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ARCHITECTURE OF MEMORY / INNER LANDSCAPE exhibition catalog, Contemporary Art Gallery, Smederevo, October 2014.


  • Nina Todorovi


    / INNER LANDSCAPE Svetlana Volic

    Galerija savremene umetnosti Smederevo01.10 - 19.10.2014.

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  • Svetlana Volic INNER LANDSCAPE


    Space that has been seized upon by the imagination cannot remain indifferent space subject to the measures and estimates of the surveyor. It has been lived in, not in its positivity, but with all the partiality of the imagination.

    Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

    One of the side effects of the transitional period is the accelerated construction of new housing [not necessarily ideal or aesthetic, but adapted to the needs and spirit of the time] in place of the old, less adequate. The face of the city is changing and the intimate space, physical and mental, takes other forms and is slowly mutating.

    Nina Todorovi ARCHITECTURE OF MEMORYThe ARCHITECTURE OF MEMORY project is a series of photographs that has gradually developed

    over the past ten years, making photographic records of locations in a transitional phase from rubble [ruins] into a newly constructed building. This series of photographs is not merely an enumeration and description, though it inevitably brings an element of documentation. Apart from the transition from analogue to digital, there is the impact of time in the form of personal oblivion. Thus, some sites remain unknown and unrecognisable for ever.

    The photographs represent a problem and play between the intimate/inner and public/outer, raising the fundamental question whether the demolition of the old house forever erased the memory and the genetic code that it carried, or whether it is added to and connected with the memories of the new build-ing. What I see and feel at such locations is that the history and the memory of the old dwellings, become embedded in the memory of the building under construction. Both the psychological and emotional rich-ness that is hidden in the walls never leaves the particular location, while the remaining nude walls pro-vide individual insights into the specific hidden aesthetics and artistry of Bachelards Cosmos [Universe].

    Svetlana Volic INNER LANDSCAPEThis series of photographs was shot over the years 2010 and 2011 during the upgrade of two floors of

    the building where I live. The entire facade of the building was covered with a protective semi-transpar-ent fabric, significantly changing the living conditions and the view through the windows. This shrouding of the building completely changed both the aesthetic and semantic interpretation of any observations. The photographed scene is always the same; the look through the bathroom window to the street where I have lived since my birth. Through this impressionistic approach, the photographs are intended to register changes in light, colour and atmosphere during different seasons or times of day.

    Claude Monet painted the Rouen cathedral at different times of day and year, reflecting the changes in its appearance under different lighting conditions. The effects of light have become as important as the subject itself. Concentrating on the same subject in the whole series of paintings, Monet concentrated on recording visual sensations themselves.

    Besides the impressionistic approach and the beauty found within the scene, the background in both social and historical terms is quite devastating. During the politically troubled nineties, investors re-sorted to unscrupulous and often illegal practices when licenses were due. The Seal of Tenants Assem-bly and tenants signatures were frequently forged to expedite and falsely approve works. This is not an isolated case in the urban planning practices of the last twenty years in Belgrade.

    The Rouen cathedral was built in the Gothic style on the walls of the former Romanesque cathedral, and represents the best from French history and culture, as an architectural style that was adopted and which were admired in many European countries during the Middle Ages.

  • The system initially signifies only a certain way of interrelation; in addition to that, the biolo-gists term of system requires that none of the parts outside the context is what it represents within the context. Quite simply: Stuffed heart is not the heart of the living body.

    Burghart Schmidt

    When we talk about the heart and the system, we can say that the heart of the living body in Serbia has been stuffed for a long time, and that the system is turned towards a single goal: personal survival. In this environment it is very difficult to find a dose of optimism for a better tomorrow. To some extent, the environment in which we live can be compared with the problem of John Murdoch, from the movie Dark City, who suddenly wakes up in a city where he is charged with murder he did not commit. In a city where Strangers (Daemons-Strangers) control everything, from changing of urban environment (which in the film changes in a specific time cycles), working in it, to attempting to grab the memory of every citizen, and where they are altering it, so that everything comes to the end point of the occupation of Strangers: hu-man spirit.

    What is happening now is a system that says everything is permitted. It is allowed to change, construct, demolish, concrete, remove, pull, in a system that is in love with short-term habits, in a system where the excitement that is not related to anything appears, where the fake feelings of being emotionally touched fail. The past is taken here only as a need to justify the system. Out of necessity and its sheer performance does not benefit either the past or the future. Only instant gratification and the need to repeat something that was not deviated from the passage of time and from the present. A futile wish to build, create, make the Grail castle. Knowledge of the Grail castle has nothing to do with the earlier, the previous elsewhere, nor with this new, today. So here we come to the myth of Parsifal and his views of the new building; neither was it the old castle, nor was Parsifal the same as when he first saw it.

    In their new works, Svetlana Volic and Nina Todorovi examine and record the previous states (imprints of old houses in Ninas works), the new situation (covering the facade of the building in Svetlanas works) and memory that is very important for the final judgment. The judgement that faces the possibility of residence, which was destroyed by the reality of the new system that has become the accident that is stalking a civil society. In this space, which is located within the system between out-put and in-put, nothing interesting happens. The void in which one tries to survive and at the same time does not look at what happens between the out-put and the in-put, but just tries to take care to stay on the surface. Events that occur in the system over the out-put and the in-put are mixed, rapid, distracted, ground in that exchange so that an individual who is in the interspace cannot respond adequately and is facing oblivion.

    Through their works, both artists are trying to break away from oblivion, through memory and a different perception that suddenly appeared. While Nina Todorovi deals with explora-tion and attempt to capture all those houses that have had their character and emotion within the area in which they were made, Svetlana Volic, awoken in her apartment building that was


  • wrapped in cloth, is trying to understand the situation that she suddenly appeared in. In other words, their attempt to record is on the track of what Charles Moore in his work always had in mind: Buildings must be such that the human bodies and mind can reside in them, they have to establish connections with the past and evoke memories.

    And in our reality houses and buildings are built with the same intensity, but it is getting more and more noticeable that architects are running out of imagination, as if the buildings come up with the slogan: Hooray, I have no i