1993, 2003, 2013 +
Attempts to bring man-made island Madonna of the Rock form Montenegro to Vancouver, Canada...
Island Madonna of the Rock, Bay of Kotor, Montenegro
August 15th, 1452.
Everyone looks very proud. 300 years after the first stone has been thown into the sea, people of this bay have finally made the island. They build the church and dedicated it to celebrate miracles of Madonna, who responded to prayers of sick, troubled and poor. From now on, every year to this day, their descendants will come to the island and throw stones in memory of this heroic effort.
August 15th , 1993.
War in my country continues. I decided to make my first exhibition on the Island. Form now on I will use this sacred place to reflect and understand who I am . I exhibited paintings of fishes, pierced with harpoons and hooks, mute as people who suffer from the war. I performed the series of underwater meditations and I became fish or maybe fish has turned into me.
I am getting ready to leave this country. Move out. Anywhere. I have a one-way ticket to Vancouver, some place in Canada. I don’t know anything about Canada and I don’t want to know anything about Vancouver. The date on my ticket is September 14th, 1994. Soon I will be far away from here. This place will exist only in my memory.
drawings - pencil on canvas 1.6m by 1.2m (6’ x 4’)
Underwater meditations / performance
August 15th , 2003.
This is my second exhibition on the island, consisting of fifty drawings and one hundred artistic statements. I tied myself with a rope to the island. I closed my eyes and jumped into the sea. I decided to move the island to Canada.
I started swimming and the rope stopped me. I continued to swim with my eyes closed using all my strength, but I was not moving. After a while I decided to open and close my eyes quickly. Something like a negative blink. All I could see was green-blue depth of the island floor, blurred like memory and filled with stones that were thrown into these depths by local fishermen and sailors.
drawings - pencil on paper
Deep Cove, North Vancouver, B.C., Canada AD 2313
August 15th , 2013.
At noon, I arrived at Deep Cove’s pier with a big stone marked “August 15, 2013” and threw it into dark waters of the bay. My wife took some pictures and video of the event and local artist Steve arrived with a small stone in his pocket. He threw his stone in the water and now island has two stones in its foundation. Who knows, maybe people continue to throw stones or other stuff into the ocean and on August 15, 2313 they will celebrate their heroic effort of making the replica of the Madonna of the Rock in Canada?
terra-cotta model of the island
In the meantime, I made a replica of the island in terracotta. Sometimes I carry the island with me on my walks, as it brings me the sense of peacefulness and joy... Nevertheless, I keep on dreaming how to bring the real island to Canada.
To be continued...
Moving Island moments