Shown at the “Actopolis” project exhibitions, 2016 – 2017. Municipal gallery Belgrade, Goethe Institute Belgrade. Project curator: Martin Fritz, Belgrade exhibition curator: Mirjana Boba Stojadinović, and at the “Triennial of media art”, Gallery of the Artist’s association of Serbia ULUS, Curated by: Nenad Glišić.
The disappearance of a cultural institution as a function of the investment cycle
The starting point of this documentary-analytical artwork, is the inherent instability of institutional memory on the case study of Serbian cultural institutions. The production of the term “memory”, is being traced over its twofold position: It’s disappearance, dependent on impermanent social structures, and the personal – generationally structured memory. The effects of the process of economic and digital rot, eroding the pre-digital, pre-liberal cultural institutions in Serbia are shown on the background of the work of the “Commission for the reception of artefacts from the war-endangered areas” that has been formed by the state of Serbia in the early stages of the war on Croatia, in 1991.
This work is highlighting the culture as the investment of the artistic and cultural capital gained during the “primary acquisition stage“. This real and symbolic capital of the artworks that were first looted in war, and then partially repatriated, is still having a role in the structuring of Serbian national narrative through projections of dominant institutional investors – both national and international who are building regional contemporary culture on the foundation of insitutionalized “culture of forgetting”. The work traces the residue of these corrosive processes through subtle disparities in the commission members’ and their associates’ post 1990’s positions, shifting biographies, professional focus and statements.
Zbirka Bauer sadrži najcjelovitiji presjek moderne hrvatske umjetnosti s kraja 19. i prve polovice 20. stoljeća. Brojčano stanje Zbirke Bauer iznosi 2742 umjetnine, a u Domovinskom ratu 1991. je uništeno ili nestalo 300 eksponata – među njima i značajna djela Ivana Meštrovića za kojima tragamo putem Interpola. Umjetnine su vraćene iz Republike Srbije 2001. u Gradski muzej Vukovar.
The Bauer collection contains the most complete sross-section of Croatian modern art from late 19th and the first half of the 20th century. The quantitative state of the Bauer collection stands at 2742 artworks, of which 300 were destroyed or missing in the Homeland war of 1991. Among them, there were the significant works by Ivan Meštrović that we keep a lookout for through the Interpol. The artworks were returned from the Republic of Serbia in 2001. to the Vukovar City Museum.
Here, I have considered it relevant to provide some of the source material for the work. First being Council of Europe special consultant Hans Christof von Imhoff’s 1995 mission report. Third of the period reports detailing the damage to the cultural heritage of Yugoslavia during the wars in Croatia and Bosnia, covering the issues of state removal of cultural artefacts. The publication of the report had precipitated the post-Milošević return of more than 25.000 cultural artefacts to Croatia. Nebojša Grujičić’s article on the subject in “Vreme” magazine, 2001 : link. The second “Actopolis” exhibition venue was held at the Resavska st 40 building , current City exhibition space and the “October salon”venue, as well as the future “Museum of the city of Belgrade”. The building has formerly served as the Artillery school of the Military academy of the Yugoslav and Serbian army.