ABOUT POLET PROJECT
The second half of the 1960s in Yugoslavia was marked by an attempt at a great economic reform, in other words, by a determined and determining introduction of free market into socialist economy. Changes in the economic system led to a genuine revolution in the relationship between the consumers and the economy. Business enterprises and banks started to struggle for their place in the market, pursuing their own position within the community. The establishment of new market economy gave birth to a new kind of aesthetics.
The Polet project was devised to reflect through an abundance of visual materials – the advertisements from the Economic Policy weekly published in the period between 1969 and 1980 – the freshness and enthusiasm which prevailed not only in the field of graphic
design but also in a broader social context. The Polet project was conceived to uniquely bring together and unite representatives of the creative industry: designers, illustrators, visual artists, representatives of the media and advertising agencies, theorists and industry. The project possesses historical and artistic importance as well, since it provides an insight into the historical continuity of marketing and visual communications and represents a kind of anthology of the time.
Such insight into historical continuity in the field of advertising and visual communications shall serve as a very useful recourse for further social, cultural and economic research. Presentation of the most important examples of good practice shall thus inspire and educate the public and make stronger regional creative links.
ABOUT THE ECONOMIC POLICY WEEKLY
The first issue of the Economic Policy weekly (EP) was published on 4th April 1952. The Yugoslav authorities had spotted the problems concerning the functioning of the economy and decided to leave the door ajar for economic liberalism to sneak into the economy of this single-party state. Ever since, the „Economic Policy” acted as the avant-garde for the reforms, as well as ardent advocates of the market economy. They acquired high reputation both locally and internationally, especially in the west. The paper proved the earnestness of their editorial policies with personal example – they were the first to relinquish the right to receive state funding and to support themselves in the free market context.
The weekly was not sold on newsstands; however, the management of every self-respecting enterprise was subscribed to EP. A substantial part of EP’s earnings came from advertisements. In 1969, as one of the pioneers in SFRY, EP switches to magazine format and colour printing (the covers and the ads).
The artistic and technical editorial staff consisted of Dušan Petričić,Tomislav Peternek, Predrag Koraksić Corax, Bora Kolarević, Branko Turin, Milan Janković, Vojislav Perović, Ranko Grubač, Jelena Jovanović, Nenad Krstić. At the beginning of 2000’s “Economic Policy” was quietly shut down.
BACKGROUND & INSPIRATION
We discovered the Economic Policy ads quite by chance. This rare material was brought to us by Mijat Lakicevic for the purpose of photographing it for his book ISPRED VREMENA 1963–1973. – Sudbonosna decenija, uspon i pad srpskih liberala, uzroci i posledice, od tada do naših dana, kroz prizmu „Ekonomske politike“, novina kakvih više nema (BEFORE ITS TIME 1963-1973 – The crucial decade, the rise and fall of Serbian liberals, causes and effects up till now through the prism of “Economic Policy”,
magazine the likes of which exist no more). We spent days going through old issues of Economic Policy and gradually the newspaper ads became more and more intriguing to us. We started noticing the unique visual potential of the ads, their modernist approach, their visually clarified designs… We decided to organize an exhibition of the material, with the idea to use the exhibition as an inspiration for creating an extensive web archive of the ads of the time, which would serve as material for analysis and a wider social reading.
Metaklinika, Mijat Lakićević, Petokraka
Nenad Trifunović, Lazar Bodroža
Nenad Trifunović, Aleksa Bijelović,
Višnja Milošević, Ana Makragić
Marko Matović, Milan Maksimović, Vladimir Radović, Aleksandra Stojanović, Ivan Kostić, Dušan Jurić
Project is supported by
NIS a.d. Novi Sad
Cultural Centre of Novi Sad
Cultural Centre of Belgrade
For more than a year and a half we spent working on this project a great number of people have invested their enthusiasm and effort into bringing POLET to life. We would like to thank Mijat Lakićević, Svetlana Gavrilović, Branislav Dimitrijević, Vladimir Čeh, Mia David and the people from the Cultural Centre of Belgrade, Borut Vild,
Vanda Kučera, Marko Radenković, Aleksandra Sekulić, Tomislav Peternek for their invaluable assistance. We thank the companies and authors whose ads are presented in this exhibition. We owe special thanks to the NIS a.d. company for recognizing the significance and potential of the project and for supporting its realization.