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  • Marshal Tito – the West’s favorite communist and the only leader who managed to keep Yugoslavia together - became president of the former state Jan. 13, 1953.

    Marshal Tito – the West’s favorite communist and the only leader who managed to keep Yugoslavia together - became president of the former state Jan. 13, 1953. | Photo: Reurers

The exhibition features everything from communist-era sculptures to paintings, music videos and state-commissioned TV programs.

“Monuments Should Not Be Trusted” is the name of an exhibition being held in Nottingham Contemporary, U.K., that brings together over 30 leading artists and groups from the “golden years” of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

The exhibition's curator, Lina Dzuverovi, has complied works by the likes of Slavic artists Marina Abramovic and Zemira Alajbegovic, among others. Most of the work featured is from the early 1960s to the mid-1980s.

From the 1960s to the 1980s, Yugoslavia was often described as an “anomaly” due to its combining state socialism with high levels of consumerism. Its leader, Josip Broz Tito, was the first in Eastern Europe to defy the Soviet Union, and one of the few communist leaders to endear himself to the West. 

Visitors at Dzuverovic’s exhibition can observe more than 100 artworks and artifacts illustrating the every-day contradictions of life in the former single-party state.

In addition to the artists' works in photography, sculpture, painting, music and memorabilia, the Museum of Yugoslav History has lent artwork to the exhibition that illustrates what life was like for non-artists under the reign of Tito.

As the art critic Mark Sheerin has commented, “At a time when socialism is back in the news, to the horror of the mainstream media, the exhibit is a reminder that a radical left-wing state need not be a monolith, and that social realism only tells half the story. 

Monuments Should Not Be Trusted is on show at the Nottingham Contemporary until Mar. 4, 2016.

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