Jelena Jureša, a visual artist and filmmaker born in Yugoslavia (Novi Sad), currently lives and works in Belgium (Ghent).
She has extensively explored questions of cultural identity, gender, the politics of memory, and oblivion through film, video installation, photography, and text. Her work connects individual stories to collective processes of oblivion and remembrance, challenging historical and political narratives while destabilizing our perceptions of truth. In recent years, her research has focused on practices of oppression and their implications in systems of violence, resulting in multidisciplinary projects that blend the political with the highly personal.
Her work has been showcased internationally, with solo exhibitions at Argos Centre for Audiovisual Arts in Brussels, Künstlerhaus in Graz, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade. In 2015, during her Jackman Goldwasser residency in collaboration with the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago, she researched public art, capitalism, and patriarchy. In 2016, as a Q21 artist in residence in Vienna, she explored the work of anthropologists and racial hygienists during the Austrian imperial period, along with post-WWII politics of oblivion in Austria. Her film project ‘Aphasia’, which detects a thread of positions of power, racism, injustice, and violence from Belgian colonialism, Austrian anti-Semitism to the atrocities in Bosnia during the Yugoslavian wars, was supported by VAF. The film was co-commissioned by Contour Biennale, where it was shown in 2019 and featured in the 2022 Manifesta Biennale. ‘Aphasia’ has been showcased at various international venues, including Kunstverein in Hamburg, BAK – basis voor actuele kunst in Utrecht, Budapest Gallery, Display in Prague, Center for Cultural Decontamination in Belgrade, Cinematek in Brussels, Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, Fotomuseum in Antwerpen, De Cinema in Antwerp (MHKA), DocLisboa, Maxim Gorki in Berlin, and received the main award at the 23rd Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival in Prague. Building on line of meticulous research and continuing her collaboration with the performers from the film (Alen and Nenad Sinkauz, Ivana Jozić), she conceptualised and directed ‘Aphasia’ concert performance, which premiered at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels in 2022. The concert performance emerged out of praxical research geared towards devising new strategies for ensuring the embodied involvement of the spectator, addressing issues related to group dynamics, obedience to authority, and polarization. Supported by Kunstendecreet, the project was a collaborative production between KAAP and ROBIN, co-produced by Kunstenfestivaldesarts, De Singel, Workspacebrussels, the Hannah Arendt Institute, La Geste (Les Ballet C de la B), Moussem, Nomadic Art Centre, and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK). The performance toured various venues, including STUK in Leuven, AMOK in Brugge, De Singel in Antwerp, Donaufestival in Vienna/Krems, Theaterformen in Hannover, and Zürcher Theater Spektakel in Zurich.
Jureša teaches at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK) and holds a Ph.D. in practice from Ghent University, Faculty of Arts and Philosophy and KASK. In 2020, she received a post-doctoral fellowship for ‘Revolt! On a Refusal to Sing—Thinking Resistance Through Music, Waste, and Complicity.’