Fulbright & Fine Arts

I was a student at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen when I decided to pursue an MFA at UCLA. The artistic work which was being done in Copenhagen was very graphic or painterly and was in a dialogue with Modernist painting of the 40s
and 50s. My artistic work dealt with historical memory and identity, and involved interviewing subjects to interrogate the effects of the conflict in Ex-Yugoslavia during the 90s on different generational groups. My work positioned itself between a private, political and social sphere and I found the intellectual community at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts to be un-stimulating for the type of work that I wanted to pursue.

I chose to apply to UCLA, to study with prof. Mary Kelly in the Interdisciplinary Studio area, who´s work has balanced between the social, political and private in a career spanning over 40 years. Working with Prof. Kelly involved being in close dialogue with her and the 3 other students in her area, to discuss what it meant to have an artistic project. What is it that we as artists want to do? I felt that this question stretched beyond what our contribution could be within our artistic mediums (video, sound, film, painting etc.) but rather, what we could contribute with as human subjects living in a politically and socially precarious environment and having been in such environments first hand, experiencing them on our bodies and psyches.

These questions prompted me to look closer into the history of the conflict in Ex-Yugoslavia, which my own family fled from in the 90s and consider how this history affected my generation and still does to this day. What are the effects of this history on different generational groups that went through these events and how are these historical experiences and understandings transferred consciously or unconsciously from one generation to the next. These questions make up the core of my artistic project, which is an ongoing investigation and which develops into works of art which I hope can function as ethnographic documents for learning and development for the future.

My time at UCLA also enabled me to participate in courses across the whole University that I found of interest and relevant for my artistic research. Psychoanalysis became one of my main theoretical models and I was privileged to study the field with a number of
well renowned theoreticians. Along with developing my work, my experience at UCLA has given me the tools to teach, something I was hoping to start while at UCLA (and did) and something I´ve continued to pursue after my graduation. In Winter 2016 I taught a
course at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. I will teach another course at the institution in April 2017, which will focus on the concept of being a witness, be it in a legal or historical context.

Being at UCLA and working with the faculty I have been working with has had clear effects on my development, both artistically and professionally. In 2015, I won the BKHs Photo Art prize for my work “Prevodenje(Translation)” which was showcased at
Vårutstillingen at Fotogalleriet, and I was awarded a prestigious artist residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York, which I am currently participating in and will be until the end of August 2017. Through the program my work is getting great exposure and I´ve gotten to meet a number of art professionals working in the States, which will provide opportunities to present my work in the states in the future.