‘It’s a cacophony of trying the impossible and that is to photograph the internet with a Polaroid camera which cannot focus or compose (what I see in the viewfinder is very different to what I get.’ When I look at Dragana Jurisic’s The Merits of Tracer Fire images (albeit, a digital scan of some of the polaroids she has emailed to me) I feel moved by an enormous and perpetuating tension at work in these tiny objects. This tension, of course, is between the codes of the Polaroid and the codes of online, of which these images are a simultaneous trace. Online we relinquish control passively, half-aware if aware at all of what we are leaving unknown. Jurisic’s Polaroids are, rather, an active relinquishing. They feel like a turning-inside-out, a through-the-looking-glass vision, wherein the familiar is made strange and, therefore, newly visible as against our new sense of its strangeness we try to decode it.
That the portraits, especially, are so unnerving isn’t just down to the blurring of half-familiar facial features, the disorientating truncation of spaces and body parts, the deepened shadows about eyes brought out by the development. Many of these faces seem themselves startled by their own defamiliarisation, snatched from the gush and churn of moving images online. Like photographs of ghosts, moreover, they startle us with an ambiguous suggestion of what may be there that we don’t normally see.
These images represent a warped translation of the supposed public realm into a document heavy with privacy, of digital illusions and social constructions into index, a code of touch, echo and haunting, that all the same undermines their reality. As such, performing the tracer fire of our life online and the social textures reinforced there, they amplify the uncanny impossibilities of translation, the disjunction, shadows, losses and longings between one code and another, and our ultimate craving to touch for what’s real.’ – Susanna Galbraith on The Merits of Tracer Fire.
About the Artist
Dragana Jurišić was born in Slavonski Brod, Croatia (then Yugoslavia). She is currently based in Dublin, Ireland. Jurišić won a number of awards and exhibited widely both in Ireland and abroad. In 2008, she completed a Masters in Fine Art at the University of Wales, Newport, receiving a distinction for her work.
About the Publisher
Abridged aims to publish and exhibit contemporary/ experimental poetry plus contemporary art. We encourage poets/artists to investigate the articulation of ‘Abridged’ themes. These themes focus on contemporary concerns in a rapidly changing society. We are offering an alternative and complete integration of poetry, art and design. We experiment continually. We also stray into the exhibition format producing contemporary, innovative and challenging work accompanied by a free publication. It is run by Susanna Galbraith and Greg McCartney.