Danica Dakić &
View text on this work by Roxana Marcoci
NEW YORK DIARY (excerpt from)
11. 09. 01 First morning coffee. Dan and me still trying to
introduce our new home to Adrian who seems to be nervous about
changing so many environments in such a short time. After all
he is just three months old. We have been with him to four different
countries, on two continents. As we sit and talk in the kitchen,
we hear a sound of a plane, which seems to be flying too low.
The very next moment we hear the plane crushing into something.
We are looking at each other in silence for a few seconds and
Dan says: "This sounds like kamikaze!" We laugh...
and think...it must be something else... Danica decides to go
to Chinatown to get some groceries and fish for tonight. The
phone rings. Dan picks up the horn. I have Adrian in my arms.
It is Fritzie. She asks if everybody is ok? Yes, we say, why?
She is explaining something to Dan and from the expression on
his face I am starting to realize that whatever happened must
be serious. Dan repeats her words to let me know: a plane crushed
into the World Trade Center; One of the Towers is on fire. She
is watching it from the roof of her building. We are very close.
The tower might start to fall down.O, my god! O, my god...And
than the same sound again. Fritzie is still on the phone. Probably
she is running out of words for a moment, because nobody talks.
She is just on the phone. I instinctively try to find a safe
corner in the house. Dan asks Fritzie; are they planes or missiles?
Are they planes? Fritzie says yes, they are both planes. Still,
this must be an attack. Another plane crushed into the other
tower. They are both on fire...The funny thing is that all this
time I actually don't have any idea about where we are. We have
just arrived and I don't have a clue about how far the World
Trade Center is from where we are now. The only thing that we
did yesterday was bringing our dirty laundry (mostly Adrian's)
to the laundry around the corner. What now? What's next?
Artist based in Split, Croatia and Amsterdam, Holland
Artist based in Sarajevo, BiH and Dusseldorf, Germany
is guaranteed, except contamination
A change in the practice and theory of art that occurred
in the past few years reflects an intensified engagement with
the outside world and the issues of our time -war and the
eschatological dimension of terrorism, globalization and capital
distribution, migration and cultural identity, transnational
diasporic formations, and the reconceptualization of the term
community. Attempting to broaden the focus on the social aspects
of art’s production and reception, a number of artists
and collectives have advanced distinct models for an art whose
public strategies constitute a significant part of its aesthetic
makeup. This reinscribed form of public art is discursive,
premised on interactivity with the audience and among diverse
social groups. The ensuing breakdown of restrictive definitions
of art, artist, and spectatorship, subjectivity and communality
has fostered the development of a critical dialogue that infiltrates
and disturbs a dominant culture based on identity stereotypes
and circumscribed notions of site. As such, this paradigm
for public art sustains social awareness, a renewed urgency
to act and take responsibility (Fritz Perls calls responsibility
“response-ability,” the ability to respond), and
collective authorship by factoring various constituencies
into the construction of the work. As discussed by a number
of cultural historians, to produce works engaged in social
praxis, artists have become facilitators, fund-raisers, community
educators, and logistical coordinators.
These issues, but also others pertaining to mobility, real
and virtual nomadism, the decentering of the familiar concept
of home, and the articulation of place as a discursive field
of operation, inform the project go_Home,
developed by the Croatian artist Sandra Sterle and Bosnian
artist Danica Dakić from September to December 2001 as part
of an ArtsLink residency in New York. This project, for which
the two artists decided to relocate to New York and live together
for a four month period, probes the elusive logic of belonging
and the idea of a multiply located instead of a fixed community.
The collaboration further involved the participation of guest
artist and architect Marjetica Potrč from Slovenia, and actress
Milica Tomić and theorist Branimir Stojanović from Serbia.
In go_Home these artists
from ex-Yugoslavia used the real space of their residence
and the virtual home of the Internet (which served as a site
for video and photographic experimentation, transatlantic
texts, recipes, a calendar of events, and a chat room), to
address both the dialectical relationship between home and
elsewhere, and the porous concept of identity sensitive to
multiple attachments. The project also included a number of
live web cast seminars conceived as dinner gatherings to which
local and international art professionals, architects, and
representatives from immigrant service organizations were
invited. In conjunction with go_Home
Sterle also produced New York Diary, an online journal about
her stay and experience in New York, partly fictional as evoked
in the artist’s photographs documenting her walks through
the streets of New York dressed as a cook, and partly real
as captured in the flags waving in the aftermath of September
11. Merging reality and fantasy, patriotism and cinematic
reenactment, actual dislocation and virtual relocation, Sterle
exposed the instability of who one is, and by extension the
instability of a fixed concept of home. Her diary, like the
syncretic project go_Home,
can thus be understood as a process of fostering links with
more than one place at once, of inventing new geographical
matrices, and -to paraphrase James Clifford once again- of
desisting absolutist forms of citizenship.