Marija Mandić & Ana Žeželj: The Diary

07.03.2024-06.04.2024, 12:00-20:00

Artget Gallery, Trg Republike 5/I
7.3  – 6.4.2024

Accompanying programme to the exhibition:
Thursday, March 7, 6 p.m.
Guided tour by Miha Colner, Art Director of the annual programme at the Artget Gallery

The second exhibition in the 2024 programme of Artget Gallery showcases the works of Marija Mandić and Ana Žeželj, in a dialogue. Both artists use photography as their primary medium to address their own personal experiences and to explore seemingly ordinary situations that eventually become memories. By recording events in their own lives and lives of the people who are/were close to them or to whom they are/were somehow related, they establish complex network of memories that help them explore their own identities. Despite intimate and private nature of their creative processes, their works may as well be perceived as utterly political since they commonly expose the fundamental questions of understanding the present and the past. They make intimate visual diaries to highlight their points of view of current state of affairs and historical discourses that are always exceptionally complex but often presented in an entirely simplified way.

The exhibition addresses the foundations and properties of memories, as well as ambiguity of their meaning within wider society, both in history and modern age alike. The very existence of common memories, as well as possibilities to share information and gossip, is a fundamental bond that holds human societies together; it enables relationships, a sense of belonging, and ultimately forms the identity of an individual or a group. The artists implicitly question the credibility of memories, since they are well aware that personal memories are often inevitably linked to collective memories. Marija Mandić merges two quite recent pieces that explore the history of her own family that have been living in the wider area of ex-Yugoslavia for several centuries. With photographic and archival investigation she explores origins of her ancestors whose lineage stretches across the region, while exposing patriarchal nature of these (selected) memories, and visits the places of her ancestry in order to demythologise the family narrative. In a completely different way Ana Žeželj establishes her own personal memories by creating intimate visual diary of her life and life of her immediate surroundings. Her images represent complexity of various personal memories and experiences. She documents selected events and situations occurring around her, events that remain ambivalent since she does not contextualise them for the viewers in a linear narrative way; instead, the memories remain confusing and uncertain.

Marija Mandić (1990) is an artist and photographer working across different media, from lens-based art to object art. She graduated at the New Media Art department at the Academy of Art in Novi Sad, and she completed master studies at the department of Photography and Time-Based Media at the Faculty of Art and Design in Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic, where she obtained a PhD degree in Visual Communications. In her practice she focuses on the issues of memory and personal history. She lives and works in Novi Sad, Serbia.

Ana Žeželj (1998) is an artist and photographer who works across different media. She is currently on the final year of her bachelor studies at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade. She also works as a colourist and a director of photography. In her artistic practice she deals with the notions of memory, human nature and experiences of everyday life. She lives and works Belgrade, Serbia.