Search for Landscapes

For her first solo exhibition at Zeitgeist, Vesna Pavlović presents her ongoing project "Search for Landscapes", shown as a photographic installation last year at the Untitled, (12th Istanbul Biennial), 2011.

Vesna Pavlović’s work questions the medium of photography and its "expanded" field of operation. Her projects develop as anthropological studies, analyzing different cultures and their visual representations through particular phenomena. History, identity, issues of taste, desire and expectation, set in different contexts, are prevailing themes in her work. Either presented as photographic prints, or as projected images within installation, the pieces confront photographic representation, and attempt to reveal the layers constituting the image.

"Search for Landscapes" develops around a group of found vintage slides, which depict one American family's travels around the world during the 1960s - 80s. This coincided with a period of American mobility and freedom of travel to the world’s exotic locations and well-known pilgrimage sites. While looking into the materiality and physicality of these objects, Pavlović developed interest in slides as a first level of representation of tourist sites, a direct positive, and an object.

In the installation, the unpacking of the archive is subjected to the apparatus of photographic representation, featuring prints, objects, and slide projections. The American tourist with camera is itself iconic of an era which may have passed. Tourist is both a consumer of places and a producer of images.  Here, we are left in the end with images which are fading, along with those framed experiences. The reenactment of a slide show in the installation is suggestive of this loss. Other works in the exhibition examine perception, spectatorship, and the intimacy of the slide show as an event.

Vesna Pavlović obtained her BFA in cinematography in the University of Belgrade, and MFA in visual arts from Columbia University in 2007. She is an Assistant Professor of Art at Vanderbilt University where she teaches photography and digital media. She has exhibited widely, including solo shows at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, Museum of History of Yugoslavia in Belgrade, and the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento.  She has been featured in group exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade, Le Quartier Center for Contemporary Art in Quimper, France, Tennis Palace Art Museum in Helsinki, Finland, Carinthian Museum of Modern Art in Klagenfurt, Austria, Photographers’ Gallery in London, Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge, and FRAC Center for Contemporary Art in Dunkerque, France, among other venues. Her work is included in a number of private and public art collections, including the Hirschorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade, Serbia.


Vesna Pavlović 

February 2 through March 17, 2012