From Braverman Gallery
[Biljana] Djurdjevic (b. 1973, Belgrade, Serbia) is an artist practicing mainly in painting, animation works and sound works. Djurdjevic holds a M.F.A. from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade, Serbia, and a PhD in Fine Arts from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade, Serbia. She was also a guest lecturer at Parsons the New School for Design during 2010 – 2011.
Though in early years, Djurdjevic concentrated mainly in painting, in recent projects – such as ‘Instrument of Activity’ (exhibited at Braverman Gallery, 2015) and ‘The Dark Forest’ (exhibited at MOCA Belgrade, 2012) – Djurdjevic began developing her large-scale paintings into video animations, which also incorporate sound. This is not to say that it is evolutionary in terms of Djurdjevic’ artistic expression – for both projects were the final outcome of much longer process – but that this combination is necessary, regarding the themes and questions Djurdjevic constantly raises with her work.
Djurdjevic portrays realistically what seems as fabricated, unrealistic scenes, thus she manages to examine a tension existing in the modern every-day. The subject might be a collective experience or a very subjective standpoint; all are based in harsh surroundings – an alienated, claustrophobic interior or a dense exterior. The correlating animation develops these themes, allowing her to deviate from the still depiction and deepen the effect on its viewer.
Role at #Pizzagate
It is not believed that Biljana Djurdjevic has any direct role. Rather, her works are discussed in relation to the mindset of art collector Tony Podesta.
According to the Haifa Museum of Art, which displayed Djurdjevic's work from January 24 – June 20, 2009, as part of their Aesthetics of Violence series, curated by Tami Katz-Freiman: Exhibit Page (which provides the link to the PDF referred to)
Here is the PDF brochure itself (first half is in Hebrew, second half is in English):File:Aesthetics-of-Violence28.12.08-.pdf
The violent themes characteristic of Serbian artist Biljana [Djurdjevic]'s works reflect her development as an artist during the horror-stricken 1990s – a decade when violence in her country peaked following the collapse of the communist regime in Eastern Europe. [Djurdjevic] belongs to the young generation of Serbian artists who experienced the political disintegration of Yugoslavia and Serbia's isolation under the rule of Slobodan Miloševic. The works of these artists bespeak a spirit of protest against Miloševic's tyrannical regime, and respond in a satirical, critical manner to the horrors of war and waves of violence brought on by outbreaks of nationalist and chauvinistic sentiments. The body of works included in this exhibition features a selection from several series created by [Djurdjevic] between the years 1999 and 2007 – series in which she gazes directly into the darkest abysses of the human soul. [Djurdjevic]'s paintings are characterized by a cruel and dramatic narrative realism, which has been termed "necrophilic realism" due to the profusion of dead bodies and the sterile atmosphere of the public showers, operating rooms or morgues that recur in these compositions. The terrifying human figures represented in these paintings offer no possibility of mercy. Although these figures appear real, the artist insists that they do not build upon a concrete reality. The nightmarish painterly space portrayed here resembles a stage, and the depicted action seems to have been frozen against a series of flat decorative backdrops. The freezing of the scenes produces a sense of "before" or "after," and thus increases the tension and charges the works with a dramatic quality. So, for instance, in the work Summer is Over (2005), which is displayed at the entrance to the exhibition, three men with shaved heads and naked torsos, who are all wearing white butcher aprons, appear alongside five terrifying dogs tied to a metal rail. The dogs' bloodthirsty appearance is amplified by the red wallpaper in the background, which creates the impression of an airless, claustrophobic space. Although nothing is actually taking place, the image is suffused with the premonition of an impending disaster. This work is part of the series "Paradise Lost" (2005–2006), which also includes Systematic Examination (2005): five girls wearing nothing but underwear and red Mary Janes are seated on a wooden bench, set against a backdrop of colorful tiles in a sterile space. Their wide-open eyes stare at a point on the horizon, and they seem overcome by terror and fear. The innocent appearance of these girls and the physical hints of budding sexuality, together with the work's title, call to mind scenes of pedophilia and violence towards children. [Djurdjevic]'s paintings are suffused with allusions and quotations related to the history of art, and especially to Renaissance and Baroque art, Christian iconography and historical paintings – from which she culls the charged materials she uses in her works. In some of her paintings, one may detect themes, gestures or motifs that can be clearly identified with paintings by Ucello, Caravaggio, Da Vinci, Hals and Rembrandt. [Djurdjevic] uses the history of art in a functional and at times even cynical manner, which is due to the inverted meanings produced by her expropriation of images from their original context. The painting Dentists Society (1996–1998), for instance, is reminiscent of 17th century Dutch group portraits that portrayed various professional guilds. Yet the figures' demonization, and their transformation into characters resembling butchers in a slaughterhouse, distance this painting from its point of reference, and relate it to male violence and to the politics of power that ruled Serbia in the mid-1990s. In the painting The Last Days of Santa Claus (2001), which is based on Andrea Mantegna's famous painting of the foreshortened dead Christ, the artist has replaced Jesus with Santa Claus, who is portrayed without his pants in a mysterious context. The work Saturday Evening Out (1999) similarly belongs to a body of works that feature violence and death in sterile spaces. Here too, a lifeless male figure is seen lying in a space that resembles a men's room. The man is dressed in black pants and a white shirt, and is wearing gloves – a detail that characterizes him as a murder suspect rather than a victim. Gluttony-Crucifixion (2004), which is part of the series "Seven Deadly Sins," similarly makes use of distorted perspective: the figure of a corpulent middle-aged woman – whose appearance is entirely conventional – is being crucified for the sin of gluttony; her body, which is bound with black leather straps, seems to be about to fall off the cross straight onto the viewer's head. The tension embodied in these figures, the emotional intensity, the dizzying perspectives and the contrasts between dramatic action and decorative background – all these transform the observation of [Djurdjevic]'s works into a disturbing experience, which leaves the viewer feeling deeply uncomfortable. It seems that the entire brutal history of the Balkans is reflected in these images. As if submitting a dry and pragmatic postmortem report, these paintings bespeak the politics of fear haunting a society that has experienced too many images of dead bodies.
Relation with #Pizzagate
Connection to Tony Podesta
Djurdjevic Artwork Owned by Podesta
Djurdjevic Artwork Not Owned by Podesta
Connection (Indirect) to DynCorp
DynCorp actively participated in child and women trafficking in the Balkan states during this era, and thus contributed to the horrors fictionalized by Djurdjevic. For example, whistleblower Kathryn Bolkovac states that girls who complained of their slaveowners would end up dead, floating in the nearby river. The story is extremely reminiscent of the painting Tony Podesta owns of two deceased girls in a river marsh, seen above.