The Society of the Spectacle

"The Society of the Spectacle" featured an exhibition of nine Croatian and foreign artists in the Bačva Gallery, research on alternative art practices and lectures on the heritage of Guy Debord’s work. Project objective was to redefine and recontextualize the heritage of “The Society of the Spectacle” as an instrument of new theoretical and artistic alternatives through new readings but also as a criticism of today’s Society of Self-Spectaclization.

Uncritical society self-spectaclization and conscious subjugation of free time to the interests of corporative creative industries and industries of leisure time are conditions and challenge to rethink thoughts and actions of the leader of the French International Situationism and Psychogeography Guy Debord. The project “The Society of the Spectacle” is dedicated to the program book with the same name, published in 1967. Guy Debord was a public activist, radical artist and critical philosopher deeply involved into first conscious rebellion or even revolution against society of the spectacle. Guy Debord defines the current state under the thesis that “in societies dominated by modern conditions of production, life is presented as an immense accumulation of spectacles.” The spectacle by Debord is not only a collection of images, but “a social relation among people mediated by images that can not be understood as a mere visual deception produced by mass media because it is a world view that is materialized.” New reading “The Society of the Spectacle” of Guy Debord is relevant and induces criticism of society of self-spectalization. The new reading could help to break voluntarily choosing of the Matrix, to destruct the society’s dreams to subjugate the leisure time for capitalistic industries. Development of public critics, new situations and contextualization, supporting of many artistic alternatives, communicational potlatch and public psychic conditions are the way of Guy Debord and his followers.

Participating artists:

  • Siniša Labrović, Croatia
  • Vlasta Delimar, Croatia
  • Martina Miholić, Croatia
  • Zlatko Kopljar, Croatia
  • Žižić/Kožul, Croatia
  • Khaled Hafez, Egypt
  • Gintautas Mažeikis, Lithuania
  • Luise Kloos, Austria
  • Giovanni Morbin, Italy

As part of the side program, lectures were organized by Josip Zanki, while the research project was led by Gintautas Mažeikis. Mažeikis lectured about G. Debord and contemporary perception of Debord’s book “The society of spectacle”. Giovanni Morbin referred to political performances inspired with the concept of spectacle. Neo Associazione from Udine held a lecture about engaged art in general. Artist talks, lead by Josip Zanki, were an opportunity to get introduced to exhibitors and their work.

The exhibition project together with the side program contributed to the quality and successful deliberation exposed to the researched problems. A platform for discussion and exchange of ideas was established, in which it was shown that the basis of concrete results consists in interdisciplinarity.

Likewise, lectures and artist talks, as well as the guided exhibition tours, served as an example of incentives, cooperation and mutual learning process. Furthermore, foreign invited guest speakers complemented the quality and variety of the program.

Find some more information about the exhibitions' concept here.