from the funds of the German Federal Foreign Office. This publication and its parts may be used freely with obligatory reference to source. The content of the publication is the sole responsibility of the publisher and does not reflect the views of Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Southeast Europe.
The publication can be found at BAZA.