1 November 2014 - 31 October 2015
Milena Kosec was born in January 1947 in Ljubljana (Slovenia, EU), where she has lived and worked her entire life. In 1974 she graduated in technical mathematics at Ljubljana University. In 1971 she started her first job at the Jožef Stefan Institute. She planned and led the elaboration of new applications for different fields in different companies, usually by means of the most current computer technology. By the end of year 2002 she was retired. In the years between 1975 to 1983 she primarily devoted herself to her family.
Her artistic work began spontaneously with her first work “Državica Ptičjestrašilna” (The Pocket-size State of Scarecrows) in 1992. After that, she performed several public actions which commented on events in Slovenia intertwined with her own intimate stories. In 2007 she decided that she would no longer produce anything material-based nor document her work. In 2008 she was invited to the European Contemporary Art Biennial MANIFESTA7, with one of her immaterial projects Random Private Conversations.
After her last art action in 2012, Milena read a lot about the situation in her country and the world in general. Bewildered by the vast and contradictory information available and the number of the contemporary artists with similar practice, she became unsure if her critical approach to art was still relevant. This has made her stop her art practice and return to the question: “what are the basic needs for life?” Having “water and food” as her answer to this question, she decided to improve her knowledge on them through manual work and organic gardening. Her first attempt at gardening this past year made her realize that she needed more education about various aspects of organic gardening.
During her 2nd year at RFAOH, she will continue to educate herself on this front while she may report some other related on-hiatus activities throughout the year. She feels that this on-hiatus activity may be helpful for her art practice in the future.
To be an honorary resident was even more liberating than to be a normal resident. I enjoyed in gardening without thinking what would be important to write for residence page. I am grateful to Shinobu and Matt for opportunity in which I was connected with other residents one year more. To be without any obligation was wonderful feeling.
The last year of the residency I improved my knowledge about gardening through every day practice. It was important that I have enough time for working in garden and cooking fresh vegetable every day. As I had enough different vegetables I ate much healthier. The final consequence of all together is strong improvement of my health (much less problems with chronic diseases).
In two years of residency I completely broke with routine of making art. As I had enough time for looking around and thinking I saw or better I felt how quick society is changing. Contemporary art can't adequately follow this changes caused by technology on one hand and hegemonic states on another hand. We as society are not aware at all what is going on. In front of us I see total unknown world which is completely indescribable, which I hardly can even think about. How than can I make comments on it?
My plan for future is gardening and different other activities. As artist I will probably stay on hiatus.
Our honorary on-hiatus resident Milena Kosec’s year-long extension of her residency has ended as of October 31, 2015. We thank Milena for her participation for the 2nd year, and her reports on the continuous efforts put into organic gardening. She’s the one who tells us that she’ll stay on hiatus as an artist and we have no comments on that! RFAOH sincerely wishes her the best of luck in her post on-hiatus life, and hopes to hear about the crops and bus in her gardens time to time.
Click “Final Report” to read on her experience at RFAOH.
This year we had colder September as usual and a lot of rain in the first part of October. The second part of October we had beautiful weather with average temperature from 10 to 15C through the days and about 5C at the nights. All vegetables which will stay outside through the winter look very well. This month I put winter salad and garlic together in one bad for spring use. I also put in the bed my own seeds of spinach and silver onion.
It is interesting that the harvest was worse than last year although weather was this year much better. We hadn’t too much dryness and on the other hand not too much rain. The big disappointment was beans – zero and I got only four pumpkins through all season. The sapling of pear tree decayed. But the raspberries were very good and I got new plant of blackberry from friend.
I find out that for planning a rotation of crops and an accessibility it is better to have the garden organized in the regular beds. Furrows between the beds are good in rainy days. I am going to reorganize the garden once more.Preparing for the winter.
In June we had unusually hot weather but also cold with rain. In July and August we had hot summer with enough rainy days. We hadn’t real dryness but snails disappeared. The temperature was from 25C to 30C and more on days without rain. So fare the weather is optimal this year.
I am satisfied with season harvest. I share it with all kind of grasshoppers, wild range of mostly unknown insets and caterpillars. I have even enough tomato. The only problem is sweet fennel. I have put seeds three times in the bad without any success. This season I have raspberries and blackberries for the first time. Unfortunately I am too late for eating corn smut (huitlacoche corn taco). May be next year.
After long cold winter at the end of March the first days with temperature over 0°C through night came. In April we hadn’t so much rain as normally. May was quite hot (26C) with few cold days and just enough rain for snails. The worse came in June. Till now we had temperature from 25C to 30C without rain.
Anyway I have all usual season harvest and enough peas and winter garlic for later use.
In March, April and May I was gardening mostly all days. I was completely lost in the garden. This month is a little better.
Organization of exhibition spaces is very friendly to visitors:
– spacious, shadow and early main road,
– a lot of places for rest with drinking water, eating areas with clean toilets,
– attractive pavilions made from wood and verdure surrounded with water, local food, drink and kind people,
– pleasant music all around,
– didactical approach what is healthy food is present but all around is food industry,
– a really nice face of big money.
Many of the pavilions are presentations of destinations for tourists or presentation of local fruits and vegetables. In some of them they use attractive new technology too show something usual. Also Slovenia has beautiful wooden pavilion:
“I FeelSlovenia. Green. Active. Healthy.“
I haven’t seen something new or unexpected. Maybe I have missed something important.
It have been very funny to look plants (much more beautiful of those in my garden) all around.
In the town I have seen interesting historical exhibition with great names from global art scene and nutrition industry:
After warm and green Christmas all at once we got cold snowy weather with the lowest temperature minus 14°C. So we had very cold New Year. After that we had temperature about zero till end of January. We had another week of very cold weather with a lot of snow around of the beginning of February. So I could enjoy white garden. Also in march it was cold partly sunny weather with temperature about 0°C.
Through all winter I didn’t do anything in the garden. I just picked up kale for eating. Mostly all radicchio rotted because wet autumnal. For spring time I have enough winter salad. In the beds I have also autumnal garlic and onion.