Untitled (ghosts in us), 2012
Installation: 200 kg of dried plums, wall drawing
Luka Ćelović (1854-1929), one of the most successful Serbian merchants, became rich by trading, among other things, with prunes, grain and pigs. He was one of the founders of the Belgrade Cooperative, and from 1905 to 1907 he financed the construction of its new palace. Ćelović left all of his property to the University of Belgrade.
200 kilograms of prunes are placed on the floor arranged in the shape of a conical heap and offered to the public for consumption. The heap is transformed depending on the amount of plums taken. Prunes refer to the history and origin of the building. Arranged in a heap that wears out and disappears, they are visual metaphor of a building that is falling apart due to the insufficient care towards the past and heritage. The act of giving and tasting prunes thus suggests establishing contact with the history of this building, but also facing its decay in the present.
In 2004, the University Library Svetozar Marković organized an exhibition on the occasion of the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the birth of Luka Ćelović, a great benefactor of the University of Belgrade, which exhibited books from his personal library. Book collection was marked as PB6. In the exhibition catalog under serial number 94, there is a book by Alfred Edmund Brehm, “Brehms Tierleben”. On the back cover of the first volume there is a Luka Ćelović’s note – a code containing instruction for opening the cash register. The drawing on the wall is a reproduction of the code as published in the catalogue, transferred with graphite pencils found in the neglected premises of the Belgrade Cooperative building on the wall of one of its rooms.
Untitled (ghosts in us) refers to the series Untitled (portrait of dad) by the American-Cuban artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres; the subtitle of the work refers to the Serbian translation of The Others, 2001 film by the Spanish director Alejandro Amenabar.