I’m thrilled to be curating an exhibition at the Black Box at the UNSW Art & Design. Opening in the last week of May, the exhibition titled ‘Memory Betrays Everybody’ will present the work of two artists – ex-Yugoslav Dublin based photographer and writer Dragana Jurišić and Sydney based artist Biljana Jančić.
Dragana Jurišić’s work for this exhibition will be focused on her acclaimed photographic book – YU: The Lost Country published in 2015. YU: The Lost Country is a book of photographs and texts depicting Jurišić’s journey across the former Yugoslavia retracing the steps of Anglo-Irish writer Rebecca West in her book, ‘Black Lamb and Grey Falcon’ written in 1937.
Initially intended as “a snap book”, Rebecca West’s book ‘Black Lamb and Grey Falcon’ spiraled into half a million words. The book is portrait not just of Yugoslavia, but also of Europe on the brink of the Second World War, and widely regarded as one of the masterpieces of the 20th century.
In response, Jurišić’s book examines how Yugoslavia fell apart in 1991. Today, in the countries that came into being after Yugoslavia’s disintegration, there is a total denial of the Yugoslav identity.
The key theme in Biljana Jančić’s work is displacement. She works primarily with large-scale spatial interventions. These works respond directly to architecture and socio-historical contexts of spaces. Jančić regularly exhibits work in a wide range of independent and institutional contemporary art spaces.
Recent solo shows include Surface Tension (2017), UTS Gallery, Sydney, The Cloud (2015) in collaboration with Alex Munt, Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney. Her projects have been curated into exhibitions including Watching Windows (2017), by André Hemer and Andrew Clifford, Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, West Auckland, NZ, 2018 NSW Visual Arts Emerging Fellowship at Artspace curated by Alexie Glass Kantor, Michelle Newton & Lola Pinder: Primavera 2016: Young Australian Artists, by Emily Cormack, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, TarraWarra Biennial 2016: Endless Circulation, by Helen Hughes and Victoria Lynn TarraWarra Museum of Art, An Imprecise Science (2015) by Alexie Glass-Kantor with Talia Linz, Artspace, Sydney and I Want to Change the World (2014), by Nicholas Tsoutas and Fan Lin, GAFA Art Museum, Guangzhou.
Jančić studied at Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney, completing a PhD in 2013. In 2016 she was the recipient of the alumni prize The Fauvette Loureiro Memorial Artists Travel Award.