2-channel sound/video installation, 54', loop

NOTES ON PMS, 2012, video still


The first description of premenstrual syndrome in media supported the stereotype of the maladjusted woman. Many argue that recognizing PMS perpetuates negative female stereotypes.

Two-channel video piece entitled 'Notes on PMS' is a portrait of two women of opposite personalities, both suffering from severe premenstrual syndrome. The video portrays these women on different days of the month and consequently monitor their mood changes and various psychological states. Both women relate to PMS differently and in a way that may cause sympathy, compassion, identification, reflection or even disapproval.

“[...] Through the most intimate confessions of habitually unspoken, hidden dark thoughts, urges and needs outside acceptable or polite behaviour, altered images of oneself and others, as well as one’s life, this work brings us close to the inner struggle of woman temporarily ’closed for inventory’, as one of the two interwoven video narratives phrases it. The protagonists of conspicuously different sensibilities, characters, dynamics and backgrounds, come together in an experience whose weight is reflected in the many repetitions and the very length of the work, while the established closeness is skillfully portrayed by the communication of colours, juxtaposed spaces and women’s movements in parallel projections.

The seeming uniformity of the hour-long projection composed of static takes, dominated by those in which the women gaze at the viewer, is cancelled by the salient power of empathy between the author and the portrayed women. Via the ’live’, moving photography, empathy is transmitted to the viewer, who is stimulated to contemplate an apparently insignificant topic. Attention is therefore held by both one’s immersion in the presented experience and the impression of communication between the author and the viewer. This heterotopian space of communication is made additionally appealing to the viewer by the fact that Notes on PMS, like previous projects of Jelena Juresa, focuses on real people and situations.[...]"

(excerpt from the text, Arijana Luburic Cvijanovic, THE POETICS OF THE ’BANAL’, Jelena Juresa: Notes on PMS)

Direction, camera: Jelena Juresa
Editing: Jelena Juresa and Dejan Solajic
Narrator: Terence McEneny
Sound: Studio Alpha, Vladimir Perovic
In the video: Jelena Janev and Melina Panaotovic