memory. culture. art.
Maja Obradović

Born 1983 in Belgrade (Serbia). She graduated from the Faculty of fine arts, Belgrade. Since 2007 she enrolls in the Faculty of Fine Arts, department painting as a PhD student. In 2006 she received a scholarship from the Republic Foundation for development of scientific and artistic youth.
Art prize, art stipendium Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral, Bad Ems, Germany, 2008
Great Academy award “Rista i Beta Vukanovic, painters”, 2006/07

Selected exhibitions:
La tristezza durera, Gallery Faculty of Fine Arts, Belgrade, 2008
The layers of memory, Gallery in House of Youth, Belgrade, 2008
Belgrade with Budapest, Magacin Kraljevica Marka, Belgrade, 2008
New artists of ULUS, Serbian art society, Cvijeta Zuzoric, Belgrade, 2008
Black and white drawings, ULUPUDS gallery, Belgrade, 2008
Belgrade in Budapest, The Net of Choices, Gallery IMPEX, Budapest, 2007

Maja Obradović reflects on her work:
Father and daughter story
She was walking through beautiful green landscape.
Nature was silent.
Not a whisper of wind.
She walked for a long time.
She stopped nearby a tree to rest.
She enjoyed.
She put her hand on a ground.
She closed her eyes.
She was touching the grass with her hands but something stopped her.
A piece of skeleton.
Human jawbone.

She saw her father in a field.
Without a word, she showed him what she had found.
He said: “It’s animal’s. Don’t worry.”
He threw it away. Over his shoulder.

This is a pictorial way I deal with memory. This story is the base of work I do. I collect and use private stories of the people who survived war and became victims. Once you became one, you will have to deal with all-over-again-existing-trauma of a victim figure.
Facing with synthesis of human feelings and values of civilisation, in a moment when we are examining massive crimes, is like a picture of cannibal who deals with a piece of meat.
Those are wordless moments, without possibilities to describe a crime and on a surface are agonizing fact about people, nations who live buried alive in their own evil.

During conversations I had with victims, I felt like digging through more and more layers of remembrance. Similarities are not difficult to find-living in an empty-left island, a syndrome of always being isolated. Also, feeling small, unprotected, cheated but naïve as well, because war is impossible to divide from bathos, because reasons for its beginnings are always banal. That’s why I take only personal stories and statements that are part of personal history.
Path of evil and its inhuman results, a question of modification of memory have great importance in my drawings. My main questions are:“Why is it so hard for people to open about these topics? Why they are silent? Is remembrance crime itself?”

If you have written crimes in your personal history in repetition, then it becomes a condition you start to live in and you do not look for answers or examine any more. Crime’s past is getting a new dimension of a crime-forgetting.
That is the reason why I try to transfer stories in drawings without any national boundaries; I want to try to find characteristics of first visual pictures of war in victim’s remembrance. I want to try to give fragile memory a personal body.
Victims taught me that there are two things you do not have the right to: to forget and to be afraid. If you do not deal with your own past you are sentenced to repeat it.