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Exhibition

The War and Posters in 1914-1918

is being realised within the frameworks of Programme of the Marking the Hundredth Anniversary of the World War I under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Serbia.

6 November 2014 – 28 February 2015

Author of the exhibition: Vladimir Čeh

Curator to the exhibition: Slobodan Jovanović

Visual identity designer to the exhibition: Slavimir Stojanović

Organisers: Institute for the History of Advertisement and the Museum of Applied Art in Belgrade under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Serbia.

The World War I implied the war being supported through posters. The press was providing information and posters provided broadest support of the public since they were the only (free of charge) mass-media of the period. Therefore the posters were in fact a particular way of commenting the times they developed in.

At the exhibition “THE WAR AND POSTERS IN 1914-1918” there are three basic stages of media developments illustrated: transfer of information, animation and eventually the manipulation. The exhibition exemplifies the ways in which the posters were used in representing the identical themes in different cultures and in achieving quite opposite goals: the change of one and the same message during the war itself, the tone of the message, association provoked by the picture etc.

The posters are the only mass-media during the World War I which the exhibition treated and depicted as historical documents. Their ideas were not considered from the point of view of their political military, social or national aspect though. The choice was made on the level of communication either from the thematic, visual or textural impression they left the author of the exhibition included.

The exhibition is divided into three parts: “The Poster throughout the World’, “Serbia through Posters” and “The Poster in Serbia”.

The first part of the exhibition “The Poster throughout the World’ brings to us the seven most frequent topics used: recruitment, the adversary, loans, savings, charity and “advertisements”. The seventh part of the first section represents the most commonly used symbols.

The part “Serbia through Posters” is the first attempt to represent engagements aimed at collecting contribution for helping “Serbia, the partner in the war” which were being organised in France, UK and USA. They are assorted by other posters mentioning Serbia either in the positive or the negative context.

It is “The Poster in Serbia”, the third part of the exhibition that contains proclamations issued in territories of the then Austro-Hungarian Kingdom as well as in the Kingdom of Serbia.

There will be at the exhibition 200 posters on billboards presented and seven huge TV screens showing over 500 posters from the time of the Great War distributed into some seventeen countries in the four continents (Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia).

The visitors will be offered opportunity to see and learn more about:

  • The best known poster from the WWI which was issued in 4 million copies only in the first year of the war
  • The image of Serbia in the posters of its war enemies and its counterpart in the posters of its allies
  • Design of posters for the promotion of even today known trademarks such as Burberry, Waterman, Bovril and Nestle…
  • The use of the Red and Green Cross along with the Red Cross

The exhibition will include a symposium on two topics: the artistic and the communication value of the poster as well as several lectures on different forms of advertisement. The ending of the exhibition will be marked by publishing the illustrated catalogue with symposium lectures, with the exhibits and the re-print of the catalogue “Advertisements in the old Serbian press 1834-1915” by Zagorka Janc.

The exhibition was kindly supported by the Embassies of Austria, France and UK in Belgrade.

The poster replicas were provided thanks to the generosity of the Imperial War Museum in London, The Library of Congress in Washington, and Museum of Contemporary History of Russia in Moscow, Colorado College in Colorado Springs, the National Library of Serbia, the Archives of Serbia and the Museum of Voyvodina.

The visitors are kindly invited to visit the exhibition free of charge.

For more information, if needed, please look up: ratiplakat.iio.rs.

Photographs from the opening ceremony
Author of photographs: Veselin Milunović
Organisers: Institute for the History of Advertisement and the Museum of Applied Art in Belgrade under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Serbia.