Interview with Evanston Art Center Exhibiting Artist: Jelena Berenc

Can you explain your artistic process and how your identity as an Informational Realist ties into your work? 

Possessing consciousness and awareness of the Self and the world is a miracle that should not be taken for granted. We owe to our consciousness, to our humanity, to wonder and inquire about the reality in which we are. By inquiring we justify our conscious existence. My personal necessity for understanding and comprehending the Reality is manifested through the inclination for the direct experiences. What I mean is that in order to understand a particular subject, fact, or truth I must experience it through the activity of drawing, I must directly experience and Be that which is to be understood. While scientist, perhaps, make others experience that which is to be observed through experiments, I as an Artist am my own experiment and a passive observer of the experiencing experience. This is a reason why I am an Artist; because I must inquire about the world around and in order to comprehend the particular fact about the reality I must experience the given information through drawing process. The random repetition of excessive mark making on a blank paper is perhaps just like Information Theory or Quantum Mechanics explains the most fundamental workings of the Universe. All the possible possibilities Are there on the blank paper and by adding the random marks, information, the randomness becomes deterministic, representational. However, this representation becomes specific only for a viewer when observed depending on how it is observed.

What would you say has been your biggest hurdle as an artist, and how did that experience affect you as an artist? 

Not having a studio but working on a dining table or a desk has certainly affected my practical choices of how to execute a large format pieces. Being an introvert and not so socially ambitious can present itself as a challenge when trying to promote your work and get shows. However, even though this isolation results in not as advanced career, it does leave you with very personal work, work truthful to yourself, liberated from need to appeal. 

How has the pandemic impacted your art process? 

The pandemic has not change my art process at all. My daily obligations and jobs are just as same as before pandemic, and I still work from late evening hours till few hours after the midnight. As an introvert even psychologically and emotionally the isolation was not new nor out of ordinary.

What piece are you most looking forward to displaying at the Evanston Art Center and why? 

Mark-in-time, Unknown of the Known and Reality are the pieces recently completed and I did not see them installed yet. When I work on the large format piece I only see a part of it at the time. Prior to the installation, I usually only imagine how the piece looks like as a whole. This works quite well considering that process has priority in my art practice but it is certainly nice to see it as a finish piece and comprehend the size of it.

Artwork shown: Jelena Berenc, "Humanity II," 2018


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Concentrics is a quarterly interview series featuring EAC Exhibiting Artists, Faculty Members, Board Members and Students.

Find out how our faculty and board members started at EAC and why our students love it here.  We want to give you a look into the community that makes up the Evanston Art Center! 

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