A few years ago I had washing machine which during its washing process was shaking so much that anything put on it would fall down by its skipping. Once there was a plate left on it, a plain cheep plate. I found out it, of course, only after I got back home and found it on the floor, broken into pieces. I had no special attachment to that plate because there were plenty of its kind and they were rather ugly, you could say. So, that was not the reason why I put those pieces together and covered it with Scotch tape. Only two or three little pieces were missing, one shaped like a sharp-angled triangle located somewhere in the middle; a sharp-angled fissure with three cracking lines up to it. And two smaller parts that were missing on the plate edges. It was an ordinary white plate, polished, with a blue ring, circle along the edge, but not right next to the edge, but as a smaller circle within the plate. A plain plate which can be seen and served in any city restaurant. So, it was not its original beauty what made me assemble it again. However, I had a certain undefined feeling about it; broken into pieces, it looked much more interesting than when it was unbroken. If I assembled it again, I would give it back its original purpose! That’s what I did. At that time I was drawing a door that led to a little, narrow balcony. Drawing it, I was glancing time to time at the assembled plate which was put on the table beside me. Once in a while I would take it in my hands and watch it, turning it over and observing it. It was something extremely interesting and suggestible in that plate, but I could never find out what! So I began to draw it. In the beginning the drawings were small and realistic; as if I was trying to draw the plate as it was, silly, boring and broken. In fact I felt myself a bit silly, while sitting over that broken plate, trying to find something in it. My roommate, who was also a painter, was watching me and laughing at me, saying: “Are you mad? Milos is drawing broken plates!” On the whole, in the beginning I was feeling pretty silly, until I took a few days later all my drawings of a plate that I had made and scribble them all over with thick charcoal... A few hours later, reviewing the sketches, I realized that I had rounded them up all in fact! Inserting lines of cracking inside the circle ... making firm, thick lines. They were clear and began to explain something. I had about thirty papers of 100x70 cm. I took a big paint-brush, mixed black pigment with some glue and started to draw just plain circles. I was trying to make a perfect circle by one stroke ... a gesture! I kept looking at the plate over and over again, bringing myself into it. I was examining those cracks with magnifying glass, until I began to draw them as well, picking out only parts of a crack and magnifying them dozens of times. As a result, series of sketches were made, which I was for some reason very satisfied with, although they represented nothing: just circles ... Yet, they were somehow alive. After a few days of drawing I was out of paper and I stopped. I left drawings and didn’t touch them the whole next day. When I looked at them the next day, I found them very interesting, but they didn’t mean anything to me. As if they were only a guidance. I didn’t have a feeling of realization. Beyond them there was nothing. All of them were well drawn, but they seemed somehow compressed and claustrophobic! I realized that the format 100x70 became small. So I bought white packaging paper, two rolls 1,25x25 m each, cut them, joined them and got squared formats 2,5x2,5 meters. During the assembling I left one half to be 10 cm shorter than the other, emphasizing each part separately! Those were the dimensions of the wall in front of me: the room was small, like a corridor, with about 2,6 meters of width, about 4 meters of depth and 2,6 m of height. I placed the paper on the floor. I walked over it. It was the biggest surface I’ve been working on at that time, and I wanted to feel the width of the format, smooth structure of the paper. There was a big white surface bellow me, which was almost frightening. I took a big dry brush and began to simulate movements over the paper. I was standing in the center. A symmetrical circle should be made, without stopping, in one stroke. I was holding the plate in hand and watching the paper bellow me. I was fully conscious of the plate and of the paper ... but I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I prepared black paint, took the brush, stood at the center of the format and in one round stroke made a circle on the paper, so that the extremities ended in the upper right corner with 30 cm of distance in between: an interrupted circle. In the same rhythm I drew cracks, cracked circle, with about 6 – 7 cracks, and with that sharp-angled fissure beyond the middle. That was it. I stopped and watched: I’ve got a precise drawing of a broken circle – plate. That was the explanation. The right thing was only about to be done. I waited until the drawing was dried up, rolled it and willinglessly put it aside. I was attracted by its easiness, the spontaneity of the moment when it was made, and I didn’t want to move apart from it! I prepared another format of the same dimensions, with one part shorter, like the previous one. This time I hung the paper on the wall in front of me. It had exactly the same size of the wall, like wallpaper: 2,5 m x 2,5 m. I took a brush, tried to make a precise circle, like one I did before... Of course, I didn’t make it, but I left it open in the upper right corner, like on the other one! I needed here something else. This drawing I should have made, built, created from the beginning – a new piece of work. And it requires time. But the first drawing explains the second one, what means that I’m starting from that one and have already made one step... This was the plate which was to be created. The first drawing was a diagram which will only just find its place and role. I have completely watered down the paint and begun searching for a circle... It lasted for hours. The paint was becoming darker and darker. In the meantime I lined several times cracks within the circle washing them out with water afterwards. There was only a trace left behind, a mist... Creating slowly an atmosphere. I was starting to be aware of what I was doing, what I was making and how this drawing was going to be. As if I was coming out of a trance. It’s been more than eight hours since I’ve started, and all my movements were going along with the course of the circle, up to the points where it was broken. I was watching the plate and correcting my strokes. The line of the circle was becoming heavier, more massive and the space within it began twinkling! The paper got ripped here and there: as if the cracks came open, darkened along the edges. The drawing was becoming an object. And then, as if it flashed upon me! I had a look at the plate and saw what I was drawing: it was the thick blue line of the circle along the plate edge, interrupted at the place where a part was missing! Interrupted, broken circle... as if the whole story became clear to me. I was drawing the circle as if I knew all of a sudden what I was doing. I was filling it up with black pigment which I was no longer mixing with glue, but only with some water, and straight onto the paper. Black paint was settling to the bottom in layers. Fat circle, interrupted in the upper right corner, was: firm, clear, huge, rough and crude! The perfect one! When I moved away a bit and started to work from a bigger distance, I was getting to be aware of the atmosphere that it was producing. As if it was some primitive sign. It was almost done and I needed to clean it up in some places. The end, finishing is like a job already done, details... It’s easy now. The most difficult thing is to understand what you are doing! When my roommate came along a little bit later, carrying some boxes and looked in the room, he stopped as if he saw a miracle: “This is incredible!” he said. I backed away and watched him standing in front of the drawing 2,5x2,5 meters. It was like he entered the drawing and became its part. With pools of black water that was pouring down the wall during my work, and with hazy neon illumination; there was no natural light in the room. He looked as if he was standing in front of the altar of some church. Standing and watching, wordless. Some time later an architect bought off that drawing and, together with the first one, framed it and put them on the wall making two squares of 2,5x2,5 m, with 5 cm of depth, putting two big glasses over them. Luxurious, lavishly equipped, with excellent illumination. The drawings really had an extraordinary effect. However, my vision of those works stayed behind at that evening, on the wall, with spots and pools of black paint, stained walls, can, brush and my roommate standing in front of the circle. Later on I put some finishing touches to the first of these two works, defining it as a drawing of the moment of cracking of a plate: I intensified some lines and a part of the circle with green fluorescent car paint; as a matter of fact, I intensified those moments that represented the moment of cracking. They integrated the drawing beneath as if they were created in one breath. I intensified more the cracking, so that car paint was pouring down the paper like oil. Both works were holding each other like two puzzles. The first one was a reconstruction of a moment – a moment of creation of the second drawing. And the second drawing was the essence: a symbol or a sign that meant time. A moment shown by interruption. The first one is introduction to the second one’s space. That was the plate which I once had found broken on the floor of the kitchen and which I, for some unknown reason, put together with Scotch tape.
Biography: BIOGRAPHY EDUCATION Milos Dmitrijevic was born in Belgrade in 1975. 1996. - 2001. Graduated at the Faculty of Plastic Arts, University of Fine Arts in Belgrade. Subject: printing. 1998. - 2000. Facultad de Bellas Artes, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Guest student. Subject: Painting, Drawing and Printmaking. 2001. - 2003. Graduated as a Master of Graphic Arts at the Faculty of Plastic Arts, University of Fine Arts in Belgrade. AWARDS AND EXHIBITIONS 1996. - 1998. Scholarship from Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia. 1998. - 1999. Scholarship from Ministry of Education of Spain. 2000. - 2001. Award of Faculty of Plastic Arts, University of Fine Arts in Belgrade, “?or?e Andrejevi? – Kun”, graphic award. 1999. “Visual Effects” - presentation of drawings as a two-dimensional visual effects applied in space (interiors and exteriors). In collaboration with studio “Andres Dancausa – Arquitectura interior”, Madrid. 2001. Gallery “FLU”, Belgrade. Group exhibition. 2003. Gallery “Graficki kolektiv”, Belgrade. Group exhibition. 2003. Pavilion “Cvijeta Zuzuric”, Belgrade. Group exhibition. 2003. “Transformation, imprint, trail”. Solo exhibition. Gallery “FLU”, Belgrade. 2005. “Closed circuits”, Belgrade City Museum. Group exhibition: Dejan Atanackovic, Milos Dimitrijevic, Jelena Trpkovic, Milan Bosnic, Dragan Aleksic, Mariela Cvetic, Mihael Milunovic, Martha Rosler, Ivan Stojakovic, Jocelyn Pook, Tom Phillips, Maria Calic, Istvan Horkay, Peter Greenaway. Exhibition conceived by: Nikola Suica From 1999, in collaboration with studio “Andres Dancausa – Arqutectura interior” he has been presenting his work (painting, drawing and prints) as two-dimensional visual effects applied in interiors and exteriors.
Site: Milos Dimitrijevic
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