24 October 2007 > 02 November 2007
»ON THIS SIDE« is the title of a new site-specific installation of Milijana Babić. She again found the inspiration in the imaginative Caroll's wonderland. Sequences of Alice's journey are almost obsessively generating artist's artistic ''escape'' from the real to miraculous world of fantasy, imagination, and to the idealist perfection of an utopia. With the help of ''childhood language'' she blurs boundary lines between the imagiative and realistic and she creates an ambiguous world, full of various meanings.
The playful meaning is even present in the title of the exhibition. It implies to the existance of two or more sides / worlds, and at the same time it remains neutral and open. It allows and even invites the viewer to fantasize and to take position in the fantastic reality. The system of rules and codes of the prevailing social code is different on this side, as also the dealing of space is. The gallery area settles on ''that'' side, which isn't common. The element of opposites is constantly repeating itself in all parts of the work of art. And it is for these opposites and contradictions, that open room to the concept of nonsense, which is artist's preferable.
The concrete situation / installation is inspired by a dialogue between the caterpillar and Alice. It's a debate on the question of dimensions, in menthal as much as in physical sense, which in the fairytale utopia is and stays relative. The conceptual shift of the imaginative is graduated with a mirror (reflection), to which elements of direct quotations from ''Alice in Wonderland'' are added. This additionally enhances nonsense and is playing with questions of identification and reflection of individual visitors. The magic mirror is a metaphor of the fairytale, because it combines mimesis (reflection), refraction (changing longings) and frame (art). The mirror represents a cultural space, where imaginative identifactions happen, which form subjective identity or it's detachment. It avoids ''I'' or suppresses it, and this is how it prevents our longing for recognisable and united subject and repeating cultural codes, which help us find a meaning.
Milijana Babić is an artist, who is currently living and working in Rijeka (Croatia). She took a degree in 2002 at Durban Institute of Technogology in South African Republic. She introduced her work to the Slovenian public for the first time in the range of International festival of contemporary art – City of women. Since 2000 she has been intensively cooporated in numerous international exhibitions at home and abroad. Her works of art are in the permanent collection of Muzej Moderne i Suvremene Umjetnosti (Rijeka, Croatia), Durban Art Gallery (Durban, ZAR), Tongaat-Hulett Sugar Association (Durban , ZAR). The installation ''On this side'' is a result of a several years lasting research of childhood language within artistic expression, which is also the theme of her master thesis (title: »Childhood language as a performative apect to the art of installation«) at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana with professors M. Gržinić and J. Barši as menthors.