Spectacular pictures of art intervention at Croatian monument

Written by
Marc Rowlands

An art collective called Secret Mapping Experiment have visited the village of Podgarić in the Moslavina area of Croatia, installing one of their temporary video mapping projects on the region's famous war memorial. Captured in stunning photography, the video mapping lends a new perspective to the 50-year-old monument.

Secret Mapping Experiment are an arts group, mostly from Hungary, whose numbers can swell to as many as 159 depending on the project they undertake. They visited the Monument to the Revolution of the people of Moslavina memorial in spring 2019, decamping at night and making their art under the cover of darkness.

The Monument to the Revolution of the people of Moslavina is one of the most striking and famous of all the Yugoslavian-era war memorials. It stands 10 metres tall and 20 metres wide. The communist regime of Yugoslavia commissioned many famous sculptors and architects, such as Bogdan Bogdanović, Gradimir Medaković, Vojin Bakić, Miodrag Živković, Jordan and Iskra Grabul, to design similar modernist structures following the Second World War. Many of the memorials commemorate the victims of fascism and hold a specific inspiration and meaning. The monument in Moslavina is no exception.

During the Second World War, Podgarić became a key encampment for the Partizan army, who were trying to free Croatia from the ruling, Nazi-sponsored Ustaša regime. A large field hospital was built in the village which accepted many hundreds of injured soldiers. The monument itself is a tribute to the people of the area who assisted in the care of the wounded and in the effort to defeat the fascists, who had destroyed any of the traditional borders of Croatia recognised both in the past and today by gifting the whole of Istria and most of the Dalmatian coast to the Italians and German Nazis. The Ustaša also interned thousands of Croatian Jews, Serbs, gypsies, homosexuals and dissenters in concentration camps, Croatia being the only country to have ever built a concentration camp specifically for children. The brave inhabitants of Moslavina were thanked for their efforts in combating such terror with the monument, which was designed by Dušan Džamonja.

'It was on our bucket list, because the architecture looks amazing, almost like some kind of spiritual totem,' an anonymous member of Secret Mapping Experiment told Time Out Croatia, when asked why they had chosen the site for their project. 'But the history of that particular piece of architecture is also very impressive.'

Secret Mapping Experiment have previously visited natural spaces and abandoned former industrial sites in order to install their imaginative, perspective-changing works. Particular care was therefore undertaken in the construction of the video mapping content for the monument in Moslavina as, unlike their previous works, this structure is neither abandoned nor without an existing and current purpose. The Secret Mapping Experiment team have the first exhibition of their works, in Hungary on May 30.

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