At BAK, the performance Übung Macht den Meister (Practice Makes a Master), originally realized by Iveković in 1982 in Berlin, will be re-enacted by dancer Sonja Pregrad, at 20.00 hrs. Sanja Iveković (born 1949, lives and works in Zagreb, Croatia) is one of the key artists of her generation working today. Since the 1970s, Iveković works in a range of media such as photography, performance, video, installations, and actions. Her work can be characterized as a critical artistic practice, invested in the politics of image and body and an analysis of identity constructions in the media, employing strategies of political engagement, solidarity, and activism. In the (then) Yugoslav (and thus Croatian) art scene, Iveković was the first artist to adopt a feminist perspective in her artistic work and activist practice. Since the political change of 1989, she mainly deals with the collapse of socialist regimes and the consequences of the triumph of capitalism on living conditions, particularly of women.
This exhibition presents a selection of key works from Iveković’s oeuvre from the 1970s to today. The exhibition at the Van Abbemuseum casts a retrospective view, focusing on historical work from mainly before 1989 consisting primarily of photographic series, collages, and filmed performances, whereas at BAK a selection of more recent work is shown, including a number of productions realized for this occasion. The exhibition is also planned to extend into the public realm with the artist’s proposal to rename a city street in Utrecht after the Unknown Heroine.
On Thursday 28 May 2009 from 11–18 hrs, BAK and the Van Abbemuseum organize When is Feminism in Art? The Case of Sanja Iveković. This one-day symposium, taking place in the Auditorium of the Van Abbemuseum, aims to contribute to the knowledge and understanding of the history of art in the Central and Eastern European region through a concrete case of the evolution of a feminist position in a particular cultural and political topography. Speakers include: Katy Deepwell, founder and editor of n.paradoxa: international feminist art journal, London; Tom Holert, art historian and cultural critic, Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna/Berlin; Nataša Ilić, curator and member of the curatorial collective What, How and for Whom/WHW, Zagreb; Bojana Pejić, art historian and curator, Berlin; and Georg Schöllhammer, writer and editor-in-chief, Springerin, Vienna.
The project is curated by Maria Hlavajova.