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Mirjana Vrbaški was born in Montreal, Canada (1978), but grew up in Belgrade, Serbia. After obtaining a BA in Literature, Vrbaški turned to photography, graduating from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague in 2010. Her ongoing series Verses of Emptiness has been nominated for various photography prizes, exhibited internationally at, among other, Fotomuseum Den Haag (NL), Transformer Station Cleveland (USA), and Museum Kranenburgh (NL), and is represented in international public and private collections. Since 2011, Vrbaški lives and works in Berlin.
Initially, Vrbaški’s practice revolved around portraits; portraits of women who — austere, unembellished and otherworldly — project a sense of vast interiority, like cups that are about to overflow. Brimming with an intense, questioning presence, they seem to evade easy characterization.
Such evasiveness is rooted in Vrbaški's relationship to photography, whereby she approaches a photograph as a space rather than a narrative. “I am interested in creating work that is an environment for the viewer’s internal universe, as well as my own. If there is an ‘about’ to it, it is about that space in which my complex feelings, spirit, longing and wandering can find belonging...…a space that is immediate, emotional and deeply personal.”
Similarly, ‘7/8’, Vrbaški’s next photographic series, is a quest for consolation in face of certain ironies: of great beauty and great pain sometimes coexisting within the same experience; of feeling lost and at the same time acutely aware of the moment's significance; of a forest’s ability to both frighten and center with its vastness, to both anchor and overwhelm.
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ON VERSES OF EMPTINESS:
Goodrum, Sarah. A New/old Ethics of the Photographic Portrait: Mirjana Vrbaski’s “Verses of Emptiness”. AfterImage Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism, Vol. 40
Interview with Joerg Colberg:
Brunner, Eva. Mirjana Vrbaski “Verses of Emptiness”. Brennpunkt Magazin für Fotografie.
Download Brennpunkt.pdf (German)
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