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Milena Petrović

"I draw three conclusions from the absurd: my revolt, my freedom and my passion." - Kamy

Milena Petrović, born in 1998 in Arandjelovac. She graduated from the Second Technical School in Kragujevac, and is currently a fourth-year student at the Department of Graphic Design at the Faculty of Philology and Arts in Kragujevac.

Skin and plastic

Skin and plastic is a series of artworks that aim to show the passing of time in the loneliness of lockdown, isolation, and absurd or self-destructive acts. The threatening world of fantasy and the real world that is slowly becoming fantasy-like are conveyed through the difference between humanlike toys and the artist's human face that becomes a plane which gives the opportunity to show the need for making reality a fantasy. Stitch-like lines are used in an attempt to restore broken and worn-out skin. Loneliness and seemingly unified worlds of humans and objects are documented in time, passing slowly, while short poetic comments enhance the tension between visual and auditory, confusing the senses. In isolation the possibility of self-reflection is omnipresent, however, it does not lead to salvation, but rather increases anxiety and existential terror altogether eliminating any chance of escape. 

Interview

What is the language in common for the young people today?

I believe that rebellion, the desire for change and the desire to get rid of the imposed repressive structures in all spheres of life are the common language of young people.

What does the process of making one of your pieces look like?

I think that the origin of work cannot be represented by a schematic series of procedures and techniques, but what is the same in each of my processes is the desire for novelty and a step out of established norms.

Which challenges have you faced while making art as you know it?

Like procedures, challenges vary. In principle, one could speak of difficulties in achieving more than accidental ambiguity. Also, it is a great challenge not to take yourself and your work too seriously, but to keep children's curiosity and preserve a small dose of humor as a secret ingredient of every work.

Do you consider yourself an artist, and what does that word mean to you?

For such a question, it is necessary to determine oneself according to the notion of the artist, and such determinations are always ungrateful because they presuppose the creation of limiting paradigms. If I say that the status of an artist is something that is achieved with every new work, so that it is something that is constantly striving for, I could claim for myself that I am an artist, but I would claim that an artist exists as a kind of completion. For me, such a definition creates a problem and I think that by not defining myself, I avoid the paradigmatic nature of the definition and the static nature of creation.

What is your escape from reality? Do you even have a need to escape from something?

My practice is my escape from, but also towards reality. In the moments when I run away, I find new ideas that help me to view the given as a strange thing and to return to myself and reality.

What does the word innovative mean to you?

To be innovative for me means to discover something new in everyday life and to make it unusual to the extent that it seems to us that we meet him for the first time.

Do you have a plan for the future? Where can your artistic practice take you?

My plan for the future is for my artistic practice to take me where I can improve, change and upgrade it. The place I reach with such a walk will be the right place for me.

What made the biggest influence on you to become what you are today and do what you do now?

love, desire, revolt ...) although they also had a significant share. Rather, it will be a complex course of events that have convinced me that visual expression is the most complete way in which I manage to express states and events that concern me and to be recognized as more general than one individual.

How would you describe Serbian (Balkan or European-depends on where you live and work) contemporary cultural scene?

It seems to me that the young scene is confused in trying to adapt to art conventions that are becoming obsolete and to find an expression for them that would represent a new experience of some of the topics we are always asked about, and not a modified reproduction of old achievements.

In which way does your creative process shape you or changes you as a person, if it does at all?

If I felt passive in any kind of dealing with something, I would stop doing it. Of course, the creative process changes me: it allows me to look at existence from different points of view and ask myself about it again, and to see new possibilities of expression as well as new material that was not important to me before.