By Vladimir Tomic
A WORKS presents a number of Vladimir Tomic’s video works from his time at the art academy in Copenhagen. The video works focus on aspects of life that we today prefer to avoid facing. This comes to life in a peculiar mixture of documentary and staging. Building on people and places from “the real world” and using few cinematographic instruments Vladimir Tomic creates a unique universe that through visual and aural moods describes a very private condition in relation to a larger social situation.
The trilogy, consisting of the works Dead Nature and Movement (4 min.), The Mailman (7 min.) and The Pianist (8 min.) is a poetic portrait of life in an institution for the elderly. At the same time, these descriptions are a critique of the ability of the institutions to overtake our identity and existence. In that sense it is a sad and serious portrait of the residential homes in Denmark. Both silence and time are used as powerful tools. In Dead Nature and Movement the viewer follows an old woman who is left in a wheelchair positioned at a dining table. The woman is not moved, but through the fragmentary editing the viewer senses how the day progresses at a brisk pace - not least because of the clock on the wall. The film only lasts for 4 minutes and 20 seconds, but sill the viewer feels the reality of the drawn out time for nursing home residents. In The Mailman and The Pianist, which are also documentary in their base, Tomic goes even closer. The spectator is placed behind the camera as a hidden viewer behind the mirror where we are situated face to face with the residents Knud and Charlie. With simple levers and instruments the films draw revealing and touching portraits of the two men and their history before they arrived at the nursing home.
THE VALLEY OF SHADOWS, 2006 (12 min.)
In The Valley of Shadows, Vladimir Tomic has the camera objectively recording the funeral process of an unknown person, passed away with no next of kin by their side. In three stages we witness the church ceremony, the crematorium and ultimately the lowering of the urn in the cemetery ground. As in his 2004 trilogy, Tomic questions the institutional structure that governs our view of social and human values. In a complex state between intimacy and distance the viewer is confronted with an imprint of a thoroughly rationalised society with no real human appeal. The choir in the church is heard but not seen; the priest preaches in an anonymous and empty hall; the mechanised procedure of cremation proceeds with virtually no human involvement. The Valley of Shadows leaves an image of a world whose greatest malady, according to the artist, is loneliness.
ECHO, 2005 (17 min.)
ECHO is an art film dealing with war and the consequences of war for a person being forced to leave his home country during early childhood. It is a personal documentary, an autobiographical journey back to Sarajevo – a place that the artist left in 1992 because of the war in former Yugoslavia. At the same time it also shows the chaos the war has caused in a city with obvious traces of its past. Throughout the film we follow the artist as he endeavours on a search for answers to existential and identity-related questions. As such it is a search for remnants of himself as well as an attempt to find meaning in the incomprehensible. With the small story within the larger, the film addresses a generation still haunted by the shadows that the war has thrown as well as the obvious and conclusive loss of human innocence.
MY LOST GENERATION, 2009 (31 min.)
My Lost Generation is Tomic final project from the Academy of Arts in Copenhagen and was displayed at a unique arrangement on January 11th 2010 at Krabbesholm.
Vladimir Tomic graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen in 2009. He was awarded the debutant price for his work My Lost Generation. He has participated in the Fall Exhibition at Charlottenborg Kunsthal in Copenhagen in 2006 and Berlin Preview in 2008. Latest he participated in the CPH: DOX festival in 2009 where he was nominated for several awards.
Directors commentary TO 'my lost generation'
By Vladimir Tomic
This film was born out of my personal desperation to understand and deal with the consequences that the war in former Yugoslavia had left on me as well as on my generation. It was a voice I for a long time have kept inside of me, but have not understood fully. When I met a group of young artists and filmmakers who are of same origin as I and who also came to Denmark as refugees, I automatically sensed the connection between us. We were all somehow torn apart by the feeling of being a part of something indefinable. In us three time periods were living by each other. The time before the war, the war and now. As I stepped deeper in to this subject I realized that there I had a need of better understanding of the Balkan conflict. On various occasions I visited Bosnia and Herzegovina and filmed the places where during the war many horrible things have taken place. This experience led me in to a great depression, but also in greater understanding of society and politics. Never the less I entered the darker side of the human nature and tried to picture it.
“My Lost Generation” is dedicated to my friends and my generation. Where ever you are.