I went to the hotel Jugoslavija to record in the late afternoon on an early spring day. I was there from waning daylight to darkness. I walked alone, back and forth on each of the floors, starting from the top and slowly working my way down to the lobby.
The sound image fixates on the faint buzz of the electrical equipment. This buzz comes from the walls, emanating across the room. Against this backdrop, the light flickers, creating a lively rhythm while Muzak from the café swells and recedes. The space is wide and silent, and the drones stretch out, extending from the way to the ends of the hall. The sound image conveys this procession down the hall, past the door to each room. It is a space of sequences rather than counterpoint. It is a thinning and thickening of intimate closeness as the microphones and I hug the wall that separates us from each other.
The hotel Jugoslavija was one of the first Yugoslav modernist buildings erected in Novi Beograd in 1947. In 2005 it was closed down to become a giant billboard for a hotel brand. While one wing is now open again, there are plans for a massive glass and steel renovation. Hotels are the backdrop for the unfolding imagery on display outside. In the context of neoliberalization, these hotels can be read as monuments to a time of enthusiastic modernization during the first decades of the non-aligned socialist Yugoslavia. Nowadays the excitement and ostentatious luxury of mobility and internationality has been rendered mundane, banal, and consumable by globalization (Vesić and Pavlović 2021).