Comprising photographs, video work, lightboxes and notebooks, these seemingly diverse elements cohere to an examination of identity. Perceptions of nationality and gender are the two obvious trigger points. The question of the artist’s own nationality is examined vicariously through the eyes of a mysterious aunt who disappeared from Yugoslavia in the 1950s and lived in Paris assuming multiple identities.
Keats quotation that ‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty – that is all ye know on earth and all ye need to know’ leads Jurisic further along a wider philosophical engagement with those two entities. L’Innconnue de la Seine is the name given to an unknown young woman whose body was found in the river Seine. A death mask was subsequently made and her beauty inspired artists and writers of the day, including Man Ray, Anais Nin and Albert Camus. The serenity, beauty and anonymity of this young woman’s death mask provokes a philosophical discussion on beauty, art and truth.
Jurisic tackles gender perception in 100 muses, a collection of 100 polaroids of nude female sitters. Their faces obscured and only the death mask visible in each polaroid, this works is an attempt to re-assemble L’Innconnue de la Seine out of 100 women, but also a question is asked; how well do we know anyone, including ourselves?
Dragana Jurisic was born in Slavonski Brod, Croatia (then Yugoslavia). She is currently based in Dublin, Ireland. In 2008, Dragana completed Masters in Fine Art at the University of Wales, Newport, receiving a distinction for her work. Since being selected as an Axis MAstar in 2009, “An annual selection of the most promising artist from the UK’s leading MA courses”, Jurisic has won a number of prestigious awards and has exhibited widely both in Ireland and Internationally. Her work is part of the Irish State Art Collection, University of Michigan collection and many private collections. In 2013 she presented the acclaimed YU: The Lost Country a series of photographs from her journey around the former Yugoslavia, retracing the route of an extraordinary expedition made by Anglo Irish writer Rebecca West in 1930s and written about in her acclaimed book Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (1941). The exhibition is accompanied by a book and documentary of the same name. Jurisic completed her PhD research at the European Centre for Photographic Research in 2013. Currently she is writing a new book, an overlapping fictionalized biography of her aunt Gordana Čavić, L’Innconnue de la Seine and herself, the narrator.
In collaboration with:Office for Photography, Zagreb