Intervention in space, Rikard Bencic (future MMSU) Rijeka
photo: Paolo Rosselli
Intimate space – place of memory

Erika Petrić | Lucija Ukić

This project was developed in situ for the future location of Museum of Modern Art (MMSU) in Rijeka. Its relocation to Stadtbahnbogen (flat1) in Vienna potentiates the variety of historical levels and connections between spaces addressed in the project. The transfer of the project to Vienna is the f.act-forum production.



After some unsuccessful tries to get photographic proof for assumed airwaves accompanying the flight of a bullet, Ernst Mach 1886 writes a letter to his colleague Peter Salcher, expert on ballistics and photography, asking him for help. At that time, Peter Salcher is professor at the Royal Naval Academy in Fiume (Rijeka), where he moved after finishing studies in Graz and spending some years teaching in Graz and Trieste.

Ernst Mach got inspired to reveal the invisible after hearing the lecture of famous Belgian ballistic Louis Melsens, who also assumed that compressed airwaves carried by the flying bullet are responsible for the part of the injury. Peter Salcher carries out series of experiments in Rijeka and succeeds in making the first photograph of flying bullet and its airwaves on supersonic speed. Despite the mutual presentation of results by Mach and Salcher to scientific community in 1887, in the history of photography the credit for taking this picture goes to Mach.


After some irrelevant check in a nearby village in 1992, they stopped to have coffee, before returning to their military position on the hill. Discussing on ability to react accordingly on eventual sudden life danger caused by the enemy, they ended up testing their speed in cocking the unloaded guns. They didn’t really understand what happened; there was no explanation for the bullet that just hit his stomach, injuring him to death. It was said that damage wouldn’t be that devastating had the bullet not lost the speed and changed its trajectory by passing first through the arm he was holding in front.


Setting up an installation in dialog with the architectural space of the site, we want to explore the possibilities of evoking, overlaying and retelling specific stories related to the cities we come from, our personal history and the history of the place proposed. The purpose of the installation is the convergence of these stories to one focal point, thus creating a scenic space that can be entered, interrupted, conveyed and finally retold by the visitor or spectator.
The installation consists of two simultaneous projections of analogue photographs. The first one shows the view from the window on the future site of Museum of Modern Art in Rijeka – now still a ruin of industrial heritage and a desolated space, and the second is a black slide pinned through.

The beams of light created by the pinhole set the frame for a space of action for spectators, who will be forced to walk through and cast shadows on the original set, thus resembling ghostlike actors in the story.

Projected image of the window functions as an opening to a so called out-of-the-scene time, undermining the attempt to dysfunction linear comprehension of time –we enter into now. Once the concept of past, present and future is being lifted off, the possibility of changing and retelling the story becomes palpable.