Dajana Džafo’s new series of prints is conceived as a collage of her personal memories, but as she points out, not necessarily based on real stories or events from the past. They are abstract, intuitive and represent a wide range of manifestations such as images, thoughts, desires, emotions, feelings and so on. If we consider the concept of memory not exclusively as an act whereby conscious past states re-emerge in our consciousness, but try to interpret it through the unconscious part of human personality that is out of touch with reality, logic or social norms then we will come closer to understanding the poetics of Dajana’s expression in this game of assembling associative forms.

The depicted organic abstract form, let us call it an inkblot, represents one memory and at the same time distorts and dissolves the given geometric form, part of the raster. It, in turn, represents a field woven into the human being, a repository of various contents that people automatically absorb directly or indirectly from the outside world. The organic and geometric are correlated as two polarities of reality, two extremes. They, however, do not exclude or limit each other. In addition, it is needful to point out that the inkblot was created completely by accident during the creative process, and serves as a projective technique[1] of sorts, although it is not its direct reference.

Print is the primary medium of expression for Dajana Džafo and she uses it as a starting point for her artistic research. The complexity and layering of print as a medium requires precise planning and an organised approach, but regardless of its demanding technical nature, Dajana approaches it with curiosity, perceiving it as an open field of possibilities and, in so doing, leaves room for new insights that arise during the process itself. Specifically, in the print making process, the creation of multiple identical prints provides the possibility of repeated perception of details, which is what attracts Dajana the most as an artist.

In this series, the graphic sheet consists of several printed matrices that she assembles according to her own tendencies of content and aesthetic experience, while the graphic print itself is the result of her research of contemporary printmaking possibilities. Each matrix or element of work is compositionally connected into a whole and represents her personal re-examinations. Likewise, each matrix also functions independently and can create myriad variations. Thus, this series should not be understood as concluded, but as an ephemeral result of creation that is subject to modification and further experimentation. These memories could tomorrow become something completely different without changing their initial representation. Hence the choice of abstract form, and not suggestive figuration, even though it is not excluded as an option. Dajana uses the possibilities of the print medium as a tool and polygon to shape her personal impressions, but does not impose them with narration, instead she leaves them sufficiently open for the concept to change over time, and for the personal memory to become general.

Exhibition curator Ivana Vukušić

About the artist:

Dajana Džafo was born in Split in 1988. After having graduated from the High School of Fine Arts in Split, she enrolled at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Split and obtained a bachelor’s degree in art history and philosophy in 2013. In the same year she enrolled at the Arts Academy in Split and in 2019 obtained a master’s degree in visual culture and fine arts, specializing in graphic arts, in the class of Prof. Edvin Dragičević. Since 2019, she is a member of the Croatian Association of Visual Artists. She is the leader of several art projects and workshops. Thus far, she has staged two solo exhibitions and participated in several group exhibitions.

[1] Projective techniques such as inkblots were developed by Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach. They are used in psychology to assess unconscious aspects of personality.