Artist Statement 

My work interrogates the experience of subordination, and I make films, installations, and performances that explore the possibility of redemption and survival. In particular, my interest is in the history of persons made to be submissive or those who labor under oppressive institutions or seemingly self-destructive patterns. This derives from aspects of my personal history as a survivor of war, a child of parental addiction, and a refugee from the former Yugoslavia. This experience of displacement and conflict has grounded my investigations into questions of addiction, of fetishism, and of devotion. Throughout, I sometimes look to the ways in which masochism transforms into fulfillment an experience that some would dismiss as only pain, and I see in this alchemy a guide to understanding how people come to survive subordination and pain. This is not to erase that pain but rather to figure out how it can be endured.

 
Biography

Branislav Jankić (b 1985) is an Artist and Filmmaker from Former Yugoslavia. Raised in the early years of the country’s civil war, his work explores paraphilia, vulnerability, and the dynamics of power.

Migrating to Munich as a refugee, Jankić spent his formative years across various cities in Europe before arriving to the United States. Reflected in Jankić’s deeply personal work are his experiences as a survivor of war, a child of parental addiction and a political refugee. These experiences inform his feeling of displacement and conflict. This, in turn, fuels the investigations of his multifaceted work which looks at questions of addiction, fetishism, devotion. Additionally, Jankić looks at the many identities that we, ourselves, carry and accumulate throughout our lives, and how they seep into the ways we individually look at the world. Jankić’s work displays an “honesty that unites the personal and the universal, dismantl[ing] fixed perceptions, stereotypes and taboos.” (Huffington Post)

In 2015 his first major book of photography and collected writings, Letter to My Mother sold out its initial run, receiving the Association of Substance Abuse Program’s 2017 Lone Star Award. In the same year Letter to My Mother film won first prize (Best Short Documentary) at the Madrid International Film Festival.

His collaboration with Gian Paolo Barbieri, Flowers of My Life, juxtaposes Jankić’s poetry with Gian Paolo Barbieri’s photographs and notebook excerpts. A “love story of an unprecedented genre, a nostalgic walk full of sensuality and sadness,” (Vogue Paris), Flowers debuted at Milan Fashion Week and has been praised in Vanity Fair (IT), I.D., Women’s Wear Daily, and Love Magazine (UK).

In November 2020 his first experimental feature film The Witch’s Cauldron won the first prize at Sharjah Art Foundation film platform. Jankic completed his MFA in Fine Arts and Film, Video, New Media and Animation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in May 2019, where he was the recipient of the 2019 James Nelson Raymond Fellowship.

He lives and works in New York and Berlin.  


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©Branislav Jankic