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My Own Unknown

Dragana Jurisic

Comprising of photographs, polaroids, lightboxes and notebooks, these seemingly diverse elements cohere to an examination of identity. Perceptions of nationality and gender are the two obvious trigger points. The question of the artist’s own nationality is examined vicariously through the eyes of a mysterious aunt who disappeared from Yugoslavia in the 1950s and lived in Paris assuming multiple identities. That Yugoslavia itself has disappeared as a sovereign nation in the interim is the starting point of the artist’s search for a recognizable truth.

John Keats’ quotation that ‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty – that is all ye know on earth and all ye need to know’ leads Jurisic further along a wider philosophical engagement with those two entities. 'L’Inconnue de la Seine' is the name given to an unknown young woman whose body was found in the river Seine. A death mask was subsequently made and her beauty inspired artists and writers of the day, including Man Ray, Anais Nin and Albert Camus. The serenity, beauty and anonymity of this young woman’s death mask provokes a philosophical discussion on beauty, art and truth.

Jurisic tackles gender perception in 100 muses, a collection of 100 polaroids of nude female sitters. Their faces obscured and only the death mask visible in each polaroid, this work is an attempt to re-assemble 'L’Inconnue de la Seine' out of 100 women, but also a question is asked; how well do we know anyone, including ourselves? The lightboxes in Noli Timere Mnemosyne is a body of work that deals with past fears, with not being afraid to remember and with finding strength in solitude.


Paul Gaffney

Continuing his investigations into different ways of experiencing and representing nature and landscape, Stray depicts Gaffney’s wanderings through a dense pine forest at night in near-total darkness. Gaffney’s photographs create a mood which is in equal parts alluring and apprehensive, and feels both painterly and cinematic in its approach. The delicate black prints appear to absorb light, while the loose narrative evokes the slow, tactile experience of cautiously navigating through such a disorientating environment, where our visual abilities are so limited that we must trust in our other senses, and instincts, to find our way.

Gaffney has released a handmade limited edition artist book of Stray, which has been nominated for the Best Photobooks Kassel 2016 Experts Selection.

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