Final outcome are two boxes, made in frosted 3mm acrylic. Square box is approximately 16x16cm, while the other one is around 33x10x20cm.
I made two because my exploration led me to accept the split feelings I have about the region.
The laser cut writing ‘Ovo je Balkan’ translates to This is the Balkans, taken from a song by Milan Stankovic with which Serbia entered Eurovision in 2010. I find it to be the ultimate trash.
Both boxes carry my feelings about Balkan. Square one carries my passport painted red. It obviously shows it was painted by hand, and I did that purposely. That one carries all the desire and wantings to be considered European, and not a second-class citizen. It’s hopeful.
Rectangular one carries three chef knives. This box carries my anger and hate towards patriarchy in the Balkans. Men traditionally inherit all the power, while women are supposed to be submissive. I used knives because patriarchy and the presence of masculinity in our society is almost violent. Both sides are laser cut because patriarchy needs to be addressed more critically.
I was explaning to my classmates what stereotypes Balkan carries (animalistic, violent, constant conflict) and my tutor Mike said it sounds like England. I thought it was interesting because everyone can recognize their inner fears and frustrations with their own countires in the Balkans.
This reminded me of Vlado Martek’s work – Balkan. The US map depicts the names of major Croatian contemporary artists instead of cities. Martek said that the United States is working perfectly to explain the Balkan stereotype, asking what is more ununifed than USA, where each country has a separate culture, laws, and mentality?
The existence of the Balkans as Europe’s periphery is important for EU and the rest of Europe as they can carry out an image of a purely positive category.