Work title: BELGRADE’S AMBIGUOUS [ecopolitical] IDENTITY: DOBROVIC’S GENERALSTAB AND KRISTEVA’S ABJECTIONS (0000901795)
: given :
The 1999 Operation Allied Force encompassed an asymmetric targeting of the city of Belgrade. One of these targets was Belgrade’s Generalstab complex (comprised of two buildings – the Military Headquarters and the Ministry of Defence). The complex was designed by the Architect Nikola Dobrovic. The 1953 – 1965 Generalstab was explicitly related to the creation of a new post WWII identity of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY).
: projected :
The ambiguous [ecopolitical] identity of Belgrade’s Generalstab complex post 1999 is conditioned by the following Dobrovic quote:
“[L]et’s imagine the space of Belgrade on an inhibited ground: What would be seen?
Image of Belgrade in flash.
Image of Belgrade as a task.
Image of Belgrade as a dream.
The water bodies of rivers are masses in movement in an illusionary moving space.
The symbolism of Belgrade, water bodies of Belgrade. Important!
Tectonic texture / constitution.
Image of Belgrade.”
: image of multitude - kristeva’s ‘abject’ :
According to Julia Kristeva, the ‘abject’ does not have a fixed identity - it can never be described as a copy or a model, its only condition is that of a myriad of heterogeneous drives based on vocal and kinetic rhythms. It
“[h]overs at the periphery of one’s existence, constantly challenging one’s own tenuous borders of selfhood [and] remains as both an unconscious and conscious threat to one’s own clean and proper self. The abject is what does not respect boundaries.”
The abject has connotations of being neither subject nor object, having an open and bordering status that is also resonant of horror(s).
i. neither subject nor object
The abject is
“[E]ssentially different from "uncanniness," more violent, too, abjection is elaborated through a failure to recognize its kin; nothing is familiar, not even the shadow of a memory.”
: swallowing grenades: throat filled to the brim with choking debris :
: billowing tongues of fire : accidentally fallen dust :
: a raging wolf : subliminal depths :
: slippery vortex of air :
ii. open wound : borderline
According to Kristeva, the abject has elements of laughter and jouissance as “[A] laughing apocalypse is an apocalypse without god. Black mysticism of transcendental collapse.” It is a
“[l]anguage of abjection of which the writer is both subject and victim, witness and topple. Toppling into what? Into nothing more than the effervescence of passion and language we call style, where any ideology, thesis, interpretation [...] become drowned.”
: the military border :
: sockets of accidental wreckage:
: a pile of floating rubble :
: disturbing : comforting :
: rigour and fantasy:
: falling into a narrow opening filled with slime and piss :
: skin : tender carvings :
: contracted and expanded :
: a wail extends :
The horror of the abject is that abjection
“[d]oes not provide a reconciliation of meaning. Instead, the abject is that which seems to confound the possibility of meaning”.
: birth : corpse : voyage:
: crumbs of sweat :
: a force so violent it never fails to flatten :
: gasping for air : choking:
: the innerness of fire : its jabbing particles freezing a bottomless pit :
: dissipating dust : an undefined castle of blood, tears and joy :
: a ball - its threads ever tighter :
: a skeleton : a screw : imprints of history:
: a recurring stutter of air, dust and fire :
iv. twin paradox
The current site of the Generalstab complex has become a memorial, remaining one of several unreconstructed buildings. The state of the Generalstab, and its role in the next construction of Belgrade’s [ecopolitical] identity is ambiguous as the abject extends beyond the symbolic to return to a state of disrupting sounds, traumatic noises and abrupt movements. In this language of parts a twin paradox is imagined considering that during the building process of the Generalstab, the complex was often referred to as ‘Army is building two pregnancies’ . The current image is that of “[s]ubjective self, [which] therefore is always haunted by the possible return of the abject that was part of presubjective experience.”
: wallowing so deep, so strong, so magnificently blue :
: stench pinned against tender carvings of rigour and fantasy :
: water trickling down, each drop heavier than the other :
: sweating: breathing: trembling:
: growth :