apexart :: New York City Fellow :: Borisa Antonijevic
Fellowship Program
Borisa Antonijevic
Radovanovica, Serbia, recommended by Peter Fend
April 15 - May 14, 2000
  My name is Boris (Serbian -Borisha, Borischa) Antonijevic I am 49. And I am biggest fool ever resided at apexart Residency Program. As very young I took identity of Wyatt Earp and read all about it. Even took the dummy gun to the school for my "protection". Watching the evening sky lying on the ground I decided to study astronomy and all about that. There were two major obstacles to that: I didn't liked math and my high school teacher of philosophy, history, and logic Olga Stevanovic, God rest she's soul (or rather not?!). She was a spouse of school manager who was a chair of town communist party head committee or something. Those two were the law in my high school than and I hated them both. Why? Because they controlled everything and everybody and plus represented Tito's communistic regime. And I was Wyatt Earp and I couldn't stand it as such. Lots of energy I spent than discussing with my professors, often getting in lively discussions with them about political issues than, my personal freedom Titos personality cult and so on.

Once speaking about Tito's personality cult comparing it with Chinese Mao and Russian revolution leaders my teacher of sociology Zika yelled at me suddenly than (before that he was reading a sport page walking around the class leaving impression being absent in his mind) calling me: ENEMY OF SOCIETY! That label followed me more or less my entire life or I just thought so… That time if you are good grades at the school you can become candidate for some post in the communistic society. As addition to that you should be also from good family, meaning that luckily your grandparents and relatives didn’t participated in counter revolution, that your relatives and friends are members of communist party and so on…

Unluckily my grandfather was killed by Tito's partisans in 1944 at Jastrebac Mountain and my mothers family was prosecuted after the war as enemies of the revolution and their land was partly taken away by the occupation law. What prospects I had as such than?! None! Dreams only left and I dreamed about emigrating America and making Hollywood movies to tell the world truth about communism. But how to get that position? I had done guess few stupid contacts to the US Embassy. As more I said frankly to the Embassy authorities I was farer away from American visa than. My parents were against most I was dreaming about: emigrating America, become professional motorcycle racer, commit suicide and so on… Strange people! Solid but strange.

That year 1976 I finished the high school with "b" and university should be the next. In June that year few of my acquaintance and I formed a local rock and soul band and we practiced at local ex fire dept premises. I wasn`t much of a singer but singing was the relief and kind of freedom and chance to get closer to the girls … We sang western music and were suspicious to the local authorities. I said to my self: If you pass entrance examination on Belgrade’s film school than ok, go on university to study film. If not than become a musician.
(UN)Luckily I was one among the FOUR students from all over ex Yugoslavia that passed that entrance examination in Belgrade than one friend of my mother than started gossiping that my parents paid for me to pass the entrance exam rather than believing that I was talented or the film. Oh, better I wasn't! I would probably spare lots of disappointments and best years of my life spent other way. But destiny or not, as ONLY student that wasn’t member of communist party than on my class I was suffer kind of political and social isolation soon. That process culminated with dirty games related to my student film "Check up of Happiness" that was banned for public 1982. The 17 (guess) minute film of mine was about maniac who kills the unhappy members of society and while happy ones should be spared from the punishment.
After that happened I realized that no diploma will give me opportunity to make movies in “Posle Tita Tito” Yugoslavia about my communistic traumas. If I, luckily wanted to make movies about glory of revolution, or nature life per example, science or whatever but not about I WANTED TO YELL ABOUT I could easily do it. But I wanted badly this was forbidden…

After my only child Mladen was born 1984 my wife and I shared two room apartments with my parents in center of Topola, Sumadija. Soon after, all of them, especially my son Mladen crying at night, forced me to go to Belgrade to find ajob. Belgrade was the worst city in the entire world for me then: center of communism in ex YU, center of communists, center of economy, opportunities, and so on and I was out of all! I always rent worst Belgrade apartments as I had little money. And I always remember Belgrade from the frog prospective. And who say today 2007- from the Belgrade elite that he/she made career as an independent intellectual/artist/politician/businessman/ lawer/professor/cleaner/singer/bird/dog/ policeman/mortuary/painter/ actor/salesperson/humanbeing/insect THAT PERSON OR INSECT LIE!!!

Ex YU/Serbian secret whatever checked them all and if they are today (2007) successful that means their were organized, supported, controlled by the Serbian Secret Service. After the multiparty system was allowed begging of nineties in Serbia I was politically active first through nationalistic Serbian Renewable Movement of Vuk Draskovic but soon get disappointed with a political illiteracy of that "party" which was another dictatorial copy of previous communist party where Vuk was secretary of Prime minister at the time. When I switch to the Green Party in 1996 and established first non-communistic Green Party in Serbia everybody treated me as traitor! Especially when European Greens supported NATO intervention over Kosovo/a and Metohia and Serbia.
Most people treated me as a person paid by the Josef Joschka Fischer to navigate NATO missiles on targets in Serbia. Eight years later I am still unemployed, kind of wonder of modern Serbia after "democratic changes": jobless, present, without social security, health insurance at the moment, person witnessing their present and past, persona non grata…

My parents got sick waiting for me to become a regular citizen with incomes and career, my son hates me as I am not richer, my wife hates me as I am not a super man… Even I hate my self after all while I am not sure from what of the variety of possible reasons? Probably trying to prove to my parents, my self and fellow Serbian that I am not total looser I started with research in physics to find if not perpetual mobile than something close to that.

When Peter Fend contacted me than end of 1999 beginning of 2000 on behalf of Apex Art I believed that I invented something important. That time US embassy was dislocated in Budapest, Hungary and I traveled whole night in the van organized for those seeking American visas. Coming there early morning I realized with horror that I need a photo or two to attach to my application that I didn't bring it with me. I was rushing the streets of Budapest that time to find photo machine to make a photo of mine. Some machines were out of order, others with people standing in the line in front of them, but anyhow I realized that I do not have Hungarian money to put it inside of photo machine! Another stress running to find bank that opens before 9 o'clock as visa application must be handed over till than… One way or another consul asked me suspiciously than: you are an inventor invited by artistic organization! How that fits to each other?

Dear Sir, I answered, probably you must ask them about it.
And I got an US visa! What a success!
The year 2000 came, approximately 23 years after I really needed it. Namely, year 1977 I was dying for an American entry visa to go to Hollywood to work on film. To work and study… Stay, escape… After my plane landed Newark airport I felt like on Mars. I am in America finally! First disappointments come later that evening when we took a beer in a local bar near Clinton Street, NYC. It was about 4-5 Dollars each! That was approximately ten times more than in my town! How I am going to survive and enjoy New York for month with such prices?! The answers come each of 29 days I spend there. And I can say-New York is wonderful! No such place on Earth! No such sky-scrapers acting so friendly and non-violent with its discrete and magnificent architecture… No such variety of races and cultures cohabitating in such manner. Pity I was kind of lonely than thanks to decision of a State Dept that citizens of my country were forbidden by the State Dept than for exchanging even intellectual property. I was confused shall I even have curatorial evening at apexart or it was forbidden too?!

That and Big Apple "syndrome" as well as a problem how to present drawings of my inventions as I am not patent protected in country of my dreams which forbids even exchanging relevant information with me…
Again I felt the strange syndrome that I am always wrong person on wrong place in wrong time trying to prove that it isn't like this! Guy from public at the evening of my presentation asked me: why you are here tonight as you do not have drawings and work to present to us? I answered not without feeling the new, strange big apple kind of shame: I think we just couldn't miss the opportunity!

Flying back to Europe I had the feeling of failure. But kind of decorated by being in New York, speaking decent English after all. Who cares? Right now I am still unemployed, claming that I invented Gravity Pump (uses only gravity force for making hydro-pneumatic energy…) with angry wife to support and son that hates me. Sick parents to supply with medicaments and food with lots of accusing questions:
Who am I? Should I have done it otherwise?
Did God see me as a good researcher for whatever values or just a looser?
I am thankful for the life I enjoy anyhow!