The Art and Alchemy of Cooking / Dejana Vučićević
July 7th - August 15th, 2016 > Opening on July 7th, at 19h
In the new series of photographs, Dejana Vučićević explores the complex relationships between fiction and reality, the status and identity of a woman artist through multilayer semantics and media character of the modern digital photograph, using the experiences of the film set design, costume design, editing and directing. Through the images of the carefully reconstructed historic ambiance of the kitchen from the 1950s, Dejana continues exploring the possibilities of reviewing the idea of femininity. Following her previous works, in which she thematizes the social role of the woman as a mother and wife, in The Perfect Time she starts from another stereotype – the woman as a housewife, but this time she immerses more deeply into the questions and doubts carried by the conflict between the restricting social role and identity of the woman. In this context the series of eight photographs made by Dejana Vučićević at first glance reconsiders the fundamental assumptions of the female identity – the very idea of femininity still relying on the biological clock, which defines the different aspects of becoming a woman, but also her own internal clock and its complex attitude towards socially imposed roles.
Here cooking is a metaphor of the first-person artistic action, in which the contents, morphology, and poetics of creativity are in the function of self-expression, whose disturbing nature is implied by Dejana’s photographs without an explanation, presenting them as the question of the meaning of art today. Far from prosaic daily life, Dejana’s kitchen is the space of fantasy and magic, the space in which (suppressed) fears and desires are liberated, the space of worries, concerns, longings, fantasies, and creations.
There is nothing that distinguishes us more fundamentally from the world of nature than gastronomy. By placing the protagonist in the kitchen and by presenting her specific artistic, phantasmagorical culinary experience full of symbols, Dejana stepped into the exploration of freedom and artificiality as assumptions of her own as well as contemporary artistic ideology, semantics, and practice, setting the female identity and existence in its center.
Dejana’s scenes reveal a confusing expressive nature of the feminine artistic work and reconsideration of her own artistic identity. The Perfect Time series is an allegory on the search for the meaning in the woman’s real life. Beyond the representative, everyday, trivial, ephemeral, there is the invisible, poetic, contemplative, oniric side…a note of frivolity, and often humorous as well, which Dejana incorporates in her scenes, only partly mitigates the prevailing disturbing impression of loneliness.
Katarina Mitrović, a part of the text from the catalog
However, the goldfish made of jelly was not brought or given as a gift, but the heroine of this project made it for herself! She made it gain new opportunities and spaces for imagining an important and big wish. We do not see whether that wish will be fulfilled, but we suspect whether the imagination and daydreams, richly colored with optimism, will have enough free space.
Dejana Vučićević graduated from the Faculty of Applied Arts and Design in Belgrade. She is a member of ULUPUDS (Association of Fine and Applied Artists and Designers of Serbia), has the status of an independent artist. Involved in visual arts, had several major solo projects within design and fashion, such as fashion collections, costumes for three feature films and one short film. Costume design and design in projects for theatre and TV commercials, and styling for art fashion editorials, etc. Within multimedia arts, she has conceptual author projects presented in solo exhibitions. Two artistic creations were purchased by two prestigious Belgrade museums:
Belgrade City Museum: conceptual – two photographs from Happy Family project, Museum of Applied Arts, Belgrade: fashion – a dress from Playgirl collection. The photograph from Happy Family belongs to Telenor’s Collection of Serbian Contemporary Art.