“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, l’Inconnue de la Seine, whose body was allegedly recovered from the River Seine and whose death mask was cast in a bid to identify her.
L’Inconnue 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.
The work is shrouded in politics of place and painful memories of exile and it speaks of my family history focusing on the 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.”