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Eternal Flame

Concrete, steel, gas ames, 70 x 70 x 150 cm

The flames added to the concrete model of the never-built Museum of Revolution place an emphasis on the fragility of ideology and its representation through architecture at several levels. The building in which the history of the Yugoslav People’s Army, the army that was crowned by the great victory over fascism in World War II has never been completed despite the fact that the foundations were built. The impossibility of turning this idea into reality, and the physical decomposition of the country that came out victorious from this struggle for freedom, caused the need to create a new hybrid object. The concrete model was created based on the technical designs of the original author of the building Vjenceslav Richter and is meant to replace the physical non-existence of the original building in an indirect way, as well as to emphasise the impossibility of realising both the object and the very idea. The detail which further accentuates the paradox of a non-existent object is the installation of flame nozzles in the dome of the museum. The symbol of an eternal flame constantly burning points to determination and continuity in preserving the ideas which we believe in. In a romantic way, it is related to a glorious history, but at the same time, it clearly aims to emphasise the paradox of the unfinished. The flame comes out of the gas bottle underneath the concrete model, so in this case and its eternity is limited by the volume of the metal container. It is precisely the volume of the gas canister that awakens us from sleep and returns us to reality. Eternal fire should also be regarded as a utopian object that clearly tells us that the flame will disappear when the gas evaporates from the bottle, despite the belief in the idea that the flame is eternal. 

Exhibition Ruins of Future Utopia, Eugster || Belgrade, Serbia
Photo: © Ivan Zupanc, © Nemanja Knežević