2331 St. Claude Ave and Spain, New Orleans, LA 70113 • 504-525-2767 (6246) • Tues-Sat 11am-5pm • Directions
Brief Artist Statement
I came to the U.S. in 1991 two weeks after combating in my country
Yugoslavia that was falling apart. Just after fleeing, the situation worsened
and escalated into a full-scale civil war that involved nationalist induced
atrocities and ethnic cleansing—Yugoslavia was no more. As a child and
teenager I was brought up in a socialist-utopian environment, master minded
and constructed by president Tito. One of his main slogans was “Brotherhood
and Unity” of all nationalities that lived in his envisioned Balkan conglomerate.
To strengthen this ideology, enormous Modernist influenced monuments
were built in the 1960’s and 1970’s throughout Yugoslavia. As a Pioneer at
the age of six and a member of the Socialist Youth Party at age fourteen
(both mandatory, in addition to service in the army), I paid pilgrimage to a
number of these monuments along with everybody else throughout grammar
school. Since the war in the 1990’s a large number of the monuments in former
Yugoslavia have been defaced, damaged, and destroyed.
For quite a while I have been meaning to make scale models of white
washed gas stations that remain a part of the New Orleans’ landscape.
The oil companies that previously owned these gas stations closed them
down due to the lack of profit and painted them white. In order to protect
their name they would paint the entire structure leaving no evidence of
ownership. I have always perceived them as Minimalist public sculptures
that have been chiseled out by economic forces.
Both the gas stations and the National Liberation War monuments
have had their original function erased. At a particular moment in time,
due to lack of purpose, they simply exist in a state of flux awaiting their fate—
like castles that are neither in the sky nor on earth.