Irena Lagator Pejović


Fiscal Verses. Reprogramming the Machine

2023 –

an interactive installation, variable dimensions

verses in different languages on thermal paper printed with fiscal cash register and distributed to the audience during the exhibition

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: Irena Lagator Pejović



This ephemeral and participatory artwork stands for autonomy of words inside the fiscal cash register – the machine itself – referred to as the manifold crises overlapping in our contemporaneity, making visible the contradictions that are conditioned by reality of our time.


Being preoccupied with and against financial occupation of our cognition, the artist has programmed the fiscal cash register in the way that, instead of commercial objects of our everyday need, we can read the imported words that represent intangible values such as feelings, love, knowledge, consciousness, memory… i.e. ephemeralities, on this thermal piece of paper that we know as fiscal receipt.


I also assign unreasonable prices to them, commenting ironically and subversively on the paradoxical ongoing inflation. This new combination of blocks of words and lines of numbers, as elements of different origin, create a thought-provoking relation that surpasses their individual meanings and show how a symbiosis and mutual support is capable of diversion that can, at least poetically, lead us to creation of a better world – referring to etymology of the word poiesis.


Here, verses become intruders within the established system of the trading world. The verses are given a specific action: to reconstruct the unsupportable rhythm of our daily life with the same means with which this rhythm was created. They are typed by combining the principles of surrealistic automatic writing, concrete and visual poetry. These fiscal verses create new forms for resistance to automatisation of our social life, critically dealing with systems of culture and economy at the same time.


These newly created receipts are gifted to the audience, from hand to hand during the time of the exhibition connecting its three thematic rooms, as pieces of verses printed only with the heat of the machine. One can keep them as a gift or throw them away. But they can also be found free floating in the exhibition space, on the floor, in the corners, in the outer public and private spaces, as if they were forgotten by us, the unconscious consumers, or conscious avoiders of the tax payment. The process of giving, as reconstruction of our autonomy of life, emphasises the need for warmth, solidarity, slower daily life, and connection between people as a reaction to the paradoxical distance that we are continually witnessing in times of orchestrated alienation, exploitative isolation and manipulation of society. (Irena Lagator Pejović)