MARKO A. KOVAČIČ Two Stories
For a long time, I've been fascinated by my grandad's passion for collecting.
He lived in a small cottage, with a wood-shed beside it, and every year
he added a new wood-shed. In them, my grandad stored all kinds of objects
he found and believed he'd definitely need one day. As a child, I used
to enthusiastically explore these little museums of non-functional objects.
When I was young, we had a TV set which was a piece of furniture, and because of the radiation, it was not to be looked at for more than twenty minutes a day. This TV set never left our house; whenever necessary, a mechanic came and repaired it on the spot. Since the TV set was old and frequently broke down, it often happened that I could see inside the TV from behind. When the TV was already quite old, and as I grew up and began to learn what faults there could be, I looked in it myself, found a blown fuse, bought a new one in a shop, and put it in. Thus I became familiar with the TV from both sides, and it grew so close to my heart that when we bought a new one, I preserved it as a souvenir of my youth. At the end of the eighties, I became aware of human dependence upon television, of the extent to which people believe everything this medium communicates to them. This was the period when the first signs of the Balkan crisis started to appear: Miloševič came to power; Serbian policy started to battle against the internal enemy. At that time, however, everything did not seem to be so disastrous yet. In 1989, I was invited to participate in the Yugoslav Documenta exhibition in Sarajevo. I pondered the kind of a piece I should do for this exhibition. And I made my first TV set. In my installation, I repeated the ground plan of a three-nave, Old Christian basilica which stood on the Sarajevo fair grounds where the Documenta exhibition was being held. I named this work Prediction of Zeus. The TV set had no screen, and central to it was a tiny soldier throwing a bomb. If Zeus was the superior ideological leader of the Ancient Greeks, if he protected them from enemies by throwing his spear, in our time this role was taken over by a Partisan with a gun and a bomb standing in a heroic pose. I wanted to satirise the situation which was starting to develop in the then Yugoslavia. Soon afterwards, I lost my studio, I was left in a narrow space and started to think in what direction I should take my art. I had the TV set, and it seemed adequate as a field of vision, it became part of the work which continued from before. It also conceptually stimulated me as a space where I could continue to deal with the problem of the power of the video medium (the essential topic of my work in video art). As an artist working in the field of visual art, I could not avoid being fascinated by modern technology. It is precisely by means of video art that an artist can creep into the spectator's living room, which is the symbol of intimacy, privacy - it is everyman's miniature kingdom.
Edited by Nadja Zgonik