Katarina Zdjelar

b. 1979 in Belgrade, Serbia; lives and works in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

As a foreign artist based in the Netherlands, Zdjelar situates her own experience of dislocation by investigating forms of regulated systems of communication and learning. The practice of speaking a foreign language is of particular significance for her, and in There Is No Is, she demonstrates the physical challenges posed by language through the vocalization of the artist’s name by a person unfamiliar with the Serbian language. Faced with the difficulties of pronunciation, the process of overcoming the tension of the body as a language apparatus, challenges the very idea of culturally shaped anatomy.

In Shoum, a middle-aged man  is trying to make out the lyrics of the mid-1980s pop song “Shout” (by Tears for Fears) without any knowledge of the English language. By reproducing the sound of the words as he hears them, he creates a “personal language” in which he then performs the entire song.


Stills from There Is No Is, 2006
Video, 1:50 min
Courtesy of the artist

Stills from Shoum, 2009
Video, 7:00 min
Courtesy of the artist


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