The Container is an ongoing project is that attempts to investigate the particular strategic form of dealing with reconstruction. This particular reconstruction concerns a crime that is a symptom of politics of the permanent, global war, the so-called war on terror. This new type of war introduced specific mechanisms of criminalization. It also redefined particular ethnic and religious groups and the whole states outside of the law. In November 2001, in Northern Afghanistan, thousands of Taliban fighters were loaded into sealed truck containers near Fort Qaala Zeini. They were kept without food, water, and air for several days during their trip through the desert to the Sheberghan prison. When they started begging for air, the US Army backed Northern Alliance troops fired upon the containers “to make holes for the air to get in”. The survivors were shot at the Dasht-i-Leili Square and hastily buried in mass graves. Thus far the reconstruction of this crime has been realized multiple times: in Belgrade in 2004 and 2006; for the Sydney Biennial 2006; for the 6th Gyumri International Biennial in Armenia in 2008 and for the exhibition Expanded Cinema 3 — Mocumentary: Reality Is Not Enough - Moscow Museum of Modern Art - MMOMA, Moscow in 2013.
By repeating this reconstruction (the act of shooting into the steeled container) on various localities, we explore the terms and conditions of shooting into the container. In different countries and states, different scenarios were created. Tracing back the history of each object and partaker that is involved in the reconstruction it does draw local networks of relations between people and things. These networks of newly created relationships/interconnections make visible, the local military, economic, and political structures that produce violence. At the same time, it points to the ways in which these structures participate in a global politics of war. For The Container to become an aesthetic object and to be exhibited, it has to pass the process of reconstruction, and as such, it becomes an instrument that draws a geospatial landscape of the war today that still does not have a name.
Milica Tomić explores different genres and methods of artistic practice that centers on investigating, unearthing and bringing to public debate issues related to political violence, economic underpinnings and social amnesia. Tomić is a founding member of a New Yugoslav art/theory group Grupa Spomenik ; she conceived and initiated Four Faces of Omarska project and the Working Group FFO . Between 1998 and 2015 she participated in major international exhibitions such as 24th Sao Paulo Biennale , 49th/50th Venice Biennale [2001/2003]; 8th International Istanbul Biennial ; Populism, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam/Frankfurter Kunstverein ; 15th Sydney Biennale ; Prague Bienniale ; Manufacturing Today/Trondheim Biennale ; 6th International Biennial of Contemporary Art in Gyumri, Armenia ; 10th Sharjah Biennial , Odessa Biennial , After Year Zero and Forensis, House of World Cultures, Berlin, Germany [2013/2014], Invisible Violence, Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade / Basque Museum-Centre of Contemporary Art, Vitoria ; The School of Kyiv - The Biennial . Tomić is a professor - Politics of Memory program - at the Trondheim Academy of Fine Art /NTNU in Norway (2014/15). Between 2000 and 2015 she has participated in numerous projects and international workshops as artist, researcher and lecturer at NIFCA (Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art); Kuvataideakatemia / Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, Finland; Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam, Holland; Summer Academy Salzburg; Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna, Austria; Stanford Humanities Center / Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Drama Department at Stanford University, USA; International DAAD Artist-in-Berlin Programme, Berlin, Germany; International programme Artist-in-Residence, ArtPace, San Antonio, Texas, USA, Goldsmiths University of London, UK; HEAD / Geneva University of Art and Design and others.