Nina Đurđević

Nina Đurđević, iz serije Objektivna / from the Objective series, 2009
Nina Đurđević, iz serije Objektivna / from the Objective series, 2009

The Space In-between & Objective

Opening: 28 May at 8 pm

28 May – 30 June 2014

Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana

WHERE: Prešernova cesta 10, Ljubljana

A self-portrait can be defined as the literal or figurative projection of the self into the picture. Considering Nina Đurđević’s work over the years, the self-portrait is, according to this definition, a recurring theme. Taking the author’s intention into account, The Space Between and Objective, two seemingly, entirely different photographic series can both be defined as self-portraiture.

Several years ago Nina Đurđević began shooting walls. She did so without any specific intent. She took photographs in the privacy of rooms she lived in, rooms she visited, rooms she stayed in while travelling; during moments of respite. The resulting photographs are the outcome of that process; not the result of careful composition, but rather of contemplation. Or, sometimes, they are the result of a spontaneous reaction. Evidently, and thanks to her intuitive preference of geometric forms, she has nonetheless created compositions with clean lines. Sometimes drawn in by the detail, at other times drawn into the space, she plays with different perspectives. In Đurđević’s photographs, real surfaces are transformed by natural light. What emerges with the benefit of hindsight is the awareness that what she has recorded are not (just) the walls, but as she says, “the space between”: a reaction to the new environment, intimate thoughts, restlessness, fear, anxiety, excitement, peace. The resulting images may feature more or less space, dynamic or static surfaces, recognisable elements or pure geometric abstraction. Through Đurđević’s exploration of this space between, the simplicity of her narrative becomes an abundance of content.

The second photographic series, Objective, which at first glance appears to be more straightforward, can be read on two levels. This time, Đurđević chooses to photograph nude self-portraits. She arranges her body in pseudo-erotic poses, imitating images from magazines and self-ironically challenges the dominant social perception of idealised female beauty. She is criticising and anticipating reaction of a viewer. But she does so with a witty twist: posing with a broken-down, old car, in a ramshackle classroom, hitch-hiking along the road, in what is ultimately a rather unattractive landscape. Within this broadened frame of reference she offers the viewer an abundance of clear signals. She is not only objectifying her own body for the sake of pointing out the irony of twisted social values, but by examining her own eroticism, she is in the first place displaying her own insecurity. She places herself in clearly uncomfortable postures, her attitude to the camera and her look vary.

As in the previously mentioned series, Đurđević ‘s motivation once again lies with self-analysis. However, in contrast to the The Space Between series, as the author herself says “this series is that necessary step from the exterior to the interior, because only when I accept what is most obvious, perhaps then the next step is acceptance of that which is interior.”

Iva Prosoli