Textile Newspapers

The video > Textile (Tactile) Newspapers (0:45)

The only inclusive newspapers

The Textile Newspapers project is another collaboration of the visual artist Milica Dukić with the
teachers and users of “Milan Petrović M.D.” school in Novi Sad, the school whose mission is to
educate and train children and adults with all kinds of disabilities, throughout their entire lives.
The project was initiated with the aim of problematizing the quantity and quality of (visual)
information that we get by browsing/reading the daily press. Dukić started the project
independently in 2020, when she created the Super express object on the occasion of her
participation in the Art Book – Object exhibition in the Žad gallery in Belgrade. It was a textile
book made of pillowcases on which the Polish daily newspaper Super express was copied with
indigo, while the contours and colour surfaces were embroidered, in short – stylized
photographic materials from the pages of that newspaper were re-created using embroidery.
After the Polish newspaper, Dukić realized an embroidered “copy” of Serbian daily papers Kurir,
in cooperation with the users of the “Milan Petrović M.D.” day care programme, which was
exhibited at the Youth Biennale in Belgrade in 2021. Results of this collaboration are also the
textile newspapers/objects Danas and Večernje novosti, which are exhibited for the first time as
part of this exhibition, as well as a textile “copy” of Hungarian daily newspaper Blikk.
The textile objects created by this collaboration and technique apply pop-artistic and
postmodernist process of reproducing and transmedializing objects of mass culture into the
world of art. Like the artists of pop-art and postmodernism who sought to point out that
consumer culture and the post-Fordist mass production are becoming the main features of the
modern age, and that everything we use has actually been chosen for us by someone, the Textile
Newspapers project points to the abundance of visual material that is mass-produced for us,
quickly consumed and even faster thrown away. However, Textile Newspapers goes a few steps
further. By randomly selecting one daily issue of a daily newspaper from three countries, the
artist indirectly creates an overview of the years in which these issues were printed, an overview
that will create an interesting picture of these years when viewed in the future, from a distance.
Judging by these newspapers, in 2020, 2021 and 2022, the pandemic occupies only a minor
place, while there is much more information about celebrities, so a viewer in future will not
really have much information about what happened during these years. This becomes evident
only when one issue is artistically decontextualized from the discourse of the daily press and
seen in a new light, and not as a short-lived, expendable, everyday, colourful entertainment and
Significant contribution of the Textile Newspapers is that daily newspapers – not only from
Serbia, but also from Poland and Hungary – become inclusive in three ways: through the process
of creating textile objects, through the embroidery technique that allows the blind and visually
impaired to experience the “pages”, and by exhibiting the objects at several branches of the City
Library in Novi Sad, which brings contemporary art directly to their users. Through the project,
the users of “Milan Petrović M.D.” school’s day care centre directly participated in the creation of
a contemporary work of art (through the selection of embroidery techniques, thread colours,
stylization of visual materials) as well as later in its presentation and promotion. Thus, the
project that started from the idea of ​​problematizing the amount of visual information that is
served to us through daily press points to broader social topics, such as the non-inclusivity of
daily newspapers and mass culture in general, the inclusiveness of contemporary art, creative
contribution through participatory projects, the benefits of cooperation between educational and
cultural institutions with artists and citizens’ associations.

Sonja Jankov

Persons who contributed in the creation process of the work:

Vesna Višekruna, Milica Brkić, Ankica Moravek, Jelena Stefanoska, Natalija Vladisavljević, Emili Tomaš, Miljana Šelver, Majda Kerešević, Snežana Bulatović, Maja Kerkez, Ivana Batori, Valentina Petrušić, Rajna Janković, Danijela Klobučar, Kali Petrović, Dunja Kovačević, Mirjana Relja, Vladislava Čitlučanin, Маgdalena Ilić, Marina Skandarski Haman, Ester Dino, Vered Dudu, Snežana Jeremić, Atila Kolompar.