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Vesna Pavlović: Projected Histories Opens June 24, 2011
in the Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery
NASHVILLE, TENN. – (April 26, 2011) – The photographs of artist Vesna Pavlović will be featured in the Frist Center for the Visual Arts’ Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery June 24–Sept. 11, 2011. Entitled Projected Histories, the exhibition includes images of architectural interiors, tourist sites and cultural events that examine ways photography shapes personal and cultural identities. The photographs were taken in the United States and Pavlović’s native Serbia over the last thirteen years.
According to chief curator Mark Scala, “Vesna Pavlović shows that photography’s apparent truthfulness allows it to both conceal and reveal cultural attitudes.” This paradoxical function is evident in the series Hotels, comprising haunting images of vacant hotel interiors, designed in the Modernist style favored by the Communist regime in the former Yugoslavia. While the faded colors and outdated furnishings in these photographs suggest nostalgia for a bygone era, they also reveal the ephemeral nature of the Modernist and Socialist belief systems they represent.
Pavlović considers photographs to be artifacts as well as images, which enable people to devise personal histories through the selective documentation and presentation of slides and family albums. Looking for Images—a Duratrans photograph on a light box—depicts a grid of slides found by the artist that show tourist destinations around the world. The work is a reminder of how culture is often consumed through the lens rather than directly experienced, an impulse that continues today in the ways people use their camcorders and cell-phone cameras to record their lives.
A different documentary function appears in Watching, a series of photographs showing the faces of basketball fans in Serbia and the United States during games. The images taken in Belgrade are especially poignant in the aftermath of the civil war, when Serbs were often viewed internationally as pariahs. Success at the 2002 International Basketball Association Games in
Indianapolis helped ignite deep pride among spectators who were watching the games back home. For many, victory transcended the basketball court and became an expression of national resilience and identity.
In more recent works, Pavlović has continued to explore ways that domestic architecture expresses the meanings and values people hold dear, while unconsciously reflecting larger cultural attitudes. Show Homes and the companion installation Display/Desire depict beautifully furnished model homes, used by the real-estate industry to entice prospective buyers to imagine how they might design the interior if the home became theirs. While reflecting consumerism’s equation of material abundance with happiness, the lack of personal touch or human presence in these rooms recalls the lifeless abundance in the still-life traditions of vanitas and memento mori, which remind us of the impermanence of our possessions and our inevitable mortality.
Vesna Pavlović: Projected Histories will be accompanied by a gallery guide written by photography scholar and Frist Center Executive Director Susan H. Edwards, Ph.D.
Born in Belgrade, Serbia, Vesna Pavlović obtained her MFA in visual arts from Columbia University in 2007. Currently, she is an assistant professor of art at Vanderbilt University where she teaches photography and digital media. She has exhibited widely, including solo shows at the Museum of History of Yugoslavia in Belgrade and the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento.
Vesna Pavlović has also been featured in group exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade; Tennis Palace Art Museum in Helsinki; Carinthian Museum of Modern Art in Klagenfurt, Austria; Photographers’ Gallery in London; and Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge. Pavlović is the recipient of Robert Penn Warren Fellowship at Vanderbilt University and Helene Wurlitzer Foundation grant and artist residency in Taos, NM, in 2011. Her work is represented by G Fine Art Gallery in Washington DC.
This exhibition is organized by the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in collaboration with 21C Museum, Louisville, Kentucky.
Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery Sponsor: Morgan Keegan
The Frist Center for the Visual Arts is supported in part by the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission and the Tennessee Arts Commission.
Related Public Programs
Friday, August 19 ARTini: Vesna Pavlović: Projected Histories
Meet at exhibition entrance
Free with purchase of gallery admission
Are you curious about art? Do you want to learn more about the content and concepts behind an artist’s work? If you answered yes to either of those questions, then the ARTini program is for
you! ARTinis are designed for everyone—from the novice to the connoisseur—and include informal and insightful conversations that offer a deeper understanding of one or two works of art in an exhibition.
Join Lori Anne Parker, Ph.D., editor at the Frist Center, as she leads an informal conversation about some of the work included in Vesna Pavlović: Projected Histories. Complete your evening by relaxing in the Grand Lobby with beverages from the café, including special ARTinis, and visiting with friends.
Tuesday, August 23 ARTini: Vesna Pavlović: Projected Histories
Meet at exhibition entrance
Free with purchase of gallery admission
Are you curious about art? Do you want to learn more about the content and concepts behind an artist’s work? If you answered yes to either of those questions, then the ARTini program is for you! ARTinis are designed for everyone—from the novice to the connoisseur—and include informal and insightful conversations that offer a deeper understanding of one or two works of art in an exhibition.
Join Lori Anne Parker, Ph.D., editor at the Frist Center, as she leads an informal conversation about some of the work included in Vesna Pavlović: Projected Histories. Complete your visit with a stop in the café or gift shop.
Thursday, September 1 Artist’s Perspective: Vesna Pavlović
Seating is first come, first served.
Join Nashville-based artist Vesna Pavlović as she discusses some of her work presented in Projected Histories, an exhibition on view in the Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery through September 11. This exhibition includes photographs taken in Pavlović’s native Serbia and the United States over the last two decades. Focusing on architecture, as well as sites and events of cultural significance, these works examine the power of photography to project both self images and national ideologies, shaping the perception of history as an expression of the dreams and aspirations of others.
About the Frist Center
Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, located at 919 Broadway in downtown Nashville, Tenn., is an art exhibition center dedicated to presenting the finest visual art from local, regional, U.S. and international sources in a program of changing exhibitions. The Frist Center’s Martin ArtQuest Gallery features interactive stations relating to Frist Center exhibitions. Gallery admission to the Frist Center is free for visitors 18 and younger and to Frist Center members. Frist Center admission is $10.00 for adults and $7.00 for seniors, military and college students with ID. College students are admitted free Thursday and Friday evenings (with the exception of Frist Fridays), 5–9 p.m. Discounts are offered for groups of 10 or more with advance reservation by calling (615) 744-3247.The Frist Center is open seven days a week: Mondays through Wednesdays, and Saturdays, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m.–9 p.m. and Sundays, 1–5:30 p.m., with the Frist Center Café opening at noon. Additional information is available by calling (615) 244-3340 or by visiting our Web site at http://www.fristcenter.org.