- Susannah Faber
NOVI presents a newly commissioned installation by Adriana Ramić (b. 1989). Drawing from personal photographs, interviews, and ephemera collected by the artist, the exhibition considers the power of images, formations of memory, and the influence systems of encoding and reconfiguration can have on these. While working as a computer programmer in Lignošper, a furniture factory in Bosanski Novi, in former Yugoslavia, Ramić’s father coded a dot matrix image, somewhat arbitrarily choosing President Josip Broz Tito as his subject. Made with new technology, this was a feat in computational image making. Coincidentally, Tito died in a hospital the following day (May 4, 1980); shortly after, the police visited the factory to inquire about whether there was any possible correlation between the production of this image and the death of the political leader.
Departing from the perceived threat that this image raised, NOVI reflects upon the role of images and computation in relation to memory. This becomes a catalyst to reflect upon memories of larger histories beyond the one image. In the summer of 2018, Adriana Ramić traveled to Bosanski Novi (now Novi Grad) to investigate the story of this image and see whether any copies remained. While there, she conducted interviews inquiring about people’s memories of this incident. In doing so, larger histories and absences came forward. Computational transcriptions and translations of these reflect difficulties and slippages within processes of translation and transmission of meaning. New photographs of the factory and town, central to the exhibition, function as residue of her encounter with it. The first institutional exhibition of Ramić in the U.S., NOVI investigates ideas of place and processes of memory, translation, and encoding.