Art installation Sarajevo (2018).
Outside, the life continued:
The day after the flame of the 1992 Summer Olympics was lit in Barcelona by Paralympic archer, Antonio Rebollo, Sarajevo was under merciless fire and proclaimed ‘the dying city’ as it experienced the first four months of the siege. After the first days of shock and disbelief, the siege transformed the lives of Sarajevans into a complex play of survival. In their resilience, they adjusted to ‘the game’ and played it in the most creative ways under the least conducive of human conditions. The siege game became THE reality and a way of living. At a certain point, it was only through having a reference to the outside world that one was aware of what that reality was: an isolated case of systematic destruction.
During the so-called ‘reductions’ (redukcije), the city’s districts were supplied with electricity for brief periods of time. Next to all the household jobs that were efficiently done within that short span of time, TVs were turned on and car batteries were loaded.
Images of the ‘outside’ world would penetrate homes and linger long after the cathode infusion was switched off as electricity was cut at the end of each reduction. There is a Janus-faced character to this ritual: while it was heart-wrenching to realize the indifference of the world that served as a confirmation of the siege and the legitimacy of its existence, these precious peeks into the outside universe were, at the same time, instrumental in preserving the fragile notion of sanity.
In fact, we argue, it was this infusion of ‘normality’, familiar and reminiscent of life prior to the siege, that was one of the key elements for maintaining and practicing humanity in the midst of one of the cruelest social experiments directed towards absolute dehumanization in history.
With this installation we aim to 1) add archive media material as a complementary layer to the existing exhibition, 2) address the topic of the ‘outside world’ in opposition to the ‘inside world’ and 3) problematize the adopted and commonly used assertion that
‘the whole world watched’ (and did nothing). The latter is also a commentary on our contemporary context in which we are a part of ‘the whole world watching’ terror in Syria and elsewhere. In a world of rolling news and internet videos, are we doing something?
Are we global citizens empowered to act, or cyber flaneurs too far removed from reality?
Barcelona 1992 Olympic games opening ceremony
Looney toons: Falling Hare
R.E.M. – Shiny Happy People
HRT – Kolo sreće (Wheel of fortune)
Jamiroquai – Too Young to Die
Graškograd (Poddington Peas)
RATM – Freedom
1993 Eurovision song contest
Death of Kurt Cobain – MTV news clip
The process of selecting the videos was done through an open call. Share your TV memories from 1992 to 1996 on Facebook page Cathode Infusion/Katodna Infuzija and the YouTube channel.
Concept: Sabina Tanović & Dario Kristić
Manual labor: Dario Kristić
Video edit: Paul de Vries
This artwork would not be possible without help of: Maja Devedžić, Edvard Močić, Darko Dusparić, Amina Omićević, Kemal
Sulejmanović, Denis Vila, Lejla Ramić, Pomozi.ba | source: youtube.com