Boris Beja, Hundred Flames: @heartbreak

Boris Beja, one of the most prominent representatives of the younger generation of Slovenian visual artists, designed the spatial installation On the border: @heartbreak for the exhibition project Borderlines, dealing with the subject of borders and presented jointly by the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Koroška and the Centre for Contemporary Arts Celje. The work, which was on display at the Museum between 26 June and 8 October 2020, originates from a reflexion on the border that divided the region of Carinthia between the Republic of Austria and the Kingdom of SHS. Besides projecting the artist’s own memories of the border, it also provides a reflection on the broader social consequences of the political arrangement of borders.

The object – a wooden construction, divided by the borderline that is, at first glance, reminiscent of a heartbeat – is split into two parts. 100 clay eggs, meticulously wrapped in Kinder Egg wrapping, are placed between both parts of the construction. The symbolic number refers to this year’s 100th anniversary of the Carinthian plebiscite. The installation is also accompanied by background music, namely, the Carinthian folk song “N’mau čez izaro”, which was performed polyphonically by the artist himself.

On 10 October 2020, the day of the 100th anniversary of the Carinthian plebiscite, Boris Beja presented a performance in collaboration with the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Koroška in the town of Stari trg near SLovenj Gradec. In twilight, he burned the wooden sculpture in a meadow. He named the approximately 45-minutes long footage of the wooden sculpture burning down Hundred Flames: @heartbreak. The artwork, consisting of video documentation and the 100 eggs, were donated by the artist to the Museum’s collection.