I Sing a Song for You

All my life I kept an old accordion that I used to play in my childhood, together with my older sister. In some way, this accordion marked a number of significant events that took place in my life and remained embedded in my memory. 

The story about the accordion goes back to my family’s past. My father loved it and one of rare photos from his youth that I have shows him playing it while sitting in the backyard of our house in Bjelovar (Croatia). The photo was taken a day before the WW2 has begun in his homeland. Decades later, on that same spot, I took a photo of my mother and myself, sitting in a sunny day, seemingly careless and happy. A day later the war in the Balkans started, forever changing the course of my life. From that day on, the accordion became for me an invisible guiding hand of my father, that reminds me of the happiest moments of my childhood just as it warns me about the unpredictability of things to come. 

It inspired me to create the installation “I Sing a Song for You” that enwraps all those important moments through variation of one and the same motif – two sisters playing an accordion – executed in a variety of artistic techniques: acrylic painting, graphic techniques of serigraphy, etching, and gampi zuri, as well as the animated film “Moderato Cantabile”. In this short animated film, I play the same waltz that my father played the day before the outbreak of the   World War II in the Balkans  (the melody “Danube Waves” by Iosif Ivanovici).

Although this installation appears to articulate very private feelings, its meaning is conceived within a larger frame – as a testimony about history senselessly repeating itself, the doom of war that each generation in the Balkans meets at certain point in their life. 

The installation was exhibited in galleries in Netherlands and Croatia.