About This Project

STATUE OF A REAPER, 100 years of Dužijanca harvest celebrations,
Erected in 2011.
Trg Republike, Subotica

Author: Maja Rakočević Cvijanov, MFA in sculpture


Sculpture: 175 cm x 130 cm x 80 cm
Plaque: 64 cm x 42 cm / 2 cm

The erection of the monument was initiated by the “Bunjevačko kolo” Croatian Cultural Centre – Dužijanca Organizing Committee, to mark the 100th Dužijanca event. The “Reaper” sculpture was placed on the plot number 6041 cadastral municipality Donji grad, on July 31, 2011. The sculpture was placed on the part of the public space of the Trg Republike (Republic Square), on the grassy area closer to Strossmayer Street. The figure is a cast of the multiple champion in reaping in competitions traditionally held within the framework of the harvest festivities. The bronze figure is patinated and painted white in the naïve treatment, in order to underline the way in which we recognize the tradition in the town – based on ethnological collections of dolls in traditional costumes.

The granite plaque with the inscription in Serbian, Croatian and Hungarian languages, in Latin and Cyrillic scripts is located on the right of the “Reaper” sculpture. The text is coloured black.
The “grain cradle”, part of the scythe used to collect the grain, was twice broken off of the statue.  After its first breaking off, on 8.8.2011, this part was re-welded and restored to its original state.However, after the second time it was broken off, on 21.9.2011, maintenance was not continued due to lack of funds.Since then the monument has been existing in its entirety without the “grain cradle”.

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The twice broken off “part of the scythe used for collecting grain” echoes ominously. “Grain cradle” in the mind of “frugal ones” now grows as a sign of traditional caring and above all economical management. Like a cry of warning – is it futile (?) – it indicates the frequency of vicious attacks on human values, devastation and theft of monuments. Do we really become a society left at the mercy of hooligans and thieves, thugs and robbers.
Kenneth Clark (1903-1983) in his book Civilization quotes the wise John Ruskin (1819-1900):
“Great nations write their autobiographies in three manuscripts—the book of their deeds, the book of their words, and the book of their art. Not one of these books can be understood unless we read the two others; but of the three the only quite trustworthy one is the last” – to that, Clark adds –  If I had to say which was telling the truth about society, a speech by a Minister of Housing or the actual buildings put up in his time, I should believe the buildings” Of course, the lapidary eloquence of creation is layered, adapted to its time, but perfectly understandable to future generations.One needs to consider: What does vandalism, often “represented” by undiscovered thefts and lost monuments sold as scrap metal, testify and tell us?

From the book: Public Monuments in the Municipality of Subotica II, by: Bela Duranci, Maja Rakočević Cvijanov and Vera Gabrić Počuča at the “Likovni susret” gallery of contemporary art in Subotica


Augustin Juriga i Željko Vukelić