Sandra Vitaljić at Spot Gallery – “I Just Greet Back”
June 28th – July 23rd 2021
The Spot Gallery and the Office for Photography announce the exhibition I Just Greet Back by the photographer Sandra Vitaljić. The exhibition opening will be held on 28th June at 7 p.m.
“For me being an immigrant means I will forever miss something.”
In the past several years, global attention has increasingly been directed towards the consequences of migrations – with the arrival of refugees from war-stricken countries, as well as economic migrants who take the step in the hope of finding a better life somewhere else – however, the social phenomenon has been around for a long time. The decision to leave one’s country creates a whole host of consequences, being a migrant, one faces in the new surroundings. Apart from learning a new language, accepting a different mentality and adopting new cultural specificities, perhaps one of the most difficult realizations lies precisely in the fact that, in the eyes of one’s fellow residents, one will always be perceived as a foreigner, or, more precisely, a migrant.
In her latest work, entitled I just greet back, Sandra Vitaljić presents a collective diary comprised of stories of every-day struggles of women from different backgrounds now living in Sweden and sharing a fate similar to hers. After moving to Sweden in 2018, the author, prompted by her own experience of adjustment to the new country, started meeting other immigrant women and collecting their stories, strongly marked by a sense of isolation, unbelonging and exclusion. In addition to revealing their working and living conditions in the new surroundings, their stories reflect the struggle to find dignity under precarious circumstances, at the same time becoming a reflection of today’s divided society. On the walls of the Spot Gallery, the collective diary, made up of diverse stories, is complemented with the photographs taken by the author, giving rise to a powerful textual and visual symbiosis of often untold experiences.
Sandra Vitaljić graduated with an MFA in photography from the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague and completed her doctoral studies in history and theory of photography at the same university. In her artistic work she focuses on social issues, topics of immigration, collective memory and the relationship to history. In her theoretical and curatorial practice, she is engaged with conflict photography and the ethics of photographic representation. From 2004 to 2019, she taught at the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb and participated in establishing and affirming its Department of Photography. She won the first award of Croatian contemporary art competition T-HT@MSU (2014), the CCN Award residence (Graz, 2013), a Fulbright scholarship (Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, 2006/7) and artistic residence CEC ArtsLink (Ansel Adams Center for Photography, San Francisco, 1997). She is the author of books Infertile Grounds (Eikon Studio, 2012), War of Images – Contemporary War Photography (Algoritam, 2013) and Up Close and Personal: War in Croatia (War Photography Museum, 2018). She has exhibited at numerous solo and group exhibitions, including Natural Histories. Traces of the Political (MUMOK, Vienna, 2017); Vigilance, Struggle, Pride: Through Her Eyes (Zagreb-Maribor-Berlin, 2018) and Beloved at photography festival Chobi Mela VII in Dhaka. She curated the exhibitions Lessons from 1991 (DZZ Maribor, Organ vida, Zagreb, 2016) and Up Close and Personal: War in Croatia (War Photography Museum, 2018). She currently resides and works in Stockholm.
In occasion of the opening of the exhibition, Office of Photography is organising a guided tour of the exhibition with the author, which will take place on Monday 28th June at 6 pm. To participate please register at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The exhibition is supported by City of Zagreb, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, Kultura Nova Foundation and Creative Europe.
Opening hours of Gallery Spot:
Mon – Fri / 4 – 8 pm
This post is also available in: Croatian