Sunday 7 June | 2pm
WALK WITH SLOBODAN STOŠIĆ
Piss Museum / Muzej mokraće
Belgrade does not stink it just reeks. Not so consistent as much as wave-like. Quite logically to that connotation, the city had a unique museum in the world, which was shut down at the same time as all the other museums in the city. It was called the “Piss museum”. The founder of the museum is a little known professor, urologist and musician Alexander Filon (1923-2003). That information was given to me by Velimir Ćurguz Kazimir, who has written about it.
In the pile of old photographs I have noticed one, which until then I did not know where it had belonged, faded image of a laboratory in an apparently private apartment; written on the back side: “for A.F.” After that, I have started systematization and visualization of doctor Filon’s life, his museum and the city of Belgrade to question whether it is possible to give a description of the city through its smells.
The museum is located in the city center, quite accurately, odd sides of Revolution Boulevard, former King Alexander Boulevard, between the Vuk Monument and Žarko Zrenjanin street, or what is now called Vojvode Šupljikca street. Everything around it is thoroughly pissed. The museum is thematically decorated. At the entrance there is a short, chronological overview which starts with urology studies, then proceeds with the key events such as: love, profession, marriage, children, mature age, old age, illness, death in the family. At the very end there is a test tube with Filon’s urine sampled shortly before his death. The number of processed, exhibited pieces ranges between 1.800 and 2.000. It is believed that this is one fifth of available samples; in the most productive exhibiting years, there has known to be up to 4.500 pieces. The museum did find neither sympathy nor support of any government or regime, urologist or curator.
The walk should explore the context of museum of this kind and the social structure of the city in the past 20 years. Researching the traces of the lost museum within the architecturally devastated and undeveloped urban city, provides an extra insight into all historical and architectural redundancy, that were misplaced in the layers of market and history, which deprives people of their city. Participants in the walk are called to summarize the potential narrative, contribute with the information and possible details for the Piss Museum’s revival. In the city cartography, this museum is just another non-place, which presence and meaning should be explored.
In a simulated age, actual urine proves cruelly, refreshingly real, as such, it seems as anathema to art. Someone might, maybe, someday realize that here we are not talking about one man’s urine, but something much more about the history of one nation whose modern history might be accurately tracked through various salts, proteins, albumins, bases and acids, since this is yet another untold story about what has happened to us. After Alexander Filon’s death, the museum is unaccounted for.
MEETING POINT: Monument to Vuk Karadžić, Park Ćirila i Metodija map
See also: Piss Museum pictures
Walk with the artist is supported by ECF Step Beyond Travel Grant.