2005 // In the place of the place

with Platforma 9,81, 2005.
56 videos varying in duration, from 20 seconds to 5 minutes separated into 7 categories according to the category of the site, videos from each category are shown on a loop on 7 monitors

1. industrial buildings
2. cultural buildngs
3. buisness sites
4. infrastructural sites
5. military sites
6. open sites
7. unfinished sites

The work developed during my collaboration on the project Invisible Zagreb, initiated by the organization for research in architecture Platforma 9,81. The organization invited me to document events that were taking place on the locations of their project. As an addition to the documentary material they needed, I filmed these videos.

stills from video:


exhibition setup:

56 sound recordings, varying in duration, from 20 seconds to 5 minutes, playing in loop from an mp3 player or DVD player
56 jars with samples form each site (plaster, wood, soil…)

Invisible Zagreb is a project initiated 3 years ago by Platforma 9,81 with the aim of recognizing the potential for experimenting with new typologies of public space in the sites and buildings that have lost their primary function or have been forgotten by the urban policies. Invisible Zagreb also highlighted the transitional changes that left a spatial imprint on the city and that require urban strategies different form the usual models of planning, that take into account a wider perspective in planning. The most radical changes have happened on industrial zones and zones of rapid infrastructural development, that even though they are located in the wider central areas of the city, still remain unused and are left to deteriorate.

Locations of Invisible Zagreb, especially the deserted industrial spaces are impressive by their size, former function and content. Especially interesting is the relationship between the planned working space and its transformation into private space, visible by the traces left by the former workers: stray object, posters on the walls, a first aid cabinet adorned with a lace decoration…

Due to unpredictable and unplanned use, those spaces developed cavities in the same manner that they themselves represent a sort of cavity in the city space. Without a real function those spaces are open to be implemented with new contents, be it small private businesses, subcultural activities, activities of the independent scene or even the grey economies. The charming effect of those locations to the one who visits them, makes all other interventions: a surplus. The collection of the objects in the spaces can by itself stand as an archeological collection. I tried to get rid of the fist impression of the abandoned place by collecting the pieces of the walls from those sites. One hardly noticed piece of plaster carries an abundance of information about a site, what is it built form, what color are the walls, has it burned?… I resumed collecting various samples form sites, preserving them in jars labeled with the location of the site, its name, function, address and the date of the sample collection. I was trying to investigate if it is possible to read out a memory of a site form a sample like that, or is it is indeed needed to learn the facts, to know a history of a site.

To each location, there is a jar, to each jar there is a video document. The video and audio documentation is not unified. Some sites are treated as a building, some videos show just a detail of a space, a room, a fragment of a wall, some show just the exterior of a site. The audio sometimes documents only the present atmosphere of a site, sometimes it documents conversations with people who have lived or worked at the given site, while sometimes the audio documents the statements that bring forth problems with the present state of a site.