Iva Kontic


Mechanical Dream has been inspired by the news that Crvena Zastava, a state car factory from former Yugoslavia (now in Serbia), had been sold to Italian automobile magnate Fiat. The work deals with culture and social phenomenon which this event had triggered.

Being a major industry product of the former communist state, Crvena Zastava cars contributed both in a historic and a symbolic way to creation of the 'authentic' national identity to Yugoslav nations; yet, they were imitating foreign car models (mostly Fiat's) from the very beginnings of the factory. In accordance to ambitions and paradoxes of the system that produced them, those cars represented something of a collective "mechanical dream", which was synonymous to the 20th century progressive West and of its consumer-driven society. USA was actually the market where Crvena Zastava (serb. 'red flag') reached its exportation peak! After the break apart of Yugoslavia in 1990's, which was followed by general collapse of its economy (lead by the same car factory), the image of socialist society changed dramatically: its 'authentic' values disappeared and its former identity was deconstructed entirely. The new fate of the factory - as that of many other factories in countries in transition - and its social reality bring a 'solution' for that crisis; a solution whose consequences remain unknown when viewed through lens of economic and cultural colonialism.

Mechanical Dream has developed in a series of five photographs, a single-channel video and a painting.

As the result of artist project commissioned by Premio Cairo the prize for young artists, it was first presented in the form of combined media installation at Museo della Permanente in Milan.
The work was subsequently shown both as installation and separately, as video, photo series and painting.

Mechanical Dream

view of the installation

Museum della Permanente, Milan, 2011
and Beo_Project, Belgrade, 2012

series of 5 photographs (lambda print, print size variable);
video (HDV 16-9, colour-sound, language: Serbian,
subtitles: English, 11 min);
painting (newspaper collage and acrylic on canvas,
138 x 202 cm)



view photographic series


watch video


view painting