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Milica Tomić

As one of the key artistic figures in Serbia, Milica Tomić employs video, film, photography, light, and sound installations in her work at the intersection of performance art forms.

The artist researches topics such as political violence, nationality, identity, and tensions between personal experience and medially constructed images. Within her defined focuses and by constructing new images, Tomić shows ways in which networks produce collective attitudes and values. Circumstances and mechanisms such as the transformation of individual experiences into collective memories, statements and ideologies of prevailing political discourses, violence-producing processes and the meaning of war are all reflected and subjected to questioning in her artistic works. Her analyses of situations and of ideological mechanisms, analyses that aim to ascertain the positions, instruments and vocabulary involved in the production of discourse, reveal new insights and conclusions regarding a complex network of relationships.

One of the works that provides a good impression of the artist’s working practice is the project Container, in which the criminal act that took place in northern Afghanistan was reconstructed and reenacted. Tomić points out that, in analyzing the process by which they reconstructed the crime that took place in northern Afghanistan, she and her colleagues realized that all the tools they had used to do so (buying a container, hiring professional police units to riddle it with bullets, the weapons and bullets themselves, etc.), as well as the simulated conditions, pointed to local involvement in a systematic, global network of violence.[1] In identifying mechanisms for the construction and maintenance of hegemonic attitudes and representations, Tomić addresses acts that, in most cases, are forced by the state and by international organizations—which, for their part, define precisely these acts as being criminal according to existing laws. So Tomić muses as to how it would be if she, as an artist, reclaimed the right to question the state’s right to determine the narrative with regard to a crime, hence also reclaiming the right to proclaim, reflect upon, textualize, and determine what constitutes this crime.”[2]

Another important topic that Tomić reflects upon in her works is the question of identity. As an artist born in a country that no longer exists, she analyses the processes of building and re-building identity and value systems, as well as the shifting of power structures and their centers of attention, in works such as I am Milica Tomić (1998/99) and Façade Project (2000).

 

A.B.



[1] Milica Tomić, Container, 2011, URL: http://milicatomic.wordpress.com/works/container/, Accessed: 18 March 2013. “Analyzing the process of reconstruction of the crime happened in Northern Afghanistan, we realized that all the tools we were using to reconstruct this crime (buying a container, hiring professional police units to riddle it with bullets, weapon and bullets itself etc.), the simulated conditions – all point to the setting of a local participation in the system of global network of violence.”

[2] Milica Tomić, Container, 2011, URL: http://milicatomic.wordpress.com/works/container/, Accessed: 18 March 2013. “What if I, as an artist, reclaim the right to question the state’s right over narration about a crime, and, therefore, take the right to proclaim, reflect, textualize, and determine what constitutes a crime?”

1960, Beograd / RS, at that time Jugoslavija

 

Please follow this link for a selected bibliography available at the ERSTE Foundation Library
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