History of the future

History of the Future is part of the artist’s research into the relationship between public spaces and specific ways of commemoration. It was erected with two immediate memorial plaques, a little more than 50 years apart; the older ones in memory of “Tito’s heroic army” and the younger ones for “the fallen Croatian veterans in the Homeland War.”
The historical and political complexity of Croatia is evident in almost all aspects of its modernity, including the inevitable commemorative objects in public space. Rarely and unusually close is the juxtaposition of two historical clips questioning the role of the national past, a lasting source of social division and antagonism, in shaping the present and the coming future. It also provides an opportunity to directly compare their appearance and the language used in these commemorative occasions. Words such as liberation or defense, for example, were expected in the post-war context of celebrating and publicly thanking the direct participants in the war. The older board determines its political and time frame by using “occupiers” or “heroic armies”, while the younger one communicates its “defenders” and, above all, visual features – chessboard, coat of arms, and cross. It is the visual contrast of simplicity and decorativeness that is most striking in this series, especially when the space of the upcoming commemorations is added to these semiotically and politically filled plates.
The action points to the potential of repeating the characteristics of past periods and thematizes the function and purpose of public space in contemporary Croatian society, the extent to which historical reality shapes the environment, and its associated memorial production. Oxymoronically, in the spirit of the name, the observer’s attention is future-oriented with the necessary awareness of the stratification of what preceded it. Memorial plaques are ubiquitous politically valorized flags, inevitably recurring within a public context, regardless of weather characteristics. What follows and what the future memories will be remains for us to wait for the blank slate to be filled.