Nemanja Cvijanovic: “Paying My Electricity Bill”
babelmed - 21/11/2008
I had visions, I was in them. I was looking into the mirror, to see a little bit clearer, the rottenness and evil in me. And not just me, but within our entire brotherhood as well.
Josip Broz Tito
Reflecting upon recent historical occurrences, the exhibition Paying My Electricity Bill by Nemanja Cvijanovic, sets out to explore the national heritage and collective memory relating to the transitional reshaping of the Former Yugoslavia.
Through profoundly critical and intimate work comprised of archival material, video, and installation, the exhibition echoes the collective amnesia that ex Yugoslav society have experienced as they attempt to recreate a lost nation. While longing for the past as well as seeking to understand the process of ideological dismissal, as it relates to world justice, equality, brotherhood and unity, internationalism, peace and a “bright future”, the project strives to come to terms with the artist’s sense of displacement and nostalgia.
The work entitled I Am Paying Electricity Bills is an authentic copy of a tombstone of Josip Broz Tito, transformed into a marble radiator resembling smaller home heaters. Tito was a revolutionary, Marshal and Supreme Commander of victorious Antifascist Partisan Forces in the WWII and life-term leader of Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. After the war he became the president of the Yugoslav Communist Alliance and a principal founder of the Non-Aligned Movement. He was a dedicated fighter for world peace.
Shortly after Tito’s death in 1980, speculation began about the future of Yugoslavia. Ethnic separation and tension grew, escalating in a series of bloody Yugoslav wars in the 90s. Tito was buried in a mausoleum in Belgrade, still visited by many as a shrine to "better times", although it no longer accompanied by the guard of honour that it once had.
The exhibition is curated by Predrag Pajdic