Opening of the Sandro Đukić exhibition 
22.04.2024. at 6 p.m., Galerie Michaela Stock, Praterstraße 17, 1020 Vienna, Austria 
Curator: Davorka Perić 
Opening of the exhibition in the presence of artists and the team of the project 
In addition to Sandro Đukić, the following people were part of the project team: Milorad Pupovac (project concept), Davorka Perić (project curator) and Lana Lovrenčić (discursive program). 
Project of the Serb National Council, Zagreb 

Visual artist Sandro Đukić’s work will be presented with a virtual installation, graphic map, and documentation of the project “The Silence that Tore Down The Monument”, a collective work of the community, artists, and technological experts. Sandro Đukić’s new work is a virtual reconstruction of the demolished anti-fascist monument, the master of modern art Vojin Bakić from 1968, at the time it was created, the largest abstract sculpture in Europe. In wild nature, in demanding “Fitzgerald” conditions, far from civilisation, electricity, water, and the Internet, the artist embarked on a technically and socially complex project of reconstructing the “image” in the collective memory of the erased sculpture – monument. The symbol of the anti-fascist struggle, the “Monument to the Victory of the Revolution of the People of Slavonia” in Kamenska (Croatia) was demolished in 1992 by systematic blasting from the ninth attempt. At the time, it was reported on the news that the thirty-meter-high steel Bakić monument had been toppled by a strong wind. However, even thirty years later it was possible to check the official meteorological data, which proved that there was no wind that day, that is, that the wind that was “blowing” at that time was called “silence” according to the Croatian hydrometeorological nomenclature. It is precisely for this reason that we named the project “Silence that tore down the monument”. 

Đukić’s virtual reconstruction of the demolished monument questions the reach of the technological performance of the gigantic light installation, as well as the social reactions that the obliteration of memory brings. With Sandro Đukić’s new art installation on the site of the demolished modernist monument of Vojin Bakić, the critical memory culture is strongly opposed to the idea of systematically erasing history and creating a state of social amnesia related to symbols, culture, art, and social paradigms. 

In this context, we find Sandro Đukić’s installation as well as its further media reproduction as an ideal tool against historical revisionist tendencies that are in large part have destroyed the cultural heritage in Croatia, and it continues the author’s earlier reproductions of favourite analogue masters, apologists of modernist artistic thought, through new digital media, enlargements, and modern technology (for example, graphics by Julije Knifer). The phenomenon of “Damnatio memoriae” and the collective amnesia of the nineties of the last century prevailed to a large extent in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, and encouraged the author through his earlier works to be critical of the idea of decay and neglect, the disappearance of the socialist heritage of memorial and industrial heritage. In the work “Silence…” we recognise the collage of archival materials and the interpretation of artistic heritage with the application of new media art as a characteristic visual language of Sandro Đukić. An empty place, a place of devastation, the pedestal of the former monumental sculpture by Bakić, for Đukić becomes the chosen place of a new beginning, a platform for creating artistic work and inscribing meaning, a place of resistance to the destruction of artistic work, both in form and inscribed meanings in it. 

In Sandro Đukić’s new virtual constructs, and with the help of Augmented Reality technology, collective memory, and artistic interpretation fill that vacant place. 
Excerpts from the essay by Davorka Perić.

Acknowledgments Archives of the Serbs, SNV


Opening of the exhibition: Tuesday, October 10, 2023 at 7 p.m., SKD “Prosvjeta”, Preradovićeva 21, Zagreb

Authors of the exhibition: Eugen Jakovčić and Davorka Peric

The exhibition focuses on the processes of construction and demolition of the sculpture, as well as the social context and media reactions that follow the creation and disappearance of Vojin Bakić’s sculpture Monument to the Victory of the People of Slavonia.
At the time of its creation, this leafy form was the largest abstract sculpture in Europe, and one would come across it while leafing through books by Herberta Read, Venturi, and other important art historians. It was equally unavoidable in the media, and articles about the sculpture were published by Start, Vjesnik, Glas Slavonije, and 4. Jul from Belgrade.  

In addition to the sculptor Vojin Bakić and the architect Josip Seissla, engineers from the Maritime Institute in Zagreb and the Aviation Institute in Belgrade participated in the complex engineering process of the creation of the sculpture. It is also worth mentioning that the sculpture was created thanks to the donations (“self-contribution” as it was called back then) of the people of Slavonia.

In the period from February 19 to 21, 1992, the sculpture was mined nine times and then demolished to the ground and turned into a secondary raw material. In addition to one of the rare remaining fragments of the sculpture, a piece of reflective stainless steel, there will also be exhibited photographs of the demolished monument and documents such as the one from the State Hydrometeorological Institute (DHMZ) on the weather forecast on February 21, 1992, when the media reported that a strong wind had brought down the monument. DHMZ testifies that the wind blowing at that time was classified as “Calm” (or ‘Silence’ in Croatian wind classification) on the Beaufort scale.

The focus of the exhibition is the breaking of silence through the virtual reconstruction of the monument and the creation of resistance to collective amnesia related to the work of Vojin Bakić, through the art installation by the multimedia artist Sandro Đukić, as well as the documentation of its performance on September 30, 2023, at the location of the demolished monument in Kamenska.

Photo documentation from the exhibition opening