Irena Lagator Pejović


“I Would Put All Mighty Weaponry Into the Museums That No One Visits”


interactive modular installation

metal, plexiglass with printed foil

198 x 400 x 240 cm

Courtesy of the artist.

Exhibition/Venue: Exhibition/Venue: Irena Lagator Pejović, Expanses of Love, Art Gallery „Nadežda Petrović”, Čačak, Serbia, curated by Patrycja Rylko and Julka Marinković, 2023. 

Photo: Ivan Petrović, Irena Lagator Pejović



This walk-in modular installation displays the pages from the century old albums of metallography published by metallographic institute P. F. Dujardin & Co. from Dusseldorf in the 1920s. They are extracted from their original scientific context as pages used in the control procedures for predictability of mutual reactions between metals and alloys, which are the processes used in the military industry as well. Multiplied on a transparent support, they are given a different purpose: to create spaces for critical interpretation of the destruction industries.


The title of this installation where the audience is given opportunity to perceive this confidential information, comes from the heart of the protest text of a school girl in 1980s that she titled If I were Ronald Reagan, published in the book “Expanses of Love” in 1985. She would put all the mighty weaponry into the museums that no one visits. She points at once at cultural, financial and technological conditions that cause the ruling of the unreason, treating the cause and the consequences of the latter simultaneously. Her strong sense of ethics and an honest need to repair, help and reconstruct what has been damaged, is a voice from the past whose relevance is more than urgent in the present. And it is this sense of urgency that creates knowledge against the weapons’ noise, through her voice as a collective one, that is made physical and thus visible in this installation of modules. We find ourselves in a kind of living archive of alternative knowledge that repeats itself and can grow just as an echo travels and reappears in the landscape without harming it, but complementing it instead. 


If echoes are indispensable responses, then the audience informed about the displayed data in this kind or emergency room is given the role of transmitters of echo of Mirjana’s voice as a child and nowadays environmental scientist, researcher and professor who will read her childhood story at the opening of this exhibition. Her voice, autonomously opposing the warfare narrative, raises awareness of possibility of many heterogeneous voices in our common struggle against the destruction of the Planet and the reasoning of the unreason (John Roberts).


Where else can we start undoing political unreason if not in art and imagination as the radical autonomous spaces of critical attitude in relation to instrumentalization of technology, devastation of the environment and hurtful impact of globalisation on local areas. (Irena Lagator Pejović)