Y? is a multilayered artistic and research project focusing on collecting and recycling the facts and myths about the Yugo car and the broader context opened by this phenomenon of the Yugoslavian automobile industry. The four members of the team understand the car as a pronounced symbol and the bearer of the identity of a specific period of time, which can represent a foundation for uncovering new ideas and for reflecting on the past through a contemporary perspective.
The story of the Yugo is dynamic and dramatic in its own way. In the US, the car plummeted from sales hit to object of mockery and an allegory for poor quality in a relatively short time. On the other end of the world, in the area of the former Yugoslavia, the former peak of Yugoslavian industry has become a symbol of the sentimental, socialist past and a catalyst of individual and collective memories. Today everyone has their own views on the idiosyncratic phenomenon that provokes smiles and comments regardless of the facts.
The basis of the project is the repetition of the story of the Yugo, which became famous due to being exported to the American market. More than three decades after the Yugoslavian industry’s major deal, the four project members embarked on a journey from Kragujevac, the hometown of the former Crvena Zastava automobile factory, with a Yugo 55 bought for this exact purpose. Their path took them across continental Europe towards England and then further on across the ocean, through New York, to Mercer in Pennsylvania, where the car was sold. On the way, the Y? team met with individuals linked to the operation of the former factory, current owners and aficionados of Yugo cars, theoreticians, and artists who understand the Yugo as a symbol of a specific time. The journey simultaneously represented the process of exporting the car to the US, the filming of an experimental documentary film, and the establishment of an open creative platform. In addition to the documentary approach, the authors of project Y? brought the ideas of the past back to life through interventions in European and US spaces, confronting the meanings of former symbols by placing them within contemporary contexts and situations. The interventions, created between the political and the poetic aspect, are linked by a site-specific guerilla approach, technical simplicity, and symbolic charge.
The documentary will premiere online on November 30 at 9 pm.
Exhibition 30. 11. 2020 – 1. 9. 2021
The project is supported by: Ministry of culture RS, Municipality of Ljubljana, I-Portunus
Organizacija: Kino Šiška