(regression – chapter one)
Participants in order of appearance:
Premiere projection on January 7th, 2011
Duration of performance : 3 hours over 4 days
Duration of video : 26 minutes 32 seconds
HD, 16:9 Widescreen , Stereo
Filmed in SUMU studio space, Titanik Gallery
Turku / Finland
Premieres and public projections:January 7, 2011 – SUMU studio, A.i.R, Titanik Gallery, Turku, Finland
January 15, 2011 – Reality Research Center (Todellisuuden tutkimuskeskus), Helsinki, Finland
April 11, 2011 – Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Hamburg, Germany
April 27- May 1, 2011 – TROUBLE #7, Les Halles de Schaerbeek, Brussels, Belgium
May 13-22, 2011 – Babel Art Space, Trondheim, Norway
June 9, 2011 – Bar Babette, Berlin, Germany
Branko Miliskovic and Willow Mitchell
May 13 – 22, 2011
Babel Art Space
The works of Branko Miliskovic and Willow Mitchell are closely linked to the artists’ personalities. Miliskovic’s intensely questioning work matches the artist’s direct and bold behaviour. At Babel he shows the video documentation «Blank Points», with the subtitle «Regression, Chapter 1». This work is one in a series of video documentations – a series where one work provides ideas for the next one – and that functions as counterpoint to the work «Ingression», which was filmed in Tel Aviv.
The interviews in «Blank Points» are filmed in the Finnish town Turku. Miliskovic and the interview object sit back to back. Evidently, the ensuing development depends heavily on the verbal exchange. The questions are not planned in advance; they are the results of how the conversation develops. During this process – where the attentive artist will steer the conversation steadily in the direction of personal themes – many of the interview objects forget that they are filmed. Some open up and talk about events like the death of their parents, others admit to petty crime in their youth.
The spectator sees both persons simultaneously and may observe facial expressions and reactions. As the interviews progress, the spectator becomes aware of the fact that we also see the artist all the time. His reactions become as important, visible and telling as the stories of the interview object. Finally we realize that the main topic of the interviews is the artist himself. The artist uses his interview objects as filters for his own existentialistic questions. Due to the political situation in the Balkan region, the Serb Miliskovic has been held back during his childhood and youth; in a sense he has been a detainee. What we encounter in «Blank Points» is an explorer, an artist who scrutinizes his own self.
The works of British Willow Mitchell are of a totally different character, or nature, if you like. As is the case with the works of Miliskovic, her works correspond with her personality and manners. In this exhibition the threshold between the Artist and the Work is exceptionally low. Mitchell’s works are modest in size. On one of the walls we see a photo. The motif is a tree tightly wrapped in a bundle of boards. The boards have once been part of other trunks, and the bizarre arrangement struck a chord with the artist. The photo is flanked by two drawings of trees in which there are tiny houses. On the opposite wall are yet another pair of miniscule houses. These have been made from leather and each has a small, circular door. The two houses face each other; one is fitted with a loudspeaker, the other one with a microphone. The wires for these technical fittings hang limply to the floor, accentuating the conspicuous ‘noise of silence’.
The tentative works are triggered by chance encounters with nature, with objects and with Mitchell’s own associations. The fairytale character of the works constitute a careful and fragile nest – a collection of intuitively executed works which have their source in the poetic consciousness of the graceful artist – and which also in this way contrasts with the work by Miliskovic presented to the back of the premises.
Gustav Svihus Borgersen, 13.05.2011
Translated by Birgit Kvamme Lundheim