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.
Her work has been exhibited internationally, including her latest solo exhibitions at Argos centre for audiovisual arts in Brussels, Künstlerhaus, Halle für Kunst & Medien in Graz, and Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade. As a Jackman Goldwasser resident artist in 2015, in collaboration with the Hyde Park Art Center in 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 a Q21 artist in residence in Vienna in 2016, she studied the work of anthropologists and racial hygienists of the Austrian imperial period, as well as the politics of oblivion after WWII in Austria.
Jureša’s most recent project, APHASIA (2019-2022) represented a disciplinary shift through film into performance, in order to foreground the topic of perpetrators and complicity through live spectatorship. The project began as a film project, produced by Argos, Brussels with support from the VAF Filmlab. The film was commissioned by Contour Biennale, where it was exhibited in 2019, and in Manifesta Biennale in 2022. It has been exhibited in Kunstverein Hamburg, shown in Cinematek in Brussels as part of Figures of Dissent: Cinema of Politics, Politics of Cinema, Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, Fotomuseum in Antwerpen, MHKA/De Cinema in Antwerp, DocLisboa, and at the 23rd Ji.hlava IDFF in Prague where it won the main award. APHASIA the live performance emerged out of praxical research geared towards devising new strategies for ensuring the embodied involvement of the spectator in order to tackle questions of group dynamics, obedience to authority and polarization. This poetic expansion of the project was supported by the Kunstendecreet, and was produced by KAAP in collaboration with ROBIN, in co-production with Kunstenfestivaldesarts, De Singel, Workspacebrussels, Hannah Arendt Institute, La Geste (Les Ballet C de la B), MOUSSEM, Nomadic Art Centre and Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK). The Aphasia performance premiered at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels in May in 2022, and was shown at STUK in Leuven, AMOK in Brugge, De Singel in Antwerp, and in 2023 will be shown at Donaufestival in Vienna/Krems, Theaterformen festival in Hannover, Zürcher Theater Spektakel in Zurich, Theaterfestival Spielart in Munich and more.
Jureša teaches at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK). She holds a PhD in practice from Ghent University, Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, and KASK. In 2017, she was granted a two-year artistic research project at KASK for Unfolding Amnesia: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry into Artistic Practices and the Politics of Oblivion, and in 2020 a post-doctoral fellowship for Revolt! On a Refusal to Sing—Thinking Resistance Through Music, Waste and Complicity.