The perspective ones on the margin

Sanja Ćopić and Milan Đorđević


May 10th – 19th

We could say that Sanja Ćopić and Milan Đorđević are young, unrecognized, emerging artists. They both have art school diplomas, a certain exhibiting experience, but also full-time employment in entirely different fields. They are both recipients of awards that labeled them as perspective, up-and-coming artists, but they wonder how this title determines them in an artistically small and marginal environment, in which art is considered an unpromising profession.

Young artists find themselves in a gap between the recent parting with their student status and being acclaimed and recognized artists. They do various jobs that provide them with livelihoods, so they don’t engage in doing art on a regular basis. In this scenario, what does art present? A job, a career, or an expensive hobby? Since it generates no income, could it be defined as a hobby: an activity to do in your spare time that is pleasurable and entertaining? If what you got educated for is reduced to a hobby, is there a way to have a serious, committed relationship to it? Most of them don’t have studios, but produce art in apartments, bedrooms and garages, that later often serve as inappropriate storage for artworks which can get damaged or lost. Production funds are mostly non-existent, so the final product is often affected more by financing, than the original conception.

Insecurity is a part of beginnings, but a lack of support and a clear goal, excessive self-criticism, striving for the imagined ideal, and great expectations, lead to a paralyzing fear of failure. In his work Milan is extroverted. He is torn between personal poetics and visual fantasies, on the one side, and the desire to get a public recognition for his works, on the other. Sometimes, he becomes aware of the limited reach of his artistic career, and then he enjoys leisure time, or rewards himself with a beautiful object. On the other hand, Sanja is turned inwards. For her, the most difficult thing is to face herself, and to take herself and her work seriously, overcome eternal procrastination and excuses, doing things at the last moment, improvising and slacking. She struggles to leave the vicious circle of questioning her self-worth, honesty and dedication to her work, self-pity and whining, and tries to deal with a sense of responsibility towards her talent, education, and a vision of her future career.

Looking at it from different perspectives, but based on deeply personal feelings and questions, they surpass subjective constraints, and tackle existential and professional issues that are of concern to the entire art scene. From their attempts and motives to create art, over questioning their positions in the field, all the way to their relationship to the audience and critics, Sanja and Milan are open about not having a solution for these issues – but, they hope that through working, exhibiting and engaging in a discussion, they will be a bit closer to overcoming them. 

Text: Sanda Kalebić
Photo: Ema Teokarević, N. Ivanović