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New Video, New Europe

A Survey of Eastern European Video
January 11 – February 22, 2004

Mladen Stilinovic
Potatoes, 2001
4' 16
In a bucolic winter setting, a vegetable vendor is heard yelling "POTATOES!" The culprit is a lone man crouching behind a small wooden crate. Although he is yelling "potatoes", on display are individual servings of cake. His deadpan determination makes it hard to discern which is out of context, vendor or forest. Once a small mound of potatoes is revealed behind his back, the discrepancy between what is said and what is initially shown becomes troubling in an almost surreal way. Stilinovic remains an outstanding polemicist. He gained notoriety as a member of the Group of Six, a Croatian artist collective from the 1970s known for its films and renegade streeet performances. Stilinovic thrives on the contradiction between need and luxury, particularly as it would have been suppressed in supposedly classless societies with large poor populations. His critique of unacknowledged pain and poverty applies to Croatia as well as to East/West relations in general.

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