“Despite the efforts of historians, scribes, and all sorts of archivists, the quantity of what is irretrievably lost in the history of society and in the history of individuals is infinitely greater than what can (not) be stored in the archives of memory.”
Giorgio Agamben, The Unforgettable
Fragments untitled is an ongoing series of works that deal with the politics of media images that participated in creating the historical narratives of Yugoslavia in the period of 1980-2000. Our personal memory built upon those images participated in securing the collective memory and the formation of national identity. The project deconstructs and appropriates those images in order to point at the work of media machinery and the manipulation it undertook. Fragments untitled re-performs the context and environment of media content, but now stresses what has previously been made invisible and repressed, what in the media flux has been marginalized and regarded as ephemeral.
Fragments untitled #1, 2012
Experimental video, 6,50′, loop
Courtesy of the artists
The famous speech of Slobodan Milošević, which took place at Kosovo on June 28th 1989, was performed in front of thousands of people. The National Television was streaming it. This event, known as “happening of the people”, is embodied in the image and the speech of Milošević. History regards it as a presage of the collapse of Yugoslavia and the bloodshed of the Yugoslav Wars.
What history fails to denote is a countershot to popular representation and the articulation of the people. Official and mainly media memory censored both of these signifiers.
By changing the signifier and representation can one change the memory and influence the flow of history? Fragments untitled #1 dissects media footage and TV streams of the 1989 event in order to denote the invisible and deconstruct the memory.
Fragments untitled #2, 2014
Experimental video, 6.10′, loop
Courtesy of the artists
A Better Life is a Yugoslav TV series with mixed elements of soap opera, comedy and drama that aired from 1987 to 1991. Created by Radiotelevision Belgrade it is considered to be the most successful TV show ever produced in Yugoslavia.
Fragments untitled #2 reveals images that witness the rapid political and economic changes taking place in the post-Tito SFR Yugoslavia during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
*Doplgenger is a Serbian transcription for Doppelgänger, the German word, which is the usual literary term for common phenomenon of double and which literally means “double-goer”.
Doppelgänger is a stranger, a foreigner, an outsider, a social deviant, anyone whose origins are unknown or who has extraordinary powers, tends to be set apart as evil. The double is defined as evil precisely because of its difference and a possible disturbance to the familiar and the known. It defines space outside the dominant value system. It is in this way that the double traces the unsaid and unseen of culture: that which has been silenced, made invisible, made “absent”. It threatens to dissolve dominant structures, it points to or suggests the basis upon which the cultural order rests – the unified individual.
Doplgenger is an artist duo Isidora Ilić and Boško Prostran, film/video artists from Belgrade (ex-Yugoslavia). The work of Doplgenger deals with relation between art and politics through exploring the regimes of moving images and modes of its reception. They deconstruct the film medium, language, structure and notions of text in order to discover the ways in which art/moving images participate in creating political reality. They rely on the tradition of experimental film and video and through some of the actions of these traditions intervene on the existing media products.
Their work has been presented in Serbia and internationally both in group or solo exhibitions and film/video festivals: STATE ABED, Gallery of Fine Arts Split, Open Systems, GPL Contemporary, Vienna 2014; Salon Video, Romania, Festival des cinémas différents et expérimentaux de Paris (2013), VIDEOEX – International Experimental Film & Video Festival Zurich, VIDEFORMES – Art vidéo et cultures numériques, Clermont-Ferrand, 2013; Art Biennale Pančevo, 2012; Gallery ArtPoint, Vienna, 2011, TINA B. – The Prague Contemporary Art Festival, 2011; Belgrade Summer Festival, BELEF, 2010
In recent years they have been participating in symposia, workshops, as well as presenting lectures and screening programs in Austria, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Russia, Croatia, Serbia.