Šejla Kamerić was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. She has received widespread acclaim for her poignant intimacy and social commentary.
She works with various media such as film, photography, objects or drawings. The all-pervading element in her work are her – often uneasy – memories. She is using them as a power source by sharpening the focus of the present through the burden past. Based on her own experiences, memories and dreams, her work takes us to glocal spaces of displacement and discrimination, insisting that the delicate and the sublime are not pushed aside by catastrophe or hardship. Rather, they exist simultaneously, revealing a complex, psychogeographic landscape and the tenacity of the human spirit. The sadness and beauty, the hope and pain that emerge are part of the stories we share. The weight of her themes stands in powerful contrast to her particular aesthetic and choice of delicate materials.
Kamerić’s works have been on view in solo exhibitions at prestige art institutions such as GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen (2018); CAC Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius; Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade; Kunsthaus Graz, Graz; Sharjah Art foundation – Sharjah Art Museum; Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana (2012); MACBA, Barcelona; Manchester International Festival MFI; Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb (2011); mumok in Vienna, Röda Sten Centre for Contemporary Art and Culture in Gothenburg, Wip: Konsthall in Stockholm and Centre Pompidou in Paris (2010); Galerie im Taxispalais in Innsbruck (2008); Portkus in Frankfurt am Maine (2004).
2015 was marked by two extensive solo exhibitions, at ARTER, Istanbul and the National Gallery of Kosovo, Pristina. In the same year, Kamerić’s highly ambitious project Ab uno disce omnes, commissioned by Wellcome Collection, was shown in London as part of the exhibition Forensics: The anatomy of crime.
Her first short film What Do I Know premiered in the Corto Cortissimo section of the Venice International Film Festival in 2007 and has been screened since in more than 40 international film festivals. The film was awarded with Best Short Film at the 5th Zagreb Film Festival in 2007 and Best Fiction Film at International Adana Film Festival in 2008.
A collaborative film project 1395 Days Without Red, done with Anri Sala and Ari Benjamin Meyers and produced by ArtAngel premiered at the Manchester International Festival in 2011. In the same year the film has been screened at the 17th Sarajevo Film Festival; MACBA, Barcelona and MSU – Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb. In 2015, Kamerić collaborated with Thai film director Anocha Suwichakornpong on a short film Thursday which premiered at the 44th International Film Festival Rotterdam 2015.
Kamerić has participated in numerous group exhibitions: The Real, The Desperate, The Absolute, Forum Stadtpark, Steirischer Herbst Festival, Graz, (2001); One Hundred Years of Contemporary Art of Bosnia and Herzegovina, National Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo (2001); Prague Biennale; The Gorges of the Balkans, Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel (2003); Passage d’Europe, Musée d’Art Moderne, Saint-Etienne (2004); Taboo / Tirana Biennale (2005); 15th Biennale of Sydney (2006); Tales of Time and Space, 1st Folkestone Triennial, Folkestone, (2008); Baltic Biennial of Contemporary Art, Szczecinie (2009); Gender Check: Femininity and Masculinity in the Art of Eastern Europe, mumok in Vienna and Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warszaw (2010); Gwangju Biennale (2012); Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (2013); Hannah Ryggen Triennale, National Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, Trondheim (2016); The Restless Earth, Nicola Trussardi Foundation and La Triennale di Milano(2017); The Warmth of Other Suns: Stories of Global Displacement, The Phillips Collection in partnership with the New museum, Washington, D.C.; 2nd Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art, Coventry; 4th Berliner Herbstsalon, Maxim Gorki Theater, Berlin (2019).
In 2011, Kamerić received The ECF Routes Princess Margriet Award for Cultural Diversity and in 2007, a DAAD-Berlin Artist Residency Fellowship. In 2004 ONFURI Award at National Art Gallery in Tirana and Sloboda/Freedom Award, International Peace Center (Sarajevo Winter Festival) in Sarajevo.
Šejla Kamerić’s works have been included in numerous collection worldwide, such as TATE Modern, London; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris; MACBA – Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb; Kontakt. The Art Collection of Erste Group and ERSTE Foundation, Vienna; Art Collection Telekom, Bonn; Vehbi Koç Foundation Contemporary Art Collection (2007+), Istanbul and others.