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Or paper's extroversion
We meet with Eddi Milkovitsch in the recently refurbished Urbanis bar - sipping a cocktail…or two! We talk freely, short phrases filled with essence.
In a nutshell, what has been your artistic journey? "My training has not been, how can I say… orthodox, I have always hovered in the background, ever since I was a student of Perizi, a bad student who considered art classes like all other classes: I remember being scolded for presenting a self-portrait that he believed had been done by someone else. It was, in a strange way, an acknowledgement. I frequented Perizi occasionally after my studies and there was a brief period at the "Nude drawing course" of the Revoltella Museum. I did not believe in my artistic vein much and ended up putting it aside for many years. But it all came back pressingly when I approached calligraphy, I needed, I was almost obsessed, with the written word, letters, print. Then, the almost unavoidable transition through Paolo Cervi Kervischer's study and finally my encounter with Ciro Gallo, a friend first, then artist."
Can you explain the sense of your most recent creations? "All my works originate (at least this could be the best explanation) from my inborn difficulties with spoken words, with others, almost an attempt at exorcising my relationship with the spoken word. But that is not the only explanation, of course..."
If you had to define your most recent works with a few words? "A puzzle of personal angst and the need of expressing myself, along with the need of working hands on with paper in all its forms".
And what about the materials you use? "My profession has forced me, for several years, to come into contact with old archive documents, dusty documents consumed by time. I believe that this material has become a part of me. I cannot give it up. I just ended up joining these two aspects".
Do you believe that the reference to Emilio Isgrò and to visual poetry is somewhat fitting? "Absolutely. I discovered Isgrò and Visual Poetry after having created many of my works without really being aware of what they were, art or something elese. After having seen Isgrò's works, along with those by Carrega or Accame, I told myself: well, maybe even my creations are art, even if I am still not completely convinced that I am an artist".
Do you feel particular liking or affinity among contemporary artistic experiences? "I admire Kounellis very much. I find similarities with certain aspects of Kiefer's work and, especially when I first started out, I have been very influenced by Tom Phillips, an English artist. But let's not forget Mario Ceroli and, of couse, Miela Reina when speaking of artists from Trieste. Even if the first and maybe only artist that truly struck me like thunderbolt was Arnulf Rainer, at the Biennale in 78".
Anectodes, artist friends, collectors... "I am quite an outisder in the local artistic scene, I have only been in this field for a few years. As I have already said, I owe my artistic initiation to Ciro Gallo, who introduced me to Gruppo78 and has guided my through this tangled forest".
And what can you tell us about the city of Trieste? "I admire those who make an effort to maintain the thin thread that links contemporary art to the city".
How do you think Trieste's inhabitants feel about contemporary art? "I don't believe the people from Trieste have ever come into contact with contemporary art".
Food and wine? "They both have their space in my life: with age I tend to prefer quality much more, but for a simple dish of buttered pasta prepared by my wife, I forget all other foods".
The last book you read? "The history of Ireland, a book of poems by Alda Merini and a book about the history modern art: Contemporanemente".
Projects for the future? "The MoMA in New York, the Mori Museum in Tokio and the White Cube in London, but the curators have not been informed yet..."
Roberto Vidali
NTWK july 2005