Columbia University in the City of New York

The Harriman Institute Presents

Vesna Pavlović: Stagecraft

A photography exhibit

Selection of Vesna Pavlovic's photographs.


Monday–Friday, 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
October 23rd, 2023 through December 15th, 2023


Harriman Institute Atrium
420 W 118th St, 12th Floor
New York, NY 10027

Visitor Information

All non-Columbia visitors must meet the primary vaccination series mandate.

No registration or tickets required.

About the Artist

Vesna Pavlović (MFA Visual Arts Columbia University, 2007). Professor of Art at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. In the 1990s, in Belgrade, Pavlović worked closely with 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 representation 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 the 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 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’.

Recipient of 2021 Current Art Fund Grant, 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 Phillips Collection in Washington DC, Frist Art Museum in Nashville, Museum of History of Yugoslavia in Belgrade, and 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).

An Artist Talk will take place on November 9th. Learn more >

Learn more about the exhibit from Columbia University School of the Arts write-up.