Monument to the Women Who Cooked Salt, 2019
In cooperation with architect Marian Ravasz
Project currently in progress for Crikvenica Lungomare project, curated by Michal Koleček
More info at rijeka2020.eu
Inspirations for our project are the topics of hospitality, acceptation, representation, empowerment. Our idea is based on the research of the present and past history of the site, visiting, studying and listening to local people in the area. We were influenced by the story of local women, who cooked salt during World War II. During the war, women were cooking salt from seawater in order to support their families, in times when men were fighting or working abroad. We would like to create a monument for the heroic work of these women.
We also studied the local heritage of artworks present in the town of Crikvenica: sculptures and monuments made by Zvonko Car and Zdenko Kolacio. Zdenko Kolacio’s work and presence in the town impressed us a lot. He uses very clear forms in big scale, which are full of possible associations, which resonates with the Croatian and Yugoslavian tradition of excellent and extraordinary concrete or stone sculptures. We are amazed by this tradition and monumentality.
The global and local stories of Crikvenica helped us to create a proposal, which we believe would be great additional element to the wonderful promenade in front of the restored and new Hotel Miramar. The new part of the hotel – as we have seen in the visualizations – is a black and white structure, that looks also to be made using concrete. All these experiences and facts influenced our idea.
Our proposal is, to make a similar spatial structure to Kolacio’s monument dedicated to Vladimir Nazor – but made from contemporary white concrete, processual installation, changing in real time with an added system of vaporization or steam making. We changed Kolacio`s work in basic concept. His original work is dedicated to a famous political and cultural personality – in our concept we dedicate our monument to the heroic effort of local women in history. We appropriate the original artwork and will transform it with a new message. The form changes in materiality and by becoming a processual art piece.
We propose white concrete and salt stone as the materials of the monument. In the white smooth concrete, we would like to implant pieces of salt stone – white ones. (One of the still working salt stone mines is in Romania, which produces white-grey salt stone.) The surface of the installed monument will be plain and level. Over environmental circumstances and also the vaporization the salt stone will slowly disappear and holes form in the concrete sculpture. Through these cavities, the vaporized water/steam will escape as well. The vaporization could work in the summertime, several times a day. The steam production system is designed by Marin Ravasz and will be installed under the monument and in the technical pit on the square.
Our installation will be dedicated to Women in Crikvenica and area, who helped to survive during the war times by cooking salt at home and exchanging it for food – this is a symbolic story talking about woman power in general. There are still women alive who experienced this process – we made interviews with nine of them already, as a part of our installation. These interviews will be presented on the website and will be available with QR code in English and Croatian language with the explanation of the whole story and facts about the monuments on the site.
Ilona Németh, Marian Ravasz