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MAJA DJURIC

THE FRAMEWORK OF THE PERCEIVED


       The exhibition of Maja Djuric Djordjevic titled “My World” consists of two series of photographs. Landscapes on the exhibited photographs show us detachment from the usual approach towards such a type of photography. They are connected by a conceptual starting position based on re-examining how perspective functions, i.e. the volume or frame of the perceived vis-à-vis the implicit.

       Reflection is the motif in the first series of photographs. The author photographed reflections in water. Breaking up of light in the nature and reflections of surrounding landscapes and objects that appear in water can be called primary reflections because they fit into the scope of natural phenomena. Water as a reflecting surface transmits certain visual contents linked to its narcissistic function of “looking oneself closely” or the role of a medium. The moment of looking oneself closely or reflecting in water carries mythical features. At the same time, primordial power of this phenomenon that has always been the matter of interest and research is recognised in that act. Photographing natural reflections, the author singles out one model of presentation in which a possibility of intervention is reduced because of a balanced, interactive relation between a reflection and what is being reflected.

       The second series of photograph is titled “Speculum in Imaginis”. As the very title says, the motif appearing in these photographs is a mirror. It plays the role of a reflecting surface that water has in the first series; therefore, reflections are the topic framework of this series as well. Unlike natural primary reflections, we see secondary or executed reflections that result from the artist’s intervention. Maja Djuric Djordjevic usually sets a smaller mirror under a certain angle opposite the location she is going to photograph. Since it is placed in such a way, the mirror brings in a reflection of the situation that is outside the frame of the photograph. The artist gets thus a paradoxical situation, i.e. there is something in the picture that has not been photographed. It might be said that the situation is distorted in the way a reflection functions in the nature. A mirror is a medium as water is in the first series, but equilibrium or “equality sign” between a reflection and what is being reflected (reflection in water and surrounding landscapes) is replaced with “difference”. That difference understands incorporating the reflection that is not necessarily identical to a photographed situation; more precisely, the difference understands a possibility of choosing a reflection.

       Someone who is opposite what is being photographed and who is not, thereby, in the photograph, is involved at one point as well in that game of what is present and absent in the photographs, and what is or is not photographed. That is the “one who is taking pictures”, i.e. the very author whose shadow indirectly shows her implicit presence.

       “Behind the Mirror” is another title of the second series of photographs. It is borrowed from the book “Alice in Wonderland”. The mirror opens Alice a completely new world, equally real and diverse, although completely different in comparison to the reality. That is why it becomes a metaphor of something present, existing, yet hidden. The same can be said for the photographs of Maja Djuric Djordjevic. She decomposes, brings to the level of visibility or edits with the help of the mirror, emphasizing the ambivalent function of perspective that hides and reveals at the same time, depending upon a viewpoint or, in a wider sense, the way of observing, predisposition of the very observer.

       On the other hand, it is no coincidence that the author explains her conceptual approach through landscapes. A combination of the sky, water and rock, appearing in most of her photographs represents reduction to basic elements, unburdening the redundant and returning to the original. The same goes for going back into the nature whose function is to free from rapid acceleration that is typical for urban life. An inserted situation, emphasized by the frame of the very mirror, as a moment of the unexpected, destabilizes soothing character of such presentations, pointing out the very surplus opposed to the expected. That subtle game of dislocating reflections in the photographs of Maja Djuric Djordjevic reveals a specific relation between perspective and the field of observation. Her photographs demonstrate that this relation is not based exclusively on the perceived, but also on the implicit contents that represent a constituent part of the very perspective. At the same time, photography as a medium opens possibilities for observing various levels of reality that slips away everyday, accelerated shifts of perspective that is not used to being focused.

By Maja Stankovic

 

Biography


Maja Djuric

       Maja Djuric Djordjevic (1966, Cetinje) lives and works in Budva, Cetinje and Belgrade. She graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade, at the Department of Art History, and obtained MA degree under the tutelage of Prof. Ian Jeffrey from the Central European University in Prague. The artist’s works have been displayed at over 40 group and 7 solo exhibitions held in Podgorica, Budapest, Budva, Tivat and Moscow. She is the president and one of the founders of the Institute for Photography of Montenegro, a counsellor of European Photography Guide (Göttingen, Germany), an associate of “Wostokpress” Photo Agency from Paris as well as various daily newspapers, magazines and art magazines, such as Refoto, Kwartalnik Fotografia, Matica, Danas, Politika, Elle. She has been awarded a number of times (I prize at the International Exhibition “Marubi 2003” held in Tirana - www.marubi2003.com ). This artist’s photographs have been published in various publications.