What would happen if gravity suddenly decided to work in a different direction?
Even if an elevator were not there, could you still look through its open doors, through the exposed shaft into another space, and what would you see happening there?
Is the niche a mold of its contents, or the thing that shapes it?
Anuk Miladinović mistrusts space. So much so that she observes it with her camera, capturing its movements and then assembling them into oddly deserted images. Not literally deserted—people are definitely present. But they seem weirdly alienated, determined by the architecture, caught in unimaginable tasks.
Seven men descend into particular hollows in the floor of a crypt, so that the architecture puts them all at the same level. Individuality is equalized by the symmetry of architecture. Before, they were seven men in suits, on their way to work, and now they are sunk into a larger plan.
Two women stand before the gorge of a bridge that disappears in the center of the picture, keeping a look-out, waiting. Through the image, express trains shooting by—half-individual, half-thing—combine the scenarios and the artist’s observational space.
In Jaques Tati’s films it is still funny the way that people assert themselves through a grotesque kind of outlandishness, awkward gestures, and, at the end, they close the door behind them and escape. In Miladinović’s work, Tati’s futuristic settings have not only long been reality, but the behavior of the humanoid protagonists determined by these settings has also changed, giving way to a feeling of helplessness. Whereas we once chuckled at and sympathized with the quirks of Tati’s characters, in Miladinović’s world, man has been turned into a consequence of his environment.
This is precisely where Miladinović’s strength lies. The carefully composed images create a kind of architectural organism. The people inside of it may indeed be the pulse—but the appendant body lies still.
How much longer?