As promised earlier this week, here’s a few notes about Danilo Milovanović, a super talented artist whose work i discovered at the Fotopub, the festival of young art and “unconventional curatorial gestures” which took place in early August in Novo Mesto, Slovenia.


Danilo Milovanović, Spontaneous Installations, Prague, Czech Republic. Photo courtesy of the artist


Danilo Milovanović, Note.Link.Transfer, 2019. Photo: Janez Klenovšek for Fotopub

Invited back to Novo Mesto for a solo show after winning the Fotopub Portfolio Prize last year, Danilo Milovanović was presenting a research on the relationship between the various phenomena visible (but often overlooked) in the public space and their exhibiting potential.

It was rather unusual for him to have his work exhibited in the safe, white setting of a gallery. Because his works are inspired by the privatisation of public space and natural resources, they tend to feel more at ease in the street.

His public space interventions are playful and smart. Poetic and subtle. With just a few strokes, a space, object or situation gets a new depth and significance. You might pass by one of his works and fail to detect its existence but once you’ve spotted Milovanović’s small alterations of the urban landscape, you can’t help but mull over their socio-political meaning.

Milovanović doesn’t have a website at the moment so i’ll simply list below some of his actions of resistance to the capitalist-consumer invasion of urban space:


Danilo Milovanović, Plastic makes it static, Novo Mesto, Slovenia, 2017. Photo courtesy of the artist


Danilo Milovanović, Plastic makes it static, Novo Mesto, Slovenia, 2017. Photo courtesy of the artist

In 2017, the artist filled hundreds of discarded bottles of water with the water the fountain on a public square in Novo Mesto. He then pilled up the bottles inside the deactivated fountain, highlighting how excessive packaging and our careless reliance on ‘convenience’ bring about the threat of fresh water depletion.


Danilo Milovanović, Product, Novo Mesto, Slovenia, 2017. Photo courtesy of the artist


Danilo Milovanović, Product, Novo Mesto, Slovenia, 2017. Photo courtesy of the artist

That same year, Milovanović also collected some of the brand labels glued on imported fruit sold in Novo Mesto supermarkets. He then pasted the stickers on the growing fruits of a living tree. “With this, I wanted to achieve ‘branded’ fruit effect before it became recognized as an ‘edible product of nature’ (a quote from one of the labels),” he wrote. “The work presents a provocative comment on the consumerist policy of the food industry.”


Danilo Milovanović, Cultivation, Celje, Slovenia. Photo courtesy of the artist


Danilo Milovanović, Cultivation, Celje, Slovenia, 2018. Photo courtesy of the artist


Danilo Milovanović, Cultivation, Celje, Slovenia, 2018. Photo courtesy of the artist


Danilo Milovanović, Cultivation, Celje, Slovenia, 2018. Photo courtesy of the artist

Last year while he was in Celje (Slovenia), he gave some nobility to the plants that have grown up from gaps or damages in urban infrastructures. Usually perceived as unwelcome weeds, these plants don’t benefit from any kind of respect or care. Unlike the plants people grow in their apartments or on their balcony for decorative purposes. Milovanović put clay pots around street plants, emphasising their presence and intrinsic value.


Danilo Milovanović, Switch, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Photo courtesy of the artist


Danilo Milovanović, Switch, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Photo courtesy of the artist


Danilo Milovanović, Switch, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Photo courtesy of the artist

For Switch, the artist collected the fallen leaves of two trees growing in the center of Ljubljana. He kept them in bags in his studio until the summer came back. As soon as the trees turned green again, he returned the foliage under on of the trees, creating an absurd situation that hinted at a problem that is less apparent in urban settings than in rural areas: global warming and the upsetting of natural cycles.


Danilo Milovanović, The Ślimak Project at Katowice Street Art Urban Sound 2019


Danilo Milovanović, The Ślimak Project at Katowice Street Art Urban Sound 2019

Noticing a homeless in Katowice using abandoned cars as living spaces, Milovanović transformed a minivan, modelling it on a squat with basic elements of furniture inside and flowerpots and storage boxes outside. The Ślimak Project was both an artistic object and a functional dwelling for the most invisibilized actors of society. Although the original installation offers a certain amount of usability, there are no rules to use it or add or adapt the structure and its content. “The installation is not meant to be a commercial, public attraction, but the very opposite, an intriguing phenomenon in public space.”

I could go on and on, telling you how Milovanović planted trees in front of all the advertising signs on a given street to hide the advertising; or how he joined two green spaces separated by a concrete road in Prague with a grassland-shaped surfaces, creating a continuous ‘organic’ path that remained at the site for eight months. But i’ll stop here and hope his portfolio gets a proper online home soon.


Danilo Milovanović, Re-post, Prague, Czech Republic. Photo courtesy of the artist


Danilo Milovanović, Spontaneous Installations, Prague, Czech Republic. Photo courtesy of the artist


Danilo Milovanović, exhibition Opening: Note:Link:Transfer at Prešernov Trg 8. Photo by Janez Klenovšek, Fotopub Archive


Danilo Milovanović, Note.Link.Transfer, 2019. Photo by Klemen Ilovar, Fotopub Archive


Danilo Milovanović, Note.Link.Transfer, 2019. Photo by Klemen Ilovar, Fotopub Archive

Previously: A collection of pre-9/11 memorabilia, meditation with a bit of Anthropocene thrown in, etc. This was Fotopub 2019.

This article was originally published at We-make-money-not-art.com