Portion of text from the artist address at the festival Lille 3000 – Europe XXL

I would define my work as hybrid objects constructed by joining many objects or spaces in a unique entity of a sculpture. Using layered meanings and symbolism of these individual objects and iconic representations, I build structures of meaning of the object. Also, a significant characteristic of my work is projecting the object itself as a print (in the case of works with stamps and postage stamps), or projections of light in space (in the case of the Nucleus series). Multiplication and geometry are also important elements in the formation of my work and in the process of installation of the work within a gallery or in this case, mediatheque. In my work, as a starting point I often use ready-made, where I manipulate the layers of meaning that every day objects have, leading them into relations with each other, and thus building hybrid entities that are composed of pairs of stamp-postage stamp; stamp-human figure; stamp-burial mound. The stamp in the case of these works can be viewed as a symbol of administration, regime and bureaucracy. Postage stamps have within them layered meanings and represent specific eras, politics, and nations. The selection of stamps is made according to contradictory meanings they had in the moment of their appearance and in the present moment, as well as the cynical way they create a relationship with pop art.

Within the Nucleus series, the sole physical dimensions of the work do not define the space of the sculpture itself. The space of the object is defined in relationship to the cosmos and the sun, as well as the indoor space in which the object is placed. The sculpture becomes a conduit that binds the inner and outer space, the micro cosmos and macro cosmos. In this manner the object condenses and summarizes surrounding impressions and creates its own cosmology, connecting the small and large. It leads to the compression and concentration of space into one point in the nucleus and to the explosion of light.

The work I created purposely for this exhibit, located in the yard, whose model or initial version is found in the library hall, is in line with the theme of the festival (the Balkans), and is connected to the literature and works of authors who will be receiving awards in the library at the beginning of next month. The novel Mouth Full of Dirt by Branislav Sćepanović, and Gec and Mayer by David Albahari hold certain images and power of expression that served as inspiration for this piece. Earth, as a symbol of destruction and the place where everything manifests and disappears, takes on new forms in the work of Branislav Sćepanović and gains full meaning. In the shriek of pain the hero of this novel falls to the ground as his pursuers yell: “We will destroy him and fill his mouth with dirt!” David Albahari’s novel Gec and Mayer deals with issues of the holocaust and the annihilation of almost the entire Jewish population from Serbia in the infamous concentration camp at the Old Fair in Belgrade. The entire story is based on names found in archives. Two names, Gec and Mayer, are the names of two SS officers who took 8000 people to their death in their special purpose truck. The bodies were buried in the surrounding Belgrade area and the image of mass graves painted in this novel which I will paraphrase is: “After the burying which was very effective and lasted a mere hour, the image of the landscape looked as if nothing had happened – only that the following morning dirt mounds rose from the ground as if the earth had flowered from the weight of decaying bodies.” This work deals with political responsibility, victims of fascism, genocide and mass graves. These are themes still current in my country, and can be viewed in a universal light.

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