Nina Kurtela

© Sanjin Kaštelan



Jagoda website


Artist statement

My practice does not exclude any medium and its conceptual and multidisciplinary approach provides a chance to all means of production. My work is therefore often multidisciplinary and site-specific, engaging specific communities, questioning monetary values, and explores the notions of exchange through which different social relations are established. Nevertheless, through performance and time-based art practice I work with methodologies of endurance, presence, perseverance, rituals, daily practice and matter of chance while questioning notions of labour, identity, belonging, place, space, home and intimacy. While observing ways in which different actions of the body and the specific social, cultural, and urban spheres determinate human behavior, influence our experience, and affect us, I am dealing with notions of the body in relation to performativity, with its broad political implications inherent to contemporary society. The body as a shock- absorbing entity subjected to its environmental impacts.

I have been collecting knowledge and experience through the interests within my artistic practice and its relation to specific cultural, social and geopolitical background; experiencing socialism, collapse of ideology, war, national independents, nationalism, transition, corruption, wild capitalism, democracy, late joining to European union… Through those understandings of different political regimes and ideologies and different power constellations and beliefs led my interest of interrogation within my art practice very much focused on relation between Center and Periphery, West and Non-West, Individualism and Collectivism.

My work arises out of necessity to facilitate experiences that are subjectified by my own understanding and emotions in relation to given environments. The urgency that is triggered by observations of different social, historical, architectural and phenomenological localities and social landscapes is a reason for me to react. Therefore the process often reflects on the socio-cultural and socio-political surroundings, human behaviors and the impact of the specific conditions where the work takes place.

The work I create finds itself in a wide range of forms; namely video, installation, performance, choreography and dance. The work has been presented in a variety of contexts – in museums and galleries, theater, dance and film festivals, and in public space: KW Berlin, MUMOK Vienna, MSU Zagreb, HKW Berlin, 104 Paris, Tokyo Opera City Gallery, MMOMA Moscow, Royal Albert Hall London, Ars Aevi Sarajevo, Tanz Im August Berlin, Transmediale Berlin, Oberhausen Short Film Festival, Survival Kit Riga, X- border Art Biennial Sweden etc.

I was granted residencies at: Amant Sienna, IT/ Q21 Artist-in-Residency, MuseumsQuartier, Vienna, AT / Cite internationale des arts, Paris, FR / THAV, Artist in Residence Program, Taipei TW/ HIAP, Artist in Residence Program, Helsinki, FI / GeoAIR, Artist in Residence Program, Tbilisi, GE / CEC ArtsLink, Artist in Residence Program, Portland, Oregon, US / KulturKontakt Austria, Artist in Residence Program, Vienna, AT.

In 2018 I was nominated for the Berlin Art Prize and through the years received following awards: Japanese Media Arts New Face Award Tokyo, X-border Art Biennial Award Sweden, Henkel Art Award (Young Artist’s Prize CEE) Vienna, Essl Art Award CEE Vienna.

I hold a diploma in “Dance, Context, Choreography” at the HZT, Universität der Künste Berlin and in visual arts and art education at The Academy of Fine Arts Zagreb.

In 2017 I founded JAGODA – Zagreb based non-profit art organization dedicated to research, discursive exchange and slow production betwixt (and between) contemporary performing and visual arts while examining the gender, class and institutional power dynamics within the field.

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