CHRIS FREMANTLE

What art have I seen? Mladen Miljanović

Posted in Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on February 7, 2019

Utopian Realism at W OR M in Aberdeen, the first solo exhibition by Mladen Miljanović in Scotland.

Miljanović’s work is surreal (inc a video of his tutor at Art School being fitted with Lie Detector equipment before being interrogated and beaten by the Secret Police). But the performance, which involved Miljanović handcuffed to a pillar in the middle of the space for the duration of the opening, is possibly the strangest thing I’ve ever experienced. I’ve read about pretty strange stuff in London and elsewhere in the 60s and 70s (shutting audiences into spaces, etc) but this was a personal first.

But how do you make something real and meaningful in a Gallery? Miljanović said he couldn’t show the work of his Teacher being arrested and interrogated and stand around being the celebrity artist – if he showed the work he had to ensure it wasn’t just entertainment. The performance ensured that the exhibition was inflected with a shared experience.

Of course the fact that he instigated the arrest and had organised the filming, all without his teacher’s knowledge, multiplies the strangeness.

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