fellows

Petra Mrša (b. 1985, Rijeka) graduated Photography at the Academy of Dramatic Arts, Sociology at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and Psychology at the University Department of Croatian Studies at the University of Zagreb. Her artworks are included in the collections of the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb and the City Museum of Zagreb, and have been exhibited at numerous solo and group shows (Museum of Modern and Contemporary art Rijeka, Museum of Contemporary art Zagreb, Centro Italiano della Fotografia d'Autore di Bibbiena, Foton - Center for Contemporary Photography Ljubljana, FOTODOK Utrecht, Krinzinger Projekte Vienna, Gallery Nova Zagreb, Galerie L’inlassable Paris, Vilniaus rotušė Vilnius). She has published artist books New School (Pazzini Editore), Rehearsing family (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rijeka), and is part of DIS / Inheritance New Croatian Photography, publication by Ikon Arts Foundation, NY. She has worked as an assistant at the Hoxton Gallery in London and for the last four years as an assistant at the Department for photography at the Academy of Applied Arts in Rijeka, where she additionally initiates independent student projects. She has participated in the postgraduate program WHW Akademija, run by WHW curatorial collective in Zagreb, and in numerous other collaborations and residencies. The primary field of her artistic work lies in researching the way how acquired constructs shape the lives of individuals. www.petramrsa.com https://vimeo.com/petramrsa

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Artist statement

1. What do you think about contemporary art?
Well, contemporary photography is already a wide field, or video, so contemporary art is an extra, extra wide territory.  

2. Please describe your practice.
By using a diverse array of methodologies and media to deal with and against what is regarded as 'common knowledge', my practice is centered on ideas of the constructed nature of social and cultural norms. Issues that occupied me during my social studies stayed central in the time I received a master in photography and during my art practice, but what changed are the means to deal with them. They stepped out of scientific statistical reasoning. I'm interested in exploring the diversity of the human living conditions and processes of their legitimization, and how different groups at different time establish certain mechanisms to organize the life of the other members of the group. Having this in mind, my works are explorations and manifestations of alternative responses to discipline and obedience on the micro-level. This is what I assembled with the help of reading other artists statements.

3. Do you think that the titles of your work tell something about your practice in the whole?
I never thought about that. It's like: Rehearsing family; Changing conditions, changing minds; New school; Happy birthday; Imitating Marta; Push up; Exploring environment 2; It's so calm, no one around…

4. Is it healthy to be an artist?
An artist however may resort to everything in the pursuit of inquiries that are not bound by skills. Unless we want to build a society of unaware slaves, no good reason can justify the allocation of this freedom to the few chosen individuals called artists.This is the quote from Luis Camnitzer's text Through art and around it, that was published in the exhibition catalog Really useful knowledge.

5. What is the difference between art-making and being on vacation?
I think that the perception that's being shaped through art-making remains also during the holidays, but in the end there is no shaped outcome, no stimulus to trigger a public communication.

6. Do you love animals?
Hm, I don't know any animal very personally, so I don't know how to answer. But I would like that I know animals, that condition of the social system in which I live introduce more, hm, making connections with non-human species. But not so much with pets, who are here because we domesticated them, but to know people that know another kind of animals. I'm not going to get better at explaining this.

7. Could you share an advice to young artists?
To walk and to speak out loud to themselves while they are walking. And the walk should be somewhere where they wouldn't encounter people they know. The fewer people and cars on the walk, the better.

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