Eulogy to the clay of Kikinda
“While modelling clay, the sculptor actually thinks of the primordial matters of which our mother earth is made. When you’re growing up in a town of clay, where all children knead it since their earliest age, then there’s nothing unusual about the inception of this idea. In Europe, since the disappearance of the Etruscan culture, we haven’t seen a more daring endeavor to reaffirm the almost forgotten technique and poetics of expressing in terracotta, and Kikinda lies on quality clay, on which many generations have lived and still live by making roof tiles, so it’s only wise to praise it,” our host begins his story.
Since its very inception, the Symposium has been envisaged as exclusive: “We’ve been careful in our selection of the guests we’d invite, and we’ve never had more than eight artists. We’ve wanted to give them enough room to create, and in return, they would leave to us a large-sized sculpture and two gallery-format ones. All the other works they made, they took with them, thus establishing many valuable collections. It’s also interesting that, for example, our gest was a sculptor from Bangladesh, the country that is not so well-known for a tradition in this field, as well as artists from Japan, who are world’s leading sculptors,” professor Kojić says.
Museum in manege
During the years, a giant collection was established, consisting of over a thousand sculptures, contributed to by more than three hundred artists. When asked how he managed to get the museum premises, professor Kojić answered: “One you’ve got such a treasure the audience cannot see, it was high time for us to open a museum. We survived the wars and bombs, which postponed its opening. The decisive moment was the decision made by the town authorities to purchase the abandoned military manège dating back in the 19th century, the transformation of which into the Museum was a challenge per se; however, we simultaneously succeeded in saving an architecturally exceptionally valuable edifice which was about to cave in.”