“Ljubija Kills” is a sound installation in space, manhole cover dislocated from public space and moved into an indoor gallery space, designed as a table for four. With its domineering appearance, creating an intimate atmosphere for four people, the manhole that is apparently used as a table – table that speaks, forces (attracts) us to sit in front of an open sewage hole listening to the conversation that comes from inside of it – conversation between three artists who share their experiences about Ljubija. This becomes a public story and a story of those who remain silent (audience). We need to achieve an impression of participation of observers (listeners) as silent participants, where the conversation below the manhole cover becomes a table talk.
Audio-visual installation “Ljubija kills”
Artists: Sandra Dukic /I Voice, Boris Glamocanin / II Voice, Gorana Bosnic / III Voice
Sandra: In Ljubija live mostly social cases, somehow this is especially recognized in children.
Gorana: Just when you see their sorted clothes and hackneyed shoes.
Sandra: The mature looks in their eyes
Gorana: You see exactly that they’ve matured too early
Sandra: When we were painting a mural in the center of the town a lot of kids helped us. I remember one girl that constantly swore. I was shocked all the time, she seemed wild. At one point, she began to curse life, and Branko said to her: “Do not curse life, thist is the only thing you have”. She had a tracksuit and a vast hole at the bottom, under which it was obvious that she has no underpants. I looked at that hole all the time.
Boris: For me the most memorable story is the one about a boy who had his own church.
Gorana: I don’t know that story
Boris: He was different from other children as he was attracted to the same sex. He was a Catholic and the story is that on the hill above Ljubija he made his own church out of the old shack. Inside, he made his altar and every day served himself a mass.
Sandra: I know this story and people say that later on he went completely insane.
Gorana: I know a story about a man who’s recently moved to Ljubija, they say he’s a war veteran and has no relatives. He moved into an apartment without windows in a building that is decaying. He split wood in the apartment and made fire at the lodge in the middle of the room. All his walls are black, and when you pass by his apartment, you see a huge black hole where the window is supposed to be. Last spring, when I passed by, I saw lots of flowers planted on the window sill. It’s strange that it grows there.
Sandra: I remember it, what a contrast!
Sandra: The first time I came to Ljubija to work, I heard a story about a girl who at the age of four helped her Mother deliver a baby. In the sixth grade, she took a metal rod to kill the boy from school.
Gorana: And what happened?
Sandra: Afterwards I haven’t heard anything about her except that they called social workers but they couldn’t come because they didn’t have a vehicle.
Gorana: I find it surprising that these children are taken for granted. I don’t know if anyone from the social services ever comes there.
Sandra: I know that only one child was taken from a woman who was an alcoholic and whose child was found in the streets in January walking barefoot. So this is the only case of which I know.
Boris: Do you remember that woman we saw at the station when we were waiting for the bus in Ljubija?
Sandra: I know, she was with a child.
Boris: We were waiting for the bus at the station and a woman approached us and began to talk about how many children she had, where her husband worked, how big her flat was and some local gossip. She was with a child who was maybe three years old, and she began at once to whisper to him, you’re my little self-seeker, my niggard. She said: “I prayed when I was pregnant with him that he, unlike my two daughters, would be selfish and not give anything to anyone. That is the best in life, you get nothing from being a good person, God heard me and made him selfish”.
Gorana: Bosa and her story best describes Ljubija. She is mentally challenged and has two children. One child’s father is a bunch of soldiers. She lives in the apartment where the ceiling is falling off, continuously moving the bed when some part of the wall falls off. She is a good woman, and everyone is talking about how her house is clean and tidy, as much as it can be considering the circumstances. She speaks poorly and sometimes it is impossible to understand her. She cries when someone talks about her condition.
Sandra: I used to dream that the bus was late and I needed to stay in Ljubija that night, I woke up like after a nightmare.
Boris: I constantly have in front of my eyes a bunch of flies that I saw there, garbage that no one transports and that saddest misery of sitting motionless in front of their buildings.