Vida Jocic

Appeal for Peace

 Own experience of the drama of collective death has guaranteed the authenticity and sincerity of an individual creative act ever since art came into existence as a human experience. This huge theme – perhaps the greatest in the history of human civilization- had artists who related to it directly, creating works that formed the corpus of the most valuable, most important and artistic masterpieces – milestones in the history of art. Most certainly, one of these is Pablo Picasso’s Guernica. And in terms of its characteristics, the monumental composition of sculptures Appeal for Peace by Vida Jocic has its place in the same lineage.

Its basis is the universal semantics of the Holocaust (for each individual, community, nation – always and everywhere). Its creative background is the number 49865 tattooed on the artist’s hand in Auschwitz in 1943. Its aesthetics is the dramatic expression of the individual form, multiplied into many. As has already been written, it is the Cathedral of Pain which acts through destructive torment, an echo of terrible silence, seting in motion in one place a whole whirlpool of emotions in space and time…

The first ‘Appeal’ by Vida Jocic, although created in 1958, actually symbolizes the evident state of literal destruction as the dominant ideological category of the ongoing fin de siècle. Reflected through the actual contrasts of the age, the need for construction is transformed into an impulse of destruction, optimism is replaced by fear of an extremely dangerous future augured at the very beginning of the new century. For the next thousand years of the third millennium, from this cataclysmic perspective of ours, seem to prophesy a period whose end will be impossible to envisage. And is this not, finally, the aim of the warning – the appeal by Vida Jocic which travels through time and remains eternal with unchanged meanings and messages of great importance.

Jovan Despotovic

Belgrade, April 1999