After making my work Karaoke, which explores the nuances of conflict through the reframing of a rich music archive, I decided to go to Bosnia & Herzegovina to seek out the turbo-folk musicians that enjoyed the greatest popularity there during the time of the conflict. In particular, I sought out the singer Roki Vulovic and the members of the band Satelliti. I did so with a desire to propose that each of them pen a new song which conveys the transformation of their views, or lack thereof.
4k video, sound, color, 8’16’’
During that trip, I filmed a documentary. The ensuing work was presented during the 2015 edition of the PinchukArtCentre Prize. The video installation consisted of the aforementioned documentary, two new songs by Roki Vulovic and Sateliti, both acts’ archive of music videos, and copies of amateur graffiti that I gathered while in Bosnia & Herzegovina. These graffitis, which were tagged on now abandoned buildings, were made by representatives from opposing sides of the sociopolitical/ethnic conflict which brought the country to its knees at the end of the 20th century—traces which refused to fade, hatred which never healed.
20 years ago, Bosnia. Patriotic songs raise the spirit of people on both sides of the conflict. You see these old videos? They are refugees of the past. What do they tell us? Who's Singin' Over There? Skupljaci perja and shoe-maker from Bijeljina are recalling. Black wave covered the Balkans? can we repeat? What can they say there to us here? What do they sing? Musicians, patriots, enemies, witnesses. A Ukrainian searching for their lost memories. Bosnians are singing, when they cannot talk about the past.