June 25th to August 25th 2017
EPEKA Gallery, Maribor
We invite you to visit the exhibition “No pig, no party” by Mila Panić. The exhibition will be open until August 25th. Entry is free.
In the last years Mila Panić has established herself as one of the most important and propulsive young artists in the region. Alongside her impressive artistic production she has an important role in promoting art originating in the Balkans in the broader European area and also in supporting the development of contemporary art practices in her local region. From a conceptual and contextual viewpoint her work is marked by a sober and often subtly humorous refection on the complex social and political realities of Bosnia and the wider region. In comparison with the artists, who are one generation older, Panić doesn’t focus so much on the Yugoslav Wars in the 1990s, but is primarily interested in the changes that happened after the war and in traditions, which have been part of the Balkan culture for centuries. In her works she focuses on migrations, the consequences of democratisation and neoliberal transition and on the place of old traditions in a post-socialist society. She discusses these phenomena in the broader context of social, religious and ethnic tensions and the economic crisis, which have to some degree characterised her artistic formation. Panić treats the critical themes defining her milieu through a prism of raw realism, a curious sense of humour and irony — thus she takes a certain distance that enables her to lucidly comment on the circumstances that have left a mark on her life.
In “No pig, no party!”, similarly as in many of her other works, Panić sets her starting point in a specific element of the Balkan milieu — the pigs roasting on spinning skewers, which are almost omnipresent companions to celebrations and important events in the Balkans. Through “No pig, no party!” Panić discusses the stagnating mentality both in the Balkans and the wider area. Certain habits and traditions, which achieve the level of ritual through countless repetitions, are, when we think about them, strange and somewhat problematic in the context of what most of us perceive as contemporary society. Panić opens the question of the automatic acceptance of such common practices with exhibiting empty skewers, meat hooks and family photographs connected to the observed ritual. In this context the photographs, placed in juxtaposition with the skewers, are especially interesting. The artist found them in a family album and they were made on her eleventh birthday — they thoroughly document all processes related to preparing the pig, but mostly overlook other aspects of the celebration. The most striking part of the execution are the “emptied” skewers, which are senselessly spinning without the pig — i.e. the object of hedonism and pleasure — and are thus transforming into dark and threatening objects.
Mila Panić (b. 1991 in BiH) has graduated at the department of visual art of the Banja Luka Academy of Arts. In 2013 she attended a three week International Summer Academy in Salzburg in the class of Tania Bruguera. From 2015 she is enrolled in the MFA Public art and New artistic strategies in the Bauhaus University in Weimar. She has taken part in many group and solo exhibitions and has received a number of awards and scholarships for young contemporary artists. Her works are in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Republic of Srpska, the Luciano Benetton Collection and many private collections. She is the co-founder of the centre for the popularisation of contemporary art “APARTMAN”, which is focused on representing young artist across Bosnia and neighbouring countries as well as new media in contemporary art through exhibitions in private apartments.
Naslovna fotografija je avtorsko delo Mile Panić.