Inspiration – Not brainwashing

Talk: Working and Realizing Light Art Projects in Urban Public and Urban Spaces
Speaker: Alexandra Stratimirovic
Site: Smögen Seaside Resort

There is a dark side to Alexandra Stratimirovic´s love for light, something that probably was unknown for most of us gathered to listen to her talk. But she let us know.

She tells a story about how dark it went in the streets of her home town, Belgrade, after the Balkan war. Totally dark. Until huge commercial signs started to lighten up the streets in neon colors.

She tells,” big signs with ads for luxury cars, gambling and other things that almost no one could afford”.
That is why she as a grown up and an artist decided to lighten up people´s everyday life with beautiful and meaningful art. White letters on illuminated mirrors – inspiration, not brainwashing.

A few words from small kids
She chose Belgrade as the first city for her performances, thereafter going on to Mostar, Bologna, Tirana, Ljubljana, Dalarna, Vallentuna and now Smögen.

She meets with small children, often less than seven. She listens to what they say, and she is letting herself being caught by short and in a way simple sentences that often expresses deep feelings.

She says, “It is up to us, the adults, to see the extent of the children´s words”, showing examples of white letters in the shape of commercials on illuminated mirrors.

A child in Mostar, where battels between Catholic and Muslim neighbors destroyed so much, writes “The Future is the Past”. And an old man starts to cry when he sees it.

A disabled child in Vallentuna, Sweden, writes, “Do you want to play with me?”.

Everyone is magic
The signs made by Alexandra Stratimirovic have been exhibited in galleries and turned into plays, that is true, but very often they are like ordinary commercials placed in public places like shop windows, bars, hairdressers and – now in a boat house in Smögen during the Art Light Festival.

She has chosen to call her installation My Light Future, maybe telling that despite troubles in life and society, children have the force to look bright at the future. We ought listen to them, for example to, “Everyone is magic!”