neon installation, 175 x 210 x 25 cm.
Collection of the Institute for Contemporary Arts, FRAC Rhone-Alpes, Lyon,
The Balkans are not only a crossroad from East to the West, and from North to the South, but a region associated with lots of conflicts - a melting pot, sometimes bursting out like a gun powder... Probably the longest peaceful period there was during the Ottoman Empire.
At the end a simple image of two signs - as asking about the future: war or piece?
All the Balkan countries had their Great kings, Golden Ages, years of victories and triumphs:
Bulgaria in the early 10th century, Serbia in the 14th , Turkey between the 15 th and the 19th c. AD.. But there are still people, who are thinking about the actual state territories from the Great Past’ point of view, and are ready to fight for changing the borders again.
I think, I’d rather agree with an old Bulgarian/Ottoman proverb, that sais “It is of greater importance to have a good neighbor, no matter of which ethnic group.
The work shows a contemporary political map with the actual frontiers between the Balkan countries, and in the same time the state borders of each country during a longer historical period of time.
Largest and smaller territories, without respect of the exact historical period... So there are lots of empty spaces in between (“No Man’s lands”), or spaces shared during different historical periods by various states. Man can see territories, that have belonged to 2, 3 or even 4 of the Balkan countries. And how do the people living there have to feel? Belonging to which nationality? Wars and “deliberation activities”, conflicts and “independence wars” over and over again?
Images from the Neon exhibition in Wien