Marko Lulic (b.1972, Vienna, Austria; lives and works in Vienna).
The artist remakes the partisan monuments (spomenik) of former Yugoslavia, but on a reduced scale as brightly coloured table-top sculptures.
“Lulic exhibited nine small ‘Improved Partisan Monument’ sculptures based on these ubiquitous ugly landmarks, his renditions composed of deliberately shoddy materials, their measurements lilliputian. Shrunken and deliberately insubstantial, Lulic’s table-top knock-offs convey the extreme earnestness of the original monuments, the thrust of their flat-footed abstract rhetoric crushed under its own weight. He also included two site-specific versions, Improved Partisan Monument (Donji Mihlojac) (2005) and Improved Partisan Monument (2005), both generically phallic shapes of rockets and exploding stars fashioned from varnished fibreboard. These were intentionally made a bit too large and installed like two insufferable bores at natural pausing spots. Even unlooked at, they were hard to avoid.” – Megan Ratner, Frieze, April 2006
“Although these sculptures possess a strange beauty and humour, they are intrusive and out of place. There is something profoundly alienating about recasting a public monument as a private sculpture in a gallery space. To acknowledge in this way that the gallery is Modernism’s last resort is to concede that the movement has lost not just its glory but also its legitimacy. […] There is a similar displacement at the level of symbolic content: the celebration of the figure of the partisan was central to the postwar reconstruction of Yugoslav nationalism. Lulic translates this collective cult into an individual partisan spirit of his own in subversive sculptural re-creations. Yet, although he deflates the heroism of Yugoslavia’s taste for monuments, he doesn’t ridicule the originals. He merely shifts the focus away from their representative function to the exuberant imagination invested in their making.”–Jan Verwoert, Frieze, May 2003