YU: The Lost Country
“More than 20 years after the start of the war, there is a total denial of the Yugoslavian identity,” writes Dragana Jurišić in her book. The artist defines herself as an exile and not as an expatriate because, she says, she could not go back to her ‘home’ even if she wanted to. The daughter of a Croatian father and a Serbian mother, during the 1990 census she was denied the right to be Yugoslavian, the nationality she has identified with since birth, and this made her feel confused. Her book was originally designed as a recreation of her lost homeland; it was an attempt to resuscitate her country through the magical process of photographic creation. However, it ended up becoming a journey of rejection, in which she felt even more of an exile than in the foreign country –Ireland– where she had chosen to live. With her images, Dragana manages to capture the sense of being uprooted which is characteristic of exile. She is inspired by the work of the writer Rebecca West, who in 1937 drew a portrait of Yugoslavia (a country that felt like a homeland to her, despite the fact that she was Anglo-Irish) and Europe on the verge of World War II. The artist creates an intimate, delicate narrative about the loss of identity.
Dragana Jurišić was born in Slavonski Brod, Croatia (then Yugoslavia). She is an artist based in Dublin, Ireland. She works predominantly through the medium of photography, text, film and installation. Since receiving a distinction for her MFA in 2008, Dragana has won a significant number of awards including Dorothea Lange and Paul Taylor Award’s Special Recognition from Duke University, numerous Bursaries and Project Awards. In December 2013, she completed her PhD and finalized a three-year long project YU: The Lost Country that culminated in a critically acclaimed touring exhibition and a book. Her work is in many collections including National Gallery of Ireland, Irish State Art Collection and Trinity College Collection. She has exhibited widely both in Ireland and internationally. She is currently Artist in Residence at Irish Museum of Modern Art in Residence Award.
In collaboration with Kutxa Kultur