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03 | DAVID GODICHAUD 16 | GABRIEL RICO 25 | MILENA JOVIĆEVIĆ 37 | Neža Agnes Momirski


DAVID GODICHAUD

Where did you grow up and how did it affect your work? I grew up in Fontainebleau, close to Paris. The place by itself didn’t affect my work directly, but it did affect my sensibility. I remember me walking around and reading in the gardens of the castle very often after school. It was a lot of silence, a lot of imagination. Francois 1er. Louis XIV. Napoleon. My mind could travel along the perspective of the time. But Fontainebleau is not only History, it is also the Nature. I remember my parents bringing my sister and me for hiking on the paths of the forests on Sunday afternoons. I didn’t like it that much at this time as I was missing the horizon, as I couldn’t look far away. Trees were too many and too high - they still are even if I do like them. Yet it taught me “contemplation”, mix of looking and thinking. Years later and after many readings of books by Stendhal, I realized how much Fontainebleau probably helped me to develop the feeling of beauty. I have been living in different places since then, in France and abroad, and as in the middle of the trees, places create strong feelings in me. My mind is very sensitive to the contexts and that affects my work in depth as a consequence.

What subjects do you deal with in your art? Photography has a strong natural contingence with the real and the power of the real is actually what astonished me the most. It can be a light beam. It can be one attitude of an individual. It can be a context. And when the three of them combines and I miraculously meet with them, I have the feeling that I photograph this rarest curve Henri CartierBresson’s talked about: the straight line. The difference is that he considers this “straight line” from a technical point of view whereas it is all about feeling for me. To photograph people in the streets, I have been using only my medium format analog camera for years and that accentuates this feeling of miracle as well: the process is by essence real and miraculous, which is a magic paradox. Besides streets photography, I do more and more photographs of still life and fashion in studio. I do enjoy it for different reasons. It is more about creating an image from scratch. It is more the intellectual game of filling up one empty space with materials, lightings, accessories to create a mood and to be able to communicate something that is pre-defined upstream by a concept. That is very interesting and challenging. In the studio I have the impression to play a chess game with an “technical” adversary. I would end up saying that I am curious and

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Open Sea “So Coney!” series Photography Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, New York, USA 2011

Fragiles boys “So Coney!” series Photography Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, New York, USA 2011

Baroness “So Coney!” series Photography Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, New York, USA 2011

Bridge and tunels “So Coney!” series Photography Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, New York, USA 2011

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do like exploring new subjects, using many different technics. At the end, they all feed my mind and my photography. Through the subjects, photography is for me like a path that I like to follow. It is a travel... A travel that begins with the real, in studio or in the street, and end up in the “Ether” when looking at the result: the image. Let’s notice that photographism, that is very popular nowadays with Photoshop, uses the opposite way. Can you tell a bit about the inspiration behind La plage, ce lieu des futilites essentielles series? The idea of La plage, ce lieu des futilités essentielles series was born in 2010 when I was in New York, studying photography at the International Center of Photography. I have been astonished by the americans coming from the different neighborhoods of the city in Coney Island. The reality was so inspiring because of the diversity of people, their looks, their attitudes. Then I undertook to take portraits of those people with my Hasselbad camera. This series was the opportunity to observe the American way of life, to show the society from a singular point of view and to illustrate this famous gentlemen’s agreement describing the way the different communities can live together in New York: “ We don’t have to love each other, but we tolerate each other”. Back to the inspiration, I have been working as a yacht master on sailing boats for years and have been used to observing the people on the sea and from the sea. Photography could suddenly flip the points of view and I have been very interested to photograph what I call the Variation since. The Variation is an angle in navigation. Also it seems to me that the ocean has the power to reveal an “angle” within people. Close to the ocean, there is one interiority, usually contrived by the society, that is suddenly released within individuals.

What are your favorite artists? What photographers have influenced you ? One day, a member of one gentlemen’s club where I took pictures told, told me that some of my photographs reminded him Edward Hopper’s painting. Then I remembered that I have been looking at books by Hopper since I was a child. Composition. Distance to the subject. I thought he was right and It made me realized how much I have been influenced by Hopper’s paintings. I don’t think that I have been influenced that much by photographers as I grew up far from them. But I have been watching again and again movies by M. Antonioni, C. Sautet, F. Truffaut, E. Rohmer, L. Visconti or C. Marker ... I think that those film directors helped me very much to find my own path and build my eye when I was an adolescent. Yet if I had to mention one photographer, Diane Arbus, Vivianne Mayer and Bourdin would probably come first. Bourdin’s photography is clever, sensitive, accurate, mastered and I do like that most of his images are more targeted for women than men. Concepts are very strong in his photography. With Diane Arbus and Vivianne Mayer, it is more about the subjects. It is about the relation to the reality of the society. It more about the approach of photography. Can you talk about this piece and the idea behind Bastingage series ? Bastingage is a series born from an observation and travel in Arabic countries in 2013. It is more a journal de voyage, one testing of what I could see over there. I had the idea to come back later on and wanted to figure out how I could photograph the people then. It always takes me time to mature projects. Preoccupied by the relation that anyone can entertain with the sea, to discover what the proximity to the shore can reveal about us and the society we belongs to, I traveled for two months along the coast from Tangier to Alexandria.

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Sea Call “So Coney!” series Photography Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, New York, USA 2011


Hors-Season “So Coney!” series Photography Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, New York, USA 2011

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Moscow on the beach “So Coney!” series Photography Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, New York, USA 2011


The general instability that characterizes this area nowadays probably emphasizes what I called previously the Variation and I have been very much interested to observe that. What do you want to pull out of the photographed subject when you are taking a portrait? I am a photographer of the real and I do like to establish a relationship between the subject and the surrounding context when I take a portrait of somebody. It is very rare that I take portrait in close-up. Most of the time, I actually frame somebody in a context at a certain distance and not the contrary. It means that the context is more important to me. It means that I give the opportunity to the decor to speak about the subject, to deliver information about him or her. It is actually the context that portrays the subject, bringing information about them. To portrait a subject at a certain distance also means that I am more interested by the general attitude of the subject and its pose rather than the details of their face, as it is done most of time. What are you working on at the moment? I am currently working on two different projects. “Beyond the Threshold” deals with gentlemen’s clubs in North America and England. The inner life of them has always been and still is in the shadow. The privacy in the most traditional clubs is pushed to the limit and women are still forbidden. And beyond the normal activities, there is something more essential for personal destinies, for cities or even countries, that is happening in there. My other project is Variation. It takes place on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea from Tangier to Istanbul. It is a series of portraits about autochtones who live close to thecoast to lose themselves, to dream, to escape, to remember. It deals with identities and Mediterranean unity.

Hazy tide #1 #2 #3 “So Coney!” series Photography Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, New York, USA 2011

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Untitlted “So Coney!” series Photography Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, New York, USA 2011


Baroness “So Coney!” series Photography Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, New York, USA 2011

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homeless in the desolate d block Photography Cracks in the fundations, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 2008


Glimmers of India Glimmers of India series Photography Howrah Bridge Kolkata, West Bengal, India 2005

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Swimmer in the Gange Glimmers of India series Photography Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India 2005

Marbles Glimmers of India series Photography Majuli Island, Assam, India 2005

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Born in Fontainebleau (France) in 1973, David Godichaud is a freelance photographer based in Paris. He graduated from the Photojournalism Program at the International Center of Photography in New York City in 2010. His interest for photography started when he was a teenager. His father offered him his Nikon camera then and David never stopped photographing since . After professional experience as a scientist in research center in Athens and as a yacht master on sailing vessels for seven years, his passion for photography finally triumphed and he decided to dedicate his professional life to it. His personal work, almost entirely done with medium format camera, staged people in a constant concern of distances: the one of the subject with the reality that surrounds him and the one of the photorapher with his subject. In balck and white or in color, his square images never “shout�. Besides his work as a freelance photograher, David has been teaching photography to stylists of the fashion school of Milano (Istituto Marangoni) since 2012. www.davidgodichaud.com

Bird Glimmers of India series Photography Kolkata, West Bengal, India 2005

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GABRIEL RICO

What is your cultural background and how does it affect your work? I grew up in the suburbs of a small city called Lagos de Moreno in Mexico, near to the hill and where there were abundant natural objects (stones, branches, etc.) so the collection became a way to explore and understand the environment. At the present this way to recognize the environment is a very strong part in my artistic practice, after I studied architecture, and since then, that space and the different sciences that study it (architecture, geometry, mathematics, etc.) had a strong impact on my conscience about the possibility of assembling objects, collecting them into a composition, and placing them in a specific site, which in turn directly affects the space in which they are placed. How would you describe your artistic approach? I am fascinated with the idea of existing and the power that this entails, and I have tried to create works that have destinies of their own, using the gedankenexperiments like beginning. Having always been fascinated with the philosophical analogies and scientific disciplines, my work has been influenced by the sciences that study the form and the space, I consider myself an ontologist with a heuristic methodology, sometimes using technology tools and scientific models as metaphors for collective memory. I use deconstruction and recontextualization

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as methods to ensure the representation and development in areas such as knowledge materializations, the fragility of space, the exploration of the audio-visual terms and the origin of information. My work is to refer a reflection about the nature of the pieces from the order they possess, the materials used to make them and the place where they are presented. How has your work developed over the years? I think direct consequence that time has had on the conceptual and figurative development in my work is located directly on the awareness of the scale of the pieces that I make and the number of objects or itemsI use to produce them. Sometimes my pieces start with objects I find in a country like Belgium or Colombia and after two, three or four years of collecting objects, I conclude using them in the production of a new piece. Could you tell us about Worm? This piece is a sculpture that results from abstracting the graphic deÂŹsign of the sound spectrum of an audio where blasts from a semiauÂŹtomatic firearm are heard. The recording lasts 1.5 seconds and the sculpture is 7.7 meters long. This has to do with the direct but disÂŹsimilar relationship between sound and its physical interpretation, which is composed of defined patterns.


Crucifixi贸n Sculpture Nail, silicone & pigment. 15 x 12 x 22 cm - 6 x 4,7 x 8,6 inches 2014

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The piece itself shows these characteristics as if it were a skeleton that provides evidence of the possibility of considering violence as social feed. I believe that violence is necessary and that in some ways it functions as nourishment to form us as people and as a society; this is why the sculpture is made out of plates and cups which physically emulate the sound of a violent act. I am interested in the physical representation of sound in space: a unique, and not always consist, scale is produced by the measurable size of sound, by its waves, its decibels or other possible scales that give it a dimension. Each act can be seen as a fingerprint, unique and unrepeatable.

What role does irony plays in your work? I think the irony is a fundamental part of some of my pieces but I do not consider it as a principle for its creation. I consider the nature of human thought and its possibility to individually abstract ourselves from reality is the ironic act parexcellence. It is at this point where some of my pieces are connected with this concept because basically all my work relates to the human condition and the erosion of the objects we use in daily life.

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Could you describe for us Crucifixi贸n ? This piece refers to the basic nature and form of things and objects (ontology), specifically when Jesus lost his soul and became a piece of meat stuck by a piece of metal represented as a slice of ham and a nail. This piece also explores the transformation of Jesus in a concept of the pop culture, as happened with ham in the work of Richard Hamilton. What do you hope people will take away from your art? I would like people who see my work to understand that the possibility to observe is a personal choice. If one attempts it, then one begins to understand the precariousness of objects as an aesthetic quality, which only time grants. Tell us about The Ark of Inconcistency, What is the message behind this work? The piece entitled The Ark of Inconsistency is made of objects we are related to in our daily lives specifically at this time in history. These objects are made of materials that cancel their logical function, such as a wooden box made of ceramic. Of course, you cannot put heavy things inside and it cannot be used to charge, The rock is made of expanded polystyrene so it has almost no weight or hardness: qualities that we usually associate with rocks. The knife is made of sponge and cannot cut, the grass is synthetic, diamond is made from ceramic and its size has no relationship


MERDE Sculpture Letters of ceramic 5 x 20 x 120 cm - 2 x 8 x 47 inches 2015

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to the cost that a real diamond of the same size would, eggs and bone are made of plastic and the hammer is an inflatable toy. All objects are useless if they are representing a logical use, but when they are applied as an artwork, the dynamic to define its utility and aesthetic changes. With this piece I want to talk about the current status of the collective imagination with regard to the products manufactured at this time and needs to be hedged with them. The fun has become a much more important factor that ecology as the material richness, man himself has become an ark of inconsistencies in relation to our desires and our actions.

ANIMAL PHARM #8 collage on paper 30 x 22 inches - 76 x 56 cm 2014

What are you working on now, and what are your plans for the future? I want to continue studying and observing the precarious existence of matter like an object and its aesthetic possibilities as the basis for my next piece. Now I am in South Korea in the Gyeonggi Creation Center in a residence of three months, learning to make pottery in this region. Also, I will present my work individually in an exhibition at the center, then return to Mexico to produce several pieces with this technique in the town of Tonalรก. I am also about to start recording a video that is an interpretation of Genesis Book and the current relationship between humans and nature. I do Casa Barragรกn in the Mexico City, I am part of the sound project Bicephalo with artist Edgar Cobian and the next year we will begin to record new songs to include in our third album. We will in be in residence at Sensory Laboratory.

James, Clerk & Maxwell Wood, carved on leather, natural hair, ceramic 230 x 100 x 230 cm - 90,55 x 39 x 90,55 inches 2013

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ATLAS Paper - World Atlas intervened 250 x 35 x 250 cm - 98 x 14 x 98 inches 2014

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Oro, Madera & Miel Wood, gold leafs, branches and natural honey 437 x 35 x 5 cm - 172 x 14 x 2 inches 2014

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Adorable Iron 130 x 42 x 5 cm - 51 x 16,5 x 1,9 inches 2010

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Gabriel Rico (Lagos de Moreno, 1980) studies architecture at the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Occidente (ITESO). His work is a constant study of production processes and both aesthetic and compositional possibilities of objects, with a particular interest in morphological conditions caused by erosion . His work has been presented in museums, galleries and independent spaces , like in the Art Museum of Sinaloa (MASIN) in Culiacan, Mexico; Public Library Virgilio Barco in Bogotá, Colombia; the CEART (Centro de Arte Tomas y Valiente) in Madrid, Spain; Triennial “Coup de Ville” in St. Nikklas, Belgium and the VIII International Biennial of Ceramics of Gyeonggi in Seoul, South Korea.

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Worm #1 from the series B @ V PVC tubes, polystyrene plates, thread, paper, sound 30 x 30 x 750 cm - 12 x 12 x 295 inches 2013


MILENA JOVIĆEVIĆ

When and how did you first become interested in art? I was always interested in drawing and painting. I was drawing since I was very little. I just needed it. I don’t have artists in my family. I didn’t know much about art. My father draws very well, my mother also, but they are both in economics, they never did art. I wanted to study Biology after Gymnasium. A few days before entering exam for Biology I just changed my mind and went to Academy of Fine Arts. Fortunately I have succeeded. Even without studying art I think I would continue to do it, anyway. I started practicing art professionally after graduating in 1999. What are your artistic influences? I was educated in different faculties and different cultures from 1995. till 2012. (Faculty of Fine Arts- Cetinje, Ecole des Beaux ArtsParis and Le Mans, University of Arts- Belgrade). It’s a long period. During that time, I certainly had different influences, but I think that staying in Paris and traveling around

from 1999. till 2005. was the most important for my art. Intensity of such experiences made my art more diverse, more engaged, more critic, open to various medias and push it toward challenges more then comfort zone of art practice. That was opportunity to see magnificent works of art for real and to face art in all aspects. I was deeply touched, among others, by Egyptian artist Ghada Amer and her big paintings that question gender issues and the woman role in society. I could stay for hours in front of her works feeling that pain and ambiguity between Eastern and Western society. Maybe that’s also the point when I discovered that gender questions will be my favorite topics. I like very much Montenegrin artist that lived in Paris: Dado Djuric, Francis Alÿs, Louise Bourgeois, Kiki Smith, Sigmar Polke, Philip Guston, Maurizio Cattelan, Christian Boltanski, William Kentridge, Wang Du, Urs Fischer, Bruce Nauman, and Roman Opalka, but I’m not sure if their work had influence on my art practice.

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Love Story In The National Park Video - duration 9:41 2015

What subjects do you deal with in your art? What themes do you pursue? I deal with different topics in my art, from everyday-life situations to ecological and more social topics. I explore boundaries between natural and artificial, permitted and prohibited, material and spiritual, real and virtual. Most of my works explores the stereotypes that determinate our society, with an emphasis on male-female relations. Some of my works are referencing the patriarchal society in Montenegro and gender issues significant to the local community, but that can also be understood on a more global level and have universal application. Contemporary society often creates exhausting and disturbing environment and

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I found that inspiring for my art works. My inspiration often comes from the things and events that disturb me and make me angry or sad. I’m realizing works in different techniques and medias - painting, sculpture, in situ, wall painting, video animation and digital drawings. My works are ironic, with critic approach. One of the subjects that intrigue me constantly is a phenomenon of consumer society. As an artist, I am sad to admit that all is about money nowadays. Everything is measured by accumulation of material goods.. All fields of our life are vulgarized: public and private, individual and collective. Nowadays, body becomes as any other item of consumption


Tell us about Love Story In The National Park The video Love Story in the National Park is an almost documentary video with ironic and critical approach to the questions of environment and preserving of nature. Camera follows floating of plastic bag and plastic bottle through amazing landscapes of rivers Zeta and Morača on their way to the Skadar Lake (Montenegro). The video starts with scenes of beautiful nature and original natural sounds. It seems like frames at Zen channel till we observe a huge plastic bottle sailing in the river Zeta. The irony becomes even bigger when camera goes thorough places of outstanding beauty and discovers different sorts of garbage that appear continuously as the natural part of those landscapes. Natural sounds such as murmur of the river, birds chirping, the croaking of frogs, which are original, seem unreal. At the end, plastic lovers finally meet each other in one of hidden places at National Park Skadar Lake. They travelled a lot, more then 100 km. This work is my contribution for celebration of 25 years since proclamation of Ecological State Montenegro. What about PAY & P(L)AY, Artist visa... could you describe us this artworks? How do you use irony in your work to deal with social topics? The work PAY & P(L)AY is over-sized custom-made abacus, an ancient tool for calculating purchases and debts. It’s made of wood and iron. An old- fashioned adding machine is modernized by being outfitted with the female anatomy. Everything is for sale and everything is purchased. You can pay, then play and calculate with abacus made as female breasts. It explores abusing of woman body and body in general in consumer society. Vulgarization of human body becomes normal part of everyday life. “We consume sex on a daily basis without even knowing or realizing it. Our visual sphere is saturated with resexualized objects”. Artist visa is piece that consists of performative sculpture (100 plastic cards) and more videos. It is a comment on artist’s position in contemporary society. It seems that in the past artist was much more respectful then in our meritocratic society, where accomplishments are being measured by material goods, money, consumption, production.

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Artist visa performative sculpture+video 100 plastic cards 2013

Artist visa is gold credit card with one 0 in the middle. There is nothing on it, not even cardholder name, no date, nothing but zero as the most important number of identification. If I have 0 I am 0, and it is not necessary to put my name, address, birth, and country. The amount is only valid identification. I made “gold credit cards” and gave them to the public at the opening of one exhibition in Berlin 2013. I repeated the same performance with passers-by in Warsaw 2015. The cards were just plastic, without an active magnetic strip, but people took them to nearby shops and tried to use them to purchase real items. They urged the shopkeepers to keep trying to put the transactions through, but the cards, without a qualifying bank behind them, couldn’t purchase anything. It was very bizarre situation. The sellers very confused tried and tried to use it, but everything went wrong at the end.

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How would you describe your artistic approach? I would describe it as mostly critic and more or less provocative, even when it seems not to be at all. Art that I create cannot exist separately from who I am and how I live. All my attitudes and life occupations are in my works. I walk from one medium to another, from one topic to another, without fear of facing unknown medium or unknown field. I need challenge. My art is my way to comunicate with world around me, I like in citu projects, artistic process that holds surprises, that can’t be completely controlled by me or by the public. I love to go back to some works and to repeat them it in different environments and different circumstances. I find it more interesting and more complex to work in various medias. An important part of my work is travel and working in residencies


PAY & P(L)AY Installation Wood, iron 2013


Could you talk to us about the Sustainable Privatization? Sustainable Privatization is one of my favorite works, because I changed idea for work when I went to visit the space. That piece has more characteristics of performance, or performative sculpture. It is realized for very interesting international project called Informal Mind, curated by MAM Foundation in former metallurgic complex of Elbasan, Albania 2014. When I went there I have seen very sad situation in the ruins. I was trying to secretly take photos of half- naked workers who were doing something in the middle of the ruins. They were calm and focused, but a little bit embarrassed. Then I noticed that they were stealing leftovers of the buildings as well as firebrick that they would later sell in the town. That absurd action reminds me of old factories and their destinies in Montenegro. I used to hear many stories about well-known factory OBOD which produced home appliances in exYugoslavia city of Cetinje, Montenegro. When the factory collapsed, people stole everything they could: fridges, freezers, cookers. People were stealing parts of sheet metal appliances and later would built them into the roofs, fences. The factory was devastated for a moment. That scene inspired me and therefore I have decided to reproduce that action of stealing of public property in wider context in the frame of Informal Mind exhibition. Sustainable Privatization Performance riginal firebricks from the factory Metalurgjik Elbasan, luxury boxes, stamps, table, saten canvas performed by Ana Dragic 2014

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Sans titre Sculpture glass, wood, stone 150 x 70 x 65 cm - 59 x 27,5 x 25,5 inches 2015

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The work Sustainable Privatization questions the fact that we can destroy and steal everything that is “public property” from the past without any responsibility. I wonder if our existence nowadays is all about stealing and cheating. The work involves employees that are destroying the building and stealing fire bricks in Metalurgjik ruins for my company called ABBE (Art Brick Black Eagle). Then they pack stolen objects in some well- designed luxury boxes in front of the visitors while trying to sell them, each 100 euro or 14.000 Albanian Leks.
 My brand new company is stealing the state property (firebricks of Metalurgjik Elbasan) transforming it to my private goods that I will later sell. I need only good package and good design. I put a little stamp of my company on a stolen object and visitors can buy it as a new brand. I put little eagle in my company’s logo just to involve my patriotic feelings (We both have the eagle, Montenegrin and Albanian eagle as a national symbol). All those dubious privatizations which are the main topic nowadays, work on a same or similar principle, but on a higher level. These two words: privatization and sustainable we hear at least ten times a day.

Don’t be afraid Installation wire, wood, leaves, adhesiv tape, drawing on the wall and door 2014

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iGenesis iDisappearance Installation video animation, drawings on the wall and paper 2013

My privatization will be sustainable as long as I can steal and sell stolen objects. So, please, go ahead and buy my Art Brick Black Eagle bricks. How would you describe the art scene in Montenegro? Montenegro’s art scene has always been very rich and interesting, especially when we consider the kind of small space it is created on, but is not sufficiently valorized. It seems that

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it is still too dependent on a conventional and expected trend, often rejecting provocative and more experimental forms of expression in favor of mediocrity and like ability. Growing generations are facing a conservative art system and therefore adopt some other ways of thinking, turn more to global trends, less local. Due to that fact that I work at Faculty of Fine Arts in Cetinje, I have more then ten years of pedagogical experience.


In situ Video installation Château d´Oiron, with Ecole Supérieure des Beaux- Arts, Le Mans, France 2000

I can see lots of problems that young generations are facing, with, but I think that their art will refresh our scene and give it what it’s missing. What do you think is the role of the artists in society? I don’t think anymore that Art can transform the world, because things went wrong in many parts of this crazy world, but anyway it has some kind of magic that can transforms

some people, makes our lives less superficial and save our souls somehow. I don’t think that role of artist is to decorate this strange world with “beautiful” paintings, but opposite. An artist must be a voice of freedom, voice of human and good things. It’s less important which way artist chooses to tell his story, but it has to be active, engaged, and confront this world.

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Milena Jovićević was born in Cetinje (Montenegro) in 1976. She graduated from Faculty of Fine Arts, Cetinje in 1999. She had a specialization at Ecole Supérieure des Beaux- Arts, Le Mans, France. Then she graduated from Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux- Arts in Paris 2004. and was at postgraduate studies at the same school (2004-2005). She got MFA at the FLU, Cetinje in 2008. and PhD at University of Arts, Belgrade, Serbia 2012. She works as professor at Faculty of Fine Arts Cetinje, Montenegro. www.milenajovicevic.com

Orchid Project Installation Old prisonV Cetinje Biennial 2004

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Neža Agnes Momirski What initially inspired you to start doing art? Art is, as they say, a reflection of society one lives in. I’m interested in researching human psychology, and the inner state of being, and art is a way to express that. I like to create and tell stories, and reinterpret this reality we live in through (moving) images, environments and objects. Tell us about your work; how would you describe your research? What themes do you pursue? In my research I focus on the juxtaposition of material and virtual realms and the effect of their coexistence on cognition of time, space, body and identity. Departing from knowledge of classical sculpture, film and writing, I describe environments and futuristic dystopias ruled by anxiety, designed experiences, and language subdued to “linguistic machinery” of online interaction. My main interest is in human interaction and the screen is where it all happens. It is where our physical reality extends into virtuality, through computer interfaces and glass/plastic surfaces.

Communication device Mixed media & sound Museum De Pont Tilburg, 2013

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Within the heterotopia of the screen, experience is abstracted and shaped by fashion, design and technology aesthetics, and symbolised by transparency of interaction and artificial intimacy. In response, I research ways in which our dream, digital and spiritual worlds intertwine inside screens. For that, I use dialogue, narrative film, and text. I examine our bodily interaction with surfaces: I use elements of text, sound, dialogue, film narrative, and stylistic elements of flat design, digital aesthetics and fashion. I work between found materials, classical sculpture, integrating communication tools into interior elements, and I combine visual and sonic material to create immersive environments. Collaborating with musicians, filmmakers, and actors, I use visual and sonic patterns to link body with technology and to thematically build narratives that outline emotional and subjective experience within the internet. How did you come to work with the mediums you use? How has your work developed over the years? My work involves research into the materiality of our existence and into the psychology of the human being by employing fashion and interior design. Aspects of human interaction, language, gestures, mimic, dialogue, and exploring one’s subjective reality are why I first started using film as a medium. Then I also began exploring other aspects of moving image: post-production, music, text, etc. Film is a time-based medium through which we enter other temporal and spacial dimensions, just as we do online. I use it to depict the dichotomies between the screen and physical reality, verbal and textual, symbolic and real, physical and virtual, rational and irrational, male andfemale. In my previous films, Looped Alphabet, Affinit, OBVSNSS, I’ve examined human communication in relation to fictional interaction design objects. These objects take the form of reinterpreted communication technology, resembling interior design or occult tools. Characters’ dialogue and behaviour forms around them, infused with notions of isolation,disembodied state of

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OBVSNSS Short film HD, color, sound duration 4’40” 2011


self in virtuality, and compulsive connectivity. They also serve to explore the act of “seeing” and “speaking” in relation to touchscreen surfaces and the body. These films lead me to further explore the cognitive aspects of our existence between the screen and physical reality. In the essence of the human being, it’s their need for otherness and the desire for control, paradoxically coexisting within them. I’m interested in the notion of otherness and how it can be triggered. Visually and sonically, I explore this sense of otherness in my (film) installations, addressing the experience of dual-spectatorship, dissociation, anxiety, and isolation. Tell us about Obvsnss OBVSNSS is an experimental short film, in which I examine sensuality and interactiveness of surfaces. The film reinterprets our understanding of touch and speech in relation to plastic surfaces of communication technology. It’s where we receive instant sensorial immersion, despite the absence of physical triggers. In the film I link communication technology to occult tools, such as an Ouija board. They’re linked with a sense of physical absence, and that one gazes into surfaces for textual communication. Surfaces take us “elsewhere”, through time and space.

Yet they stay just surfaces in their sensual and designed physicality. Body is physically absent within the screen, but still we perceive it as close and intimate. The film soundtrack is created by Jesse Perlstein (from the neo-classical trio Sontag Shogun, with whom I’ve been collaborating since 2013). Music is an essential part of OBVSNSS, sonically outlining visual depictions of disembodied self, misplaced sensorial impressions, and distanced interaction. What about Looped Alphabet ? Can you tell a bit about the inspiration behind this film? Looped Alphabet is a short film depicting an enclosed pseudo world. The story unravels in Sharing space where communication devices are staged as architectural elements of the fictional interior. The film is highly staged in all aspects, acting, and cinematography – reaching quite an absurd level of artificiality. It addresses the sense of hyper-visibility of information and interaction, so it was important to get varied and highly stylized references as a mix of eras and styles, as a mix of sci-fi and fashion, future and past. The clothing is by Vivienne Westwood, the hairstyles by Pall Mall Barbers. The objects have the sci-fi look of a futuristic product.

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LOOPED ALPHABET Short film HD, color, sound duration 20’ 2014


LOOPED ALPHABET Short film HD, color, sound duration 20’ 2014

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The film represents a kind of maze of information that simultaneously coexists in the virtual. It depicts space as a pool of information, where personal stories feel misplaced in artificial interpersonal interaction. The narrative explores verbal expression being increasingly shaped/replaced by the textual expression. A lot of the dialogue is spelled out, as if automated. Specific terms from visual fields of geometry and art history are used to describe the social order in the Sharing space. The language use is imagined as visual, spatial and tangible. As if the Sharing space is a visual representation of linguistic machinery, to which the language is subjected online. The characters use the geometrical/art terms to define their relationships, themselves, and the Sharing space, and seemingly stay within its linguistic and spatial choreographies. Seemingly because there’s a sense of conflict between subjective perception/poysemy and the order of Sharing space. There’s a sense of going back and forth between physical and abstract, virtual and real. Their personal experiences with each other are indistinguishable from the formal arrangement of the space, and prevent any type of intimacy but the staged one. To sum up the story: the main character endeavours to reveal the Alphabet, which would restore conduct in the Sharing space by bringing back the notions of real space and time that got lost in language and communication matrixes, when he finds himself involved deeper and deeper in a hypnotic circle of gossip, news and schemes. This narrative is built from smaller narratives that never reach a conclusion, and becomes a hypnotic experience.

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LOOPED ALPHABET Short film HD, color, sound duration 20’ 2014


SATISFACTION Mixed media installation 170 x 270 x 150 cm - 67 x 106 x 59 inches 2012

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SATISFACTION Short film HD, color, sound duration 20’ 2014

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Spritual America HD Video duration 4’28” 2011 AFFINIT Short film HD, color, sound duration 20’ 2014

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What do you hope people will take away from your art? I aim to depict the absurdity and juxtapositions that determine our existence, and I aim to give the viewer visual and sonic recognition of that. I like to work in visual, sonic, and material mediums, combining them to create an emotional and sensorial experience for the viewer. What are you working on at the moment? I’m researching the genealogy of the female voice, to create a mockumentary art film on intertwining of spiritual and digital realities. There’s an intense juxtaposition of rational vs irrational experience in contemporary society, or in other words, designed and not-designed experience (by computer software). The fictional female narrating the film represents both rational and irrational – taking the roles of a prophet, a pop-star, a computer voice and a perfect partner. The female was throughout history depicted as otherworldly and irrational, but also as a rational prophetic guide. I’m researching her role in spirituality and in the digital age, and by that our experience of irrational, paranormal and otherworldly in relation to technology.

We aspire to a different future Mixed media, wall mounted installation 50 x 35 x 15 cm - 19 x 14 x 6 inches 2015

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Ne탑a Agnes Momirski is a Slovenian-born artist living in Rotterdam, NL, and Ljubljana, SLO. After graduating from Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam with a BA in Fine Art in 2012, she continued her study at a post-graduate level at Royal College of Art, Sculpture department, graduating in 2014. Her solo shows include OBVSNSS, UAUU Gallery (Ljubljana, 2015), 5 years pupil/ master project, Museum de Pont (Tilburg, 2013), Process of a repetitive thought, SingerSweatShop Gallery (Rotterdam, 2011). Recent group shows include EAC, Contemporary art exhibition (Alicante, Spain 2015),

Two hundred acres, Pump House Gallery (London, 2015) CKOM, Ram foundation gallery (Rotterdam, 2014), SHOWcabinet Maison Martin Margiela, SHOWstudio Gallery (London, 2013), Inf. Ins., Leeszaal Rotterdam West (2013), Inside the house, Kunstpodium T Gallery (Tilburg, 2012), and others in Kunstinzight Rotterdam, Goethe-Institut Rotterdam, Picture This (Bristol), Tent Rotterdam. During her study she was a recipient of a grant by Ministry of Culture in Slovenia, and a grant by Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds in the Netherlands. www.neagmo.com

We aspire to a different future Mixed media, wall mounted installation 50 x 35 x 15 cm - 19 x 14 x 6 inches 2015

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MADE IN MIND #6  

Winter 2015

MADE IN MIND #6  

Winter 2015

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