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Hit the Hermes

Exhibition, Interaction



Hit the Hermes is an experimental multimedia project, created as a response to devastating statistics of a survey conducted among citizens regarding the number of visitors to the National Museum in Belgrade. The motif of Hermes, taken from the decorative plastic on the frontispiece of this Museum was chosen because it etymologically directly points to the origin of the word hermeticism; hermetic, referring to closed, esoteric, secret teachings and systems not available to everyone. This project demystified and criticized such approaches whose application contributes to denying the right of citizens to museums and their contents, still present and dominant in local museum institutions and their practice.   Incorporating visitors into the creative process iself by using an interactive approach, has an objective to shape the final work of art by its perception and action. The interactive role of such audience, which functions in the double role of participant-creator, is to determine the boundaries between real life and an artistic idea. The final result of the project was the creation of a collective painting on canvas which the video of interviewed citizens was projected on. By using unconventional painting tools, i.e. water pistols filled with a painting pigment solution, the participants, in a symbolic attack, tried to hit and destroy Hermes who sporadically appeared during the projection. By spraying the canvas (using a modified dipping approach, stemming from action painting), it was left with spontaneous traces leading to the creation of a unique collective painting.  This left material evidence of a temporary artistic intervention, a remnant of an ephemeral process, and the projection on canvas was experienced as missing. The Hit the Hermes project was an open system that has so far been realized in different locations, each time producing a new authentic collective painting.