…The art engaged us. It is not us who engage art. First understanding, than valuation…
Biljana Jotić (née Samardžić), originally from Herzegovina, was born in Mostar (1977). She completed the 7th grade of primary school in Bileća, and due to her father’s military service, she moved to Belgrade in 1989, where she continued her education and life. Jotić graduated in Art History at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade (MA). During her tumultuous student years (the 1996/97 protests and the 1999 NATO bombing), she volunteered in the Department of Art History library. After graduating, she continued her volunteer practice at the National Museum in Belgrade on the Digitization of Museum Collections Project, as well as at the Vatroslav Lisinski Secondary School of Music. She defended her habilitation and received the title of curator. As an entrepreneur in culture, she founded a gallery dedicated to contemporary creativity and young people (BeoArt-LiveArt, 2006-2015), which she ran as artistic director for 9 years. She is one of the founders of an association that deals with project activities with a focus on young people and women (BeoArt Contemporary 2016-). She is a member of ULUPUDS. Since 2021, she has been the acting director of the Museum of Applied Art in Belgrade, and the Museum director from 2023.
Jotić is the mother of two grown children. She advocates for improving the standards of contemporary artistic and curatorial practices, with a focus on younger generations and the issue of women. Her author’s projects have been supported several times by the funds of the Secretariat of the City of Belgrade, the Ministry of Culture and Information and EU IPA Funds.
As an independent curator, Jotić has realized over 20 solo and over 30 group exhibitions dedicated to young artists, both regionally and internationally. She initiated and realized more than 5 author’s projects, regional and international, independently or in cooperation with civil organizations and public institutions. She has been the selector of more than 10 collective exhibitions, events and festivals, judging several award-winning exhibitions, and initiating and moderating several panels on current topics about contemporary artistic and curatorial practices. More than 30 of her catalog author’s texts were published, as well as texts for the professional magazine for contemporary visual art and spatial communication, Art Life. In addition, she has opened numerous solo and group exhibitions, held more than 10 expert guides through exhibitions and is the author of more than 20 exhibition settings. She has also initiated and realized several art events with a wider program solution, Art Meetings, as well as holding open classes with pupils and students, multimedia workshops, humanitarian events and auctions of contemporary art, as well as ART tours through contemporary visual art.
She has initiated and realized regional research dedicated to female identities in contemporary visual art. A documentary film was made about her co-authored exhibition “The Mediala: Once Upon a Time,” broadcast on the national frequency of Radio Television of Serbia (RTS 3, Cultural Palette). Also, her author’s documentary series “A Woman About a Woman” directed by Boris Miljković was broadcast on the same channel.
Her past work has been covered by numerous media sources, from television, radio and print media to new forms of Internet portals. Over 10 interviews have been published. She has had more than 20 guest appearances on various TV and radio programs, news programs and those specialized in art and culture.
In the capacity of acting director, then the director of the Museum of Applied Art, she has actively participated in all program and other activities of the Museum, as well as in the organization and realization of domestic, regional and international exhibitions and projects. She initiated several inter-museum and inter-sectoral collaborations. She advocates cooperation between the civil and institutional, private and public sectors.
As Commissioner and Curator, Jotić has realized the presentation of the Republic of Serbia at the 23rd International Exhibition of the Triennale in Milan in 2022; then at the 4th International Exhibition of the Design Biennale in London (Somerset House); the Prague Quadrennial in 2023 (along with Tatjana Dadić–Dinulović), as well as being the president of the Council for the 18th International Exhibition of the Biennale of Architecture in Venice in 2023, on behalf of the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia.
About my interest in art
If I were to make a division in my current work and practice, I would say that as a curator I am most interested in contemporary art, its existence in relation to space and time. I compare space with the experience of man, with notions of freedom and shaping, openness and closedness, and I look at time through continuity. Art has to be a reflection of the time we live in, because the artist is part of our time, the moment we live and we share together, something like witnesses. With my curatorial practice of revitalizing old spaces with contemporary art, I strive to revive something already created in the past and thus merge the time epochs. Special part of the activities I dedicate to women in contemporary cretivity and the female identity in culture and society
Art is an expression of an active relationship between a sensibility of a person and their need for expression. This means it has to be a reflection of time and space. I believe the sense are an integral part of the interaction between the artist and the observer. That is way the touch with the essential being is necessary. It is not enjoyment but recognition. Art is a matter of spirituality, that is of the touch with the truth. In one of its shapes it follows the established and formed truth, and in another it follows the tendency to discover its own truth, but always in the immediate contact with the truth. The difference in creation is in the experience of truth. On top of it comes the mastery, as another step of the creation process. Specificums, delicateness, recognising of intuitive moments in individual expressions lead to trust. An individual in relation to the society, an individual in relation to the collective through the theory of experience.
" WONDERFUL HUMANITARIAN ACTION, tomorrow, Friday, December 15, 2017 at 6pm in the Old Captain's Art Gallery in Zemun. Visitors bring gifts for children without parental care and receive signed reproductions of prints by our eminent artists. Every honor to Biljana Jotic at the organization, see you there ...! "
"The Foundation “Blue” would like to thank everyone who visited the exhibition yesterday and attended the excellent guided tour through the exhibition of art historian Biljana Jotic."
"At the opening of the exhibition" Art on Paper ", Art meeting within NOA FEST of course nothing without our Biljana Jotić"
"One great exhibition takes place in the showroom of the National Library of Serbia, with the smirk of a museum, although contemporary artists are represented, mostly of the younger generation - don't miss this sweet moment! The author of this idea and curator is my dear colleague, Biljana Jotić "