Museum of Revolution (black), 2009-2014
Installation view Beziehungsarbeit – Kunst und Institution, 2011
Wood, paint, acrylic glass, 160 x 70 x 40 cm
Photo: Markus Krottendorfer
Courtesy Federal Collection Artothek, Vienna
Central Committee, 2004
video, loop, 1’
Courtesy: Gabriele Senn Gallery, Vienna and the artist
Museum of Revolution, 2010
Installation view 20er Haus, Belvedere, Vienna
Steel, paint, 1100 x 400 x 300 cm
Photo: Marko Lulic
Collection Belvedere, Vienna
Courtesy Belvedere, Vienna; Gabriele Senn Gallery, Vienna and the artist
Designed in 1961 by the architect Vjenceslav Richter, the Muzej Revolucije (Museum of Revolution of Yugoslav Nations and Ethnic Minorities) was never completed. Even today its ruins, a basement with foundations, can be found in the Novi Beograd park, a park landscape of New Belgrade, where they now provide shelter for the homeless.
Marko Lulić has taken the legacy of Communism as the starting point for his group of works Museum of Revolution. He stages the eponymous lettering like a large billboard, as a temporary intervention in public space or presents the work as a small model within the framework of an exhibition. Museum of Revolution occupies places where museums and cultural institutions are architecturally changing, are being created or extended. In 2010 it was presented as an outdoor installation on the new building shell of the 21er Haus in Vienna, then later at the Arnolfini in Bristol, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb and the Teatro Margherita in Bari. This work not merely questions the current tendency of museum expansion in Western Europe. It also points out that nations in the midst of democratization processes always conduct politically motivated deliberations. The history of a country is thus also decided at the sites where museums are erected and where they dilapidate.
In 1961 Richter wrote about the Muzej Revolucije: “The purpose and idea of this museum is to safeguard the truth about us. From this follows its extraordinary importance, which has found its confirmation in the assigned location.” Richter’s idealistic concept failed, his visionary project was never realized. In 1996 the Muzej Revolucije was merged with other Belgrade cultural institutions to form the Muzej istorije Jugoslavije (Museum of Yugoslav History). In the process it turned into a ghost – a term used by Derrida to describe the fictions in our memories – and symbolized the contradictions within a highly complex historical and political context.
Lulić’s conceptual work takes up the model nature of the Museum of Revolution and presents the detached lettering in an institutional context. His work not only draws our attention to the story of a never-realized architectural project but also examines whether the idea behind the project can provide new insights in the present day. Which role should museums play in the future? At which locations should culture be communicated and disseminated? How do we wish to deal with our past in the future?
Marko Lulic (1972, Vienna, Austria) lives and works in Vienna. In the last years he has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally. His work deals intensively with topics such as architecture and modernism, the interweaving of ideology and esthetics, or the contrast of bodies in flux with the motionlessness of monumental structures. In his artistic practice he makes use of a number of media—including video, performance, photography, and installation. In recent years he has also curated several exhibitions, and teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.