My Own Unknown incorporates a deeply personal story involving myself, my aunt Gordana Čavić, and a young woman who died in the late 19th century. The unidentified young woman was dubbed L’Inconnue de la Seine: her body was allegedly recovered from the River Seine. L’Inconnue's death mask was cast in a bid to identify her. Her quiet beauty became a muse for artists such as Man Ray, Albert Camus, Anais Nin and many others, who projected imagined identities on this drowned Mona Lisa. My Own Unknown is shrouded in politics of place and painful memories of exile, and it speaks of my family history focusing on a life of my aunt, who is thought to have assumed many roles in her life - a saviour, a lover, and a spy. Gordana died in Paris in 1987 in mysterious circumstances. From this intensely personal starting point, the work opens out to explore more universal themes, in particular the role of Woman as Muse in the Western art tradition, and the complex hybridity of female identities, both real and imagined.
Dragana Jurišić is an ex-Yugoslav artist based in Dublin, Ireland. She works predominantly through the medium of photography, text, film, and installation. Since receiving a distinction for her MFA in 2008, Dragana Jurišić has won a significant number of awards, including Dorothea Lange and Paul Taylor Award’s Special Recognition from Duke University, and numerous Bursaries and Project Awards. In December 2013, Dragana completed her PhD and finalized a three-year long project YU: The Lost Country that culminated in a critically acclaimed touring exhibition and a book. Her work is in many collections, including the National Gallery of Ireland, Irish State Art Collection, and Trinity College Collection. She has exhibited widely both in Ireland and internationally. In November 2017, she received the Irish Museum of Modern Art Artist in Residence Award. Dragana was a contributor to Volume 6 of Packington Review.