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Shadow & Dream


— A conceptual book of poetry —


[Sen & san]
Conceptual book, hand printed and bound, single copy
1993, Belgrade, Yugoslavia
Serbian language

This book was my answer to the war madness sweeping through Yugoslavia in the 1990s. When the war started, in 1991, the Belgrade media became full of propaganda, and words became weapons aimed at increasing tensions and preparing population for whatever Milo?evi?'s regime needed to continue its bloody adventure. State-controlled radio, television, newspapers and magazines bombarded consumers with language of hate and fear.

After some time, I caught myself developing distrust of all forms of communication, and I realized that this was precisely the aim the regime had in mind: once we stopped believing in communication, we would become isolated and hence the perfect soldiers.

To raise my voice against this, I decided to make a strictly controlled book. I collected a handful of poems I had written in the years just before the war, printed them in one copy, hand-bound the (small) volume, painted the cover, and titled it all “Shadow & Dream”. Then I told my friends about the simple rules I set for this project: everyone who wanted to read it had to print their name and telephone number in the space reserved at the end of the book, and each next reader had to call at least one of the previous readers to discuss the book. I wanted to encourage personal communication, at the same time putting a strict control over my words. Those who read the book had to sign it, becoming the guardians of the words inside.

Because it was time when words were dangerous. Just like today. Just like always.


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