Troubled history through the eyes of two artists from ex-Yugoslavian states

DATES, a collaborative project by Roman Uranjek and Radenko Milak began in 2014, after realizing that both of them tied their artistic work to the domain of cultural and political activism. Each of the two artists was born and raised in Tito’s Yugoslavia and lived through its political collapse, the consequences of which remain palpable today. Though they belong to different generations and have different backgrounds, they have a great deal in common, for instance their perspectives on political history, society and art, which creates common ground for their cooperative work as artists.

The exhibition in Ani Molnár Gallery presents the latest works of the DATES series, but  besides their common project, the artists’ latest individual works will also be on display.  The new works, like the earlier ones of the joint series DATES, raise universal questions. This show is another stage and interaction among time, space, history and politics, as well as a thought-provoking intellectual challenge for the viewer. Together, the works by the two artists create a contemporary art puzzle, which bears countless layers of significance for interpretation.

The project focuses on well-known or long-forgotten photo documentations of the 20th century, which the two artists process in different ways, both giving them new connotations. Uranjek collects images from different periods of history and presents them as one collage, constructing a narrative based on the avant-garde aesthetics of storytelling. Milak reworks photojournalistic images into monochrome watercolours, in his latest series for example he reflects on the events of the 20th Hungarian history. The protagonists of the diptychs are taken from all over the world and from different historical periods, however they still deliver strong messages for the present. They create a sort of gesture, which is able to confront the past with the present. At the same time, they shed light on the fact that the notion of the progression of history and society is illusory and often merely serves to conceal the fact that we are living in a repetition of history.

Radenko Milak (1980) was born in Travnik, Roman Uranjek (1961) was born in Trbovlje both cities were part of the former Yugoslavia. Uranjek was the founding member of the Slovenian art collective IRWIN and a member of the Neue Slovenische Kunst (NSK). Radenko Milak collaborated with him when representing Bosnia and Herzegovina at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017. Both artists have already showed their works at several prestigious international institutions and biennials.

Opening: 26 June 2019, Wednesday, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Opening speech: Krisztina Szipőcs, art historian, Deputy Director, Ludwig Museum Budapest
Curator: Annamária Molnár
On view until: 5 October 2019, from Tuesday to Friday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., on Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m