Do You Intend to Lie to Me?
edition: 5 + 2 a.c.

The film shows the arresting and interrogation of Veso Sovilj: a professor at the Art Academy in Banja Luka. It’s only in the last scene of the film, when the artist enters the interrogation room, that the protagonist finds out that it is a simulation and performance by which his student Mladen Miljanović wanted to mark the thirtieth anniversary of his professor’s work. To make the action as realistic as possible, the artist engaged members of the Republic of Srpska Special Police.

The work was shown at the 52nd October Salon It’s Time We Met Each Other.

(…) To make the film Do You Intend to Lie to Me?, Miljanović used certain tactics to push the viewer into the world of brutal reality. Members of a special police unit stormed a cafe, arrested a man and escorted him to a police station in handcuffs, and helicopters monitored the entire operation from above. An interrogation ensues. Details of the suspect’s life are revealed with 26 questions. The audience feel as if they are standing on the other side of the one-way mirror in the interrogation room. They can hear the suspect’s replies, and are offered a brief look at the lie detector results.

The suspect is Veso Sovilj: an artist and a professor at the Art Academy in Banja Luka. He is the young artist’s mentor. Miljanović recorded a simulation of Sovilj’s arrest and interrogation. To make the scenes in the film as realistic as possible, Miljanović decided to work with professionals – he cooperated with members of the Republic of Srpska Special Police. The artist’s professor was not informed about the project, nor was he aware that he would have a role in a film, the leading role. After the filming was completed, Miljanović entered the interrogation room and explained that the purpose of the project was to mark the 30 years of his mentor’s artistic work. Upon hearing Miljanović’s explanation, Sovilj was thrilled.

The socio-political context of post-war Bosnian society, the consequences of wars that manifest themselves on the daily political scene, ethical and religious division and social instability are a constant in Miljanović’s art projects, performances, video works, installations. The film not only talks about the schizophrenic position of an individual within a post-war-torn state like Bosnia and Herzegovina, it also brutally metaphorically speaks about ignoring a man who devoted thirty years of his life to art by the state machinery.
Taken from the catalogue of the 52nd October Salon

© Cultural Centre of Belgrade, the October Salon Collection and the artist
Gift Contract: III-5-245/28.8.2014.
Inventory No. 1343
Photo: still from the film

Selected Bibliography:
52nd October Salon, It’s Time We Met Each Other. Cultural Centre of Belgrade, 2011


Mladen Miljanović (1981, Zenica, Yugoslavia) attended the Officer Military School in Banja Luka. He graduated from the Academy of Arts in Banja Luka. Currently, he teaches New Media Art at the Academy of Arts in Banja Luka.

He represented Bosnia and Herzegovina at the 55th Venice Biennale. With his conceptual and provocative approach, he questions his own surroundings and living conditions. His work is influenced by the experience of growing up in the conditions during and after the war in the Former Yugoslavia and by his formal education obtained in the Officer Military School. More information at