Where the genocide was, there shall the political subject be


“Where the genocide was, there shall the political subject be”
PhD Roundtable with Grupa Spomenik/Monument Group
Centre for Research Architecture, London – 13 May 2011


In the context of the contemporary war and in the field of art, Grupa Spomenik conducts forensics of the discourse of the politics of terror. The main feature of the contemporary-permanent-war is, that it does not contain the concept of peace as its political condition. Rather, such a permanent war intends the erasure of the political subject.

Examining the case of the Srebrenica genocide, Grupa Spomenik explores the conditions of the production of the contemporary war, the doctrines of ‘reconciliation’, and the ideological conditions of their functioning. The situation of genocide entails the execution of the political subject and the ”Denkverbot” (prohibition against thinking) of the political. The coalition between forensic science, contemporary bureaucracy and religion that surrounds the process of re-associating the remains (identity) of those executed in the genocide perpetuates the politics of terror that was responsible for the genocide.

By conducting a forensics of the discourse of the politics of terror, Grupa Spomenik suspends the logic of the perpetuation of genocide by other means and in the process locates possible sites for the appearance of the political subject—sites that resist quantification, identification, and sacralisation.

Since 2002, Grupa Spomenik, a Yugoslav-based theory-artistic group, has produced public spaces for a political and critical-ideological discussion of the wars and their consequences in the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia.

Its international work commenced in 2008, with the project Mathemes of re-association. Focusing on the Srebrenica genocide, Grupa Spomenik examines the conditions under which art can produce its own discourse on the genocide and the contemporary-permanent-war.

Grupa Spomenik is Damir Arsenijevic, Ana Bezic, Jasmina Husanovic, Pavle Levi, Jelena Petrovic, Branimir Stojanovic, and Milica Tomic.