About the project
The project “Monument” seeks to indicate the fact that during the wartime of the 90-ies in Croatia, under the flag of nationalism, occurred the culturecide of antifascist monuments. In an ideological showdown against the prior socialist system and with intent to amplify the national identity, the Right in power in Croatia allowed the systematic destruction and devastation of around 3000 antifascist monuments built in memory of fallen partisans and innocent victims of the fascist regime. The monuments promoted the causes of antifascist struggle that stood against racist laws, discrimination and intolerance, referring to the idea of liberty, brotherhood and unity. Until now, the majority of destructed and devastated antifascist monuments haven’t been restored and nobody has taken the responsibility for these acts of violence. By neglecting it and showing no clear will to develop the strategy for its renewal the governmental institutions incite further antagonism and disintegration within society.
This is the starting point of my artistic work where I try to intervene as the social corrective in the public spaces and, to the benefit of surrounding, point to the main problems in culture and society and question society’s current state. In this particular case, I will concentrate on the problematic heritage of nationalism and its reflection in conservatism that unfortunately prevails in nowadays Croatian society which often manifests through intolerance, hostility and prejudices towards the Other. Notwithstanding the existence of extreme beliefs in our society, I am inclined to support the idea that the change can occur, should there exist the will for the true activism, persistency and patience.
In general, the project itself will consist in two parts: documenting and performing minimalistic artistic interventions on devastated monuments. The purpose of this artistic practice is to raise national awareness for the necessity of the systematic care for this heritage and to warn the authorities about the value of affirmation and preservation of humanistic ideas of antifascism. Moreover, the project aims to engage local and national governmental and cultural institutions in a debate on preserving the heritage of anti-fascist resistance, remembrance of victims of WW2 and to initiate the planning of preservation and restoration of these monuments.
About the artist
Grubic’s work is by its nature politically and socially engaged. He calls himself an artist and activist and produces multi-disciplinary work engaging with the society within which he lives – Croatia or post-war Yugoslavia – and its communist, now neo-liberal government. In his own words he describes an artist’s role as ‘[making] a spark in the viewer’s mind, to make them think about what the media and politicians serve us up’ (quoted at the Translocal Institute for Contemporary Art, accessed 10 January 2010).