In her work, Vesna Pavlović explores an evolving relationship between memory in contemporary culture and the technologies of photographic image production. She treats photographic archives and related artifacts as material to produce new images and installations. The archives, both personal and public, reveal ideologies behind them, histories they represent, and memories they invoke. Vesna challenges traditional modes of photographic representation and materiality and the physical nature of photographic media.
During her research residency in December 2020, Vesna worked from her studio in Nashville, Tennessee. She conducted archival research about the Morongo Basin heritage and the history of homesteading initiatives of early 20th century. She explored ideas of conquering the unimaginable landscape and its effect on land and housing politics. The first part of this residency allowed her to connect with various artists and organizations in the region. Vesna is particularly interested in the oral histories and radio archives underlining the utopia and individualism tied to the American West.
In March 2021, Vesna will present her findings in a form of an Open House at BoxoPROJECTS, and with a Community Slide Show event, an open call for community members to bring, project, and share collections of photographic slides in a gallery setting.
Vesna Pavlović obtained her MFA degree in Visual Arts from Columbia University in 2007. Her projects examine the evolving relationship between memory in contemporary culture and the technologies of photographic image production. She examines photographic representation of political and cultural histories, which include photographic archives and related artifacts.
In the 1990s, in Belgrade, Vesna worked closely with the feminist pacifist group Women in Black. She provided artistic witness to the disintegration of her native Yugoslavia through her documentary work. She is the recipient of the Fulbright Scholar Award in 2018, George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation grant in 2017, and Art Matters Foundation grant in 2012. In 2018, she was a Southern Prize Fellow.
Vesna has exhibited widely, including solo shows at the Phillips Collection in Washington DC, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, 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, in Turkey; Rios Intermitentes project of the 13th Havana Biennial in Matanzas, Cuba, the MAC – Metropolitan Arts Center in Belfast, Northern Ireland; Württembergischen Kunstverein, Düsseldorf, Germany; KUMU Art Museum in Tallinn, Estonia; Zachęta, The National Gallery of Art in Warsaw, Poland; City Art Gallery, in Ljubljana, Slovenia; the New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall, UK; the Bucharest Biennale 5, in Bucharest, Romania; Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, USA; Le Quartier Center for Contemporary Art in Quimper, France; NGBK in Berlin, Germany; Photographers’ Gallery in London and Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge, UK; and FRAC Center for Contemporary Art in Dunkuerqe, France.
The book, Vesna Pavlović’s Lost Art: Photography, Display, and the Archive was published by Hanes Art Gallery at Wake Forest University in 2018. In 2020, Vanderbilt University Press is putting forward Stagecraft, photographic monograph including two decades of Vesna’s work.