Calvert 22 Foundation launch Sanja Ivekovic: Unknown Heroine – A Reader.

| December 3, 2013 | 0 Comments

Taking the work of Sanja Iveković as a point of departure to discuss urgent matters in feminism today, Sanja Iveković: Unknown Heroine – A Reader gathers commissioned essays by key feminist voices who contributed to a conference titled ’23%’*, which was held on the occasion of the exhibition Sanja Iveković: Unknown Heroine, curated by Lina Džuverović at Calvert 22 and the South London Gallery (December 2012 to February 2013). The conference took place at the Royal College of Art, London and was organised in collaboration with the Courtauld Institute of Art’s Research Forum.

Sanja IvekovicSanja Iveković: Unknown Heroine – A Reader is edited by Helena Reckitt, and includes essays by Ivana Bago, Katy Deepwell, Lina Džuverović, Silvia Eiblmayr, Elisabeth Lebovici, Suzana Milevska and Milica Tomić. Designed by Rafaela Dražić.

Lina Džuverović offers a historical context for the work of Sanja Iveković and reflects on the process of curating the artist’s first UK solo exhibition across two London spaces, Calvert 22 and the South London Gallery, as well as the 23% conference. Silvia Eiblmayr looks at the representation of women in the symbolic, social and political field as seen within the artist’s work. Elisabeth Lebovici takes Iveković’s work Turkish Report, exhibited at the Istanbul Biennial in 2009, as a point of departure to discuss the relationship between ‘politicising aesthetics’ and ‘aestheticising the political.’ Ivana Bago reflects on the question of female guilt, bringing examples from Yugoslav Beauty Pageants to Wartime Witch-Hunts. Suzana Milevska focuses on notions of racism that the artist contends with both within her practice and her personal past. Katy Deepwell explores the narratives and counter-narratives in Iveković’s work in relation to the title of the London exhibition Unknown Heroine. Milica Tomić looks at Iveković’s complex relation to artistic, feminist and activist praxis and presents the influence that Iveković’s ‘invisible work’ based around solidarity has had on her own practice.

*The conference title, ’23%,’ was drawn from a research report compiled by the Fawcett Society, the UK’s leading campaign for women’s equality and rights. On average, women in the UK earn 15% less than men. In London, in January 2013, the pay gap stood at 23%.

Sanja Iveković was born in 1949, in Zagreb, where she currently lives and works. She studied at the Zagreb Academy of Fine Arts from 1968 to 1971 and her early practice was associated with ‘Nova Umjetnička Praksa’ (New Art Practice), a generation of artists in Yugoslavia who questioned the role of art in society and strove to democratise artistic space by abandoning galleries and taking to the streets through performances and the use of cheap, accessible materials. Iveković’s point of departure has been her own life and social positioning as a woman, the influence of mass media as well as the politics of power in the contexts of socialist and post-socialist society.

Selected solo exhibitions include Unknown Heroine, Calvert 22 and the South London Gallery, London (2012–13); The Disobedients, Galerija SC, Zagreb, Croatia, 2012; Visages du Langage, MAC/VAL, France, 2012; Sweet Violence, MoMA, New York, 2011. Selected group exhibitions include A Bigger Splash: Painting after Performance, Tate Modern, 2012; Promises of the Past, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2012; Gender Check: Femininity and Masculinity in the Art of Eastern Europe, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, 2010.

Helena Reckitt is a London-based curator and critic, where she is Senior Lecturer in Curating at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her sourcebook Art and Feminism, introduced by Peggy Phelan, was published by Phaidon Press in 2001 and has been translated in abridged form into French, Japanese and Spanish.

Sanja Iveković: Unknown Heroine – A Reader can be purchased from Calvert 22 Foundation, and online from shop.calvert22.org.

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Category: Fine Art

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