artist / participant
MILIJA PAVIĆEVIĆ | PERSONAL STORIES – STRATEGIES OF APPROPRIATION, 11.5. - 25.6.2016 Galerie Michaela Stock, Schleifmühlgasse 18, 1040 Vienna opening: Tuesday, May 10, 6 p.m.
At the same time the catalogue "Milija Pavićević – Exit Strategies of the Self" with an preface Prince Nikola Petrović Njegošessay by Walter Seidl will be presented.
PERSONAL STORIES – STRATEGIES OF APPROPRIATION
Milija Pavićevićs oeuvre is a testimony of a consequent strategy of appropriation and repetition. Regarding his knowledge and skills, the Montenegrin Biennale artist is self-taught, having dealt with his role-models from the history of art in the most different ways.
His original interest was dedicated to the private study of the works of art of the Grand Old Masters such as El Greco or Velázquez, soon however he expanded his repertoire by works ranging from Manet to Malevich. Literature and art theoretic writings such as those by Baudelaire, Proust, Kafka or Kierkegaard, to mention just a few, have significantly influenced his work. He never denies their authorship, but develops his own conceptual works of art in a playful way, his distinctive style of rapprochement and worship of the individual artist or theoretician.
In his exhibition Personal Stories – Strategies of Appropriation, Milija Pavićević allows for an insight into his life, using the approbated artists as catalytic converters and putting on trial patterns of thought and conception. Pavićević has chosen photography to be his medium, taking advantage of the sheer endless possibilities of reproduction. This becomes particularly evident in the mass production of his portrait, which is constantly redefined by quotes. All the works on display center around the theme of weltschmerz, finding one's own existence and self-portrayal.
His photo montages and collages of the past forty years integrate selected works of art with precise analysis, resulting in a merge of different times and spaces, mapping his memory, combining and reopening the return to his childhood with motifs from the presence. "A real way of dealing with the phenomenon of death (...) is the picture of El Greco's funeral in 1586 as well as a photo of the funeral of Pavićević's grandfather in 1963, in which the artist himself can be seen as a child. By taking advantage of this contrast, "Self-Portrait 1586-1963" intends to balance out the phenomenon of mourning. The artist refers to memories flashing in the process of funeral rites and, by linking the death of a well-known artist with that of a close family member, raises the question of one's own death - in this case that of the artist Pavićević - as an image-medial event that is mentally anticipated but cannot yet be imagined."1
Malevich's Black Square, Manet's Fifer or Van Gogh's Yellow all become a recurring homage in the artist's work cycle CT Park. He presents himself as a flautist in the park of his hometown Cetinje, playfully omitting and adding approbated components.
The collage Ciao Amore shows two private photos, showing him and his siblings once as children and then, at the exact same spot, 40 years later on, complemented with fragments of reproductions by Picasso and Fragonard.
The importance of self-portrayal has, thus, increased in his works over the years. In his extensive work group "s-portrait", he opposes his black-and-white portrait with that of El Greco. The motif of Manet's Fifer, already appearing to be cut out in the original painting, almost falling out of the picture, is put onto the protagonists' heads.
Milija Pavićević is not interested in re-enacting the scenery as authentically as possible; instead he strives to develop his own strategy in the ideology of individual art-historical references. He deals with questions of representation and perception, society and cultural politics as well as history, memory and identity of the artist and his societal standardization.
At the occasion of the exhibition the catalogue Milija Pavićević – Exit Strategies of the Self with an essay by Walter Seidl and a foreword by Prinz Nikola Petrovic-Njegos will be published.