Milan Milojevic: Wunderkammerama

From top:
Milan Molojevic:
Wunderkammerama Objects, Digital prints, paper constructions and dome, 2017. Photo: Natalie Mendham

 

 

Fishface (the eyes follow you around the room), Digital print paper construction, 2017. Photo: Natalie Mendham

 

And your bird can sing, Digital prints, birds paper constructions and dome, 2017 (detail). Photo: Natalie Mendham

Milan Milojevic discusses Wunderkammerama, part of the Dark Mofo festival in Tasmania

Imprint: Can you outline the foundation ideas for this show, especially your interest in the wunderkammer?

MM: I was approached by Tracey Cockburn, Arts and Cultural Development Coordinator of the Rosny Farm, to see whether I would be interested in having an exhibition in the Rosny Barn as part of Dark Mofo. I was excited by the idea and put in a proposal and it was, thankfully accepted by Tracey and Dark Mofo. It’s a difficult venue , certainly not what I was used to, but it has a lot of atmosphere and I had to think outside of my usual exhibiting practice. My work for the past decade or so has focused on creating imaginary worlds and based on the Jorge Luis Borges book titled The Book of Imaginary Beings, published in 1967. My visual language is informed and inspired by the aesthetics and visual language developed by 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th century engravers and naturalist artists. I’m interested in museum diaoramas, the worlds Joseph
Cornell created. Wunderkammers and idiosyncratic collections and curiosities are also a strong influence on my work. So this exhibition gave me the opportunity to create my own wunderkammer, which offered a more challenging approach to my practice of breaking through the traditional two-dimensional print and creating three-dimensional paper constructions- objects in domes, small sculptural hybrids and an installation comprising of almost 200 printed birds. One of the highlights was a series of prints that had the surface embellished with beads and glitter by my wife Joybelle, who is an artist/sculptor.
Imprint: What were the challenges with putting this show together from a printmaking perspective?
MM: The challenges were in the space itself, there were restrictions because of its heritage status, there was  no way I could hang work directly on the beautiful sandstone walls, there were panels but I didn’t like that look so I wallpapered a number of panels. The building had great ambience and atmosphere so I realised it had to be a ‘theatrical’ installation and the idea of a wunderkammer fitted really well.
Imprint: Tell us about the imagery contained and how you compiled and explored these?
MM: I guess the exhibition gave me the opportunity to push the imagery further into sculpture. One work comprises 44 books of different sizes covered with my images, so it looks like a mini library, titled Unnatural histories.
Imprint: Is the setting for the show of especial interest – likewise is its inclusion in Dark Mofo significant?
MM: It is important, it’s great to have been included in Dark Mofo – the list of artists, performers, musicians is impressive – and I felt that I had to really lift my game to be involved and that was a great inspiration for my practice. It was a great risk in trying something else and it has now given me some great ideas to carry on with.

– Andrew Stephens

Wunderkammerama is at Rosny Barn, Hobart, until June 25