Distant Frontiers, 2023, installation: 100 wine bottles, approximately 620 cm x 210 cm.
The 100 wine bottles used in Distant Frontiers all contain wine from the 1992 vintage – the year when the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina started. Symbolically the bottles illustrate the dividing line between the time before and after the war. As the artist explains: the war was one of these strenuous and traumatic occurrences that will forever be a point of no return in a person’s life. He says: “For my compatriots and me, the breakdown of Yugoslavia and the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992 became that kind of juncture that forever tears the idea of ‘before’ and everything else that came ‘after’”.
With this ready-made installation, the artist alludes to the notion that each wine bottle is a time capsule. When presenting 100 wine bottles, exclusively gathered based on their production year, he uses them as symbolic elements in his artistic attempt to give physical form to the notion of time thereby visualising the distant frontier beyond which there was no return.
The curator at The National Collection of Photography, Charlotte Præstegaard Schwartz, explains: “Every war has a decisive watershed moment that marks a ‘before’ and an ‘after’. The air captured in these bottles carries one such decisive moment, taking on added significance as it represents oxygen breathed in during the transition from before the war and the time when its trauma and losses set in”.