A monument to a monument

A monument to a monument/ 2022

Trying to investigate spatiality in its social conditioning, Henri Lefebvre (1901-1991)10 distinguishes three levels of space: spatial practice, representation of space, and representational space. The last level represents the space of the “lived” filled with “associated images and symbols” – that is, the representational space, shaped by objects that are governed by imagination and use, thus enabling them to be assigned different meanings, not always transparent and unequivocal. Its readiness is conditioned by the space of representation – state and institutional coding of space. This fact makes it impossible to change anything more than what is institutionally and state-mediated, and therefore nothing can be imagined and lived – as a variation or an escape from the default. The actions and interventions we are talking about and which we list in this paper belong to the sphere of challenging normality with artistic actions that not only do not support the acceptable formula of collective memory, state, and institutional coding of space but also insist on the inappropriateness of one’s insight and recollection. Some of the symbols of the post-socialist era, such as the monument to the Fallen Partisans in Split (Sućidar neighborhood), are becoming privileged fields of action, certainly not because of mourning or Yugonostalgia, but because of the ambivalent role that such monuments assume in today’s society. It is precisely this position that these monuments have acquired that led the artist to act as a mediator between different times and spaces, in such a way as to use performative and visual practices to create a universal formula to preserve the conservation of social role and meaning of these objects. Dealing with the analysis and deconstruction of the term “monument”, the author developed the theory of “dospomeniks”. These are wooden structures wrapped with the sponge and plastic film for packaging similar to the standardized packaging used when transporting or moving sculptures. These objects do not in any case represent themselves, nor do they serve themselves as objects of special artistic significance. These are functional objects that use the monuments themselves. Their role is determined precisely by the monument next to which they will be found in a certain role, in such a way that the context of the monument itself will determine the role of the commemorator. We also attach the terms: auxiliary monument, substitute monument, false monument, a real monument to these objects, and memorials.

Dospomenik/ To a monument of Marko Marulić/ Split, 2022 photo: Mak Hubjer

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