Is this my final form?

When we talk about the destruction of monuments and what represents the monumental heritage we are talking about a kind of memory destruction. Every act of conservation and restoration invariably affects and transforms the original essence of the heritage, which involves a certain degree of loss. The obsession with physical preservation is so great embodied in the mentality of the 20th century that it is difficult to separate the attempt to understand the past and its meaning from the agony of choosing which parts (of the past) should be protected and preserved. The wide range of ways the past is used in society is thereby reduced to the literal act of preserving its physical aspect.
Whether minor or radical, more or less brutal or progressive, these transformations are often defined as the “defunctionalization” of heritage. Still, it is a change of function and use within a system of procedures and uses. Until modern times, it was quite normal to eliminate what we now call a monument or a work of art when it was considered obsolete or no longer suited the needs and expectations it previously satisfied.
Forgetting is only possible through a conscious, free and deliberate act of forgetting something. The same password can be applied to heritage. Only when a building, locality, or tradition is deliberately no longer given any attention and thus does not fulfill any function in society, that object is effectively lost as heritage. In other words, conscious forgetting does not imply the physical destruction of the object. In this regard, only the demolition of monuments or the newly created void after the demolition of anti-fascist memorials cannot undo the persistence of a heritage object or site – unless no one cares to remember them anymore. It is extremely ironic that the very act of destruction called anti-fascist memorials to memory, and even certain activities related to their activation in collective memory, such as various publications that have recently started to be written about them or artistic projects that tried to revitalize them.
Within the mentioned context, both destruction and construction/creation can be understood as equally essential features of immortalization.
Loss and change are part of life and part of what gives our heritage value.
The loss itself is not so much problematic as it is how individuals, communities, and societies choose to deal with the loss, i.e. the destruction. After all, heritage is a continuous manifestation of change over time, not a victim of it.

This isn’t even my final form/Public intervention/Monument to the fallen Partisans-Split, 2022
Is this my final form?/Public intervention/Monument to the first president of Croatia-Franjo Tuđman/Split, 2022

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.