Aleksandra Dedic was born in 1972 in Nis, SFR Yugoslavia. She graduated in English language and literature at the Faculty of Philosophy in Nis (1997) and sculpture at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade (2000). Due to the Italian Government Academic Scholarship, she realized painting research at Accademia Albertina di Belle Arti (2003∕2004). Later, she also completed specialization for professional artists in glass and clay studio at Ecole Supérieure d'Art et de Design in Marseille (2005∕2006). In 2007, Aleksandra graduated in visual arts at Aix-Marseille Université.
Officially a sculptress by vocation, during her studies she also became interested in painting, mostly dedicated to portrait. In time, Aleksandra’s work expanded to photography as well. Her search for the means of expression and her research in contexts of identity and visual diversity of various topics develop mostly through medium experimentation. This process of learning, both in theory and practice, has continued by sharing knowledge and experience through cooperation. In the meantime, besides creating her artistic production, she was an art teacher and author of creative workshops, and also worked as an interpreter and translator.
In 2011, she had completed Master in Artistic Production with specialization in Contemporary Thought and Visual Culture at Facultad de Bellas Artes San Carlos in Valencia, where she defended her PhD thesis “Femininity and Feminism in Art Practices in Serbia: 1970-2010” in 2017. Since 2015, Aleksandra has been creating unique and authentic jewellery pieces as an independent jeweller and founder of MachoFema Jewellery brand.
Besides her home town, she lived and worked in Belgrade, Turin, Strasbourg, Marseille, Graz and Valencia. She is a member of the artists’ associations ULUS and ULUPUDS; her artwork has been exhibited in Serbia and abroad at individual and collective exhibitions since 1997.
I am an artist interested in concepts of identity and visual diversity, and I believe that I have always felt the need to express ideas creatively. Thoughts could be expressed through writing as well but it somehow felt more alluring to offer personal opinions and universal truths in the mediums that epitomize real pictures and objects. Therefore, I started creating sculptures and soon began to paint as well. Next, I entered into photography as a more instant option of freezing an image in time. In recent years I dedicated to creating jewellery which I treat as wearable art.
Through time I dedicated to painting portraits, including self-portraits, with the aim to study human nature and to raise awareness on individuality, peculiarities and conditions of humanity. I also painted abstract paintings in order to express the power of line and colour as an opportunity to create new and invented visual contents. On the other side, with photography, I had an option to stage and combine the actual, the real, but in a more personal way. Therefore, I used it as a medium of working with visual diversity, identity and everyday imagery. To intervene in the meaning was my goal as photography touches representations in its own way that can be managed freely. Themes that deal with gender identity, stereotypes, free visual play and inventing objects and compositions fascinate me. I do it in sculpture, miniature and jewellery as well.
I used to believe that art is the individual way to express universal ideas. Now I think that the line is not that clear, between personal and general, between individual and collective. The expression becomes blurred in its precision because our human experience nowadays is more overlapping and is generalized almost to a cliché mostly due to the internet influence. Therefore, I believe that one has to follow her own way of expressing opinions, thoughts and attitudes with the aim to preserve individuality and develop identity. My artwork is dedicated to beauty and truth within the concepts of comprehensive universality aiming to offer variety and freedom in expression and experimentation.
I also think that it is necessary to share knowledge through collaborations, to organize creative workshops and to teach others. Opportunities come and go but the essential need for creating remains on its own for it may deviate or modify in time but it is the ultimate need of humanity to develop both spiritually and mentally. For me, art is the source of hope, freedom and creativity.
"I became a mother at the age of 44. Before that, my life was largely dedicated to learning, creating, travelling and working. Because of the new responsibilities and way of living, my vision had to change in order to survive. Literally.
To offer a broader picture of my pregnancy condition, while being pregnant I was writing my PhD thesis about femininity and feminism in arts. With a deadline for submission coming in, I finished it exactly before I went to the hospital for labour. Another interesting detail was that I cut off my long hair on March 8th, only five days before my labour, and made a video I Never Betray Beauty as the ritualistic liberation from the female stereotype of long hair with the aim to enter motherhood free from it.
After giving birth, my picture of reality, the world itself and my new positioning in it were modifying. Therefore, I suffered from the inability to reconnect with myself. My body was no longer mine in all terms. Meanwhile, concentrating only on the essentials was the manner to organize life which became a pure "maintenance". The importance of time, which previously had used to be solely mine, became extremely important as well as its management. Just being while becoming was the primary meaning for both me and my baby. Naturally, it all resulted in my new awareness divided between the crucial and ″all the rest“. Thus my approach to art creation shifted – it became a more contemplative process that results with a brief execution and precise outcome. This new vision of the passage of time brought necessary clarity about my needs and desires which reflected in my creative endeavours and aims, in new topics and concepts.
Becoming a mother introduced new concepts into my works as far as topics are concerned. The meaning in the visuals around me began to emerge, as I noticed compositions of everyday objects that my son created. Transitional Objects is the photography series that I started years ago and it refers to a child's changing objects and their interrelations throughout growing up process. Recently this series has included his creations as well. In the meantime, I dedicated to creating unique, authentic and contemporary jewellery which I treat as wearable art. It is often made of alternative, self-made materials, organic, bio-friendly options.
I was always aware that everything is eternally ephemeral and that transitions and transitoriness go hand in hand. Therefore, I often direct my topics and performance to fragile yet hard and even heavy materials (before it was terracotta and glass for example). Now it is paper, mixed-media, combining materials, using gold plating on various surfaces. New awareness about the fragility and importance of life and beauty also meant up-cycling objects and recycling materials with more experimentation in the process.
Some of my jewellery are objects that my son made, I just add gold and resin (to preserve it) – e.g. Alchemist brooch was an egg he painted for Easter. Being creative for him comes easy as he has space and materials to do it freely. Other pieces of jewellery come from experience - 4x4 are brooches that came out of the story about his teething all his ″fours“ at the same time... It was conceived years ago as an idea but only recently executed.
Being a mum made me different in terms that new, previously unknown, concepts appear on a daily basis. Those are new ideas and contexts that cannot be ignored. They are also precious because they influence my interests, topics of my artwork and materials which I use. Therefore, I am grateful for this experience that has changed me and made me more resilient and assertive but also more humane. "