Nataša Lah / 2014
The recently-created spatial installation K 19 by visual artist Zlatko Kopljar, set up in downtown Zagreb, is directed through its meaning and content towards the remembrance of Holocaust victims. The installation consists of five sculptures, which are made from the bricks originally used to build the walls of the concentration camp at Jasenovac and then re-used for the construction of post-war houses. These same bricks have now been used to create the K 19 sculptures, which have been placed on bases created from standardized Euro-pallets used in construction.
Laid into horizontal courses, the bricks form vertical blocks with irregular upper surfaces, and, at the same time, place fragments of a fictitious whole in a semi-circular spatial ring of a monument-like character. Starting with the observation that the installation K 19 documents a specific historical situation possessing an unrepresentable narrative, the aim of the article is to demonstrate that this does not betray the nature of the medium chosen for this artwork. The article’s theory-based argument is rooted in a number of different interpretative strategies which study the anchoring of cultural representations in artworks by considering them as ethical concepts which are inscribed in a space. The article also highlights the processes of cognitive mapping within the set frame of a moral geography, as well as emphasizing the coupling of the contingency and conceptualization of heritage, but also the mnemopoetic perspectivism and intersubjective character of similar representations. By encouraging the meeting between “the seen and the read” as the meeting between “the visible and the expressible”, the article points to the effects of fictionalization and theatricalization which are present in this installation.