On Monday, 15 July at 8pm, the exhibition of the works of Banja Luka artist Mladen Miljanović Didactic Wall will be opened in the City Gallery in Bihać (Bosanska 15). It is a subversive, yet educational installation focused on the problem of migrants, refugees, displaced and stateless persons, and their difficulties when moving towards their desired geographic destination. For this occasion, Miljanović has created a set of socially engaged illustrations that directly address those persons who are trying to ”illegally” cross the state borders to reach their ”dream countries”.
In collaboration with the City Gallery, the exhibition will be shown in Bihać as the place where great number of migrants are stuck because the green border has been literally sealed off by the Croatian Border Police. Didactic Wall is a sort of instruction on how to overcome natural and artificial barriers that are encountered by these ”persons on the move”. With this work, Miljanović confirms his credo that art can, and should be, the critique of lethal policies – in this case of the European Union’s migration policy.
Mladen Miljanović, Didactic Wall (excerpt from the book), 2019
The artist’s intention is determined by the motive to create a functional and efficient instruction for overcoming natural and artificial barriers, such as water barriers, injuries in wilderness, fences, infra-red rays, radars, etc. This is an activistic, utilitarian visual mission realized in the medium of didactic illustration. The exhibition is accompanied by a round table with the participation of Mladen Miljanović (Banja Luka), Claudia Zini (Treviso/Sarajevo), Živa Kleindienst (Maribor), Uroš Čvoro (Sydney) and Tijana Mišković (Copenhagen) and moderation of Irfan Hošić (Bihać).
The intention of the round table is to initiate discussion focused on culture and art in the context of migrations, and to tackle the issue of effectiveness of socially engaged artistic projects for potential mitigation of problems in the above-mentioned specific context. The round table will be held on Tuesday, 16 July, 11 am in the City Gallery.
Revizor Foundation published two publications alongside the exhibition – the first is envisaged as the exhibition catalogue and curator's elaboration of the whole project, and the second as book of illustrated instructions which is the backbone of Miljanović’s work.
A short video was produced by Sead Okić (Lookman Film), and the Press Statement is accessible in pdf format.
Mladen Miljanović is a multi media artists and lecturer at the Academy of Art of the University of Banja Luka. He uses performance, video, photography and drawing to express his artistic ideas.
Claudia Zini is an art historian and curator based in Sarajevo. She deals with researching the art of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 20thand 21st centuries, with a focus on war, conflict and trauma.
Živa Kleindienst is an art historian and curator active in the Association for Contemporary Art u X-OP in Maribor, Slovenia. The field of her research is the art of the formed Yugoslavia.
Uroš Čvoro teaches Art Theory at the University of New South Wales, Sydney (Australia). His research is focused on contemporary art and politics in the countries of the former Yugoslavia.
Tijana Mišković is an independent curator and art theoretician from Copenhagen. Her interests are focused on the issues of dislocation, belonging and identity.
Irfan Hošić is professor of art history at the University of Bihać. He is also art critic and curator.
The Round Table was organized in collaboration with the Association for Contemporary Art X-OP (Maribor), Danish Arts Foundation (Copenhagen), KUMA International (Sarajevo) and the City Gallery (Bihać).