Mladen Stilinović Study Centre
Mladen Stilinović Study Centre is an ongoing project that uses the themes of the late Croatian artist Mladen Stilinović to spark local conversations around art, economy, labour, work and value systems. It is a dialogue-based investigation that takes place inside as well as outside of a physical space, in combination with walking, spending time in the park, in artist’s studios, at home and in other places where work can be done.
The project began as a study of concepts of work, money, conditions and power through Stilinovic’s practice, using the artist’s text-based works, statements and simple materials as a starting point. For the first iteration, simple reproductions of works by Stilinović formed the basis of a fictional institution that Julia Bavyka set up for a two week residency at Frontyard Projects in Marrickville, which invited public discussion around the conditions of art on an individual and social level.
By making copies and reproducing elements of Stilinovic’s work, a field of questions and problems arose that queer ideas of belonging, authorship, ownership and value, and challenge the relationship between the personal and history, as well as time and contemporaneity – what it is to be working today as an artist, and why methods might need to change.
At its core, the project focuses on an idea of study that is different from the understanding of study as related to a singular body of knowledge; in other words, against the idea of study as an institution, a necessary step towards entering the working world. An alternative model suggests that learning is always a collective practice that is, paradoxically, based on the exchange of singular experiences.