Alumna Vesna Pavlović '07 in Online Exhibit 'Viral Self-Portraits'

BY Audrey Deng, June 3, 2020

Work by alumna Vesna Pavlović ’07 is currently included in Viral Self-Portraits, an online exhibition organized by the Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Viral Self-Portraits was initiated by online exhibition editor Ida Hiršenfelder, who started thinking about the Viral Self-Portraits online exhibition at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic during the period of self-isolation. The museum contacted twenty-three curators across the globe to invite five artists each to do self-portraits; a hundred international artists responded to the call.

The museum’s invitation to artists remarks upon the originality of viruses; if all viruses are by definition copies of each other, is there an original virus? Is this how we view human nature? The gallery then predicts that everything produced during the ongoing pandemic will be absorbed by the machination of tourism and fashion industries, thereby transforming artists into tools of the great capitalist machine. “In the end, every crisis generates profit for someone. The future is either corona capitalism as the next stage of cognitive capitalism or else a corona rebellion against this standardization – and this is where art can play a major role.”

The title of Pavlović’s contribution in response to this invitation is “Mixtape,” which she made in collaboration with Vladimir Jerić Vlidi.


According to the museum, “The project was initiated by Vesna Pavlović in 2018 as the artistic reflection of the turbulent periods of Yugoslav and post-Yugoslav history, during which the author was engaged in documentary photography. Realizing the role of sound while going through her photographic archives, Pavlović, who was also a rare photographer to document the progressive music scene from the period, decided to revisit this historical experience in a specific way.”

Pavlović is an Associate Professor of Art at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Her projects examine the evolving relationship between memory in contemporary culture and the technologies of photographic image production. Expanding the photographic image beyond its frame, traditional format, and the narrative is central to her artistic strategies. She examines photographic representation of specific political and cultural histories, which include photographic archives and related artifacts.

“Mixtape” is available online and pictured below; Viral Self-Portraits is an online exhibition that closes on Dec. 31.

'Mixtape' by Vesna Pavlović '07