BOGDAN ŠTEH, ANDREJ UDUČ / TNM – THE PASSION OF THE BUREAUCRAT

Made in Trbovlje

Since the times of the early civilizations there has always been a bureaucratic apparatus, which made sure the community worked unimpeded. With the emergence of the modern state in the early new era this apparatus grew stronger and became an inseparable part of everyday life in human society. Firstly, working for the benefit of the ruler and the ruling class, it eventually, through the social processes, became an apparatus which was to work for the good of the entire community with its unbiased and clear criteria-defined decision-making. Why is it then, that the words bureaucrat and bureaucracy have been seen as pejorative for quite some time, and are a synonym for endless postponement of the final decision. Has the entire system degenerated and has procedure taken precedence over the final goal? Are the bureaucrats of today only able to the rules rather than understand and commonsensically apply them?

The Passion of the Bureaucrat installation took these questions as its starting point and is trying to visualize them in seemingly ironic (slightly satiric) ways; however, it is taking a serious stride to the question of the relationship between the individual and the bureaucratic apparatus. Eerily human-like sound of generated speech symbolically represents a disembodied official, devoid of all empathy, whose main purpose is to avoid solving things for the benefit of the individual and the community. Rather than that, he takes shelter of the established procedure, even though it has no practical sense and causes suffering and brings injustice to the clients. Perfectly articulated speech, betrayed only by occasional errors caused by the inability to understand the text, is interrupted by moments of silence, brought about by a new stack of paper fed into the insatiable mouth of the official apparatus (i.e. the paper shredder) in order to be processed. But it is only a brief respite as all arguments are shredded to bits and pieces. The victiom of the bureaucratic trap is only left to compare his torment to that of Jesus Christ.