Art as analytical approach to society
Head or Tail is a series in which Milica Dukić continues her post-conceptual and experimental artistic process that she developed through the series Reverse – Of People. It is a combination of the medium of photography and artistic embroidery that results in objects in space that can be viewed from both their “fronts” and “reverse”. She developed them after her research in the form of free-standing canvases and light-boxes. Similar to open constructions, these objects show the deconstructed creative process of an artist who starts from digital photography prints on large format canvases, as mechanically reproducible objects, and further applies manual embroidery using threads of different thicknesses and colours. In that way, the photographs gain texture and new artistic value, and the embroidery becomes an abstract intervention, almost a drawing.
Combining the mechanical, reproducible medium and manual embroidery, which cannot be literally copied, is a process that in Milica Dukić’s artistic practice has more than artistic and technical value. She mostly uses photographs that she took (with a few exceptions, selected from family albums), which means that their creation was preceded by an encounter/confrontation with a certain theme/motif, and then a selection. For her works with “fronts” and “reverses,” that is, for works that have heads and tails – two sides as a coin, Dukić depicts presentations of marginal groups and less visible faces of the social environment such as the poor, young girls, people with special needs. With her works, she approaches social reality analytically, pointing out the lack of inclusiveness and dealing with the problems of inequality. The allusion to the coin (head or tail) further indicates that both sides of the coin are equally important for its value, that is, that all members of society, both those less visible on the margins and the majority, are equally valuable and important for society as a whole to have a value.