Jelena Juresa (Novi Sad, Yugoslavia), has been extensively working with the questions of cultural identity, gender, politics of memory and oblivion through film, video installation, photography and text. In her works, she relates individual stories and questions of identity to collective processes of oblivion and remembrance. She unceasingly questions historical and political narratives and tries to destabilise our ideas of what is true. How do we look – individually and collectively – at our own past? How are these processes captured in images? How do these processes and images relate to actual events? And finally, which kinds of tension and meaning can exist between historical reality and its constructed memory? Juresa’s work is inherently political as it does not merely question our way of looking, but also criticises representation itself. Neither didactic nor moralistic, her work aims to challenge the spectator to always rethink and redefine their position.
Her work has been exhibited internationally, including her latest solo exhibitions at Argos, centre for audiovisual arts, Künstlerhaus, Halle für Kunst & Medien, Graz and Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade. As the Jackman Goldwasser resident artist in 2015, in collaboration with the Hyde Park Art Center at Chicago, she started her research on the questions and relations of public art – capitalism – patriarchy, as well as the production of male and female histories within this context. As an artist in residence at Q21 in Vienna in 2016, she studied the work of anthropologists and racial hygienists of Austrian imperial period, as well as politics of oblivion after WWII in Austria.
Her latest film project Aphasia which detects a thread of positions of power, racism, injustice and violence from Belgian colonialism, Austrian anti-Semitism and atrocities in Bosnia during the Yugoslavian was produced by Argos centre for audiovisual media in Brussels, where it was exhibited in a solo exhibition in 2019. The film premiered at Cinematek, Brussels as part of DISSENT! Cinema of Politic, Politics of Cinema, and has been shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, at Fotomuseum Antwerpen, in DeCinema in Antwerp, and at the 23rd Ji.hlava IDFF where it won the main prize within the First Lights section. Aphasia was shown within the programme of Contour biennial in Mechelen, where a new work commissioned for the biennial, a film installation Ubundu, was exhibited for the first time (October 2019).
Juresa holds a PhD in practice from Ghent University, Faculty of Arts and Philosophy and KASK Conservatorium in Ghent. In 2017 she has been granted a two-year artistic research project at KASK School of Arts for Unfolding Amnesia: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry into Artistic Practices and the Politics of Oblivion.