malo morgen

Where I found the map: Deponija Neighbourhood, Belgrade
Printing preperations / Matrijaršija, Belgrade
Printing / Matrijaršija, Belgrade

malo morgen, silkprint on pieces of an Austrian map (found object), ~12 x ~21,5 cm, 2020
printed with support of Matrijaršija in Belgrade

The print “malo morgen” is an excerpt of the process of my becoming. I’ve spent years of dreaming about the far-away, about drifting through unknown lands. There’s a word for that in German: “Fernweh”, that I find only insufficiently translated to the English “wanderlust”. But somehow I wouldn’t let myself go for a long time. When last year I’ve made huge steps towards that dream, the pandemic started and a lot of boarders where closed. But in summer it was possible to leave Austria to head East… So that moment of picking up a used map from the ground in Belgrade, being full of excitement, only to realize it was an Austrian street map, certainly was a “malo morgen” moment.

Besides that personal layer the print “malo morgen” also addresses the cultural interweavings between Serbia and Austria, made visible through language.

A lot can be told with language, indeed. Serbian and (Austrian-)German share a lot of words – reminiscences of history, references of intercultural exchange. Some of these linguistic blendings originate in the time of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, some are indicators to immigration movements due to economic factors or flight from war in Ex-Yugoslavia.

I’ve had many surprising moments during my stays in Serbia discovering those shared words. The phrase “malo morgen” caught my interest as it is like a linguistic remix: the word “malo” is Serbian, meaning “small” or “a little”; the word “morgen” is German, meaning “tomorrow”. Those words combined are a figure of speech used to express something is very unrealistic to happen like that – mostly translated with “yeah right”, “in your dreams”. On one of my drifts through Belgrade, in the Deponija neighbourhood, I found a crumpled map on the ground. I was excited to pick it up, imagining to have found something exotic. However, I felt like coincidence had prepared a joke for me: it was a map of Austria. What a suitable surface to print “malo morgen” on!

part of “Na drugi pogled // Auf den zweiten Blick // At Second Glance“ organized by the Austrian Cultural Forum Belgrade