Polka

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Polka is a series of B/W photographs. Utilizing these photographs, I am reconstructing family’s memories and reconsidering the role of photography in the process of remembering. I am trying to represent my memories of an event which I have not experienced first-hand and of a person I did not know personally, even though they are an essential part of my family’s history.
According to Marianne Hirsch, notion of postmemory implies processing fragments of memories that belong to other people as one’s own. It is a secondary recollection which is articulated by the next generation of witnesses, instead of the eyewitnesses. In other words, it is a memory of events which we have not experienced first-hand, but learnt about them from experiences of other people. Postmemory binds us with space and time which we have not seen or experienced, but which are picturesque enough that we have a feeling that we still somehow remember them.
Polka Nedeljkovic was born in 1934 in Guberevac. She graduated at Business College in Kragujevac. On 19 March 1956, three months pregnant, she has committed suicide by jumping under train. Polka is a heroine of this work, whose tragic end is some sort of traumatic experience in the history of my family, later retold and in time turned into a family myth.
Photographs from the work Polka are based on two concepts and divided in two parts. The first part (in lambda print technique) was generated by reconstructing models of private photographs from the mid-20 century period, where I photograph myself in the role of Polka, smiling and cheerful. Some of the used landscapes belong to background of the authentic Polka’s photos.
The second part (video-beam screening) represents narrative scenes from Polka’s life based on memories of witnesses (Polka’s sister, brother and other close to her). I shoot myself in the role of Polka within fictitious tableaux by which I cumulatively build a sort of personal experience of Polka’s life and suffering. Photographs of objects and spaces indirectly connected with her also belong to the second part.
Photographs from the given series represent some sort of false documentation, which has to convince the beholder that they are documents of one youth, one life, and one tragedy.

Stefana Savic

Polka je serija crno belih fotografija kojima rekonstruišem porodično sećanje i preispitujem ulogu fotografije u procesu pamćenja. Pokušavam da predstavim svoje sećanje na događaj koji nisam neposredno iskusila i na ličnost koju nisam poznavala, iako su važan deo istorije moje porodice.
Prema Merian Hirš (Marianne Hirsch) proces obrađivanja fragmenata tuđeg sećanja kao dela vlastitog, naziva se postmemorija. To je sekundarno pamćenje, koje artikuliše naredna generacija svedoka umesto očevidaca. Drugim rečima, to je sećanje na događaje koje nismo neposredno doživeli već o njima saznajemo na osnovu tuđeg iskustva. Postmemorija nas vezuje sa prostorom i vremenom koje nismo iskusili ni videli, ali koji su dovoljno živopisni da imamo osećaj da ih se sećamo.
Polka Nedeljković rođena je 1934. godine u Guberevcu. Završila je Trgovačku akademiju u Kragujevcu. 19. marta 1956. godine, u trećem mesecu trudnoće, izvršila je samoubistvo bacanjem pod voz. Polka Nedeljković je junakinja ovog rada, čiji je tragični završetak neka vrsta traumatskog doživljaja u istoriji porodice, kasnije prepričavanog i vremenom pretvorenog u porodični mit.
Fotografije iz rada Polka bazirane su na dva koncepta i podeljene u dve celine. Prvi deo (u tehnici lambda printa) nastao je rekonsutrisanjem modela privatne fotografije iz pedestih godina dvadesetog veka, gde fotografišem sebe u ulozi Polke, nasmejanu i veselu. Neki od korišćenih pejzaža pripadali su pozadini autentičnih Polkinih fotografija.
Drugi deo (video-bim projekcija) predstavlja narativne scene iz Polkinog zivota nastale na osnovu svedočenja i sećanja bližnjih (Polkine sestre, brata i drugih bliskih ljudi). Sebe snimam u ulozi Polke u fiktivnim scenama kojima kumulativno gradim jednu vrstu ličnog doživljaja Polkinog života i stradanja. Takođe, ovoj celini pripadaju fotografije predmeta i prostora koji se posredno vezuju za nju.

Stefana Savić

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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