• Vladimir Miladinović: Drawing rectification
Vladimir Miladinović: Drawing rectification

Vladimir Miladinović: Drawing rectification
7 April 2016 – 7 May 2016

Opening: 7 April 2016, 20:00

Curated by Albert Heta
Exhibition Architecture by Vala Osmani

Boxing Club, Mark Isaku 2,
10000 Prishtina, Republic of Kosovo

Opening hours:
Monday - Friday 11:00 - 13:00 and 15:00 - 17:00

Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina is pleased to present the exhibition ‘Drawing rectification’ with works of Vladimir Miladinović, curated by Albert Heta.

The exhibition is part if the annual program of exhibitions of Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina and the first collaboration with Vladimir Miladinović. 

‘Drawing rectification’ is constructed as a story with a beginning and an end, based on an artistic imagination about real events, real archival documentation and real people. 

‘Drawing rectification’ with Vladimir Miladinović is not only about the act and the process or drawing in ink elements that constitute projected rectification but also maybe the only way for an individual to reflect and act subversively on such a complicated process for such a given context, drawn in these works. Using traditional means of expression, an almost abandoned space for political engagement, as drawing is seen today, drawing in ink in this case is a strategy for emancipation and rectification of memory of war crimes of an individual, a society and a country.

Works in the focus of the exhibition are part of ‘Rendered History’ by Vladimir Miladinović that has begun in 2012. One of the main tools of the project was to visit local newspaper archive and make a research of the period of war during the 1990s in former Yugoslavia. Afterword, it began with the research of Serbian based daily newspaper from 1991 and 1992 and cover pages related to the wars in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. After the selection of articles, Miladinović made a series of handmade ink wash drawings of entire newspaper pages. Firstly, it was Serbia- based daily newspapers, such as: Politika, Politika ekspres, Borba, Večernje novosti. Later on, this work has been extended onto the press from the region, such as Oslobodjenje from Sarajevo or Kozarski Vjesnik from Prijedor in BiH. 

This series of drawings also include the analysis of the archive of the ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia) in The Hague. Within the project, it is possible to identify different types of documents, lists, and other archival artifacts related to the period of the war in the former Yugoslavia.

What is being drawn and washed in ink (not) to be moved and (not) hidden anymore and shown in this exhibition? What and for whom? Are all sides in one place? In reality, why there is (not) so much effort to rectify the memory of one nation and one society? If today everyone is talking about abandoning the corrupt international justice system, should we who have no access and a right to institutionalized memory about the war and no right to ask for justice for victims also abandon transitional justice, imposed as a parallel space and system of memory and reconciliation?

Vladimir Miladinović with his work questions how media and institutions in the post-Yugoslav societies create public space, consequently shaping the collective memory. The goal is to work with art as a form of counter-public sphere that raises questions of war media propaganda, manipulation, historical responsibility and intellectual engagement. 

Back in our context, I’m thinking can one be technical when writing a text and having in mind these works. And then again few questions to be made. Can we see the notion rectification only as a technical process? Similar but contrary to the official state process of moving dead bodies from one location and one country to another? Both look to be executed to correct an error or purify the narrative: Zepter, Karic, Večernje Novosti, Gazda Jezda, Dafiment, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Batajnica. These elements and some others are not always part of the same story.

Today if you Google search ‘Batajnica’, what you get is: Batajnica (Cyrillic: Батајница, pronounced [bǎtaːjnitsa]) is an urban neighborhood of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. It is located in Belgrade's municipality of Zemun. 

In the next lines, in a page or two you find a lot of information, among others about location and geography, history, population, traffic, railway, road, air transportation, economy and sport, neighborhoods, 1. Maj, Naselje Ekonomije BR 1., Šangaj, Crveni Barjak.

Batajnica is located in the Syrmia region, in the northern part of the municipality, close to the administrative border of the province of Vojvodina … A movement for re-creating the old Batajnica municipality was very active in 2002, when Surčin also (and successfully) campaigned, but wasn't that much in the public media… In the past Batajnica almost had no urban connection to the rest of the city…

Batajnica is the site of the Batajnica mass graves.

Batajnica experienced a constant population growth in the 20th century. A special bust to the neighborhood's population was given in the mid-1990s with a large influx of refugees from the Yugoslav Wars, especially the Oluja military action which forced almost 250,000 Serbs from Croatia into Serbia, and many of them settled at the outskirts of Belgrade… Batajnica is a major traffic crossroad… A military airbase is located nearby. Batajnica Airbase, with a limited civil traffic, was heavily bombarded on a daily basis in 1999 during the NATO bombing of Serbia… One of the fastest expanding parts of Batajnica, across the railway, concentrated along the Šangajska street (after the city of Shanghai in China) … Crveni Barjak begins near the entrance into Batajnica, where the large interchange is located. It extends to the south, forming the future urban connection between Batajnica and Zemun Polje. Heating plant is also located in the neighborhood. Its name, crveni barjak, is Serbian for the "red banner".

If you click ‘Batajnica mass graves’ in the same page, you get: The Batajnica mass graves, are estimated to contain between 700 and a thousand Albanian victims of ethnic cleansing, from the Kosovo War. The mass graves are on the training grounds of a Serbian military unit, the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit (SAJ).
Dead bodies were brought to the site by trucks from Kosovo; most were incinerated before burial. After the war, SAJ restricted investigators' access to the firing range, and continued live-firing exercises whilst forensic teams tried to investigate the massacre. Serb forces conducted mass killings in ethnic Albanian villages in 1998 and 1999, burying most of the victims close to the site of the killing. But when it became clear that Nato would intervene, the Milosevic government ordered the bodies to be dug up and moved elsewhere in Serbia and Serb-controlled Bosnia.
As well as killings of Kosovo Albanians, SAJ was also involved in "sanitation"; bodies were moved to mass graves in Serbia, in order to conceal the ethnic cleansing.

The war in Kosovo officially ended in 11 June 1999.

The architecture of exhibition walls of Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina is moved from Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina and multiplied to the Boxing Club and is used for the exhibition ‘Vladimir Miladinović: Drawing rectification’.

Boxing Club was partially cleaned and made open and public in 2014 through Action Boxing Club, a site-specific collaboration work by Elana Katz and Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina, based on Elana Katz’s research project Spaced Memory, which contemplates and comments on forgotten Jewish history in countries of Eastern Europe.

Vladimir Miladinović (1981) lives and works in Belgrade. He graduated from the Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade. At the moment, he is enrolled at the PhD studies of Art and Media Theory, University of Arts, Belgrade. He has had the status of Individual artist since 2007. Miladinovic was the laureate of the 53rd October Salon Award. He is a member of the Working Group “Four Faces of Omarska” an art/theory group that questions memorial production strategies, and is a co-founder of the Initiative for Contemporary Art and Theory. Within his artistic work Miladinović’s main interests lie with the politics of remembering, media manipulation and creation and reinterpretation of the historical narratives. Since 2009, Miladinovic has been involved in scientific researches. He has been exhibited widely in Serbia and across Europe.

Vladimir Miladinović: Drawing rectification, curated by Albert Heta, is part of the annual program of exhibitions of Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina, supported by New Perspektiv and Balkan Trust for Democracy – BTD, National Endowment for Democracy – NED, Kosova Foundation for Open Society – KFOS, Municipality of Prishtina, KNAUF, X-print, DZG.