22.12.2017: ‚Wish you were not here’ – a site specific intervention by Milica Mijajlović (Belgrade) and Nikola Emma Ryšavá (Prague)

‚Wish you were not here’, the title chosen by Milica Mijajlović and Nikola Emma Ryšavá for this exhibition, reflects the variety and variability of interpretations that feed their poetics. It’s an umbrella title, deliberately ambiguous in its various meanings. Wish you were not here is a sentence , widely used in any language. At the same time, it is a rude statement akin to the English “fuck off” or the Italian “vai al inferno”, which – in both cases – define the act  overcoming an opponent in a supermarket queue or a pub brawl. Finally, Wish you were here is the title of song by pink flyod , and the negation of this statement  is also the title of the exhibition at the solution.

Milica Mijajlović and Nikola Emma Ryšavá are  methodical, analytic artists who consider – as opposed to many contemporary conceptual artists – improvisation as an added value. However they build parameters that allow them to “cross borders”. The installation Wish you were not here is made with a methodology in which the authors tends to limit their  subjectivity as much as possible, reducing the artistic gesture to the minimum through a precise compositional process. the individual art works are positioned in the  gallery  to the right, left and centre to create a decomposed 180 degrees installation. Except for a few exceptions, certain areas of the gallery appear as empty stages devoid of actors and spectators. Places suspended in an indefinite temporality other than the one enclosed in the installation  around them. It is no coincidence that the artists always place some of their sculptures in the shop window ,as not to limit the view only to the gallery, allowing it to contextualize it in the urban environment that contains it.

Like many other works, the Wish you were not here series is produced with modest means, with no post-production effects. Milica Mijajlović and Nikola Emma Ryšavá presents their work in extremely profane frames and in displays never over the top. A poetic language that escapes from any ostentation typical of the contemporary world, declaring itself deliberately and provocatively conceptual.

The absence of a real plot in Wish you were not here could be symbolically associated with the density of the works presented within the collective installation . It’s exactly that suspension, to act as a common denominator in all of  Mijajlović and  Ryšavás  works, who, in fact, affirmed “the virtually missing plot is probably the main motive in our work and is related to the idea of inner emptiness, and expectation. The productive significance of the void may have different reasons, for us it is essentially a lack of content. It is like the exact construction of confusion; a big mess, and very open in meaning “.

In the second room of the gallery, the exhibition of the Mark Divo is being restaged in a reduced version and readapted into a kind of cabinet. An environment densely populated by sculptures, photographs and a super 8 projection that suggests the atmosphere could be anywhere.


Mark Divo, 2017

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