Milica Mijajlovic and Sybil Montet at VUNU Gallery

Artists: Milica Mijajlovic and Sybil Montet

Title: Radiance Blast

Venue: VUNU Gallery, Košice

Text: Domenico de Chirico

Zang Tumb Tumb is the title of the literary piece of Italian futuristic writer Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. This onomatopoeic words-in-freedom poem accompanied by bold and resonating visual character, published in Milan in 1914 by Edizioni Futuriste di Poesia, has the intention of, apart from the revolutionary topographical and stylistic characteristics, reproducing the sounds of the First Balkan War, during the siege of Adrianople. The rocket is launched and explodes at the end of its arc: <<… tam-tumb- tumb- tumb- tumb- tumb- tumb- tumb- tumb…>>. In the poem all the elements are destined to include everyone in the absolute sensorial experience of fantasy.

Based on this, in “RADIANCE BLAST” Serbian artist Milica Mijajlović and French artist Sybil Montet make reference to high-sounding words such as: explosion, cataclysm and fire. Here detonation and prismatic mirages intertwine and draw course of mystification and ramification, a fruit of adjacent and highly-identifiable research fields.

On one hand, the artistic work of Milica Mijajlovic focuses mainly on painting, even though recently she`s worked with other media, such as text, objects and performance. In her paintings she often uses abstract language of symbols to portray particular feelings and states of mind which are usually a mix of extreme, and often displaced, emotions. She focuses on the weft and the relationship between materials as she applies the layers of paint on delicate textiles many a time in a rather brutal way. Her research explores the reminiscence of the artist herself on the Yugoslavian wars she experienced as a girl: lightning from explosions which she had with innocence mistaken for fireworks the first time she experienced them, constitute the central motif of her artwork and they conceptualize, in their symbolic content as well as in their technical characteristics, the whirling confusion and the antithetical emotions experienced by the author in the anxiety of this traumatic period. Moreover, the new video artwork of the artist explores her equally ambivalent relationship to the turbofolk Serbian music and its flashy clothing which became indisputable stars throughout the 90s during the regime of Slobodan Milosevic and the Yugoslavian wars. Therefore, Milica Mijajlovic not only confronts her trauma of individual struggle but concentrates also on the phenomenon to which everyone can relate: embellishment of the childhood experience – which should be linked to food, music, housing, to visual culture or to the events more specifically disturbing such as international conflicts – and to the reflection without deception, to the critical elaboration of certain memories as an exercise necessary for becoming adults.

On the other hand, Sybil Montet is an independent art director and visual artist, running her own creative studio. Member of artistic duo core.pan, they produced between 2017 and 2019 various solos exhibitions, their latest, LYCAN, created under the curation of Michal Novotny at Futura, in Prague. They participated to numerous group shows around Europe and were recently residents at Rupert, Vilnius. Now evolving as a solo artist, she mostly focuses on new media, space design and sculptural research. She explores the qualities of CGI, computer-generated imagery, as means of mirage projection, actualizing her fascination for paintings and creating subliminal metamorphosis into realistic sceneries. Through the prism of symbolism, 3D modeling and speculative design, she is attempting to embody in her sculptural work and design approach the notions of transformation, duality between elegance and violence, and supernatural energies. Influenced by the principles of bio-mimesis, industrial design and speculative architecture in her form finding processes, she also draws inspiration from earth sciences, mysticism, and extreme events, natural or anthropogenic, as basis for conceptual imagery, in research of a « feeling of danger, of hypnotic manipulations » – airbrushed images, 3D printed objects, being purely sculptural entities, or questioning functionality, as the pond she designed for this show : fragile and surrealistic, yet remembering a tradition of furniture design, and the ancient « scrying ponds » used for divinatory practices. Searching to actualize the immemorial canvas, she creates short CGI videos acting as moving paintings. This duoshow is her first project as solo artist after the recent dissolution of core.pan.

Both artists are presenting a new corpus of individual works.
 Linear research unfolds only to be tied up again, working its way between the metaphorically onomatopoeic sounds, projectiles and flowers: <<…zang- tumbzang-tuuumtuuumb…>>
— Domenico de Chirico 

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