I’m just doing my job

Isidora Branković


February 17th – March 9th

The works of Isidora Branković speak in the language of intuitive, ritualistic, and ironic expression. They emerge from lived experiences and feature the faces of the artist’s parents, friends, and relatives. While starting from individual experiences, the narratives of her video works evolve into sharp observations, critiques, and mockery of contemporary social, political, and economic norms. In the statement about the works “Love Me Till the End” and “The Cry of the Episodist”, Branković declares: “Everyone, look at me, so I can play the role of a great artist.” By associating this statement with the title of the exhibition “I’m just doing my job”, the first stage of interpreting the exhibition content is presented, questioning the grand expectations directed towards the contemporary artist. As a legacy that even postmodernism hasn’t completely extinguished, artists are expected to evoke a certain social intrigue and present intelligence that mystifies their process without entirely overshadowing it. In parallel with this construct, a system is maintained that does not allow the artist to exclusively focus on art. Within the two mentioned videos, songs seeking individual validation divert attention from the systemic insecurity embedded in the identity of the profession.


“Poppies and Roses”, “Sworn Statement”, and “We Will Leave in Silence” exude dignity and values associated with the term ‘margins’. The locations where the video works were filmed affirm this statement, considering that the artist chooses places from her personal topography, such as the abandoned Incel factory and Medeno polje (which once represented an escape from the city and a place for weekend cottages but later turned into something completely opposite due to industrialization), presenting them as essential elements in creating her works. Without distancing herself from the marginal, like a voyeur conveying the experiences of others, Branković explores the hidden in the everyday and through immersion brings the consequences of post-socialist reality to light. The motif of ideology dominates the works, shaping everyday life. Behind the elaborate narratives imposing defendable beliefs, poor living conditions are hidden – there is no room for contemplation if one has to fiercely fight for a predetermined goal. Within the exhibited works, subversion emerges as a unifying motif, intended to attract attention while social and economic insecurity lurks in the background. Song, dance, and pilgrim-like movements allude to previous and prevailing political matrices that use proven ideological tools to shape public dialogue. In presenting herself as an artist-individual seeking the observer’s undivided attention, the focus shifts away from the ruins on which they stand. The works in the exhibition provide insight into the artist’s lived experiences and intimate topography while simultaneously provoking reflection on expectations and systemic limitations that shape today’s identity. Isidora Branković’s approach to the themes of marginalized and post-socialist realities allows us not only to focus on the presentation but also to draw attention to the deeper social implications of the scenes presented. Through these visions, the artist provokes us, encouraging the observer to critically think about the ideologies shaping our everyday experiences.


Text: Jovana Trifuljesko

Photos: N. Ivanović