Ana Milenkovic


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Ana Milenkovic: Quietism 4 May - 10 June Quietism by Ana Milenkovic presents a new series of paintings which demonstrate a marked evolution of her previous practice. Rather than drawing upon literature and historic mythologies for her subjects, she examines how public and cultural figures who represent us as a society are mythologised in our media - held up as heroes and villains or otherwise dehumanised. The title of the exhibition, Quietism, comes from a dialogue in Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot. Prince Myshkin, an embodiment of goodness and virtue, returns to Russia from abroad, where unintentionally, he gets pulled into society and its intricacies. Unaware of the social codes, relationships and individual vanities, he comes across as inept and foolish. The exhibited paintings are based on fragments from press photographs and the artist’s own objects and images. Torn out of context, familiar figures and objects can be interpreted according to the viewer’s beliefs and assumptions. The series continues the artist’s interest in heroisms, in particular, those taking our assumed values and principles to extremes, transitioning from the mundane to the extraordinary. The painting’s imbalanced compositions, in which characters and objects play secondary roles, reflect the artist’s struggle to process information - received through the media and her own social interactions. The rush of fractured information and the unabating speed in which it is delivered results in a tendency to sensationalise in favour of considered opinions, informed decisions and lasting emotions. However, Milenkovic assures us that the artworks are not created in anger or despondence - rather, she tries to capture the uplifting moments of clarity and determination. She asserts that as overwhelming as the pace and variety of media is - it can also be incredibly inspiring. We are allowed a unique position in history to draw influence from everywhere at once, without dogma or direction. In acknowledgment of the polyphony of ideas and influences that fed Quietism, Milenkovic has prepared the following document of curated inspirations: click here.