Biljana Vujicic

Artist Statement

In 1991, 24 million people lost their national identity.  Yugoslavia stopped existing.  People struggled with the loss of a nation.  Equally, they struggled with the loss of their national identity.  One of them was me. 

My artwork is a lament for a lost national identity and a celebration of freedom to perform a new national identity.   Yet, the uncanny of the new national identity intimidates my curiosity. I face my new identity as a stranger; and while new to me, this identity defines centuries of previous generations. Torn between the two, I recreate nostalgic moments of the old national identity, while at the same time I create visual codes for the new identity. 

My latest installation represents a conversation between two national identities.  Talking to Myself (2011) is interplay of discovery between good and better identity.  In this installation I do not offer a solution for myself or for the viewer.  Instead, I deal with the unsettling knowledge that I can no longer be Yugoslavian simply because this country no longer exists.  Whether I like it or not, mine is a forced choice.  Trapping the viewer between two big screens, I coerce them into an intimate look at me and my struggle with two national identities. 

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