WILLIAM MORRIS: "ON ART AND SOCIALISM" – BOOK LAUNCH

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Thursday 06/02/2020, 7PM
BAZA, Adžijina 11

We are happy to invite you to the book launch of the second title of the Tendencija book series, the collection of essays by William Morris: "On art and socialism". 

 

Speakers at the event:

Hrvoje Tutek (Department of English, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zagreb)
Ivana Borovnjak (OAZA), designer
Vesna Vuković (BLOK), editor and co-translator of the book 

Moderator: Barbara Gregov

The book can be found at BAZA. 

 

“Architect, designer, decorator, printer, poet, prose writer, craftsman, translator, lecturer, political organiser and socialist – he found all of the roles inseparable, just as art was inseparable from life in the most profound implication of his teaching. (…)

On this occasion, it is most important for us to highlight Thompson’s conclusion that Morris was ‘the first high-calibre creative artist in all of history to consciously and without a shred of compromise stand by the revolutionary working class’. In embracing Marxism, Morris realised that the misery and ugliness of the world he so hated were inseparable from the social and economic system in which they were created, and that the regeneration of art (and life) was fundamentally a political issue, and not exclusively or primarily an artistic issue. Nevertheless, or perhaps that is precisely why, Morris and his work, in all its manifestations, have remained a marginal topic in the study of what we think of as engaged art today. However, the intention of this book is not to lament over this unfortunate circumstance, but to breathe fresh life into Morris’ theorising of the ‘lesser arts’ and – above all – his daring concept of work.(...)

He became interested in Marxism in his late forties, and opted for socialism at the brink of his fifties. This is also where we have drawn the demarcation line in the selection of texts included in this edition. Indeed, the publication before you is a collection of selected texts from the final decade of his life, when he became an ardent socialist and advocate of applied arts. Gathered in one place, these texts articulate his key insights on the relationship between art and socialism, which could be summed up in the following two-part formula: art is doomed to fail unless it becomes folk art and – secondly – the worker must be an artist, and the artist a worker.”

(from the Foreword)

 

PUBLISHER: [BLOK] | Lokalna baza za osvježavanje kulture
BIBLIOTEKA TENDENCIJA
Zagreb, November 2019
TRANSLATION: Luiza Bouharaoua and Vesna Vuković

EDITORS OF BIBLIOTEKA TENDECIJA: Ana Kutleša, Ivana Hanaček, Vesna Vuković
PUBLICATION EDITOR: Vesna Vuković
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Barbara Gregov
PROOFREADING: Iva Klobučar Srbić
DESIGN: Hrvoje Živčić

 

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.

BAZA’S ANNUAL PROGRAM IS SUPPORTED BY THE KULTURA NOVA FOUNDATION.

BLOK IS A BENEFICIARY OF THE INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND/OR STABILISATION OF ORGANISATIONS PROVIDED BY THE NATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR CIVIL SOCIETY DEVELOPMENT.