The performance SUSPENSION OF WORKS is a double warning. It warns that the artist collective MONTAЖ$TROJ cannot continue with its work because, even after a quarter of a century of existence, it lacks basic spatial working conditions. It also points to the construction site of the never-finished University Hospital Zagreb in Blato, which was to become a state-of-the-art health center but ended up only half-built and left to decay. This issue of space connects public needs in culture and public needs in healthcare, resulting in an autopsy of the “corpse” of the welfare state.
The audience entered the empty space of Pogon Jedinstvo whose walls were plastered with newspaper articles that, in chronological order, provided insight into the periods of development and implementation of the idea of building the University Hospital Zagreb. The wall archives, beginning with the enthusiasm of the early ‘80s, gradually laid out the story of inflation and the decade’s economic crisis by following the suspension of construction works on the hospital building through the war and transition period of the 1990s up until the new millennium when the skeleton-frame of the hospital serves only as a monument to times and utopias gone by.
The performers used duct tape to reconstruct the project of the “health factory” on the floor of the former factory hall in detail: from the floor plan and rough contours of the never-finished building to the naming of departments, rooms and wards. The performers tore the tape at the end, alluding to the University Hospital Zagreb’s state of being torn between the former and the current systems, desires and possibilities, public needs and private interests. This three-hour “durational performance” symbolically reconstructed the development of the University Hospital Zagreb, giving the audience an opportunity to participate in the renewal of public knowledge on this utopian project by going through the archive on the walls in moments when fatigue from observing human labor set in.
At the end, the participants of the event were invited to CONTINUATION OF WORKS, a performative tour around the skeleton-frame of the unfinished University Hospital Zagreb.