Irena Lagator Pejović


Resistence Reservoir

equation in english, montenegrin and german written on an ex Mazut (fuel oil) reservoir, art in the public interest
Text: Elke Krasny
Exhibition/Venue: Resistence Reservoir, garden of the Ministry of Culture, intervention in public space ofCetinje, Montenegro
Photo: Irena Lagator, MAMMA agency

In order to make visible the problem of vanishing social responsibility in the 21st century, I have written an equation whose result is a NO. Apart of exhibiting it and writing it on various exhibition walls and in various contexts, I choosed to write it also on the surface of the Oil reservoir from the 1960s that served to the fridge factory OBOD, in Cetinje, in Montenegro (the smallest Yugoslavian republic).

OBOD factory was one of the biggest state-owned Yugoslavian factory, an industrial giant producing refrigerators, freezers and washing machines that were exported even in the USA. This kind of socialist economy i.e. a socialist brand (if we may say so), succeeded in building up a new working class with a peak in the late 80s when this factory was employing 5000 workers, becoming even a symbol of country's industrial development and, paradoxically, just before Yugoslavia started to disintegrate.

Elements of that equation are the international operating economical term of LLC, SRL, GmbH, DOO - understood as Society of Limited Responsibility, compared with its poetic transformation into its opposite - the Society of Unlimited Responsibility and the result of the equation.

If we confront the term of a limited liability company to a possible society of unlimited responsibility and if we observe them together as elements of the same equation, to then mathematically differentiate the same elements, what we get as a result is a negation, i.e. word No. But this result is not a negation that denotes refusal, cancellation, or annulation of something.

Since the result No is derived from the element that speaks of unlimited responsibility, we thus deal with the positive character of this negation result, the conversion of denial in confirmation, the transformation of the limitation of responsibility into its illimitation. To make this equation possible, I opened the firm d.o.o. whose name was D. Ne O. O. and after the realization of the equation, I closed the firm, in order to highlight the need to become aware of facts and words that by the power of capitalist habits are today barely visible and significant. This process serves to warn us of the risk of blind acceptance of laws, stereotypes and habits that are imposed on us, what relates to the venue choose for its application: the oil reservoir is surrounded with a hexagonal concrete wall that was built as a proof of responsibility for protection of the city if in case of accident the Oil would be poured out.

My interventions stood there for 8 years, until the reservoir was removed by the processes of the new urban planning of the city in January 2020 - the process which I doccumented and at the moment develop in an consequential installation piece.