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Sanja Iveković

*1949 in Zagreb, Croatia, lives and works in Zagreb.

In 2011/2012 the Museum of Modern Art in New York set up a retrospective exhibition dedicated to Sanja Ivekovic spreading over nearly 4 decades of work since the late 1968s. Her artistic practice and her engagement and activism for Women's Right, Free Speech and Liberty had a significant influence on the 'New Art Practice' (Nova Umjetnička Praksa) in the Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia as a counterpole to the official art.

In Germany, a flowering poppy field in front of the Fridericianum in Kassel might have stayed in good memory. Realized for documenta 12 in 2007, twice a day revolutionary songs by women's choirs from Afghanistan and Croatia were played over loudspeakers.
The artist expressed her hope: 'Now, as the red colour spreads out over the Friedrichs Platz, I have the hope, that it might become a 'Red Square' or 'Red Place' – Maybe the Friedrichs Platz turns into Rosa-Luxemburg Place? – It's really time, that the voices of women are heard.'

Structure – Book

'Structure – Book' relates to the work 'Struktura', which was realized by Sanja Iveković in 1975–1976. Clippings from newspapers and magazines of images of 10 women of different age were reproduced 10 times. On each one of the motifs the artist wrote by hand a short caption and repeated the caption also on the other images.

Anne, Princess Royal of England, carries as one undertitle 'Sought consolation in horse racing and nightlife', Patty Hearst has one caption 'Expecting her master’s return', an unidentified woman 'Executed in Bubanj in 1944', the Yugoslavian actress Beba Lončar 'Learned how to be photogenic'; and Ellen Stewart, one of the founding members of the theatrer club La MaMa 'Finally found the time to shorten her trousers.'

In this work Sanja Ivecović deconstructs carefully the image and text relation in mass media. Content statements can become illustrated by replaceable images. Images can become commented by various texts. With her methodology the artist succeeds in creating a sceptical and distanced critical reflection in reaction to the pictures flood in mass media. At the same time the artist uses a strategy, which has played also in the development of the artistic language of Cindy Sherman or Richard Prince an important role in their confrontation with the picture worlds of publicity and media.

'Structure – Book' was published by P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Institute in Ljubljana.

Women's House (Sunglasses)

The series 'Women's House' started in 1998 with the engagement of the artist for a Women's House in Zagreb. Part of the project was also a series of posters 'Women's House (Sunglasses)'. For these the artist used advertisement motives for luxury sunglasses and printed on top of them short excerpts from statements of women, who had become victims of domestic violence and terror. The posters were presented in exhibitions, published in newspapers or put on billboards, for bringing the issue to public awareness and in search of support.

In the following years the project was continued in collaboration with women's houses in other cities like Luxemburg, Bangkok, Pristina and Utrecht. Documented on the posters in the Art Collection Telekom are four organisations: Polish Federation for Women and Family; Mor Cati Women’s Shelter, Istanbul; UDI – Transitional Living Centre against violence; Genua; Autonomous Women’s House, Zagreb.

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