Leather Suitcase
(Homage to Stanoje Ćebić), 2014

Stanoje Ćebić’s private archive, 1969-2010;
Black/white photograph, 80×80 cm, 1971;
Fancin Ceger, Drugarica Johanna,
silk print on cotton, 2011;
Fancin Ceger’s silk print action,
Video 15’24”, 2011

Exhibition view, Remont Gallery Belgrade, 2014

An autobiographical novel titled “Why I became an Ox” by metalworker Stanoje Ćebić from the village Jašunja near Valjevo was published in 1981. Printed in three editions and with a circulation of 18000 copies, it was made available to a wide readership ranging from intellectuals to factory workers. This documentary prose recounts the quest of a ‘little man’ for a communist utopia and the consequent struggle for its realization. Following Ćebić’s death in 2011 the only remaining object was a brown leather suitcase, its content stating a life vision described in his prose text, captured in a film and in a radio drama. Over the years, his questioning of social norms and his strong moral principles became an inspiration for journalists, writers, film directors, visual artists and musicians. Was Ćebić a factory worker acting as an artist or an artist acting as a factory worker? Exhibiting Ćebić’s personal archive, his subversive abandonment of the expected social frameworks is highlighted in its potential to transform individual actions into political ones.

Exhibition view, Remont Gallery Belgrade, 2014 © Milan Kralj

©2018 Dejan Marković