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Radenko Milak

From the Far Side of the Moon

“From the Far Side of the Moon” is an animation movie created by Radenko Milak. It literally places us in movement in a succession of sequences where all linear narration disappears, replaced by a circular narration within which the darkening over to black becomes the metaphor for what cannot be seen, because it is unrepresentable, in other words, beyond our human measure, our imagination. We see sections of landscapes in which the natural movements of water, air, smoke, plants or living creatures flow one after another. Other shots depict human beings and the mechanical rhythms of man-made machines. Fragments of an interview with Robert Oppenheimer support the underlying dramatic composition up to its somber and poetic climax. “From the Far Side of the Moon” is a film that plays with the symbolic perceptions of opposites, opposed and reconciled – the masculine and the feminine, the moon and the sun, the light and the dark, absence and presence, the far and the close – and brings us back to this mysterious couple, desire and disaster, that we could resume with a chiasm: desire for disaster and disaster of desire. The film can be seen as the metaphor for a journey of memory, one that would go from a catastrophe to another, these never appearing in a literal sense, but more often suggested or metaphorical.

Radenko Milak, From the far side of the moon, 2017, animation movie, duration 13’21, movie stills, courtesy l’Agence à Paris
Radenko Milak, From the far side of the moon, 2017, animation movie, duration 13’21, movie stills, courtesy l’Agence à Paris

Biography
Radenko Milak, born in Yugoslavia in 1980, lives and works in Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina). After studying at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Art in Belgrade, he created and managed from 2008 to 2010 Spa Port, an international contemporary art exhibition. As of 2010, he dedicated himself full time to his artistic practice and created works prolifically, mainly paintings, watercolors, drawings and animation films. He defines himself as a painter of the digital era. These works, which tend to follow the principle of the series, have been the subject of numerous exhibitions in the world, during Art Biennales as well as in Museums or Art Centers or Galleries. Radenko Milak makes of the Image the very matter of his creation. He thinks of his works as installations that put into play the symbolic power of images, their aesthetic potential, in a epoch when they are gradually replacing articulated languages and when their production has gotten out of control with the coming of the digital age. His works are very often exhibited in Europe, more particularly in France and Germany, where they are present in several public art collections such as the Folkwang Museum. In 2017, he was the artist invited for the 57th Venice Biennale to represent Bosnia and Herzegovina. He invested the Pavilion with a conceptual exhibition entitled “University of Disaster.” In 2018, he will be presenting several solo shows and is invited to several international Biennales including the third edition of the Kampala Biennale (Uganda) and the 57th edition of the October Salon in Belgrade (Serbia).

Radenko Milak’s painting work centers on questions relating to how visual elements are fixed and stored both in personal memories and as presented in the media of film and photography. Indeed, his practice as an artist has always been heavily influenced by the idea that our relationship to the world and its history is largely determined by the uninterrupted and continuous flow of images that documents the world. His very singular technique – using black ink watercolor on a white surface – allows him to reach the very essence of an image and to use an aesthetic language that is profoundly unique. Finding his material in print media – such as photojournalism, old newspapers, and postcards – and on the Internet as well, Radenko Milak creates his watercolors and oil paintings by using a black pigment on a white surface as a tool to transform templates from films, reports or press images and other propaganda archives into small intimate artistic scenarios.The results of his research become the materials that he manipulates through a process of appropriation and transformation.

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