In the whiteness of the stone of Goli Otok island like the whiteness of graphic sheets printed in Braille - the motif of commemoration, remembrance, alertness, reverence and love for those deceased whom we miss - lies the conceptual unification of the meeting of the artists and the art team MMC Rijeka at Goli Otok island this summer.

 

The seriousness and spotlessness of the concept of “The Missing” (Andrej Đerković) and “Vigil” (Damir Čargonja) stand in stark contrast to the primitive blasphemy of the “ideas” of certain individuals and institutions in our country to erase Goli Otok island by transforming it into a common quarry, or a mass tourist “center” or - even worse - turning it into hunting grounds (!). Such a change would symbolically accentuate, in a most drastic manner, the sort of mentality that was responsible for the destiny of this and other miserable islands in the Adriatic: that is, starting at beginning of last century and throughout WWI, the use of Goli Otok island for imprisonment (St.Grgur island, Mamula island, and other islands in the “Blue Adriatic” were also “refined” with camps, prisons and similar institutions!).

 

The installation by prominent contemporary BH artist Andrej Đerković, entitled “The Missing” (the missing, and also the ones we miss) is a perfect example of the way in which the concept conceives of and aesthetically connects the form and the content. The installation has an entirely economical, condensed, formally abstract, but in symbolic terms, extremely complex and eloquent “form”: at first glance invisible; at the ‘second’, usually illegible Braille code, on an achromatic, white tile without mass, a graphic sheet of a multiple-original that spreads into symbolic infinity, is conceptually linked with the unforgivable social, civic, ethical, and political catastrophe of EAST - WEST relations - personified in the “disappearance” of the brutally executed ‘excess’ of the population of Srebrenica.

 

The exhibition by Andrej Đerković, MISSING, presented this summer in the eminent gallery ‘Kortil’ in Rijeka, contains such visual and symbolic force that it captures perfectly, as no other installation / exhibition in the history of this exhibition space, the theme and ambience of the glaring whiteness and spaciousness of gallery ‘Kortil’. Setting this piece on Goli Otok island highlights, too, in a lapidarian way, a special level of meaning; the motif of terror exercised by a society and individuals over their neighbors, connecting ‘missing-ness’, ‘whiteness’, and individuals brutally reduced to “NOBODY” - proper names, reduced to an anonymous society - that of the shades of ‘nobodies’ - in both places of horror in the contemporary History of ‘East / West’ Civilization.

 

Normal blind people SEE what is written in Braille. This is a significant difference between normal and ethical BLINDNESS.

 

Branko Cerovac

MMSU Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rijeka, 2005