Join us for an artist talk with photographer Vesna Pavlović, whose work will be on display at the Harriman Institute from October 23rd – December 15th. Harriman Institute’s Alexandar Bošković will lead the discussion.
Currently a professor of Art at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, in the 1990s, in Belgrade, Pavlović worked closely with the feminist pacifist group Women in Black. She provided artistic witness to the disintegration of her native Yugoslavia through documentary work. In her work, Pavlović examines photographic representations of specific political and cultural histories. These representations include photographic archives and related artifacts, which she treats as material to produce new images and installations. She challenges traditional modes of photographic representation, expanding the photographic image beyond its frame, traditional format, and narrative. Vesna Pavlović is interested in the moments of our collective history that we choose to keep, and which ones to forget. What is the promise and the agency of the archive? Our memories are in the continuous process of mediation. The memory is in always in flux and never fixed. It is big and small, far, and near. She is invested in Pierre Nora’s notion of the opposition of memory and history, ‘one being in permanent evolution, a bond tying us to the eternal present, while the other, remaining problematic and incomplete, of what is no longer’.
Vesna Pavlović is a recipient of the 2021 Current Art Fund Grant, the 2020 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, Fulbright Scholar Award in 2018, George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation grant in 2017, and Art Matters Foundation grant in 2012. Pavlović exhibited widely, including solo shows at the Phillips Collection in Washington DC, the Frist Art Museum in Nashville, the Museum of History of Yugoslavia in Belgrade, and the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. She participated in a number of group shows, including the Untitled, 12th Istanbul Biennial, 2011, Turkey; MAC – Metropolitan Arts Center, Belfast, Northern Ireland; Württembergischen Kunstverein, Düsseldorf, Germany; KUMU Art Museum, Tallinn, Estonia; Zachęta, National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland; New Art Gallery Walsall, UK; Bucharest Biennale 5, Romania; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, USA; NGBK, Berlin, Germany; and Photographers’ Gallery, London, UK. Recent publications include Vesna Pavlović, Stagecraft (Vanderbilt University Press, 2021) and Vesna Pavlović’s Lost Art: Photography, Display, and the Archive (Hanes Art Gallery, Wake Forest University, 2018).