Jelena Jureša is a visual artist and filmmaker, born in Yugoslavia. She has extensively worked with questions of cultural identity, gender, politics of memory, and oblivion through film, video installation, photography and text. In her works, she relates individual stories to collective processes of oblivion and remembrance. She unceasingly questions historical and political narratives and tries to destabilize our ideas of what is true. Over the past several years, her research and focus on practices of oppression—how they operate and implicate us in systems of violence—has resulted in multidisciplinary projects that are, on various levels, as political as they are highly personal.
APHASIA (2019) is an unsettling inquiry into the representation of violence and the violence of representation. This documentary gesture explores how collective crimes keep being repeated and reflects on social and political constellations, unfolding constructions behind nation-states and national identities. Weaving an intricate web of connections across time and space from Belgian colonialism in the first act, Austrian race experiments, and Heimat films in the second, the third act brings to life the well-known photograph, taken at the beginning of the war in Bosnia.
Produced by Argos, centre for audiovisual arts, Brussels
Co-produced by Contour – kunstcentrum nona in the context of Contour Biennial 9, Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK), Zagreb Youth Theatre (ZKM).
With the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF).
The performance is developed at the intersection of music, film, storytelling, and dance, in collaboration with Nenad Sinkauz, Alen Sinkauz and Ivana Jozić. Immersed in the atmosphere of a (post-war-zone)nightclub, the audience physically participates in an intimate investigation of violence, the world of perpetrators, bystanders, and individual responsibility. One can imagine the audience’s attention gradually shifting from an archival film, to a DJ set, to a dance solo, to an integrated concert, intersected by the interventions of the female narrator who ponders about the “monsters and us”. Whispers, rumours on perpetration and standing by, complicity and violence; every revolution, every genocide, has its soundtrack.
APHASIA premiered at Kunstenfestivaldesarts in 2022.