RADENKO MILAK: A ‘SOLO SHOW’
"Oblivion of the past, crisis of the future"
François Hartog, Régimes d'historicité. Presentismes et expérinces du temps. 2003
La Balsa Arte has been working with Radenko Milak since 2015. During this period of time, he has had one solo exhibition in Bogotá, a shared exhibition with Pablo Mora in Medellín and as of today, he has an important institutional exhibition of his work in the Claustro de San Agustin, Universidad Nacional Bogotá, curated by Ana Patricia Gomez.
Milak has produced in very few years a large body of work that is already part of major private and public collections in Europe. He also represented his country, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, in the Venice Biennale of 2017.
The artist borrows the title of his main work-frame “University of Disaster” from the book of the same title written by Paul Virilio (1932-1918) ('L'Université du désastre', Galilée, 2007). The philosopher, who was a student of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, develops a view of phenomenology and existential philosophy centered in the idea of the catastrophic and accidental aspects of human endeavor toward ‘progress’, particularly in relation to the development of technology. Milak has undertaken the long-term ambitious project of reviewing the global imaginary of the last century and the current one to examine those images that linger on, stimulate our consciousness and remembrance, whether they are created by the press, the cinema or propaganda, or found in the unending flow of the world wide web.
The representation of conflict, but also the primary force of the image (hence, the imaginary) stems as artistic material, not only from the current visual media but also from careful personal research and investigation. The ideas that permeate the whole project, as an atomic disaster, mass exodus or the technological accident, represent a non-linear meditation of the phenomena of war and exile crossed with the tedious daily routine of 'cold' modalities of production and displacement. This idea, as Stephen Hawking predicted, goes beyond the plane crash or the atomic accident: it will eventually launch men to the conquest of exoplanets in the search of a new home.
Radenko Milak, who is also an expert in Eastern European cinema, succeeds in underlining a perspective that highlights the intertwined relations between war and cinema, the technologies of representation and the machines of vision, a fact reinforced in his personal experience as an artist who lived closely the wars of dissolution of Yugoslavia and the consequent marginalization of Bosnia from the European Union.
In addition to the excellent quality of his work, we have chosen to propose a solo-show by Radenko Milak because he represents an urgent and of an emergent consciousness of the limits of technology and the fact that history, when brought forward with such energy to present times, becomes a powerful tool for imagining the future.