ANA ADAMOVIĆ    
     
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Fiery greetings, part two
46 Plant Pots
The Choir
Two choirs (video)
Two choirs (photographs)
Fiery greetings, part one
My country is the most beautiful of all
Canzona
Threshold of the golden age
Revealing
Madeleine
Postcards from imaginary places (video)
Postcards from imaginary places (photographs)
Balkan souvenirs
Without borders
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  FIERY GREETINGS, 2015
  Six channel slide installation with sound
(181 photographs and texts from photo-albums sent to Tito from 1945 till 1980, from the archive of the Museum of Yugoslav History)
Voices (Serbo-croatian): Stevan Bajski, Pavle Kaucki, Ema Kostić, Tara Radulović 
 

Starting from 1945 numerous schools and children organizations from around Yugoslavia were sending photo-albums to president Tito. Most of the albums share a similar dramaturgy. For instance, photo albums given to the president by schools invariably start with a dedication in the form of a birthday card, followed by an exterior shot of the school building, a series of photographs of the interior, group portraits of the students, their classes and various activities. Children themselves did most of the photographs, since almost every school in Yugoslavia had photography workshops and labs. In that sense, photographs are revealing institutional world of Yugoslav children in the second half of the 20th century – the world of the future creators of the socialism. Most of the albums contain captions and dedications that are usually written in the first-person plural through which children, together with their teachers, explain what are they doing and what do they think about their life and obligations. Written in a span of a more than 40 years, these captions, like photographs, as well are very similar. Characteristic sentences following the photographs are: The first task we have is to learn, We are discovering the secrets of life, We will bring light to the cities and villages, We are diligent and everything will be shiny, We are young generation that grew out of powerful struggle of our people who gained the freedom, We are the future protectors of socialism. Those and similar sentences could be found in the poems and literary works generations of Yugoslav children wrote in schools, listened to during the school celebrations or recited on numerous manifestations. As photographs, sentences that follow them render very specific historical moment and the country in which they were created. Also, they witness about the modernization project that has never finished, future that never happened. Slightly edited, some of the original sentences from the albums were used as a voice over for the installation.

There are 260 albums in the archives of the Museum of Yugoslav history with several thousands of photographs and hundreds of dedications. It is almost impossible today to determine what was the mechanism behind the decision making of who would make the albums and send them to the president or if that mechanism and form that should have been followed even existed. Also, it will stay impossible to determine how many of albums like these were actually made and never sent or recieved.

 
 

 

Fiery greetings, installation view, Museum of Yugoslav History, 2015
 
Fiery greetings, installation view, Museum of Yugoslav History, 2015