Without a Proposition for a Concrete Solution
HD video, sound, drawing – pencil on paper
25’, 500 cm x 120 sm

“By creating a unique space of ambient installation, the author draws the viewer into the game of memory and attitude towards memory without a proposition for a concrete solution for the viewer, but strongly brings them into the game of memory and ‘working’ with memory. The work also deals with the idea of friendship, which is not only private, and behind whose narrative lies all the heaviness of historical relations that network individual destinies, and thus shape or break down relations of friendship and love”

From the citation of the 56th October Salon Jury
The work was awarded at the 56th October Salon in 2016.
It was exhibited in Paris (Kadist Foundation), Ljubljana (Museum of Contemporary Art, Metelkova), Zagreb (Vladimir Nazor Gallery), Belgrade (56th October Salon and March Short and Experimental Film Festival).

The work Without a Proposition for a Concrete Solution, structured as a spatial installation and video, considers the concepts of friendship and solidarity in three chapters. I am taking the context of the Non-Aligned Movement and the complex political landscapes of the second half of the 20th century as a historical prism that refracts these topics. The starting point of the entire work is a hand-painted postcard from my private archive, dating back to the 1970s, written in broken Serbo-Croatian. The postcard was sent to my father as a gesture of friendship by an Egyptian friend/colleague. In the first chapter, the object and its written message bring us back to the time of non-aligned politics and the relations that the movement promoted and created. The concept of the world as an image of the political map, often found in the politics of the Non-Aligned Movement, is being established and deconstructed before the viewer throughout the work. The second chapter consists of conversation notes with a woman friend. Running through the content of the conversation – that is not heard but is present in the form of telops that enter the film’s structure – are toponyms such as Amsterdam and Sweden, topics of classes and immigration, as well as the organization of life in the capitalist system. This conversation, located in an apartment somewhere in Western Europe, reconstructs the potentials of freedom in the past, at the same time predicting a society that balances on the thin line between communion and situations of control and micro-violence.

The last chapter of the video is a metaphorical and alienated image of the mechanism of mass production of images, representing conflicts and pressures as social matrices in whose cracks we must find the space for encounter.

The spatial installation shapes the way we observe the film and other elements in the space. It is an inharmonious ambience of questionable functionality – it is a simulation of a museum and a fictionalized historical cabinet at the same time. It is a space in which the ideas and narratives of the work are unstable; they are floating, open for interpretation, looking for fragile connections and relations that open up a space for sharing of time, knowledge and emotions.

© Cultural Centre of Belgrade, the October Salon Collection and the artist
Purchase Contract: III-5-472/16.12.2019.
Inventory No. 1668
Photo: still from the video work, installation view 56th October Salon, Boris Burić


Siniša Ilić (1977, Belgrade, Serbia) is a visual artist who uses various media to deal with social phenomena and mechanisms, exploring forms of labour, tensions in society, violence and states of uncertainty. A co-founder of TkH – Walking Theory (2001–2017), art and theory platform in Belgrade; he has exhibited in the country and abroad: in Belgrade – at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cultural Centre of Belgrade and October Salon; in Zagreb – Nova Gallery, Vladimir Nazor Gallery and HDLU; in Paris – the Georges Pompidou Centre, Kadist Foundation; in London – Tate Modern and Calvert 22; then at the Ural Biennial in Yekaterinburg and WUK and Open Space in Vienna. He explores the forms of collective work and deals with scenography and stage and performance design. He graduated and obtained a master’s degree from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade. A co-curator of the national exhibition of the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space, 2019. More information at http://sinisailic.blogspot.com