odd time

Mirjana Vrbaski

2009 - Ongoing

My practice revolves around states of quiet tension: States that seem simple but carry a contradiction, a quiet paradox within them. Working with portraits of women and nature scenes, with large formats and repetitive motifs, I search in my images a visual language that is a balancing act — at once direct and evasive, reduced and full, haphazard and controlled.

By accessing this disorienting universe, I allow for conflicting realities. By doing so, I create a territory that better accommodates my often dissonant experience of the world. The photographic image — itself caught between representation and fiction — seems the perfect medium to illustrate the predicament.

To create my portraits of women, my model and I isolate ourselves in the photo studio, working in silence and concentration so as to ’peel away’ the model’s surface layers. Placing my sitter against a neutral, contextless backdrop and consequently ’sculpting’ her inward, I reduce my portraits to a minimum of visual elements until a strangely unsettling layer is exposed.

Consequently, I immerse myself in a forest, capturing it in the midday sun. Re-tuned to this environment’s ‘asymmetrical’ rhythm, I become an observer of its inner logic — a logic that resists the comfort of grasping. 

Together, the two themes form "odd time", a long-term gradually-evolving photographic project to be published this year in an artist book with the same title.

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