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Sanja Ćopić

Sanja Ćopić was born in 1992 in Belgrade, where she got a Master’s degree at the Faculty of Fine Arts - Sculpture in the class of professor Mrdjan Bajic. In the first year of her studies, she received an award for the best portrait sculpture and in the last, she was awarded the title of “The perspectives” for young up-and-coming artists. She is also the winner of the video art contest “Body as a regime”. She participated in over 25 group and 3 solo exhibitions in Serbia, Italy, Slovenia, and Austria. Recently, she exhibited at the Salon of the Museum of contemporary art in Belgrade, where she presented a two-channel video installation titled “Standup comedy / Standup tragedy”. She explores identity, lists, memories, fantasies, dreams, and the position of the full-time employed artist in contemporary society by using videos, performance, and installation. She is interested in communication, languages, philanthropy, the beauty of sad and ugly things. Currently, she is attending a Master’s program in Human Resource Management, works in Marketing, and is exhibiting at the October Salon.

My first Tiktok; 7’46’’

In this series of TikTok videos, the artist tries to wrap her head around the ongoing air pollution crisis in Serbia and the Balkans and the paradoxes of how authorities attempt to deal with it. Ćopić adopts the new video format and language that she is not familiar and comfortable with, in order to give her stream of consciousness a 2021 aesthetic and flavour, and hopelessly tries to achieve virality.

Interview

What is the language in common for the young people today?

Meme culture, although I have to admit that more and more young people are persuading me in passing and that I don't feel we have so much in common - I just became a real millennial who doesn't understand genres and looks forward to things like a new dishwasher and red onion pickle. 

What does the process of making one of your pieces look like?

My works are more like some thoughts or topics that have been running through my head for a long time, and very often accidentally get their format. What matters to me is what I envisioned to say, and the production itself or the way I’m going to say it is mostly secondary. I use myself often and very cheap and available materials and media. Often my friend Emma makes me think a little more about my work and not to waste it, so I am grateful to her for that, because I mostly do things at the last minute, with the last atoms of strength, and relying on humor and charm more than good execution. On the other hand, I started to miss some old "art" activities, so in the Copping project in which I paint old clothes with plant and animal motifs and raise awareness about sustainable fashion, self-righteousness and perfectionism come to the fore, and these works are quite different from this “real” art I do.

Which challenges have you faced while making art as you know it?

My challenges are mostly personal, and then of course framed socially. Due to the tendency to satisfy everyone and not listen to myself and my needs, the challenge is to make time for art in my life at all, as well as not to prioritize my idea in relation to logistical challenges. It's always a challenge and a shame - everything I do is always shameful for me, but through that I also train to become less sensitive to that kind of discomfort.

Do you consider yourself an artist, and what does that word mean to you?

Well, I think so, but it's always weird for me to think about myself first, because in addition to art, I have a parallel job from 9 to 5 that I love, from which I live and earn, and those two careers coexist peacefully, only my LinkedIn profile seems unfocused.

What is your escape from reality? Do you even have a need to escape from something?

Unfortunately and fortunately - social networks. I don't allow myself enough to be alone with myself and my thoughts, so I often end up on social media scrolling for hours until I fall asleep. Fortunately, because there is really wonderful content on them, so I am constantly discovering something new and learning and nurturing curiosity - and as you can see from my work, lately that obsession is TikTok, but I don't neglect Instagram either.

What does the word innovative mean to you?

Uh, hard question, and I tie it a lot more to my regular job than to art. Ability to combine experiences from different fields into new solutions in the field in which we are.

Do you have a plan for the future? Where can your artistic practice take you?

Unfortunately, not yet, I wanted to make a vision board in January, but I couldn't stick it to the wall, so that's probably why I haven't reached those goals yet. Joke aside, I would like him to take me a little abroad, but if he can with dignity somehow. It would be great for me to get to some fancy places with such non-existent means, conditions and cheap works (in terms of production).

What made the biggest influence on you to become what you are today and do what you do now?

Well, I think that since I know for myself, I have been doing something that has to do with art and fashion, but what was certainly a turning point for the decision to enroll in art, not medicine or languages, were preparations for the academy with Vojislav Klačar.

How would you describe Serbian (Balkan or European-depends on where you live and work) contemporary cultural scene?

Alas, it seems nice and lively to me from a distance - unfortunately, I don't follow it enough and I don't have any feeling that I belong to it, despite the factual situation. 

In which way does your creative process shape you or changes you as a person, if it does at all?

He confronts me with my bugs, fantasies and mechanisms in a public way, so he exposes me to himself. The way I do my work is a great learning about myself, but the content itself is always introspective.