» 2001 «

» 2000 «

 

WORKS FROM THIS YEAR:

 

» THE BLOOD DONATIONS « ------..........................» FOUNDATION «------............................-» ROZA'S MONEY «

» R. THINKING ABOUT OVERPOPULATION - LJUBJANA «-------........................---

...................................................................................................................................................

 

“ R. thinking/dreaming about overpopulation   -    The Blood-Donation Performance”

2001-2002

 

 

The performance was inspired by absurdities born of accusations of a collective guilt. In this case, it focuses on the bewilderment caused by the manner in which the media, on the evening of September 11, 2001, provoked a sense of mass guilt that was targeted at all people of Arab and Moslem descent. On the subjective level, the performance makes playful use of a question: How and with what image of the Arab will I now identify myself?

The Blood Donation Performance was staged in three cities, beginning in Belgrade, continuing in Budapest, and ending in Zurich. Moving from the Balkan States toward the West, the local reception that I received was, in each case, totally different.   I collected the video documentation and the letters, comments, articles, personel diary-like sketches   in a folder.

 

 

 

 

Belgrade, October 20, 2001

 

The “blood donation” performance takes place in conjunction with a group exhibition entitled Konverzatije , held on the occasion of the reopening of Belgrade's Museum for Contemporary Art. Due to severe damages caused by bombing, the museum had been closed for three years.

Konverzatije takes place at a unique moment: the Yugoslavian war comes to an end.

The new directors of the museum (Branko and Branka Dimitrievic) showcase in the exhibition the dense network of informal artists' initiatives and friends of the arts who, as it often happens in the Balkan States, manage to overlook their differences of opinion over the last decade, and, regardless of national or religious affiliations, create artworks and cooperative endeavors founded entirely on private friendships. Along with my performance, many other performances are shown at the opening held on Tito's 10th anniversary and Commemoration Day.

 

 

 

 

 

Budapest, September 2, 2002

 

In 2002, I offer the performance to numerous, group exhibitions in Budapest without receiving the support of a institution. Since, in the spring of 2002, the Hungarian governmental elections are taking place, the slogan “Arabic Blood for Hungary” is fatally misinterpreted as anti-Semitic. Because the rejection and constant criticism (“Terrorists are not allowed in museums!”) seem like a form of censorship, I organize the performance without an institution, and outside the public domain. I rely solely on the support of my sister, and a few photographers and video artists from the Budapest art scene. In a local hospital, I make an appointment to donate blood. Without any advance warning, during the donating procedure I lay the prepared cloth on the chair. The nurses mechanically go about their work as though unaware of the cloth and cameras.

One week later the action is discussed at the Ludwig Museum, Budapest in a public panel discussion titled “ Not PC”.

 

 

Zurich, November 21, 2002

Following negotiations with the Swiss office of the Red Cross, I'm granted permission to stage the performance as a large-scale donation at Zurich's Confederate Technical College. The piece is financed by a Swiss foundation that knows nothing at all about its content. The press photograph of Arafat, and the Arabic identity, seem to lack any local relevance here, and exist only as faded and empty media-generated images, often mistaken with Che Guevara.

The only criterion I have to keep in mind is the integrity of the logo of the Swiss Red Cross. Since I work within the constraints of a complicated system of regulations, the poster, for instance, which appears in the catalog, can be presented in the media and distributed as an artwork, but never presented as advertising material for the activity of the Red Cross.           

For exceeding my (otherwise generous) budget during the realization of the piece, a day later comes the order to either clean the site of the performance immediately, or to receive the bill of the Swiss firm hired to clean the premises for me. So I decide to remove the 100 square-meter logo from the floor myself.