Dragana Jurisic: Seeing Things
Art in the Bar
In 2006 Croatian born photographer, Dragana Jurisic was commissioned by Combat Poverty to undertake the production of a bank of documentary photographs that explored the scope and scale of poverty in contemporary Ireland; the images would be used to help raise awareness of the nature, causes and effect of poverty there. The resulting body of works, exhibited in Chapter for the first time, blend sharp detail with documentary detachment to create a poignant realism that calls into question the photographer’s role as cultural commentator and our own basic assumptions about the nature of truth and objectivity.
For Jurisic, the uncomfortable process of recording people’s lives has become one of the central concerns of her work. She uses the camera as a shield to protect the audience from the reality of both the subject that she chooses and the environment in which she finds herself: the penetrating images leave the viewer with a feeling of detachment and unease; anticipation and loss; they are eerily still and contain a certain sense of foreboding that transforms the scenes from the mundane to the intriguing.
This sense of intrigue is often heightened by the artist’s use of the bird motif: they hover above cars, flock around the subject and threaten regularly to penetrate your personal space. For Jurisic, the bird is symbolic of the photographer, free to come, survey, and leave when the work is done. For the viewer, the bird could also represent the means to escape the confinements of their surroundings.
Dragana Jurisic graduated from University of Wales, Newport with an MFA in Documentary Photography in 2008. She has recently exhibited at Ffotogallery, Penarth as part of the graduate exhibition ‘There and Back’, and in ‘Distill(ed)’, Menier Gallery, London. She is based in Dublin, Ireland.