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Green Green Grass of Home, 2002

Maja Bajevic was born in Sarajevo in 1967 and lives and works in Paris. She specialised in Multimedia Arts in the Paris School of Fine Arts and has worked with different means of expressions —performance art, video, installations and photography— achieving significant international recognition through her participation in important exhibitions and biennials. The wars of the former Yugoslavia have left their mark on her work, which often conceal a significant element of denouncement of the atrocities committed there.

Emanuel Licha was born in Montreal in 1971 and lives and works both there and in Paris.
After specialising in Urban Geography, he studied Fine Arts at the University of Montreal and graduated from the National Fine Arts School of Lyon. From the 90s onwards, he has exhibited at a wide range of galleries and centres, on occasion together with the artist Maja Bajevic. His main interest is architecture and public spaces, and his installations make constant reference to social, historical or political themes.

The video Green, Green Grass of Home is an example of the collaboration between Bajevic and Licha. During the video, Bajevic strolls through a green meadow, describing in English her former flat in Sarajevo, occupied since the war by lodgers who are now refusing to leave it.

In the words of the artist:"In the same way as we occupy our home, it also lives in us. We identify with specific places and these mark our lives. With the disappearance of these places, we also lose everything that we lived through in them. Mental plans are used in a number of disciplines, such as geography and psychology, and it thus seems as someone projecting themselves in a particular space.

In this work, carried out in collaboration with Emanuel Licha, I appear in a large meadow whilst I give a description of my apartment in Sarajevo, where my parents, and later on I, lived before the war in the former Yugoslavia. Since then, the flat has been occupied by people who are now refusing to move out. The attempts to get the apartment returned to us had still not prospered at the time of making the video, despite the fact that "official laws" on the return of flats were in force during the war. I have not returned to my apartment in over 10 years but, in my filmed description, I try to remember it in great detail and I move through the field as if I was wandering through it: I go from one room to another, describing them and telling stories about them.

Based on this description, a plan of the flat was drawn up. And, based on this plan, we had built a model representing only the outside walls of the flat, and placed a background. With this model, we went to a photographic studio, which usually does portraits for important events such as weddings, baptisms, etc. and we posed as if we were a young couple of lovers, inside the model, inside that 'home' that is no longer ours.

Technical details

Original title:
Green Green Grass of Home
Registration number:
2706
Artist:
Bajevic, Maja - Licha, Emanuel
Date created:
2002
Date acquired:
2006
Fonds:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Object type:
Installation
Media:
Single-channel video, colour, sound, 17 min 53 s and sound recording
Credits:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation. Work purchased thanks to María Entrecanales
Copyright:
© Maja Bajevic, VEGAP, Barcelona
It has accessibility resources:
No

The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

For more information on the work or the artist, please consult MACBA's Library. To request a loan of the work, please write to colleccio [at] macba.cat.

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My work is my body, my body is my work.
Helena Almeida