The performance This Too Shall Pass is based on a story of an exhibit shown in the Memorial Museum of the Jasenovac Memorial Site. This is a ring on which the words This too shall pass are engraved.  It was told to me by an acquaintance a year ago, attempting to comfort and encourage me, free me of the cares that at that time so much absorbed me. This too sallpass, the words that caused the unease in me.

I had to find out everything about the ring. I went to the museum in Jasenovac. In the penumbra, at the bottom of one of the few glass showcases with the inmates’ objects, I found the hardly visible ring. Simple in shape. I bent down towards the case. The weak light hardly let me see the interior or the engraving.  Letters from the little electronic caption shone in front of my eyes. Who was the owner of this ring?  How in those inhuman conditions, under threat of death did he have the will and the strength to engrave the words of encouragement, keep the hope and faith in a time of hatred? This too shall pass. To whom was this saying addressed?  The facts from the caption did not reveal much. I found out nothing about the owner. He will be anonymous forever. But not his powerful and empowering gesture.

I want to take it out of the dark of the museum display case, draw attention to it, loudly, under intense light. Engrave it as the unknown inmate from Jasenovac had done. Yes, even seventy years later, convinced that it is necessary to do so. Here and now.

I stand in front of the bare, dark wall. I engrave, letter by letter, the saying: This too shall pass.

Text Ružica Šimunović

Text Marija Selak

executed on 20 0ctober 2017 in Institute for Contemporary Art Zagreb.

Author: Amela Frankl

Texts: Ružica Šimunović, Marija Selak

Camera, postproduction: Miran Krčadinac

Photography: Boris Cvjetanović

Translation: Graham McMaster

Support: The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, the City Office for Education, Culture and Sport of the City of Zagreb