ekscest

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The Hostage Situations

Objavil ekscest, dne 27.09.2009

There are some very evasive statues in Ljubljana. The one on the edge of the Tivoli Park is an exemplary specimen:

1

“He’s exposing his nipples, but is not a Chippendale. He’s Ivan Štrekelj’s Hostage. Once upon a time Superman logo found its place on his chest. A newspaper article formulated that he had been ‘damaged’. Vandalism is treated too one-sidedly, always presuming the work of art being innocent. How innocent is a statue that demands the impossible – like the dying captain Miller when he utters to the saved private Ryan: “Earn this… earn it.” How innocent is social realism that gravitates toward Nazi statues of Fritz Klimsch? The vandalistic act had not added anything to the Hostage, it had merely released his tendency – like kosmodisk would if it were applied to the the nearby statue of Boris Kidrič -, uncovered the Superman-Übermensch connection. In that it had managed to achieve something beyond the Irwin sensationalism, something intimate. The statue had not been damaged, on the contrary, its state of being undamaged had been recovered, even becoming undamageable.
The sculptor Ivan Štrekelj lost his hearing when he was seven due to meningitis. ‘All his works are accompanied by a sense of powerlessness, a silent scream – as if he desired to escape his world of silence and incapacity,’ is written in his monography. But isn’t the Hostage himself – ripping his shirt in a way suggesting the thorax is going to howl – the most screaming expression of this desire? The Superhostage with a super sense of hearing? Destiny had not listened to Štrekelj, the son of a railroad brakeman (or had it?): ‘On the 10th of June /1975/ he has a tragic encounter with a train. Early in the morning, around 4 o’clock, he was crossing the rail track and caught sight of an approaching train, when he moved to the adjacent track, another train came rushing.’2

There is another Hostage located in the immediate vicinity of Žale cemetery in Gramozna jama (Gravel Pit), where Italian occupying forces were executing hostages during the Second World War. It is to this memory that Boris Kalin’s statue was erected in 1947.

But what is this movement immortalized in bronze?

The clenched fist of resistance in the moment and face of death?
Or is it something else? The anticipation of ‘Superman for the postmodern age’?

Dodging the bullet?
YouTube slika preogleda

  1. artwork: Luka Umek(back)
  2. Najdi svoje mesto [Planet](back)
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