The work on the project is conducted in three stages following a recurrent pattern. The first part of the action takes place in an urban agglomeration, a chosen city. I carry out the action applying the archaeological method of collecting, listing and marking the objects I found. I create a net system for each location, operating with 900m2 basic measuring units. In this way, depending on the size of city squares, the prevailing locations of this project, I get a certain number of fields within which I make a list of found objects according to the materials they are made of: glass, wood, etc. I gather discarded objects for about 10 to 15 minutes per measuring unit. Immediately after the action I process the new data and enclose the chosen collected objects into my archive. The third and final part of the action is the presentation consisting of a graph – statistics referring to the list of objects made according to the material they are made of, plans of the squares with their environment – locations of the actions and the presentation of a selection of the most representative and authentic discarded objects.
The basic idea of the project is to determine a society by means of seemingly unimportant objects:
its traditions, needs, habits, aesthetics and the culture of living. The selected objects have, by documenting and including them into the archive, became exhibits, documents and artefacts of cities and as such they convey local unique and personal identities. Authentic souvenirs, discarded objects or litter are an example of outlining diverse consumer cultures, pointing to the omnipresence of the process characteristic of contemporary, highly developed societies: production and consumption.
By exhibiting discarded objects, we become aware of the relations man - urban environment and man – object. Making things aesthetic helps us here and serves as a tool for building up ecological consciousness and awareness.
The project points to the connection between local population and globalization processes and shows where and to what degree local population has retained its distinctive characteristics and properties, irrespectively of the overall impact of globalization processes.
Transitional countries are an ideal mirror of the moment, which is visible from social and historical processes they are currently involved in. Change, building up or dissolution and destruction, all these terms could describe societies which want to be assimilated into the so-called world mainstream, the future, the West. During that process, transitional societies do not absorb western design, customs or production modes without objection. My work shows that fragmented social segments and their cultural products exist parallel to the imported way of thinking and new customs. We can actually sometimes say that “the East” begins to change “the West”. Balkans, as a region that was, even at long-gone pre-transitional time, considered an ever-boiling laboratory, an explosive concoction, a bridge to Europe and a way to Asia, depending on where you are, at present, under the influence of transition, shows traditional resistance to cultural changes.
The project SOUVENIRS MADE IN realizes and shows the relations between the East and the West. By documenting it, a sample-book of the West’s export into the East is defined, as well as the expansion of the western economy’s market pattern, which also means its culture. By means of discarded object as a document, the medium of my investigation and the starting point of this project, I wanted to show the reality of transition, the space and time I live in, as evidently and directly as possible.
1999 Moscow – Russia and Hong Kong – China
2000 Ljubljana – Slovenia
2001 Prague – Czech Republic, Krakow – Poland, Vilnius – Lithuania, Riga – Latvia, Tallinn – Estonia, Bratislava – Slovak Republic, Budapest – Hungary, Berlin – Germany
2002 Belgrade – Serbia and Montenegro
2003 Zagreb – Croatia, Sarajevo – Bosnia and Herzegovina