Irena Lagator Pejović


Where is the Monument?

installation, color photography on aludibond, art documentation
70x150 cm, 70x50 cm each photography
Exhibition/Venue: 41. exhibition 13. November salon, Art gallery "Miodrag Dado Đurić", National Museum, Cetinje, Montenegro, 2019, curated by Natalija Vujošević.

Artwork included in THE BROKEN ARCHIVE Artistic Practices Bridging the Mediterranean. 

The Broken Archive – project curated by the Villa Romana, Florence, in cooperation with the HKW, Berlin, funded by the Federal Foreign Office as part of The Whole Life: An Archive Project.
Photo of the installation: Jovan Milošević

This hanging photographic installation is a work in progress. Its outside shows uncultivated city vegetation that visualizes spontaneous processes of micro biodiversity to which citizens are often indifferent, because it doesn’t belong to their personal property. Instead, it is part of the public space that is both common and nobody’s at the same time.

The inner side of the installation shows content related to history, memory and the notion of freedom. During the process of building a tourist facility on the Montenegrin coast, a monument to the fallen fighters in the People’s Liberation War of 1941-1945 was discovered, but it was simultaneously covered with the construction materials to be soon even fully removed.

Since the monument stood forgotten in the same place for years because it was covered with dense uncultivated plants, this installation is saving the new but unfortunately brief visibility of the monument, in order to remind us of fundamental cultural and societal values such as freedom.

The installation also shows a document which I addressed to the Ministry of Culture of Montenegro and its Directorate for the Development and Promotion of Activities in the field of Cultural Heritage with a request to answer my question: Where is the monument? Their response, as well as further documentation, will be presented on the occasion of future presentations of this same installation.

The work activates the questions related to environmental, cultural and political instrumentalization by the structural powers in a time when profit-oriented goals ignore historical, scientific and solidarity-oriented processes. Therefore, this work focuses on sensitization of the audience to the critical exploration of the instrumental and hidden powers in society that shape our surroundings and thus our lives at both local and global levels.