SELECTED WORKS
Our Family Garden, Performance
2021

My grandmother, my mother, and me  — planting seeds of wheat inside of war trenches which my grandfather has been digging and using (1992-1995), while he was on the first line of defense of our city during the siege.

My grandmothers' house, where I’ve lived with my family during the war, is just a 5 minutes walk from this location. During all 4 years of the siege of Sarajevo, my grandfather went up to these trenches to defend the city, as well as us. These trenches were also the first "picnic" spot of my childhood, where my grandmother used to take me out, right after the war ended. This location is still forgotten, abandoned and stands haunted by stray dogs, marking another invisible monument.

*Zlatište is a hill above my hometown (Sarajevo) where the first line of defense of the city was placed during the war. Civilians, quickly trained to become over-night soldiers have built improvised shelters by digging holes in the ground and making trenches while trying to defend the city with self-organized and improvised munition.

This is my attempt to create a living monument, which will soon be extended into Part 2; A participative eco-social artwork with 100 women planting new seeds in the trenches through the entire line of defense.

Photo Documentation:
Ajla Salkić


Artist Talk / Youtube

PURE BLOOD
Public Art Installation, Performance
2019

I’ve crawled on my knees for 2 kilometers, marking a red line through the abandoned ruins of the industrial zone “Incel” in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

During the performance, I’ve painted a large-scale abstract red line resembling the spillage of blood, moving from Incel towards the center of the city. I’ve used a simple brush and buckets in the beginning of the performance, and only my bare hands and body towards the end.

*Incel stands for a ghost of the workers self-organization period in Bosnia (ex-Yugoslavia), whose streets now remain empty and silent, witnessing an ongoing economic and political transition.

In 2019., a giant fire destroyed a large part of Incel, resulting in the spillage of toxic perylene that endangered the spread of toxins in the blood of the current workers in the area, as well as all the citizens of Banja Luka.

The spillage of perylene was a result of a process of privatization that included clumsy handling of these remnants of the former economy.

Photo Documentation: Predrag Milašinović, Dalibor Danilović

SENTENCE ME TO DEATH
In-Situ, Performance
2019

Burn Me, Arrest and Discern Me, Sentence Me to Death

Standing against the black-grey granite walls of Vraca Memorial Park in Sarajevo, with a piece of piece of red fabric drawn up over my body, face, and stretched between my arms - I recreate “Žena borac” monument and draw attention to the figure of Radojka Lakić as a heroine, who – like many other women – actively participated in the antifascist liberation of the city.  

In the photograph, “Žena borac” statue is reevoked by raising two fists, mimicking the statue’s original stance.

The imprint my face is visible through the fabric and is reminiscent of the angular features of the monument. In the resulting image, the tattoo of the word “Ništa” (meaning ‘nothing’) is visible on my right wrist.

The action not only draws attention to the continued absence of the statue’s right arm but is also testimony of the difficulties of gaining progress in the fight for women’s rights in the contemporary BiH.

Photo Documentation: Elodie Grethen

2020
Video-Performance
2020

I try to maintain balance in Cobra Yoga Pose while getting "2020" tattoed (hand-poke) on my lower back.

Video Documentation: Indiara Di Benedetto Tattoo: Vahdeta Tahirović

Full Video

© Smirna Kulenović 
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