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Vlado Martek

*1951 in Zagreb, Croatia, former Yugoslavia, lives in Zagreb.

Since the 1970s, Vlado Martek is one of the important figures in the unofficial art scene of Yugoslavia and who is since becoming an internationally acclaimed conceptual artist working in Croatia. His works moves between experimental poetry, performance and visual arts. His membership in the 'Group of Six',  together with Mladen and Sven Stilinović, Fedor Vučemilović, Boris Demur, and Željko Jerman was central for his artistic development. The 'Group of Six' was founded in 1975 in the spirit of the 'Croatian Spring' and realized many collective actions that mostly took place in public spaces due the the restrictive institutional exhibition policy. 

His work was honoured among others at the MOMA in New York, at the MUMOK in Vienna as well as in solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana and the Modern Art Museum in Wroclaw .

Art Has No Alternative

'At the time of Yugosocialism one of the younger and major ideologists of the state, by the name of Cuvarko, claimed that 'socialism had no alternative'. Offended by the Vaticanism of his claim I started to ponder what really had no alternative in the framework of sociality of the 20th century. I used a golden spray.'
Translation of the text on the documentary work.

Within his oeuvre the poetic agitations realized during the 197os and the 1980s were of partical importance. They were experimental performances that took place in the public space without any announcement. During these agitations the artist distributed messages to bypassers, poems for example or the invitation to read the writings of Maykovski and Malevich. Under the rule of Tito this kind of behaviour was related with a significant personal risk for the artist.
'Art has no Alternative' is one of those poetic agitations. Vlado Martek refers to a statement of one of the significant ideologists of the State who postulated that 'socialism has no alternative'. Offended by this claim the artist started to think about what really had no alternative in the social system of the 20th century. One night he used golden spray to share the result of his considerations in different public spaces in Zagreb: 'Art has no Alternative'.

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