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  • Claims of the monument: the counter-monument remains. The myth of the monument in former Yugoslavia: artistic practice as reconciliatory form

Bajec, Manca, 2019, Thesis, Claims of the monument: the counter-monument remains. The myth of the monument in former Yugoslavia: artistic practice as reconciliatory form PhD thesis, Royal College of Art.

Abstract or Description:

How can artistic practice become a valid method of observing counter-histories; the histories which are not included in the institutionally supported historical narrative?
How can the counter-monument movement be re-adapted and re-visited through its original ideologies, in the context of post-conflict spaces in former Yugoslavia?
This practice-led project positions the state of the monument today, and more specifically in societies existing in a state of unresolved conflict. In doing so, it examines the artwork as a counter-monumental form and as an approach to unravelling issues of
a resistance which exist in sites where monument-building is not possible.
Departing from a body of research that looks at how destruction or alienation of sites of memory enables the denial of history and creates formats for further manipulation of historical events, this project considers whether artistic practice can provide a method
of confronting the state of memorialization of conflict through an auto-ethnographic critique of historical events. Furthermore, whether artistic practice can provide insight into a space where state facilitated symbolic repair is unstable.
This project takes on an appropriated structure of a play. Presented in six Acts, and a Prologue and Epilogue, it delves into an observation, through a visual and non-visual critique, of three selected, different states of conflict that have appeared in the region
of former Yugoslavia and their memorialization. The first examines the WWII conflict between the Partisans and Domobranci (Homeguard) in Slovenia, the second observes the historical narrative surrounding the WWII concentration camp Jasenovac, and
the third looks at the problematic state of denial of 1990s atrocities, in Republika Srpska, in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Each Act unveils a methodological approach, which is considered an integral part of the artwork, and through which a different understanding of the counter-monument is appropriated.
The Acts consist of reflections intertwining three different modes of presenting knowledge; through theoretical concepts surrounding conflict, memory, monuments,
representations of violence in the arts and politics (considered as stage notes, giving context), interrupted by a series of narrative recollections (imitating diary descriptions, of events that are either encounters with places or people and treated as a scenography
which creates the atmosphere), and the artworks (which are regarded as the script).
Through a series of artworks, this project, appears almost as a gesamtkunstwerk, or complete body of the Acts, weaving through theoretical and historical constructs in order to challenge the premise of social and artistic representations of trauma, history,
political power, and social injustice. In doing so, it positions the action of making research as the sculptural-visible and non-visible-form which attempts to redefine political sculpture as the re/de-construction of the counter-monument.

Qualification Name: PhD
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art > W130 Sculpture
School or Centre: School of Arts & Humanities
Funders: Ministry of Culture of Slovenia, Municipality of Ljubjlana
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2019 17:26
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2019 17:26
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/3769

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