exhibition in NOVI PAZAR
REX - Cultural Centre B92, Ressource Centre Sandzak and Urban In
present works of art and documentaries whose theme is
17 - 30 October
The Gallery "Sopocanska vidjenja"
The project focuses on the phenomenon of open secret. The
Law on Free Access to Information, one version of which is on the point
of being passed by the National Assembly, provided the motive for conceiving
The works were created in the course of
the workshops held over the summer at the Bor Resource Sandzak and led
by Dragan Protic and Nebojsa Milikic.
Here you can see photographs from opening of the "OPEN
SECRET" exhibition in Novi Pazar
"I'm telling you a story; it's not much of a story,
in fact...", (installation, 5 colour photographs, 30x40 cm)
author: Samir Delic
Two elderly men exchange greetings and some information on a street in
Novi Pazar. In the busy town centre, if you meet someone you see every
day you can ask: "How are things today?", "What's up"
or "How are you and your family" and answer gesticulating without
saying a word, by making easily comprehensible head and lip movements.
The meeting that can be seen on these photographs is maybe something more
than a usual conversation, but to tell the truth the images are as informative
as the traditionalist and carefully fostered image of the town and its
inhabitants - meaning that they tell us precious little… Therefore, the
way that this work is exhibited - on two simultaneous, but separated levels
- reveals the nature of the inevitable interrelation of public and secret
aspects of every town scene.
"Find the clone", (back-lit box, 6 A3-sized
digital prints on PVC foils, poster in the local Health Centre)
author: Vlade Profilovic
This work puts across two contradictory messages: a human clone can/cannot
be recognized in the foetal stage. This opens the question of whether
we will gloat over the ultimate breaking of the monopoly of nature and
society (even if the society consists of just two persons) on the right
of living creatures to reproduce, or we will, feeling a wave of self-accusation
because of our gloating, start fighting the beings "different from
us", this time "globally different" i.e. different from
"all of us".
"Reanimation", (digital print 30x30 cm,
audio recording 17')
author: Djordje Radomirovic
Both the visual and the audio component contain the procedure of self-questioning
and memory searching. In the audio recording we can hear the reminiscences
of Serbian residents of Novi Pazar remembering the solidarity and help
of their Muslim neighbours in the hard times during the war. Borrowing
traditional Muslim clothes saved lives, as well as opening emergency exits
and using back doors leading to safe neighbouring gardens... Another dialog
is heard in the background... we learn that somebody wants to remember
something and announce it to the world but cannot do it... I locked you
in my heart and threw away the key. Once, during the Second World War,
the entire Serbian population was put in the town prison for one simple
reason - to hide from the approaching army and the possible massacre.
The prison was guarded by the local collaborationist police - not because
they feared that someone would want to escape. They guarded it against
those who might march into it... In a way, every situation in which a
man must take sides on a national basis makes him a prisoner. Everything
is there: national costume or a uniform, rituals and duties and a punishment
if you try to escape. Some mechanical, artificial eye designed as a machine
reflected in the eye of the author, keeps us under its surveillance and
scrutinizes our longing gaze at the possible exit.
"The best sugar", (6000 sugar bags 3x8 cm,
distributed in cafés in Novi Pazar and Sjenica)
author: Sandzak Resource Centre
During one of the workshops in Novi Pazar, local open secrets were discussed.
The fact some cafés are divided along ethnic lines was mentioned. People
know which places are owned by the Bosnians and which by the Serbs, while
some other cafés are not known to be frequented only by young people of
one nationality or the other… however, it cannot hurt to raise that difficult
issue on the spot… even if the results are even more difficult and bitterer
than expected… (bitterer coffee is the one that is just slightly sweetened…
in which at least one sugar cube is put).
"Assessing the damage", (scanned slides,
showing held on 18 October at 7 pm in 29 novembra Street)
author: Asim Niksic
A series of slides of Novi Pazar, dating back to 1970, shown during the
evening hours in a busy street (public space) was aimed at stirring up
a discussion about the present and future of town planning in Novi Pazar...
as was the case with the majority of towns in the Socialist Federal Republic
of Yugoslavia, Novi Pazar too witnessed a spontaneous ruin of the brave
town-planning projects attempted in the 1960s and 1970s... the demolishing
of old town centres - bazaars left a deep scar on the autochthonous population
always interested in the good old times (in equal measure in Belgrade,
Novi Pazar or Leskovac). The author of these slides worked as a claims
assessor for the local insurance company. These slides themselves have
a kind of precise form of an official, but at the same time, very personal
document - it is a series of town scenes, which no one could have insured
against disappearance. Besides, looking at the carefree faces of the people
at public gatherings and on the streets in town, we can assess the damage
caused by the loss of peace and trust that no one can make up for... that
damage is absolute...
"Old trust", (100 prints on cotton T-shirts,
on open sale)
author: Urban In
The vacuum in the very famous Novi Pazar jeans and textile industry that
appeared because of the restrictions imposed by the transition and the
shifting balance of power in the region and the country, puts non-governmental
organizations to a new test. The task is to "recycle" the enthusiasm
of the people who felt desperate throughout the nineties and find new
answers to old social issues: how to launch initiatives and offer constructive
resistance when we ourselves voted for the current establishment. That
question will be posed through investing money obtained by selling the
T-shirts... the key part/result of this work is the decision where to
invest the money earned in this way...
"Why didn't I contribute to the Open Secret project?",
(slide show and installation made of various kinds of building material)
author: Naser Mihovic
The author is torn between private obligations (building a house) and
the wish to participate in the project. This position is imposed on many
of us by the tempo of the modern business life. Unable to devote ourselves
simultaneously to solving problems related to mere survival and the ones
that have to do with the general interest, we back away withdrawing into
some kind of shell.