The “War memorial Installation” is a work in which I photographed and re-contextualized existing war memorials and monuments that where build in Serbia between the years 1946 – 2000 and are located across the entire country.
Those monuments have a predominately modernistic character due to the development that took place in the art of socialist Yugoslavia after the shift in ideology away from the Soviet Union and towards self-determination in the early 1950s. They commemorate local war heroes and massacred civilians and vary in size, shape, meaning and materials.
Some of them are huge and dominate their environments like the abstract monument “1961, Kosmaj” or the statue of a partisan about to be hanged, “1951, Valjevo”. They were built high up on the hills and can be seen from far away. The others are small and modest town and village memorials, like “1967, Golubac”, “1966, Knic” and “1989, Mojsinje” known only to the local communities.
As examples for the meaning I like to mention “1967, Kragujevac” which is dedicated to Serbo-Croatian friendship and “1999, Valjevo” dedicated to the pilot that was shot down during the bombing of Serbia by NATO in 1999. The latter was built from the leftovers of his MIG airplane. The shapes are for example a star (“2000, Pozarevac”) or an explosion (“1979, Kadinjaca”).
By scaling all the images down to the same size and placing them on the same gray background I attempted to turn them into beautiful, almost abstract objects. Also, by placing them one next to the other - contrary to their solitary position in reality - I detached them from their original meaning.
The meaning that they have today - in a dramatically changed environment - as well as their function as reminders of ideological conflicts and sacrifice are opened to analysis and questioning.