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Milica Rakić – Crvena, da te nema trebalo bi te izmisliti

Milica Rakić

Red, if you did not exist it would be necessary to invent you

6-27. september
Krunska 60

Milica Rakić Crvena da te nema trebalo bi te izmisliti

My freedom does not suit you

Anica Tucakov

You cannot jump into another person’s life. However, you can imagine and envision several layers of your own life. You can use your own mind, regardless of collective views and fixed thought patterns. To think is to eliminate all obstacles from seeing things as they are, as they appear to us, and not as others present them.

Without love for inquiry as such (philo-sophia) — everything halts. Without questions, attitudes become prejudices. History is, above all, our own idea of what happened and facts rarely play a decisive role.

Milica Rakić uses these questions in her work, pointing to the void of the current political reflection and the inability to establish an attitude towards the past. The artist works in a time of vacant pedestals and of an ideological and aesthetic emptiness: the time of the dissolution of the socialist project.

Rakić reacts to this exorcism of historical experience, resisting more than just the process of the dissolution. The artist primarily questions the nature of the cohabitation of both living and dead shadows of the socialist heritage. She questions the nature of what is highlighted and of what is left untold. At the exhibition, “Red — The Indispensable Colour”, her research method for this confiscated memory and identity is a combination of media — performance and video work, poetic slogans of conflict, and a pseudo-archival environment. She walks on the edge of the gap between multiple sources of knowledge and memory: the archive (document, text, photograph) and the gesture (performance, video work, slogan, object).

Milica Rakić’s work is known for belonging to the field of artistic practices that use archive as a production principle and not as a mere repository of documents. This dynamic tool opens a field for initiating a conceptual and operational apparatus. This becomes a medium through which the artist builds on the process of auto-archiving and correction. The process of renovation is ongoing. The artist, in fact, suggests a different narrative and stirs the audience towards “the correct” reading of events. Milica Rakić explores the restorative creative potential of art: the reparative potential of using an archive as the starting medium for the entire project.

At this exhibition, the artist broadens the field of the archive operating as a “fictional institution” in the physical space of the gallery itself, turning the architectural object — once a residential home, a representative city villa of the inter-war period, with its unchanged 1930s interior and the gallery space, into a medium in itself.

Fotografija: Aleksandrija Ajduković
Milica Rakic Crvena da te nema trebalo bi te izmisliti
Milica Rakic Crvena da te nema trebalo bi te izmisliti

Milica Rakić is among the few artists who name their works and exhibitions accurately and effectively, with names serving as extensions of ideas of the project itself, bearing the weight of the structure of the exhibition and the works. The phrase – “Red – The Indispensable Colour” – concisely defines and names the very essence of the project. The process used by the artist Milica Rakić, is expressed primarily by the positional status of the dramatis persona — Comrade Milica Rakič.

On the occasion of this exhibition, we posit the existence of the subcutaneous course of time: an invisible web which connects people of different eras. At some point, a crack appears: in the very act of creation, something penetrates and “gets stuck” from an entirely different “space” or sphere, beyond the known rules.

Moving between the fluid irrationality and the speculative discipline, immanent to the artistic process, Rakić commands this wonder of an extended moment, in the arrested physical universe. Physically and symbolically taking up the salon part of the building in which the New Gallery of Visual Arts is located, artist performs the transition across the temporal threshold. She utilizes this zone in which time is of medium density, and enables a brief view into the reality of a possible corrected memory and history, revealed to us gradually and never fully, closer to the world of fog and ghosts, than to the perception of the more yielding reality.

In the video installation filmed in this environment, Rakić intensifies the process of further development of the primary determinant of the existence of Comrade Milica Rakič, a persona artistically and dramatically embodied by Vladimir Bjeličić – artist, curator, art historian and long-time collaborator of artist. The ambiguous ontological enigma is amplified by the direct physical encounter of Milica Rakić and Comrade Milica Rakič through a visually clear mirroring of the other, reflected on the other side of the glass membrane. Referring to the little-known archival data on the participation of women in the post-war Yugoslav society and political institutional framework, the scene acquires a clear, theatrically styled, dramatic form, as contributed by the playwright Olga Dimitrijević. Intense spatial contractions of this authentic environment inevitably affect the definition of the trajectory of the heroines in the special “mirrored regime” and on their inverse movements and reflected upheavals of the space.

By occupying the entire space of the house in 60 Krunska Street, the exhibition in the official gallery space also includes Rakić’s compressed quotes, well “nourished” with the ambivalent references that are significantly controversial and tense. Although resembling printed textual extracts, these seductively intriguing slogans are made audible, in fact, by the hidden painting process. The visual intelligence of this project is based on the careful curation of the tools and their effectiveness.

That is the reason why these slogans are a part of a clearly formulated exhibition function, with its inner measure and logic, and an ingenious conceptual reinforcement. The artist simultaneously uses the temporal labyrinth of the archive and the gallery space, as displaced imaginary locations enabling the temporal unity of the space. This way, the pseudo-archival atmosphere, using the original furniture of the apartment, develops a model of an artificially inserted interior context.

This is how Milica Rakić’s process also explores the potential archive as an aid to the contingent performative practice, while her setting suggests how to reconstruct and re-semanticise what is highlighted and what is left untold in the gallery space. Artist explores the capacity of the content, at times fragmented to the point where the whole that stands out from oblivion becomes destabilizing.

Finally, the materialisation of Comrade Milica Rakič in this exhibition project completes her emanations so far, as a medium of communication and artistic expression. Self is, as a key theme in art, a complex creative impulse, which must be represented in an alternating rhythm of revelation, illusion and disguise.

True art can only exist if the reality leads us to a phenomenon, simultaneously affirming the phenomenon as an illusion.

Milica Rakić crvena da te nema trebalo bi te izmisliti


Milica Rakic

Milica Rakić was born in 1972 in the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. She received her doctorate at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade. She is a member of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia and the Association of Fine Artists of Serbia. She has presented her works in 30 solo exhibitions and over 400 group exhibitions in the country and abroad (Albania, USA, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Egypt, Iran, Italy, Japan, China, Hungary, Macedonia, Mexico, Germany, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Turkey, France, Croatia, Montenegro, Spain). In her work, she examines the way in which language and culture shape personal identity. She lives and works in Belgrade.


Author of the exhibition: Milica Rakić
Production: NGVU
Author of the text and curator of the gallery: Anica Tucakov
Design: Maša Elezović and Milica Rakić
Organization and translation: Aleksandra Terzić
Photoghraphy: Aleksandrija Ajduković
Project participants and collaborators:
Vladimir Bjeličić, Srđan Ćešić, Olga Dimitrijević, Vladimir Jevtić, Milica Stojanović, Dragan Vurdelja, Jovanka Lujić, Goran Stojčetović

The video used parts of the songs “I onda kradom gledam lice tvoje”, Tereza Kesovija and “Budi se Istok i Zapad”.

crvena da te nema trebalo bi te izmisliti tim

The exhibition is realised with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia.

In accordance with the current epidemiological situation, the exhibition can be visited with all precautions, wearing protective masks and maintaining a safe distance, with a limited number of people in the exhibition space.

We thank Kristina Pavlović for her support in the realisation of this project.