The Eternal Flame of Rage

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“I have to burn more cars. I’d like to get to ten.” Those are the words of Dalibor Martinis, who lit a Yugo on fire for his exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New Zagreb. An audience and also firefighters witnessed the performance.

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In some ways the car is a symbol of the old society, and is also sometimes presented as a comic element in American films such as Die Hard With a Vengeance (1995). With this installation piece – performed in Ljubljana, Graz, Labin, Dubrovnik, Zagreb, and Subotica – Martinis wanted to actually generate an act of rebellion that frequently occurs on the margins of many big cities, and are usually characterized by lighting cars on fire.

After the fire died down, he explained how the project came about when he witnessed burning cars in France a decade ago. But, he also recalled the recent unrest in the Ukraine, where he says he saw a huge amount of burned tires and wires left behind on the main square.

The exhibition curator, Leila Topić, plans to transport part of the exhibition to Ljubljana and Belgrade

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“In some way afterwards, there appeared a margin of social that expressed their dissatisfaction with the  burning of cars. I was attracted by this symbology. So, there was a regulated part of civil society that expressed dissatisfaction by burning cars. Usually these events take place in suburbs where immigrants live. Therefore I thought it essential that my artistic interpretation occur in a neighborhood that we consider to not be so representative”, Martinis said.

Therefore I thought it essential that my artistic interpretation occur in a neighborhood that we consider to not be so representative”, Martinis said.

Burned cars used as a warning to the constant changes in the world and as the cry of the oppressed, will become part of the Martinis exhibition, titled ‘Data Recovery 1969 – 2077’, which opens on December 6th 2016 at the Museum of Modern Art.

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