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Vanja Žunić i Pavle Banović

Pavle Banović is a young artist from Belgrade, Serbia. He is currently studying at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Department of New Media. He was also part of the Applause Institute, a young art collective based in Belgrade.
Significant exhibitions: Leaving the Safe Regime, Goethe Institute, Belgrade (2018), Given Mood, Contact Gallery, Kragujevac (2019), Exhibition of awarded students, Media Nox Gallery, MFRU Maribor (2020), Moving Spaces, P74 Gallery, Ljubljana (2021) .

“ Photographs are much more appealing to me than life. Life is too hard, too complicated, too scary, too meaningless, too everything. If you look at the photograph you think you understand something. You do, for a few seconds. As long as you go to that picture, you can be comforted. ” 

-Judith Joy Ross 

Vanja Žunić (1997, Belgrade, Serbia) is currently a fourth year student at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade, at the New Media department. In her work, she wants to emphasize the importance and poetics of everyday life. She is interested in the potential ways of intervention in the collective spaces, in which she raises questions about the contemporary human experiences and constructed social systems, like language. By reshaping, she creates new abstract, alternative and virtual spaces. More recently, working with and focusing on organic and found materials gives her a way of upcycling and using the nature of the material to create new meaning.
Notable exhibitons: Leaving Safe Mode Goethe Institute, Belgrade (2018), Artist on Vacation Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb (2019), Given Mood Kontakt gallery, SKC Kragujevac (2019), Hard Pressed, Magacin, Belgrade (2020).

A nostalgic look at memories that may not happen.

We all p(r)ay for the internet; 7’33’’

The work is conceived as an audio-visual dialogue between two artists. In the text, which forms the key basis of this work, there is an exchange of impressions between two young artists created through the perception of a new kind of environment. By mapping and deciphering occurrences, phenomena, values through the visual language of the Internet, we try to become aware of the moments we experience in a new light. How do these phenomena affect our attitude towards the future, the revolution, the Internet, conversation, interpersonal relationships? Exploring current attitudes towards the modern world leads to hidden feelings of optimism or helplessness, which arose as another kind of polarity in society. By examining the symptoms caused by global contemporary problems and side effects, anxiety, and quality of life, we seek to start a conversation in common language about the ways in which we have privatized the stress whose consequences we all actually feel.

Interview

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

Pavle: I think the answer to this question is very complicated. For me, the common language of young people represents, paradoxically, everything we share, but it remains silent. The way we understand each other, the humor we share, the dance, the anxieties ... 

Vanja:  Internet.

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

Pavle: I look at my works as points of summarizing the content of an idea that I am thinking about. I always start from consuming different content, going through experiences, documenting through text and photos that trigger certain thoughts, and then I come to a certain form that can be the basis of that at a given moment. The process and development of an idea interests me much more than art as a physical work. 

Vanja: Like building a sand tower.

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

Pavle: I think the biggest challenge is how to stay honest, how to constantly move out of comfortable positions, and how to avoid romanticizing your own work. 

Vanja: The challenge is to stay below the line of sight, and to communicate there.

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

Pavle: I am and I think everyone is. Art is in subjective experience. Its place is in the specific external stimulus constructed by all our previous experiences. 

Vanja:

By escaping from reality, I try to live in non-time and non-place, and to act from them.

Za sebe smatram da sam umetnica, što za mene znači svrha i odgovornost.

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

Pavle: I think we all run into fantasy when we don't like the environment, and it's scary when one leaks into the other, especially in art. In addition, my main escape is mediocre cinema.

Vanja: By escaping from reality, I try to live in non-time and non-place, and to act from them.

What does the word innovative mean to you?

Pavle: 

Vanja: Never fewer things, and never more people to see them.

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

Pavle: I always plan a year or two in advance, but no further than that, although I would probably feel calmer to do it. I don't think about where she can take me, more about where she can go.

Vanja: I plan to stay in Serbia for some time and expand my practice in other directions, after which I would like it to take me somewhere else.

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

Pavle: Mix the need for creativity and conflict with society. 

Vanja: The beginning of my artistic practice was mostly influenced by the artists I was surrounded by, such as Vladimir Nikolić and Bojana Matejić.

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

Pavle: As very inspiring and potent but insufficiently encouraged and angry.

Vanja: It seems to me that he does not observe things from a sufficient distance, and acts with an excessive need to reach a destination. I think that the uncertainty of the goal is sometimes a sufficient goal.

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

Pavle: It helps me to transfer the freedom I feel when I work to other aspects of my life.

Vanja: I appreciate the process as the most important part of the practice, in which every potential for changing the idea as well as the personality is created.