What It Feels Like for a Girl
3-channel sound/video installation
20 photographs
book
2005-2009



NADA, from the series What It Feels Like for a Girl, 2005-2009


Essay by Milanka Todic
Essay by Suzana Milevska


In What it Feels Like for a Girl photography was chosen as the visual medium of the examination, and not only representation, of the female subject in contemporary culture.

The project examines the relation between the observer and the observed by means of the photographic medium, with the possibility to understand the subject of the photograph and the problem of what the “picture” is revealing or not.

“[...] The body, especially the female body, is the constant object of observation and re-tailoring. In the era of images mediated by the medium, the very act of observation can be labelled as a sign of intolerance, and can even be understood as a form of sexual harassment by looking. The metaphor of the textualised body, as Jelena Juresa articulates it in the project What It Feels Like for a Girl, is ready to take on and transform the most diverse messages and meanings. Creating a palimpsest of the female body, or as Elizabeth Grosz says: “a historical chronicle of prior and later traces, some of which have been effaced, others of which have been emphasized,’’ Jelena Juresa created a work in which the juxtaposition of image, text and speech remains open for a critical insight into the mass media representation of the female body. The question of marginality cannot be raised if the whole project of Jelena Juresa is related to the well-known and impertinent feminist slogan “the personal is the political.” The traditional exclusion and suppression of what is personal from the sphere of the public, dominated by the media, is radically reversed by her daring representation and affirmation of female individuality.[...] ”

(excerpt from the text, Milanka Todic, FACE TO FACE, What It Feels Like for a Girl, exhibition catalogue, Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina, 2009)