Silence

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The exhibition „Silence“ was opened on November 19, 2015 in Visoko. The ceremony was not grandiose, it was not crowded with people and there was no opening speech, no applause. It was silent.

On September 11, artist collective HAD started working on their new project. The idea to do this came spontaneously. A new built wall in their hometown drew their attention and they decided to try and get a legal permission to work on it. The wall is 35 meters long, 3,5 meters high; and it is located nearby a memorial square dedicated to the victims of Srebrenica genocide. Obtaining the permission was easy, creating the artwork was hard, which was pretty unexpected. There are multiple reasons why it took two months for HAD to complete the project they intended to finish within 15 day.

Once they decided to dedicate this wall to Srebrenica genocide victims, survivors and war victims in general, they started with their research. They refused to do the type of artwork you can see often in the Balkans since the collapse of Yugoslavia, that is pap, that is a rerun, that represents the war in a way that has become so tedious. They started collecting photographs, videos and all other war materials that were available to them. They collected materials online, from galleries, from libraries, until they found the images strong enough to send their message to every viewer that comes and sees it. That’s how they started creating art in front of all citizens.

The wall is parted. It has 5 segments, 4 frames and 4 columns that divide the frames. Each frame has its individual story but together they all silently scream to remind people of those who were silenced in Srebrenica. The columns were also used, they carry the number of people who got killed during the war period. The wall is made of pure concrete so electrical tools were a necessity. The artwork is consisted of 5 sections. Silence 1-4 is based on portrait and figural images where the focal point is placed on the non-conventional composition of each piece. Facial expressions they cut into the walls bear the brunt of the entire project. The composition of the artwork is created of multiple elements with a contemporary character where the freedom of displaying figures, portraits and other objects is added in order to achieve the rhythm, balance and harmony – elements much needed to create a Silence every viewer can see, feel and hear.

When the night falls and all people are gone, these portraits carved into the walls continue to live in silence, the same silence people of Srebrenica are living in every single day.