BOMBOPHONE ▪︎ Nikola Macura

04.07.2024-10.08.2024, 12:00-20:00

Describing his art practice as socially engaged, Nikola Macura emphasizes that most of his works possess a specific kind of utilitarian value. In his latest project From Noise to Sound, he uses the method of upcycling: finding and taking weapons and other items from the military scrapyard in Temerin, and artistically transforming them into unique musical instruments, such as the bombophone – a wind instrument made from M57 hand launcher projectile/grenade shells. The use value of these art objects is reflected in the possibility of producing musical performances on them in collaboration with professional musicians and the “Rusty Orchestra”, as Macura calls it. This artistic procedure opens up a range of potential problem frameworks for analysing the relationship between the utility of art and its social, symbolic or aesthetic function.

…It is precisely these other functions of art, its utilitarian nature, and the repurposing of materials impregnated with the strong signifier of the original function – as is the case with weapons – that become the focal point of Nikola Macura’s art project. Utilitarian objects that produced the sound of gunfire, blasts, bursts or explosions during the anti-Yugoslav wars are translated into the world of utilitarian objects within the art system, whose function is to produce sounds, music and compositions with a clear anti-war message. The artist enriches the purposefulness of the objects, i.e., musical instruments, through performative actions, adding additional symbolic content, which is crucial at a time when social trends in the region are marked by strong tendencies towards retraditionalization, historical revisionism, and denial of crimes. Finally, by creating a new and different utilitarian aesthetic component of art, whose purposefulness is realized through direct use, Macura speaks of the transformative potential of art.

(From the text About the Bombophone and the Utilitarian Value of Art, by Zoran Erić. You can find the integral version HERE.)


Nikola Macura, MA in Sculpture, is an associate professor at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad. He was born in 1978 in Novi Sad. Nikola Macura’s art practice connects various media and includes installations and spatial interventions, sculpture and drawing, primarily in the form of socially engaged art. After completing his studies, he has exhibited actively at group and solo exhibitions in the country and abroad. In 2000, he took part in the large performance of Led Art Kunstlager and from 2003 to 2013, continuously participated in the work of the Art Clinic Multimedia Centre. In 2002, he made his first installation that was placed in a public space, and in 2003, exhibited the first in a series of interactive, procedural works from the Interactive Sculpture Series. He has realized a large number of interventions and installations, and the latest, still ongoing project deals with the relationship between sculpture and sound, specifically, the process of redesigning military items into sound objects.