Irena Lagator Pejović


“If I Were Ronald Regan”


found object, a school work from 1985

Documentary material, book Expanses of Love

Collection of awarded and commended student works at SUBNOR literary competitions in Sombor 1978–1984, Sombor, 1985

Artist’s archive.

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


For her solo exhibition title Expanses of Love, the artist Irena Lagator takes as one of the points of reference the literary schoolwork contest book from 1985 on the topic of the National Liberation movement in Yugoslavia, greater equality and solidarity, a bridge of human to human in the name of freedom. One of its texts, for example, was written by a primary schoolgirl. She shares a reflection on what she would do if she were Ronald Regan. She fearlessly imagines a time without conflicts, wars, boundaries, or struggles. Nevertheless, given our recent history and, more importantly, the reality of today, with the rising cost of living and the constantly present wars, it seems extremely far away and unattainable to achieve her innocent childlike yearning, courage, and light. (Patrycja Ryłko)





Is it logical that, in the same world and in the same time, the ones die from hunger and the others waste money on armament? Is it human to divide the world in those that are rich, developed and those that are poor, underdeveloped? Is it pleasant to live knowing that somewhere in the space above you big tin cans wage wars?


If I were Mister Ronald Regan for only one day! If the destiny of the world depended on me, I would know what to do.


I would have all those threatening aircrafts grounded and make them the children’s toys. I would put all mighty weaponry into the museums that no one visits. And the starving people of Africa, South America and Asia would become guests of their rich European and American neighbours. And everyone would be equal, and the world would not be divided by borders.


But I do know that the Earth will spin many times, that many more people will starve to death, that many more aircrafts will orbit in space and that I shall still daydream of becoming Regan and changing the world.


Why is it important to you, Mister Regan, that the Russians don’t have more bombs and neutrons than you, that they are not more powerful than you? What do you think of it all and do you ever think of thousands and hundreds of thousands of children in all corners of the world having nothing to eat, starving to death? I know that we live in terrifying times and maybe because of that I daydream of the world without borders.

                                                                                                                                                           MIRJANA ŠIJAČIĆ, VIII-1 class, „Nikola Vukičević“ Elementary School