Twisting by the Pool


The spatial installation of the iconic and ironic name, taken from the cult rock group Dire Straits, consists of a sterile tile construction, as well as the typical cleaning agent and its operative instructions.

BETAZID Rosso is an acidic concentrated agent of the Austrian company hollu Systemhygiene GmbH used in professional cleaning for maintaining sanitation and descaling. "Mitel" with a pleasant smell and recognizable color is moderately foamy, and suitable for daily maintenance of acid-resistant surfaces.

According to the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals it is labeled with GHS05. This low-pH-value substance contains sulfamic acid, which causes serious skin corrosion and eye damage. As the standardized specifications label the product as physically and dangerous to health, it should not be inhaled in a dispersed form (aerosol), nor used without protective gloves, i.e. protection for eyes and face.

The practice of "professional" cleaning nevertheless does not imply the prescribed protection. Workers are often forced or uninformed that they work with toxic chemicals. In some cases, the work takes place not only without protection of the respiratory tract and eyes, but also without the default basic conditions for work, namely, a vacuum cleaner, a clean mop or gloves. Although the product is often diluted to reduce the costs of the company that hires workers, an allergic reaction to the product in the form of itching and redness is common. On the other hand, it happens that there are no funds for all "Objects," and while in that case the workers are temporarily protected, the hygienic conditions are not at the expected level. Some of the workers have been engaged or employed in the field for many years, and depending on the type of (oral) agreement with the employer, they are not entitled to health insurance, pension, and protection in case of loss of employment.


The work directly confronts visitors with the danger to health that unprotected, undocumented, and often overqualified manual labor encounters on a daily basis during the work process. Direct insight was established by using a cleaning substance whose color indicates the segment of the room to be treated, as well as by appropriating the atmosphere of invisible and unofficial, still fundamental members of the social reproduction system. The installation also undermines the notion of the sublime as a pleasure in the threat from a safe distance, and the mask as a means of protection from the current pandemic was granted an additional purpose. On the other hand, the notion of representation is treated in two waysboth from an aesthetic and a political aspect. By incorporating my own working experience, the economic, social and political postulates of the Austrian labor market are being examined, as well as the hierarchical system that defines and regulates gender and professional roles of (non)migrant female* citizens from the former Yugoslavia, which is not part of the European Union.


The work produced by the ceramic salon Zlatno Sidro, Obrenovac


Ready-made installation (tiles, BETAZID rosso, operative instruction). 2021. 120x120x40cm (Mangelos Award Shortlisted. Remont. Belgrade)