Nothing is Lost

Jelena Vujnovic

Nothing is Lost

Opening Thursday 12th Feb 2015
12th Feb — 19th March 2015
Tuesday — Friday 9am — 5pm

Artist: Jelena Vujnovic
Writer: Serena Wong
Musicians and Sound Artists: Joy Sparkes and Default


Welcome Home

Written by Serena Wong

We are the sum of our parts. On the surface this phrase seems like a simple truism. A puzzle in which the pieces are obvious, ordered and have a clear and singular place. Our lives however, are far from that straight forward and clear.

Jelena Vujnovic’s work delves into the parts of ourselves that we are sometimes least aware of. In this exhibition she investigates how experiences don’t just change us in the moment, but become a fundamental, ongoing part of our lives. Exploring biological and environmental structures, Jelena investigates how these sites generate experience, and, at the same time become layered with personal, subjective memories. Merleau-Ponty wrote that the body is the site from which we both exist in the world and translate the world into meaning. And, as our bodies move through the world, they collect and store experience, generating meaning from a database of pre-existing knowledge, becoming rich sources of personal narratives.

Exiled from their home in 1991, as a result of the Balkan Wars, Jelena’s formative years were spent in a number of different countries, homes and schools, before finally settling in Australia at the age of 10. The echoes of this displacement are woven so tightly through her family’s story that its affects filter through generations, imparting a skewed dislocation and nostalgia for a country Jelena barely knew. These handed down memories form abstracted layers in Jelena’s work, hinting at a hidden framework that has subtly informed her experience of the world. In this exhibition it is the abstracted body that becomes the site for this knowledge, the lens through which our subjectivity constructs meaning in the environment.

Offering a different way to untangle place, this exhibition could be read as a multilayered cartography. With suggestions of stories held within biological structures, overlayed with abstracted geometric forms, the installation is an experience of how we construct place. Each mark or line becomes an epicentre of experience, like a pin drop on a map describing important events and anchor points. Rippling out from these points, shapes emerge, as if found by sonar, forming a subjective landscape of memory, experience and space. Using a paired-back pallet, this exhibition features a combination of works on board, paper and a mixed-media wall work. Together, it forms an alternative map. Tracing the intersections between the physical, psychological and biological, these works describe the journey as much as the destination.

Collaborating with the sound artists and musicians Joy & Sparkes and Deafault, for the first time, their live mix, recorded on opening night, will be playing throughout the duration of the exhibition. Though this cross genre collaboration is new, it emphasises the dichotomies between the flowing lines and staccato rhythms that have been present in Jelena’s work for years. This exhibition immerses the viewer in a singular vision of dislocation and relocation, absorbing the audience in an audio visual place-scape.

Operating with both metaphysical and tangible landscapes, this is a mind map of experience, cause and consequence, and the untold forces that shape our lives. We are the sum of our parts.

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