The work is centered around incomplete stories that I have stumbled upon recently involving my grandfather. I was put in a situation to imagine what is forgotten and preserve or fix what is left: a few words from my grandmother and a couple of photos. Ultimately, this video installation reflects on the vulnerability of our memories and, moreover, a generation of people who needed to forget in order to continue to live.
The information about my grandfather having been in a labour camp appeared during a dinner with my ninety-four-year-old grandmother. She asked about my work and I said I was going to do something about labour camps in WWII Germany. She then said my grandfather had been in one of them. She said it as it was something very well known to all of us. As if everyone had gone through labour camps back then, as if it had been as natural as attending elementary school. So, my grandfather had been in a labour camp and, what is more, he survived one of the bloodiest events in the history of Šabac, all that when he was eighteen years old. When I asked my grandmother how it was possible that she was telling me this only now, she replied: “These were horrible times and we just wanted to forget”. She also said: “That’s never been something we wanted to talk about.” She could not remember her husband ever mentioning the name of the camp or what he did there. He never wanted to talk about it. She never asked. It was impossible for me to trace his past. My grandfather died in a car accident when I was four years old. I was told he had gone to buy me a kite.
The work takes form of a video installation structured around images of places where historical events happened, images of places where people gather to spend time, not doing anything except maybe flying a kite.
We Wanted To Forget
video, sound, HD
8min loop video, 3min loop video
2 photo frames 15.5cm x 10.5cm
Ivan Salatić was born in 1982 in Dubrovnik and grew up in Herceg Novi. He finished the School of Fine and Applied Arts in Belgrade and graduated from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Cetinje and HFBK in Hamburg. His films, in which he combines the documentary and fiction, have been presented at many international festivals, including the Venice Film Festival, where his feature “You Have The Night” and short “Backyards” premiered.