Ademir Arapović “Untitled”

Somewhere in the city (Sarajevo)
August 22 – September 20, 1998


“…because we all are good as we try to be good.” (R.A.)

Always when I needed to go to Dubrovnik I would be fascinated with stone balls put on the walls here and there. And I wasn’t alone in that. Everybody I would meet there found them intriguing. There were many in the Institute for the Protection of Monuments set like a pyramid. It is, in fact, the way they were kept, because they are the balls for the catapults. “… Nine or ten years ago, sometime in late August, I was in Dubrovnik again. I was collecting stones in the ruins of some house in the old town, which was being renovated at the time. I saw a stone ball, damaged a little bit… I brought it to Sarajevo somehow… I left Sarajevo, the war started… I started to believe that the ball was a kind of a “war axe” which I accidentally revealed, and that both Sarajevo and Dubrovnik found themselves in wars because of it. Even worse, I started thinking about myself. About myself as a thief. My work beyond the mirror: we will find a stone cutter. He will engrave “I steal” on the ball – which is still in Sarajevo – with letters in the type-face “Trajan” (Tzar Trajan has goat’s ears). We will leave the ball somewhere in the town (anywhere), hoping that somebody will steal it. If that happens, I am clean. My theft has got its meaning in the new work…if nobody steals it and I remain the only thief, I will put it in a bag and take it to Dubrovnik, where I would throw it in a water to bury the disgrace of my “goat’s ears”. (Ademir Arapović)