Museum of the 20th Century

Vesna Mujicic 

Our understanding of reality has been largely redefined. Science extended what we consider to be our space to enclose both macro and micro worlds; television did practically the same in the new game of naming things that are beyond our immediate experience. We have learned that there are objects we don't perceive and that what we perceive doesn't have to be "real". The reflections of things multiply; the importance of direct perception of the world decreases, while the influence of information about it increases; we are buried under rapidly changing images. We don't understand Time any better than we used to.

We are in search of our own dynamic balance in the ever-changing environment. Individuality and self-development are the aims which are beyond questioning. Non-isotropy of the social space, that is, non-uniform distribution of power, wealth and education leads to the existence of certain menus from which a major part of the population can choose, while the way towards other options is systematically discouraged. Society creates categories, names new elements, installs mechanisms for reducing social tensions, controls spontaneous movements. Social tolerance is a more significant issue than before. The rule of law exists, but only to a certain extent. The prevailing social model still contains the concept of nation as a basis for community. The alternative might be just arising - based on the awareness that the planet Earth is home for the whole of mankind. The potential of this idea is enormous; exists on different planes (utopian, emotional, artistic, legal, ecological, quotidian...); it can engage people of very different orientations, and it is, at the same time, only locally confronted with powerful social, economic and political structures.

Unbelievable acceleration of development, unthinkably large numbers and enormous speeds are the elements of the situation that arose as an effect of militant applied science - technology - that, at the same time, brought so many good and interesting things that it is hard to condemn it. Mankind is obviously still concentrating on achieving control over the External.
A new infrastructural (communications) network is "thrown over" the numerous existing ones. Smart and sensitive machines mark our time, and our spaces become capable of detecting the presence of a person and reacting to it. If people didn't have the precious capability of temporary forgetting, the sense of disorientation caused by such rapid development would be even more manifest.

A museum is a separate reality - simplified, thus clearer - created to reflect the complex and controversial nature of the world by permitting its main streams to flow through it...