In Ceremonial Loop, flower bouquet forms are reproduced from archival photographs of the former president of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito, and his wife Jovanka’s official state offices and in meetings with other world leaders and business representatives. These flowers are drawn in a detailed, representational manner, referencing the socialist realist trend within Eastern Bloc countries following World War II, then printed on silk fabric banners. The arrangements themselves act as a visual mediatory form among political conversations and settings, functioning as stagecraft within the context of conflicting ideologies and national interests. They exist as soft, unassuming objects, facilitating conversation and elevating photographic opportunities between heads of state. Mimicking country flags, the banners are shown alongside sourced photographic images of these diplomatic meetings, with the flowers cut out and removed in a commentary on collective memory, political performance, and offerings in grief. Upon Tito’s death in 1980, he was buried in the House of Flowers mausoleum that was originally used as a garden and retreat; news of his death spread across the country and resulted in widespread events of communal sorrow and remembrance. Today, certain sites and figures associated with the former president are deemed untruthful and unpatriotic. The source images, therefore, exist as an artifact of a once-functional political diplomacy, specific to the geopolitical ideologies of a time and place. The photographs withstand the test of revisionist history. The hand-drawn reproduction of the flowers on silk flags reflects this trend of nationalistic editorializing, portraying not only the gaps in historical recollection but also the ways in which we honor the departed through memorial performance.

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