“The work emulates manual tombstone engraving, which I did before enrolling in the Academy of Arts”.
This is what the artist from Bosnia and Herzegovina Mladen Miljanović said about one of the three sections of his work exhibited at the 55th Biennale in Venice this year.
Born in Zenica in 1981, Miljanović, before graduating at the Academy of Arts in Banja Luka, used to engrave images on marble gravestone due to the Balkan tradition. And these images are the ones depicted in Venice representing remembrance of individual life. In fact, the artist collected hundreds of these figures from all over the Balkans and inserted them inside a garden, the Garden of Delights, directly inspired by the reinassance masterpiece of the same name “Tuin der Lusten” (Garden of Delights) made by Hieronymus Bosch. Miljanović said he used the same background as Bosch’s triptych adding the grave figures.
The work of Mladen Miljanović has a very strong meaning deep inside the Bosnia and Herzegovina and East Europe cultural, economical, political, ethical and social reality. The society appears naked in nowdays material world. A society that, 18 years after the war, is still upset and is represented by a variety of individuals in a collective ethernal garden in which hope survives tragedy.
It has been 10 years since Bosnia and Herzegovina took part of Venice Biennale because, as Miljanović said, it has never had the capacity to represent itself as a country; bosnian artists, in fact, were always presented as individuals on the international art scene. Now, in 2013, this country finally found a way to show itself through Mladen Miljanović and thanks to the support of the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the Bosnia and Herzegovina Council of Ministers, who developed a procedure to select artists and commisioners.
The bosnian artist, performing at Palazzo Malipiero, has divided his work in three sections: the first one is the section of thinking, the second is the visual sphere where the Garden of Delights can be admired. The last one is divided into two branches: the Rose Garden and a place in which is possible to see a 5 minutes video clip called “Sweet Harmony of the Absurd” showing members of the Banja Luka Philarmonic playing their favourite pieces, which different and clashing sounds represents the heterogeneity and dynamism of a country still facing a post war situation.
Miljanović as an artist has a great significant potential and, even if his works are not part of the art market yet, he owns the capability to have a big impact on the art world and has already started to attract the interest of both gallerists and collectors, like his exhibitions at the MAXXI Museum for Contemporary Art in Rome and at the MC Gallery in New York.
VIDEO: Spot of the bosnian Pavilion.
IMAGES TOP TO BOTTOM:
The bosnian Mladen Miljanović.
The Garden of Delights by Mladen Miljanović exposed at the Venice Biennale.
Tuin der Lusten – The Garden of Delights triptych by Hieronymus Bosch.
Bosnian Pavilion at Venice Biennale.
Particular of the bosnian Pavilion at Venice Biennale.
Palazzo Malipieri, Venice.
The Banja Luka Philarmonic.