21.06 18:00 / meeting with Milica Tomić
22.06 18:00 / meeting with Ivana Bago
Post-Yugoslav Generation at the Unidentified Grave of “Yugoslavia”
Two decades after the violent dissolution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the conflicting discourses struggling for the interpretation of its history have made the very word “Yugoslavia” unintelligible. While still treated predominantly as a slur — the historical fact of its existence reluctantly evoked by euphemisms such as “the former state,” and its remains referred to as “the Balkans,” “South-East Europe,” or “the region” — in the recent years “Yugoslavia” and the “Yugoslav” have witnessed a come-back, both as a reference to a historical formation and as a non-dissoluble ingredient of the era that followed it, now increasingly referred to as “post-Yugoslav.” This come-back is detectable primarily in the context of artistic, academic, and critical practices, whose protagonists belong to the generation that saw the end of Yugoslavia as children or young adults, and who are thus Yugoslavia’s most unreliable witnesses but have assumed the position of its faithful historians, archivists, and portraitists — faithful in the sense of belief in, and alliance towards, its historical, political and aesthetic legacies. Post-Yugoslav is thus not merely a social fact of generational belonging, but also a new historical, aesthetic, and political generation, i.e., engendering of Yugoslavia and the Yugoslav in the present moment, and, as such, a continuation of, and an heir to, the long history of the Yugoslav political and aesthetic imaginary during the “Yugoslav twentieth century,” in which art had regularly played a crucial role. The lecture will propose and discuss the task of constructing the history of such a Yugoslav political and aesthetic imaginary from the perspective of the present, while paying special attention to the work of The Monument Group and Working Group Four Faces of Omarska, which is regarded as a form of initiatory, even obligatory, (self)education and a precondition to embarking on this historicizing task.
23.06 16:30 / meeting with Dubravka Sekulic
What can the property relations tell us about the city?
This talk will interrogate the relationship between the mine and the city, and how it was fundamentally changing with the changes of property relations regulating the ownership of the mine, while the type of labour performed by the inhabitants of the city and their relation to it stayed (seemingly) the same. Extending from the mine, it will also look how the changes in property regimes affected the spaces for social reproduction of everyday life, focusing on housing, and public space. At the end, the talk will try to say a thing or two of how these processes extend the specific case of Omarska, Prijedor, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Yugoslavia, and give an insight into a current state of globalized capitalist extraction economy.
The talk will be in English.
23.06 18:00 / meeting with Branimir Stojanovic
Private Property, Privatisation and Other Crimes
The lecture will address a set of different questions:
- Does privatisation contain its inner limit?
- How to understand the statement by Jürgen Habermas:
“When the utopia of “workers’ state” has been given up on…..” ?
- Is concentration camp a form of private property?
- Is Europe just an alias for the last shield against revolution?
- What is social property?
SANS SOUCI: FOUR FACES OF OMARSKA
“The social relations between the various Peoples of the world, in narrower or wider circles, have now advanced everywhere so far that a violation of Right in one place of the earth, is felt all over it.” Immanuel Kant, Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch
The title “Four Faces of Omarska” comes from four constitutive layers in the history of this mining complex in northern Bosnia, which was established in socialist Yugoslavia as an iron ore mine. At the beginning of the wars of the 1990s, Bosnian Serb forces and local authorities transformed the mine into a torture and death camp for the non-Serb population and political prisoners. After the war, in 2004, ArcelorMittal, a trans-national company and the world’s largest steel producer, assumed majority ownership of the Omarska mine and resumed commercial mining operations. Finally, in 2007 it was used as a film shooting location for Saint George Slays the Dragon, the historical ethno-blockbuster co-produced by film companies from Serbia proper and Republika Srpska.
Omarska today, twenty five years after the closing down of the camp, is a place of bizarre cohabitation between the living and the dead, a place of numerous mass graves (either excavated or still unexcavated), and a place where the surviving victims and their families live together with their former oppressors. The company ArcelorMittal, in line with the social and political bias, still maintains discriminatory employment practices against the non-Serb population, thus repeating the politics of wartime ethnic cleansing. ArcelorMittal is participating in the politics of negating the existence of the Omarska camp, this being
particularly evident in the company’s decision to prevent the construction of a memorial center to the victims of the camp. In this and other political decisions, this transnational company is closely collaborating with the local nationalist government. Omarska emerges as an example of trans-national capital’s collaboration with local governments in “normalizing” the present through the repression of past crimes in the process of the privatization of public goods and making post-war alliances within the neo-liberal capitalist society, where global capital washes over traumatic zones and renders them invisible and irrelevant. By making visible the continuities and discontinuities of all three epochs and four faces of Omarska, Four Faces of Omarska is an ongoing project (2009-) that seeks to become a site of the production of knowledge, the knowledge of those who were defeated, who went missing, and whose experience has not been articulated within public discourse.
MA Students of the Institute for Contemporary Art at the Architecture Faculty (TU Graz) are invited to take part in the Four Faces of Omarska project and to look into novel, contemporary types of detention and concentration camps, and reflect their socio-political and urbanistic role in the reproduction of contemporary capitalist society and the conditions of the permanent ‘state of emergency’. While investigating the still unexplored urban structures that emerged in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina, their project investigates how new forms of urbanism and sociality emerged in this post-conflict society and are informed by the camp forms established during the wars of the 1990s.
They explore the architecture and forms of concentration and prisoner-of-war camps as deeply entangled with everyday urban structures. As such, the camp outlives and continues to endure through new forms of urbanity, economy, and socialization in the period of post-war transition. Taking the Trnopolje and Omarska camps of northern Bosnia as the symbolic loci and basis for a projective image, the project reflects the crucial social processes conditioning the present state of global societies. In this light, the project explores the relations between the Bosnian camps of the 1990s and refugee camps created in recent years in Jordan, Turkey, and Greece for Syrian, Iraqi, and Afghani refugees.
The exhibition includes lectures and talks by:
Post-Yugoslav Generation at the Unidentified Grave of “Yugoslavia”, Ivana Bago, art historian, writer and curator
What can the property relations tell us about the city?, Dubravka Sekulić, architect, researcher and writer
Private Property, Privatisation and Other Crimes, Branimir Stojanović, psychoanalyst, philosopher and artist
The “Sans Souci: Four Faces of Omarska” exhibition at the Malta Festival Poznan is a continuation of a students’ lab that was conceived by artist Milica Tomić at the Body Luggage exhibition, the central exhibition in the frame of the steirische herbst festival curated by Indian-born curator Zasha Colah at the Kunsthaus Graz. Within the framework of the exhibition, by exhibiting their works, research, and investigation in process, students established an open space for inquiry and learning.
Participating students /Institute for Contemporary Art at the Architecture Faculty (TU Graz)/:
Amina Abazović, Džana Ajanović, Ajna Babahmetović, Therese Eberl, Helena Katharina Eichlinger, Angelika Hinterbrandner, Muris Kalić, Aldin Kanurić, Anousheh Kehar, Amir Ihab Tharwat Kozman, Ina Barbara Lichtenegger, Hilette Lindeque, Melissa Muhri, Alisa Pekić, Tina Petek, Andrea Peković, Clara Primschitz and Philipp Sattler.
Dubravka Sekulic is an architect researching transformations of contemporary cities, at the nexus between production of space, laws and economy. She joined Institute of Contemporary Art, Tu Graz, in September 2016, after spending three years as a phd fellow at the Institute for History and Theory of Architecture, ETH Zürich, Switzerland. Research exhibition "Three points of Support: Zoran Bojović, tha architect" that she curated at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade in 2012, followed by the book in 2013, formed the basis for her PhD project “Constructing Nonalignment: The Work of Yugoslav Construction Companies in the Third World 1961-1989”. In 2012 Jan van Eyck Academie (Maastricht) published her book ‘Glotzt Nicht so Romantisch! On Extra-legal Space in Belgrade' as well as the book “Surfing the Black Yugoslav black cinema and its transgression" that she co-edited with Gal Kirn and Žiga Testen. Together with Branko Belaćević, Marko Miletić, Srdjan Prodanović and Jelena Stefanović she made a research exhibition “Peti Park - A Struggle for Everyday”, which was followed by a publication. Amongst others she was associated with the Post-Master Research Lab “In Search for Common Ground” at the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm, Jan van Eyck Academy, Maastricht, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart. She sits at the advisory board of BLOK (Basis for refreshment of local culture), Zagreb and is a founding member of Parity Group at ETH Zürich.
Branimir Stojanović (1958) is a psychoanalyst, philosopher and artist, member of the Belgrade Psychoanalytic Society, founder of and lecturer on the School for History and Theory of Images. Founder and editor of the The Gay Science book series and Prelom magazine. He is the Chief Editor of Arhiv psihoanalize (Archive of Psychoanalysis) magazine, founder and member of the Monument art group, as well as founder and member of the library and self-education institution Ucitelj neznalica i njegovi komiteti (Ignorant Schoolmaster and His Committees). He has published essays, texts and studies in the fields of philosophy, theoretical psychoanalysis, critique of ideology and art theory.
Ivana Bago is an art historian, writer and curator based in Zagreb, and a PhD candidate at the Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies, Duke University. She is the co-founder of Delve | Institute for Duration, Location and Variables (www.delve.hr), dedicated to exploring the intersections between academic, artistic, art historical and curatorial practice. Her research interests include the history of Yugoslavia(s) and Yugoslav art, theories of art and aesthetics, conceptual art, geopolitics of contemporary art, critical theory, and phenomenology.