On Love Afterwards: A Public Montage by Milica Tomić
Renowned performance and media artist Milica Tomić from the Institute of Contemporary Art is currently exhibiting at Kunsthalle Wien.
Her work is being shown as part of a group exhibition, which originally opened on March 8th and has now been extended until 4th October. Her piece On Love Afterwards is a public montage in which Tomić reconstructs a symbolic, non-material monument dedicated to political imaginations of the past and present, juxtaposing different histories of resistance. By using methods of non-linear film montage, she questions violence as a reaction to terror and addresses the erasure of particular historical narratives around the roles of perpetrator and victim as well as the use of civil disobedience. The photographic material and videos show Tomić carrying an oversized fragment of a photo of 25 state leaders, taken during the first Non-Aligned Movement summit in Belgrade in 1961. This confederation represented a move away from both binary world politics and the influence of colonialism and neo-colonialism. However, the emancipation and peace in the member states was achieved through force, just as Belgrade’s anti-Fascists had resorted to violence during WWII. Originally this action in Vienna was to replicate Tomić’s 2009 performance in Belgrade (One day, instead of one night, a burst of machine-gun fire will flash, if light cannot come otherwise), in which she revisited sites of anti-Fascist armed action, carrying a Kalashnikov rifle and a plastic supermarket bag. However, security concerns made this impossible in Vienna, even without a real gun.
On Love Afterwards also formed the framework of an unconventional panel discussion that took place on 2nd February 2020 in Burgtheater Kasino and also included student contributions from Budour Khalil, Amir Kozman, Lung Peng and Philipp Sattler amongst others from TU Graz.