Whether videotaping pirated film screenings in developing countries or staging a performance drawing together a city’s guest workers and its art world, Milica Tomic addresses the global complexities of identity. Her dialectical projects, primarily realized through video, connect contemporary society with recent social and political history.
One represents many in Tomic’s absorbing, large-scale projections. I am Milica Tomic (1998/99) explores the constructed, accidental necessity (Friedrich Hegel) of national identity. In the video loop Tomic successively repeats her name in various languages and takes on associated nationalities—Ich bin Milica Tomic, Ich bin Deutsch; Jaz sem Milica Tomic, Jaz sem Slovenka. Despite wounds miraculously appearing with each phrase confidently uttered, the artist calmly continues until her bloodied body transforms back to its pristine condition. The work not only evokes the violent and indestructible nature of statehood, but also a global dislocation of body, mind, perception, and reality. It, like Tomic’s other projects, reflects on geographic and cultural disparity, and suggests that through nationality and language the reality of both individuals and societies take shape.
Milica Tomic received her MA from the Acadamy of Fine Arts, Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro in 1990. Solo shows include Secession, Vienna, Austria and Museum of Modern Art, Arnhem, Holland, both in 2000. Group exhibitions include the 8th International Istanbul Biennial, Turkey (2003); 50th Venice Biennale, Italy (2003); and XXIV Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil (1998). Tomic lives in Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro.