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At the Otok Gallery, an independent cultural center, Art Workshop Lazareti (Art radionica Lazareti) in Dubrovnik (ARL), from October 12th to October 31st, 2023, presents the art project ‘Decisive’ by Nina Đurđević (curated by Iva Prosoli), in which the artist examines the theme of suicide.
This is a topic that needs to be discussed, although it is often silenced because, as with stereotypes, it can cause discomfort or sympathy among people.
Nina Đurđević photographed nine people who survived a suicide attempt and have chosen to speak about it. She captured them at the very locations where they attempted suicide. Each portrait was preceded by a recorded conversation, and each of the portraits is accompanied by text about each of these encounters and conversations.
The exhibition also includes two self-portraits that the author took at the locations where her father committed suicide in 2001 and where her brother did the same 11 years later.
Regarding her authorial concept, Nina Đurđević says: „Portraying people who have attempted suicide, did not succeed, and are now content, at the scene with a smile on their faces. This is the most concentrated and precise description of this project. For this self-portrait project. Because I come from a successful suicidal family. My nuclear family (mom, dad, brother, and me) has been reduced by half. It has come down to the female half. My life experience is greatly colored by this and other reductions. My attitude as well. Ways of reacting. Perception. And no, I can’t say that I’ve come to love life, understand its preciousness, learn wisely from others’ experiences, and start living life to the fullest because of these experiences of loss. And yet, I love life, I believe it’s precious when you feel it that way, I try to learn from others’ experiences, and I live as fully as I can. This project is conceived as an ode to life. A life that is our essence. We are alive, aren’t we?“
Nina Đurđević, Decisive. Source of the photo: ARL, Dubrovnik
„This powerful and brave exhibition,“ as emphasized in the project’s explanation,“ encourages us to talk about a topic that is often silenced, to see and feel the people who have attempted suicide or talk about it, to reduce the stigma of individuals who have attempted suicide, and to increase understanding and acceptance in public discourse.“
Nina Đurđević was born in 1980 in Brežice, Slovenia. „Her relationship with photography began spontaneously in 1994 while playing with her dad’s camera, and four years later, she had her first solo exhibition.“
She graduated from the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb, specializing in Film and Television Production, and completed a master’s program in photography at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad. She is a member of ULUPUH and the Croatian Association of Independent Artists and has received several awards. Her works from the series of self-acts „Objekt(iv)na“ are included in the collection of the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb.