Installation- performance Sustainable Privatization is in situ project, made in former Metallurgic Complex in Elbasan, Albania, for the festival of contemporary art Informal Mind, curated by MAM Foundation from Tirana. It’s inspired by situation that I have seen in the Complex when I came to visit the place.
I was trying to secretly take photos of half- naked workers which were doing something in the middle of the ruins. They were calm and focused, but a little bit embarrassed. Then I noticed a crazy scene. They were stealing leftovers of the buildings as well as firebrick that will later sell in the town. That absurd action reminds me of old factories and their destinies in Montenegro.
I used to hear many stories about well- known factory OBOD which produced home appliances in ex-Yugoslavia, city of Cetinje, Montenegro. When the factory collapsed, people have stolen everything they could: fridges, freezers, cookers. People were stealing parts of sheet metal appliances and later would built them into the roofs, fences... Factory was devastated within a short period.
It's a perfect illustration of our relations to the past. We can destroy and steal everything that is “state property” from the past without any responsibility and state can also destroy anything from the past without any responsibility. Is our existence nowadays all about stealing and cheating? The title of my work is Sustainable Privatization.I have just reproduced the scene of stealing and have put it in performance. It involves employees that are destroying the building and stealing fire bricks in Metallurgic ruins for my company called ABBE (Art Brick Black Eagle). Then they pack stolen objects in well- designed luxury boxes in front of the visitors while trying to sell them, each 100 euro or 14’000 Albanian Leks.
My brand new company is stealing the state property (firebricks of Metallurgic Elbasan) transforming it to my private goods that I will later sell. I need only good package and good design. I put a little stamp of my company on a stolen object and visitors can buy it as a new brand. If I put a little eagle in my company’s logo my patriotic feelings are involved too. (We both have eagle, Montenegrin and Albanian eagle as a national symbol). All those dubious privatizations which are the main topic nowadays, work on a same or similar principle, but on a higher level. These two words: privatization and sustainable we hear at least ten times a day. My privatization will be sustainable as long as I can steal and sell stolen objects.
© 2011 Milena Jovicevic. All rights reserved.