ARTIST IN FOCUS
Miloš Tomić / Nikola Kolya Božović
23 Mar - 8 Apr 2019
Miloš Tomić and Nikola Kolya Božović are the authors in focus of the 1th edition of the project which concept is based on the curator’s role in selecting works from the various artists as showpieces that create the new dialogues, mutual influences and meanings.
FROM TRASH INTO TREASURE
Objects have always had power over us. Sometimes, because we consider them to be holy, at other times, because of “objective attributes” inherent to their nature. However, because their power is overwritten by individuals or social groups in a certain time and relational context, assuming the role of a mediator, after which they are discarded – they become trash.
Our choices define who we are and we are what we choose to be.
Appropriation of differentiated goods constitute a significant part of our language code. What we say, think or do, but also the selection
Objects have always had power over us. Sometimes, because we consider them to be holy, at other times, because of “objective attributes” inherent to their nature. However, because their power is overwritten by individuals or social groups in a certain time and relational context, assuming the role of a mediator, after which they are discarded – they become trash1.
Our choices define who we are and we are what we choose to be.
Appropriation of differentiated goods constitute a significant part of our language code. What we say, think or do, but also the selection of objects that we use, own or which surround us, in fact, is nothing else but the projection of our own wishes2. Our material world is a mirror of our inner state and the objects that we are in touch with are nothing but the contours of ourselves. Fascination with waste and rejected objects came from Tomic’s early childhood, and objet trouvé3 became an integral part of his artistic practice from the very beginning. Almost as a rule, he strictly selects items that can be found in larger amounts and that possess a certain aesthetical potential to become part of his collection. Miloš Tomic regenerates these forgotten objects, all with traces of a past full of preserved memory and former dialogues. He gives them both a place and a role in a new context, allowing them to morph into new heterogeneous elements.
We can find various analogies with object trovè within different artistic movements. Although the ongoing art project titled Precious Trash has been developed in a very long and particular way, it doesn’t quite fit the “junk art” category4 : while the materials used are similar – junk, or trash – the actual found objects are presented in a series of photographs rather than in their actual form. As always, Tomic started to collect old pierced and chewed up balls (Lopte5) with pure enthusiasm. Thrilled about their irregular shape, he sadly knew from the beginning that he would never be able to find “all of the abandoned balls” out there. He first exhibited this collection in the House of Culture (Belgrade, 2013). He displayed these special objects in old glass cases, where he placed them on black velvet and illuminated them with dramatic accent lighting, so that they looked like archeological relics or treasures from a curiosity cabinet.
As Tomic states, each image of the balls is completely different from the object, from the ball itself, some of them reminds him of planets. These photographs went much further. The composition of each photograph is one of the most important elements to this project: each object is centered and isolated on the black surface, illuminated by a direct light, which helps to focus the attention of the viewer on the importance of the subject and its details that are normally invisible to the naked eye. Each object is alone, lost in its own world of shallow focus. Hanging on threads, dramatically illuminated, Lopte show us so many different moods. The photographs are freed from the smells, mud, moss and dust, and so the objects are embellished and aestheticized, revealing absolutely new faces and details to the observer.
Within a context change, the various roles and attributes that had been associated with certain objects has been lost. However, they haven’t lost the power to evoke a fantasy of their original roles, the intimate history of their owners, or the cultural context in which they existed. Even though their current state has nothing to do with their original purpose, they now seem even more realistic. This metamorphosis is one of the finest examples that shows us how one man’s trash can become another man’s treasure. Isn’t everything in our daily life just a simulation of reality?!
Any type of selection plays an important role in the formation of self-concept of an individual, much more than we may realize. How we choose our personal objects and the way in which they are introduced into our lives speaks instead of us, and plays an important role in the formation of the self-individual. This act of choosing could also lead us to become whoever we want to be and gives us freedom in decision making about our self-image, how we see ourselves, and how we want the world to see us.
Allowing treasure to become trash or finding beauty in the unexpected – how will you choose to see the world?
Curator, Artistic Director of Drina Gallery
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About The Artists
Miloš Tomic is a multimedia artist who works with various mediums including film, photography, collage and sculpture. He was born in 1976 in Belgrade, Serbia, and in 2001 he graduated from the class of Miša Radivojevic at the Academy of Arts, Belgrade (Department of Film Directing). Miloš went on to complete his M.A. in 2006 (Multimedia Animation, class of Petar Skala) as well as his PhD in 2011 at FAMU (Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts) in Prague. The subjects that appear in his work are comprised of disposable or discarded objects, continuing on from, his doctoral thesis that was titled “Preciousness of discarded objects, i.e. trash as the material for film, photography…”
In his career, Miloš has made more than 40 short films, with which he participated in over fifty international exhibitions and festivals and won numerous first prizes and special awards. In 2013, he represented Serbia at the 55th International Art Exhibition Venice Biennale.
His works are featured in many public and private art collections in Serbia and abroad.
NIKOLA BOŽOVIĆ (1975) is interested in polished miseen-scène of the post-industrial world in which the production line, commodification and design are reduced to highly stylised fragments. Using elements composed of car parts, such as headlights wrapped in smooth enamelled sheaths in bold red, blue or black, Božovic creates sympathetic hybrids…
Nikola Božovic (Belgrade, 1975) is interested in polished mise-en-scène of the post-industrial world in which the production line, commodification and design are reduced to highly stylised fragments. Using elements composed of car parts, such as headlights wrapped in smooth enamelled sheaths in bold red, blue or black, Božovic creates sympathetic hybrids and mutants which resemble mechanical household pets: their energy and dynamism are borrowed from the high-end design, not in the service of function but pure aesthetics.
Božovic obtained his BA and MA degree at the Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade, where he now works as a senior lecturer. Exhibits independently since 1999, and has received Golden Palette Award (2001), White Angel Award (2001), as well as the prestigious Pollock-Krasner Foundation scholarship (2011). Member of the Association of Visual Artists of Serbia.