Public sculpture is a arguable branch of sculpture, as orienting on tastes and beliefs of the public, which is imposed on this variety even from the fact that it has to pass a selection process, can affect creative freedom (even as a protest to these tastes and beliefs). The quantifiable and non-quantifiable contexts created from the relation of the work of art with the urban surrounding give to the sculpture its public character, independently from the fact that the painting has been produced elsewhere. In the year 2009, I was working for the non-governmental organisation “Çohu” in Kosovo and this involved a lot of travelling around and a possibility to take pictures, which among other things happened to be pictures of the public sculpture position in urban’ centers. These sculptures as the urban’ centers themselves are product of a recent time, as Kosovo itself is a new country, as the most well-known sculpture of the country, “Newborn” tells.
Exclusions are not excluded, like in some cases of abstractions or monuments inherited from the past, but the typical dominates. The discussion on the materialisation of the public art itself seems to be restricted and wrongly oriented. A meaningful illustration on this context is the quoting from the article from Alter Habitus research report) which says: “ some participants support the idea that the presented martyr should carry a gun so as to be understood that he died fighting, while some others think that this is something to be decided from the artist.
How the urban is changing in today’s Kosovo is a question that we have the good luck of being allowed to avoid, although, we cannot avoid. This picture from the relatively peripheral Peja, walking towards the western side of the city, in the winter of 2009, told about a relatively quiet situation although change is present. The increasing presence of wealth in society is surfacing in new buildings. The end of the brutally greedy Serb-communist-Yugoslav state has facilitated the process. How much Peja, Prishtina and Gjilan are similar among them is something that is not clear in these pictures, as it is not clear how everything has changed from 2009, although we know it has changed a lot.
The individual is at the center of this commemorating activity. The collective is missing in the act of remembering through sculpture. This is an identifying characteristic of the public sculpture in the 2009-s Kosovo, a characteristic that has a defining impact on the style and method chosen for the realization of the work. Complains about the way that heroes are represented are not missing for Kosovo’s media.
This sculpture in the center of Gilan has the luck of having a little park with it. The Yugoslavian luxury is visible in dimensions and abstractions. There is no name in it. More than one person can see parts of his past in it.
The antifascist Yugoslavian sculpture is monumental and not individual. There are only few of this kind around the country, among which the most recognizable is the one in Mitrovica not present here but can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kosovska_Mitrovica_monument.jpg)
From Peja are also these abstract sculptures placed carefully out of the city’s rhythm. The human, strength, its struggle is present in simple and soft forms. If it’s the right season, you are lost in the right direction and have enough time you can spend some nice moments in their company.