Serbian artist Maja Djordjevic celebrates Love and all of Life’s challenges.
Dio Horia gallery announces the first solo exhibition of Serbian artist Maja Djordjevic, in Athens called ‘I Am Always a Different Person’. The exhibition opens on November 29, in the presence of the artist. In her practice, Maja Djordjevic works in painting and sculpture, combining oil and enamel, to weave narratives of private experience, her own and that of others. Djordjevic’s artistic practice began in 2014 when she decided to copy the shapes and colors of the doodles that one makes when painting in the computer. Ever since, this became her primary artistic tactic. Formally, her artworks look like simple drawings. In some parts they have concrete representational meanings and in other parts they are composed of random and abstract lines. Technically they are challenging compositions created with multiple layers of enamel, executed on the floor, without the use of tape or projection. For her first major project, that was a residency at Dio Horia Gallery in Mykonos in 2015, Djordjevic followed strangers in the island and documented their stay with the use of doodles and painted imagery. Then she painted herself living her subjects’ experiences. The combination of voyeurism, portraiture and the public exposure of private experiences became hallmarks of Djordjevic’s subsequent work. A blonde girl (the artist is blonde), usually naked so as to look developed and not childish, came to life. For the next 5 years Djordjevic presented herself in various situations that she collected, following narratives of other people and positioning herself in their stories. The artist used painting to understand how she would act if these stories were her own. In the exhibition ‘I Am Always a Different Person’, Djordjevic looks into her own current emotional experience for her subject matter. Djordjevic is in love and so is the blonde alter ego in her artworks. Her love is not a romantic one but a realistic condition that has changed her daily life and needs constant effort and maneuvering to maintain itself. Wobbly Ancient Greek columns and exercise weights portrayed in the works, act as props and refer to these efforts. The central work of the exhibition called also ‘I Am Always a Different Person’ portrays Djordjevic’s girl holding her head upside down in her hands. Possibly, the work acts as a portrayal of love as a dangerous condition that has edges, cuts deeps – and that is why it feels like nothing else on earth. Other works in the exhibition like the two large sculptural works of a couple courting each other with flowers, focus on questions of absence and desire in her personal relationship. Finally, for the exhibition Djordjevic has portrayed a series of small-scale portraits of girls in different emotional states that seem to be laughing or screaming, depending on the viewer’s interpretation of each one. Some of these portraits have very basic diary entries of text on them that the artist has written down in the past year. All texts are copied in the artworks as were written in her journal and that is why some have grammatical and spelling errors that Djordjevic who is not a Native English speaker, unconsciously makes. In ’I Am Always A Different Person’ Maja Djordjevic invites the viewer to feel, perceive and experience love— as well as to understand the excitement, the fear and the ephemerality of all sentiments — and encounter them as life challenges that reveal the magic of existence. Finally, through the representation of the challenges and adaptations of love, the artist seeks to talk about the constant efforts and flexibility needed to handle all kind of life’s challenges.