The aesthetic precision of Anuk Miladinović’s works does not allow for the cheap notion that anyone could explain it as he wishes within the context of his own world of experience.
Perhaps it is this that makes these works so intriguing. They do indeed provide a number of possible ways to link them to our everyday experience, and thus, at first, seem to permit us to interpret them as mimetic constructs, explicable and traceable to pre-art spaces—for, after all, they are object-related. The elevator is an elevator, the reflection is a reflection, tiling on the wall is tiling on the wall. The only odd thing is that, as we are observing them, all of these possible interpretations start to become boring, just as the works themselves become more fascinating. What we called “interpretation” pales before our pure pleasure in their effect. It is not until we notice that all of these interpretive patterns fade and we simply see the validity of the works themselves that we realize what has made it difficult to talk about them. They do not allow themselves to be communicated through mediation. Jacques Derrida would have shouted for joy.
Of course, every viewer is at liberty to bring his own world of experience to Miladinović’s works. In so doing, he would gain about as much as he would if he were to believe that he understood Schubert’s music, simply because he was able to analyze its harmonic modulations.
The act of transforming wall tiles, weapons, and munitions into decoration can be easily decoded, but no analysis could comprehend everything that touches us about it. That is what makes them so valuable—they are nothing more than the millions of tiles that give us so much meaningless pleasure in Lisbon. Still, they speak to us, saying something along the lines of Christian Morgenstern’s wallpaper flowers: “And you follow me with a knight’s move, do you wish for madness, my dear.” Naturally, one can read a great deal of anti-war rhetoric into these tiles (and it would certainly not be wrong), but to let them drive you mad would be far more interesting.
Miladinović takes care of spaces. The caretaker of space in “access” is far more than just a human accessory whose presence is due to the illusion of space; she is the proof that art and life are vessels for communication. It is, after all, popular to say that it is difficult to define art. Here, it is easy: art is. That’s all. “Here is the picture,” said Andy Warhol.
A piece has fallen out of a façade and now lies in the grass. We are aware of the impossibility of this event; the architecturally playful, embellished niche in the façade is edifying enough. A niche was intended to be here from the start; the architect has left no doubt about it, having really staged it as part of structure of the building. So Miladinović’s work cannot refer in any way to any sort of critique of boastful architecture of this educational establishment in which it was born. In turn, it would also certainly not be wrong to interpret the work this way; yet, once again, this kind of interpretation does not suffice. Regardless of how one bends and twists it, one cannot make any sort of hermeneutic mistake in the interpretation of this work; interpretation itself, as an act of will and as process, misses this aim, because, as an instrument of knowledge, it is not suitable from the start.
That is good and liberating. Actually, Anuk Miladinović’s art should not inflame any debates or trigger some kind of discourse. The artist asked me for an essay, and I’m happy to write it. She doesn’t need it; she has already written it better, through the works themselves: Here is the work. Here is the picture. Ecce ars.