ART ZEPPELIN

Project by Dajan Špirić, Igor Sovilj, Mladen Bundalo / Sep 2011

The Project „Art Zeppelin Cyber Gallery“ focuses on the research of the potentialities of art-representation in the new medias. The visual structure of the project is based on the simulation of the three-dimensional space that offers an illusion of the free movement inside the e-space. The visitors are also able to interact with the visual contents that are available via hyperlinks. The project reinvestigates the web-based curatorial practices, exploatation of the copy-left internet resources and problematizes virtual architecture and its visualisation by means of digital simulation. Therefore, the project also contributes to the established exhibiting strategies such as net-art or audio-video web-streaming. Phenomenology and methodology of the digitally generated space are the main focus of the critical exploration of this project, as well as the position of artists and art inside such formats and the analogies with the habits taken from the real space and the intensity of their interdependence.
"The Imaginary Pavilion", first and only exhibition project realised in the ArtZeppelin, was a continuation of the Tac.ka art group work on the complexity of Bosnian-Herzegovinian culture and identity. The curator of the virtual exhibition was our comrade Igor Sovilj. The whole project is not any more available on-line, due to issues with the 3D plug-in and its non-compatibility with newer internet browsers. The only remaining traces of the project are some video-interviews, screenshots and the following text as the exhibition statement:

The main objective of the curator’s concept for the exhibition Imaginary pavilion of Bosnia and Herzegovina for the Cynetart festival is to present in an artistic way all the complexity of the today’ s Bosnian society. Its objective is also to explain which role the ‘ imaginary’ played in the escalation of the Bosnian conflict and which role it still plays in the present existence of Bosnian state on local and international level.

The six aspects of Imaginarity as presented in the exhibition are the following:

Bridges in Bosnia/ Imaginarity aspects once and today Bridge over Drina

Since 2007 the bridge over Drina, a masterpiece of the architect Mimar Sinan built in 1571 became UNESCO's World Heritage. To the only bosnian Nobel Preis winner for literature, Ivo Andric, this bridge served as leitmotiv for his book „The Bridge Over Drina“ in which he describes, among other things, the atrocities that Ottoman rulers did to local serbian population in Bosnia. The book became the most cited source of justification for the crimes against non-Serbs in the last war from Serbian intellectuals of all levels. The imaginary, partly fictitious past as described in the book (and in books in general) served as an inspiration for revenge.

Bosnian Sun Pyramide / Imaginary project of Bosnian identity

Under one hill in Visoko near Sarajevo an amateur researcher of Pyramidal construction Semir Osmanagic claims to have discovered a Pyramid. Osmanagic imagines, since there is no scientific prove for what he says, that the Bosnian Pyramid of Sun is the oldest and biggest in the world. It is common place in the post-Yugoslavian political and historical discourse for the nations to claim, always without any or with very suspicious evidences that their people is the oldest, the first, the only. Though, never before such thing became a project that led people to destroy an entire hill and even got financial support from the authorities for doing it.

Bosnian „gastarbeiter“ in Germany / My personal Bosnia

The part of Bosnian citizens that cultivate the most unrealistic image of their country of origin are the Bosnians living abroad. Most of them live in between, not fully integrated in the new homeland and lost connections with the reality in the country of origin. In the Zeppelin flying statements belong to some of them that were asked to say what is so special about Bosnia. Many of them give unrealistic statements that depict a country that doesn't really exist in that way and what is actually a response to their inability or refusal to integrate where they live at the moment and to fully accept the fact they no longer live where they used to live and where they pay a visit once a year.

Ars Aevi/An imaginary museum of Contemporary arts in Sarajevo

One of the most important collections of contemporary arts in Southeast Europe is in Sarajevo. It's being collected thanks to the ArsAevi project that united some of the most famous names in the world of contemporary art that donated their artworks to the city of Sarajevo during and after the war such as Michelangelo Pistoletto, Marina Abramovic, Dennis Oppenheim, Anis Kapoor, Cindy Sherman, Daniel Buren, Sol le Vit, Joseph Kosut and many others. Although it's been there for almost two decades there is no museum of contemporary arts built yet and it is not always possible to visit this collection. Here presented doors that stand between different rooms of the Zeppelin are the photos of the Janis Kounellis art-installation that this artist added to the collection as a present to the Sarajevo city. The city authorities had to temporarily refuse this millions of euros worth present due to a lack of an adequate space for its preservation.

Imaginary Pavilion of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Venice / Action by Tac.ka in 2007

Shocked by the fact that Bosnia and Herzegovina even at the Venice Biennial Bosnia is not represented the members of the Tac.ka association placed a paper black dot on the works of the artists exhibiting in Venice in 2007. In that way they simbolically created an Imaginary Pavilion of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the discussion about the non-representation of Bosnian art started. In 2009 the members did an enquiry: the visitors of the Venice Biennial were asked to show where the Bosnian Pavilion was. All of them were convinced of seeing it somewhere at the Biennial (or was it on TV?).

Top List of the Surrealists / Game Over?

Shortly before the escalation of the conflict in Bosnia the most popular TV-show of the Balkans was the so called Top List of the Surrealists. A group of musicians, actors and other artists organized a comedy show in which they predicted almost everything that would happen in the coming years. At the end of the show they always played an improvisation of the Pacman video-game. In this improvisation the 'negatives' were having national colours of the republics of Yugoslavian federation and chasing all together the wite figure (Pacman) representing Yugoslavia. At the end, after apparent successes of the 'negative ones' the white figure would suddenly eliminate all its (nationalistic) opponents. The question is: if the Surrealists were brave enough to predict all the negative outcomes of the Yugoslavian conflict does the final victory of Pacman means the idea of brotherhood and unity will win and nationalists will be defeated?

Bridges in Bosnia / Imaginarity aspects once and today - Old Bridge in Mostar

More than 400 years old bridge in Mostar was destroyed in 1993 by Croatian forces. It was rebuilt in 2004 and put the next year on the UNESCO's list of world heritage as a “Symbol of reconciliation and international cooperation and also as the symbol of coexistence of different religious, cultural and ethnic communities“. Mostar town is nowadays and despite the beliefs and desires of the International Community a town almost fully divided in Eastern part with Bosniak and Western part with Croat majority and almost no Serbian community living in it.