Stones Between the Fronts

Anti-Fascist Monuments on the Territory of Former-Yugoslavia

Thu 14.09.2023 – Mon 27.11.2023 in the Az W courtyard
Large concrete sculpture in a meadow

Bubanj in Niš, Serbia, by Ivan Sabolić
© photograph: Christoph Lammerhuber, Melanie Hollaus

In the courtyard of the Az W, an exhibition with augmented reality allows visitors to experience places of commemoration for the anti-fascist resistance in former-Yugoslavia, and to take an artistic approach to gathering information on the political, social and historical background.

Under Tito’s rule, over 200 monuments were built to commemorate the Partisan Resistance and the crimes of the Second World War. Built between 1950 and 1980, many of these testimonials in stone lead bleak existences today. Instrumentalised, forgotten, neglected or destroyed: Once standing for solidarity among the populations of the republics and autonomous provinces, now they are a testament to political and social disunity. Disputes and wars have made differences visible in the new nation states, contributing to conflicts based on ethnicity, nationalist sentiment and religious allegiance.

While researching anti-fascist monuments, the curators were in Mostar in June 2022, one day after the politically motivated destruction of Bogdan Bogdanovic’s Partisan necropolis, and so became unwitting eye-witnesses to the devastation. At the outset they had only intended to play the role of observers in this project, motivated by the idea of bringing the monuments to Vienna in order to reflect on the ambivalent treatment of places of remembrance. With over 12,500 works by Bogdan Bogdanovic in the Az W Collection — which range from architectural designs to surrealist fantasies — at least his impressive legacy can no longer be erased.

The augmented reality exhibition in the courtyard of the Az W, linked to with QR codes, presents multi-channel video installations, two full-size 3D spomeniks, photographs and sound collages.

A project by Melanie Hollaus and Christoph Lammerhuber, in cooperation with MuseumsQuartier Wien and Architekturzentrum Wien

Based on an idea by Melanie Hollaus and Elena Messner
Videos: Melanie Hollaus, Christoph Lammerhuber
Speakers: Tamara Mijatović, Sanjin Sović
Translations of short films: Oliver Steininger, Tamara Mijatović, Sanjin Sović
Musik/ sound design: Daniel Riegler
3D objects: Mitrovica, Podgarić – Sebastian Konzett
Photographs and 360° recording: Günter Richard Wett
Exhibition design: pool Architektur ZT GmbH
Programming: SystemKollektiv – Litto / Daniela Weiss, Jascha Ehrenreich