Milijana Komad: I Visualize Love with the Heart Sculpture

The Applied Arts Week of the sixth Kaleidoscope of Culture will also be marked by the unveiling of a monumental sculpture Heart, by Milijana Komad, PhD, a pioneer in the field of digital technologies and art. The largest interactive sculpture in Serbia, five metres high and three metres wide, which will attract the attention of those present precisely because of its imposing dimensions, visitors will have the opportunity to see until 15 October and thus feel a unique artistic experience that will stimulate their senses and emotions.

Working Hours: from 30 September to 7 October, the sculpture will be on display 24 hours a day, and from 8 until 15 October, visitors will be able to see it from noon to 8 p.m. (except Mondays and Tuesdays, when the facility will be closed).

The monumental sculpture is the world’s first thermal installation weighing two tons, and is inspired by the concept of love, which aims to strengthen the feeling of connection among people. One of the special features that make the Heart extraordinary are the sensors placed in the sculpture, which allow when more people touch the sculpture at the same time, the heart beats faster. Therefore, we invite you to touch the Heart of the District, connect with it and feel its pulse.

In anticipation of the unveiling of the interactive sculpture in the Kaleidoscope of Culture Applied Arts Week, we spoke with the author of this spectacular work. Milijana Komad revealed to us how she came up with the idea to make this big Heart, what the biggest challenges in the creation process were, as well as how she perceives this year’s Kaleidoscope of Culture concept.

The Heart sculpture could be said to be the result of a combination of science and art. Can you tell us a bit more about the piece itself?

The interactive sculpture Heart is the result of many years of work in the field of science and art, which somehow combines my area of ​​interest, because I hold a PhD in digital art – I am a scientist and an artist. Through all my works and international career in the field of art and science, I tried to somehow materialize things that cannot be materialized such as thoughts, ideas, pain, emotions, words, feelings, etc. This work is also an attempt to materialize love, to physically manifest it, to somehow bring awareness to what is easily lost in consumerism on which the current culture is based. With my work, I try to bring to consciousness the most beautiful thing in us and to connect us through one big warm and soft heart that responds to touch, to presence, to attention, to what we all actually need and in some way lack. I wish to visualize love with my work and that is my basic and ultimate goal.

How did you come up with the idea to create the Heart sculpture?

The idea for the sculpture came back in 2017 during an October Salon whose topic was love, and the sculpture is in a way a reflection of how I experience love. Later, in Ljubljana, at the Museum of Architecture, I presented a model of the heart, where I received a strong ovation from the audience. In order for this beautiful, I’ll call it, creature of sculpture to come to life here in Novi Sad… The sculpture itself is special not only because of its monumentality, but also because with it we enter the history of Serbian culture as the first warm interactive sculpture in the world, of which I am particularly proud.

What does the sculpture represent for you?

I wished to put my heart in the palm of my hand… for everyone… so they could do what they want with it… to caress it or hit it… stab it or kiss it like in life. It is just that this heart is trivialized and absurdly magnified, and precisely because of that, the very irony it brings… and the question of how ready we all are as individuals to open up and give our hearts in the palm of our hands, to connect with each other. The heart will definitely react, that is why it is interactive. The more people touch it – it will beat stronger and stronger, and the less people around it and in it, the sadder it will be and it will beat slower… just like in life… right?

What was the biggest challenge for you during the creation of the Heart sculpture and what was the creative process like?

The whole process was very complex and demanding, like all my works. Since I have the honour and pleasure of being with an irreplaceable team of people, my friends and associates, without whose help this heart would not have been realized, all obstacles were successfully overcome. I can rightly say that this heart is made with a lot of love and care. I am very proud to say that the whole team put their hearts and blood and sweat into working on it, literally. As for the technical requirements, we had a lot of scientific work, a lot of experimentation with materials, we made a lot of innovations, and you will see that in the documentary we are making.

Kaleidoscope of Culture, the legacy of the Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture project, is held for the sixth year in a row and promotes five types of art in five weeks. What do you think of this concept?

I must admit that I cried from happiness when I was invited to participate in the Kaleidoscope of Culture. I think it is a great chance for artists to assert themselves through the very promotion of culture, which I think is the most important of all. Serbia lacks festivals of this type. The whole team that works in the organization is a wonderful synergy of the festival itself and its diversity and should be an example for everyone in the future.

How important is for the young artists to have the opportunity to present themselves to the public at events such as the Kaleidoscope of Culture?

I think it is extremely important, because through my varied international career, I can freely say that our people are far ahead of everyone in ideas and knowledge, but unfortunately far below everyone in terms of opportunities and chances. That is why all the praise for Kaledioscope and the opportunities it provides. Honestly and from the bottom of my heart, I want this manifestation to last as long as possible and to be an inspiration not only to people like me, but also to many festivals that have yet to be born.

The sculpture will be set up in the Novi Sad District. How do you see the area of ​​the District, which today has been transformed from industrial plants into renewed centres of culture?

I think that the space is a gift from the heart to my Heart and that it will be a perfect addition to this beautiful festival, which will beat together with it.

Authors: Feđa Putnik and Marina Marić

Photo: Private archive, Vladimir Veličković

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