Silent Supper, 2023, Milena ZeVu, video work
Silent Supper, 2023, Milena ZeVu, video work
Silent Supper is a thought-provoking 10-minute video, set in the year 2084, curated by Nina Vagic. It captures a 12-actors’ live performance on Mamula Island, exploring the implications of advanced Artificial Intelligence on humanity’s existence.
Unframed, 2023, Milena ZeVu, performance
The Unframed Collections is inspired by the fundamental notion of self-awareness and the constant need to challenge one’s beliefs. This ‘thinking out of the box’ encourages fresh and profound views on life. Otherwise, any rigid approach that disregards deep introspection and analysis, leads to a ‘framed’ existence.
Butterfly, 2019-2021, Milena ZeVu, Giclée print
’I use a keyhole humanoid shape to inspire the observer to re-examine and question its attitude towards the Earth, and to channel the space between the physical and metaphysical worlds.’
ArtWalks Cities, 2016-2020, Milena ZeVu, Giclée print
‘Through the use of wearable canvases or the inclusion of the human body in the paintings, the ArtWalks leave space for meditation for anyone who comes across them.’
Art is Stuck, 2016, Milena ZeVu, Installation / Performance
‘I wanted to unite with my art in order to defend it and preserve its supreme independence and freedom.’
ArtWalks Cities, 2016-2020, Milena ZeVu, Giclée print
ArtWalks has no limits in space. The gallery walls are replaced with streets of different cities, which became the background for the artworks.
Through a mix of painting, installation, performance, and video, the ArtWalks represent the highest notes of the symphony composed by ZeVu: each series stands as a finished work, embracing specific themes each time, while simultaneously being strictly interconnected among them.’ Carlotta Mazzoli
A Journey into the Unseen, 2019-2020, Milena ZeVu
‘Artist is a warrior in a continued battle, constantly subjected to the test of endurance.’
Love your age, 2017, Milena ZeVu, Performance
‘For this project, which I named ‘Love your Age’, I decided to invite women who accepted that a better way to age is to change and evolve naturally over time.’
The Fall, 2020-2022, Milena ZeVu, Performance / Video
‘I have used drones to give the viewer a perception of moving up and down, from and into this dimension, as a kind of artistic awakening.’
Milena, Homage to artist Milena Pavlovic-Barilli, 2019, Performance
‘MILENA, from 2019, is the title of a very particular multimedial performance by ZeVu. It was part of an exhibition dedicated to the life and work of Milena Pavlovic-Barilli at Jevrem Grujic House in Belgrade. Here, the artist explored the versatility and complexity of Barilli’s art. She made the dress Barilli designed at the beginning of the last century and gave it a new contemporary interpretation. Then, she put it on and deeply, physically and emotionally, she engaged with her in contemplation on what it means to be a female artist in the past, in the present and in the future.’ Nina Vagic
From the photographic portrait of Grayson Perry by Richard Ansett
‘Homage portrait dedicated to controversial British contemporary artist Grayson Perry. Under Grayson’s image, she writes ‘ARTIST IS QUEEN’ on the canvas. During the pandemic, his alter ego Clair, could not exist and attend any art events, as there were none. After 2 years of her forced absence from the art scene, he says he is not up to dressing-up any more. He says that his transvestment requires 2 hours and that he cannot be bothered. Perry adds: ‘What is in interest today is not necessarily obvious, visible and on the surface and the pandemic has forced an end to the consumer spirit and generally anything that is excessive and unnecessary. The environment has benefited, forcing a long-overdue readjustment in our consumerism.’ Nina Vagic
I see a shadow in a human form, but at the same time, it’s an angel which I am aware of. Something pure, non-tangible, but always positive.
‘It is no coincidence that after Butterfly, Milena ZeVu, focused on Angels as the last stage of the human footprint on the planet and the next of a New Age period. Before humanity has even gotten over the pandemic, a new war is once again rocking Europe. In her own way, Milena ZeVu had predicted it!’ Yannis Kolokotronis
We are here, 2020, Belgrade, Milena ZeVu, Video work, Giclée print
Under lockdown. In our homes. With our new fears. Facing a new reality. Asking ourselves existential questions. But we know where we are. We are here. In this very moment. In the Now.
In May 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, she created the series of the performance Artwalks - cities, entitled 'We are here.'
I was trying to find a way, how to make the portraits alive.
‘A crystal for me is a tool to explain how energy and vibrations impact people, places, events and eventually – art.’ Milena ZeVu
Crystal was my tool to describe the beauty and power of magnificent Nature, threatened by the ignorance of mankind.
‘Milena fully coats the sculptures and ‘sculptural paintings’ with crystals of various colours and shades to draw attention to them as much as possible. In full splendour, these objects show the beauty and power of nature, as well as the magnificent variety of species that are unfortunately dying out due to human reckless attitude and behaviour.’ Nina Vagic
I am interested in my subconscious mind and how it affects my work and life.
‘DEEPER THAN YOU THINK’ is the title she gave to a series of abstract large-format autobiographical images designed as a record of her inner spiritual state, which she comes into through meditation. As time passes, the artist looks at the people around her, who, for different reasons in middle age, become depressed and bitter. The desire to defend herself against such fate is stronger than her fears and everyday problems she has to resolve.’ Nina Vagic
‘In the second decade of the 2000s, Milena produced a series of paintings where for the first time appear words and phrases which encourage even more interaction and provocation of the observer. Phrases from ‘NOT AWARE, SCARE OR TRACE’ are the essence of the artist’s daily thoughts and contemplations. The selection for the ArtWalks exhibition went to LOVE, THINK, and DECIDE. LOVE and THINK are two canvases filled with an abstract mess, while DECIDE is characterised by a more rigorous structure of clear lines on the left part and on the right, they are driven to essence. The words are pointed out by crystals that are there to draw our attention to the meaning of the word at a certain moment. Everything is transient and therefore the meaning as well. The 4th painting from the ‘SCAR OR TRACE’ serial in this cell, does not have any writing. Language is no longer a method of dialogue. Communication switches to alternative channels. Here, the Scar or the Trace, as a record of the irreversible passage of time, is underscored by a long line of tiny crystals. According to some beliefs, crystals are given miraculous and healing power. They have a special anatomic structure that passes on the vibrations and energy that our body can receive and thus self-heal. There are also beliefs that crystals are living beings.’ Nina Vagic
I am interested in relationships between Man, Nature and the Divine. Codex symbolises the common energy code in all things.
‘The artist’s interest is focused on the energy that circulates between the object and the body, between the physical item and the living, and explores the boundaries of existence and eternity. This contrast and polar coexistence are accentuated by pailettes and later crystals fixed to acrylic, which are rising from the two-dimensional surface of the canvas. Through releasing from the two-dimensional surface and directing towards the third dimension, we enter the space of metaphysical energy surrounding us and the objects. Symbolically, ZeVu gives life to a canvas, contemplates the existence and duality of its duration and explores the relationship between man, nature and spirit. This knowledge comes to the artists through meditation that triggers visions, influences communication and dialogue, concept and ideas emitted by the final art object.’ Nina Vagic
The first works to use this dual nature of pause and counterpoint are the Tapitture. Introduced in 2001, these works represent the perfect fusion of painting and installation. Conceived as hybrids halfway between a painting and a carpet, the Tapitture works extend from the wall to the surrounding settings, becoming actual environmental installations. In this first series, ZeVu already embraces the idea of involving the viewer, directly and indirectly, in her works. The Tapitture are not just works that inhabit the space, extending beyond the usual confines of a painting. But rather, they serve as a guide, and direct the viewer’s vision, making them a participant and an observer at the same time. Used as works in their own right or as part of powerful performances, like in the “ONE” performance and installation piece, the Tapitture are the first melodic line in Milena ZeVu’s production.’ Carlotta Mazzoli
Milena ZeVu is a Serbian multimedia conceptual artist. She is the creator of the ArtWalks concept which is a combination of paintings, video works, body art, and performance.
Milena ZeVu was born in Belgrade, where she graduated from the Academy of Applied Arts. She has been an active artist since 2001. ArtWalks concept includes works from her early paintings, in which she experiments with various techniques and art forms, via body art, installations and video works, all the way to public performances and usage of latest technologies.
‘Milena has always wanted her art to be dynamic. She had a feeling that she should merge with her work and become one with it. This process was slow, it involved a lot of meditative practice and analytical thinking, which Milena enjoyed immensely. She painted her body, her clothes the same way she was painting canvases, which would soon disappear to be replaced by new ones. ArtWalks emphasises Milena’s need to free art from conventional exhibition spaces, as well as from the dominant Western system of contemporary art, to which artists are strongly subordinated. Milena blends with the work, in order to defend and preserve the independence and freedom of art.’ Nina Vagic, Art Critic