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CLEAR CONSCIENCE

Inspired by urban dérives, the artist decided to work with monuments and contemporary art installations that surround him by way of simple gestures: cleaning and packaging. The monumental presences in cities like Sarajevo – which retain the scars of a war past – are at the center of actions that initially appear banal, but which in fact are intimately linked to thorny questions concerning the representation of memory. In the singular research undertaken by Mak Hubjer, the sense of abandonment and mutilation of the public monuments evoke the phenomenon defined by Bogdan Bogdanović during the Siege of Sarajevo as ‘urbicide’, repeated violence inflicted on the city as an ‘object of identity’. How to interpret the oblivion or the elimination of layers of memory and the various attempts at ‘urbicide’? What position to take within a multiplicity of urban semiotic systems? The artist has decided to propose an original way, which ironically has recourse to the notion of a ‘clear’ conscience. This approach conceals in fact an attempt to reveal the tensions that are the basis, not only of certain historical narratives disseminated by way of art throughout the ‘urban fabric’, but also of its multiple and unpredictable processes of distortion/reinterpretation/erasure.

A. Gallicchio

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