A large number of cultural monuments originating from the last thousand years stand in Serbian territory as firm proof of the spiritual presence of one nation in this historical and geographical area. However, the reality of the present time is very complex. Serbian culture is endangered and Kosovo is the most drastic example.
Since the period of the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999, Kosovo remains an unsolved enigma in the hands of those who do not care enough about this ancient cultural legacy, although it is protected by UNESCO.
Andrej Tisma, a contemporary artist, reacts to current world events and occurrences in the region with strong activism in his new video work entitled, Civilized Beheading. He documents recent events in Serbia and Kosovo and has collaged the parts together, connecting them with other similar historic events. The work is impregnated with music as a component of the core video. Themes used in the video resemble contemporary liturgical sounds combined with strong sounds of cutting wood, which contribute to the intensity of the visual effects.
The video begins with images of frescoes on monastery walls as remarkable proof of the cultural presence, transitioning to iconographic representation of saints, Serbian kings and czars, and the largest Orthodox temple of St. Sava which depicts historical facts. The interchanging of icons with imagery of disappeared and exterminated nations (such as the American Indians) is a unique comparison and rememberance of the past.
linking past and present historical events, Andrej Tisma leads the
viewer toward his goal, toward his dynamic and intensive message. By exchanging
iconic signs and inscriptions with the geographical landscapes
of Kosovo and Serbia, Tisma involves the viewer in an active way.
For example, he combines images of monasteries and churches with key historical
facts, such as the Turkish Sultan Bajazits beheading of Obilic,
the Serbian national hero.
After every beheading comes a resurrection!
(From the catalog of Andrej Tisma's show "Civilized Beheading", "Nova" Galery, Novi Sad, 2007)