Your truth, interpretation and nostalgia
Saša Tkačenko and Vladimir Miladinović
The theme of the exhibition of works by Saša Tkačenko (1979) and Vladimir Miladinović (1981) is truth, interpretation and nostalgia. Both artists were born in the former Yugoslavia and each has their own way of reflecting on their roots and painful recent history. They are both responding to something that is non-existent. Tkačenko binds his wounds by reaching out to the distant past and uses memories of a beautiful, pre-war Yugoslavia. Miladinović, on the other hand, dives into the harsh reality of the war and examines the impact of media manipulation.
Nostalgia lies at the heart of the works of Saša Tkačenko, in terms of both themes and working methods. His childhood was shaped by a ‘dead nation’ in which everything seemed to be possible and impossible at the same time. In his work, Tkačenko plays with these feelings that are alienating yet have an inviting and affirmative effect. His work is based entirely on memories derived from the wonderful stories told by his parents.
By contrast, Vladimir Miladinović dives into the archives and searches for traces and evidence of past atrocities. His research examines the role of accountability concerning
the genocide and crimes against humanity committed in Yugoslavia. In his drawings, Miladinović reproduces forensic documents and photographs from the archives of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The landscapes in his drawings are recreations of photographs that record actual places and their horrifying history. In his series of newspaper-based drawings, Miladinović focuses on the role of a politically motivated and biased media.
The two artists’ works provide insight into the history of Europe’s most recent war. The aim is first and foremost to depict a complex situation and ask how, in the absence of public debate on issues that are important to society, art can foster such debate and relate to and engage with the broader social and political issues of the times. As a curator, a question that occupies me is whether artists should use their position to address subjects that are often avoided or even regarded as taboo. ‘Your truth, interpretation and nostalgia’ has been compiled to raise awareness of these questions. Perhaps the exhibition will prompt public debate on this recent painful chapter of history and the war of memories that has gone unresolved for nearly twenty-five years.
curated by Silvia Bakker
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Toussaintkade 49, The Hague