ANA ADAMOVIĆ    
     
  Works
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
The beach
 
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THE CHOIR, 2014
Three-channel video installation, 8’24”
(63 archive photographs from the Museum of Yugoslav History, sound)

 
 

The multi-channel video projection uses images found in the photo albums that Yugoslav President for Life, Josip Broz Tito was receiving for several decades on May 25th – his official birthday ¬– as gifts from schools and Pioneer organizations around the country. Today the Museum of Yugoslav History in Belgrade preserves most of these albums. They are important documents that testify which images the people of Yugoslavia produced of themselves in order to address their uncontested leader. Most of the albums share a similar dramaturgy. Photo albums given to the president by schools, for instance, 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. Each album also features a series of images from ceremonies, local mass games, meetings, traditional events, shows, recitals, and, unavoidably, choirs. There is at least one photograph of a choir in almost every album Tito received from the children of Yugoslavia. By exclusively using images of schools and children’s choirs, The Choir focuses on the performative characteristics of the photographic medium and its role within the society of (socialist) spectacle. Slide projection is accompanied by the sound of piano playing the popular song from the socialist period celebrating the work, the song that was part of the repertoire of (almost) every school performance around Yugoslavia. By choosing this song, work is questioning the image of the socialist children’s choir that is too often perceived exclusively as a symbol of ideological indoctrination of the youngest ones. At the same time, the work investigates the role archives play in today’s societies, and more specifically in the nation states newly established after violent historical ruptures. It questions the possibility of a collective memory of a country that no longer exists.

 
 

(Sound – Srdjan Bajski; Piano – Vladimir Vujović)

   
The Choir, installation view, October salon, Belgrade, 2014
 
The Choir, installation view, October salon, Belgrade, 2014

 

The Choir, installation view, October salon, Belgrade, 2014