The preliminary programmes of Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture continue on Friday, 18 October 2019 starting at 18:30, with the presentation of three works of art installed in front of the Memorial Centre ‘Lipa Remembers’ within the “Recognising the Absence” artistic programme. The works by Diana Sokolić, Josip Pino Ivančić and Bojan Koštić will be on display at the Lipa Centre until 18 November.

The work “The Path of Silence” by Diana Sokolić is an example of landscape art, inviting the visitor to take a walk of remembrance through Lipa. A stone path where each pair of stones laid represents a pair of feet, and each space between them represents a human step, evokes the presence of the slain residents of Lipa. Stone by stone. Step by step. Repeated 269 times.

The work “Do you remember” by Josip Pino Ivančić approaches the landscape from a different perspective. Instead of inscribing the meanings into the landscape, he uses symbols – those elements of nature whose meanings have been assigned long ago. His work is a landscape assemblage where various materials (soil, burnt beams, rosemary branches) and forms (a triangle, a circle, or a horizontally oriented number eight as the symbol of infinity) – blend into a unique visual art syntax of remembrance.

The work “One spark is enough” by Bojan Koštić might also be called the June Nocturno. It was envisioned as a series of graffiti art pieces painted with a photoluminescent paint that glows in the dark in the public spaces of Lipa. The thoughts of an artist that absorb light during the day so as to emit it during the night serve as a reminder of our ability to utilise the bright and happy moments in life to encourage us in our efforts to dispel the darkness around us; a reminder of the surviving residents of Lipa, who have found the strength to rebuild the settlement and move on with their lives.

The Memorial Centre ‘Lipa Remembers’ has since its inception been dedicated to preserving the memory of the 269 slain residents of Lipa, permanently reminding visitors of the devastating consequences of war and of the violation of basic human rights. In Lipa, this memory is cultivated by involving individuals of various professions and approaches, who are then able to perpetuate the creation of new values and meanings in the ongoing process of contemplating the burdensome historical heritage of the settlement. It is an ongoing endeavour to find the answer to a single question: How can the absence of the slain residents of Lipa be made a component of our existence today? The “Recognising the Absence” programme answers the above question from the perspective of modern art, and it does so for the third year in a row. After the works by artists Nika Rukavina (2017.), Pasko Burđelez and Silvija Đolonga (2018.), this year’s public call resulted in 11 proposals of site-specific works, three of which were chosen for realisation by the jury.

Submissions were considered by a four-member jury: Nemanja Cvijanović, artist and programme coordinator in the Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture project; Ksenija Orelj, curator of Rijeka’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art; Biserka Dumbović-Bilušić, head of Conservation Department in Rijeka; Vana Gović, curator of the Memorial Centre Lipa Remembers.

The program is being conducted in partnership with the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka and TD Rijeka 2020 LLC, as part of the Seasons of Power flagship of the Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture project. The programme is financially backed by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, the city of Rijeka and the municipality of Matulji.