Friday, December 28, 2012

Sanja Ivekovic: Unknown Heroine

14 December – 24 February 2013
Calvert 22 and South London Gallery

Croatian artist Sanja Ivekovic presented her exhibition "Unknown Heroine" at two London galleries: Calvert 22 and South London Gallery. This retrospective exhibition is an in-depth view into the political and social situation of Yugoslavia and independent Croatia. Sanja Ivekovic works with the topic of limits and restriction, whether applied to female gender identity or to the dictatorship of Josip Broz Tito. Her works are highly intellectualized and require specific knowledge about the circumstances of a particular reflection. In other words, works of Ivakovic are born from a specific context and exist somewhere between the visual work in a form of photography, video or performance, and a particular historical comment in a view of a small literary text. This is the case when an image has the same importance as an explanation to it. 

Except the aesthetic visual experience, recalling some works of American pop-art or Mondrian's "Broadway Boogie-Woogie", the coloured photograph "New Zagreb (People Behind the Windows)" creates a place for discussion on freedom and deviation. It becomes a meeting point between the ideology of mass-media photo of Tito's car being met by happy crowd of people on the edge of the road, and those people who were contemplating this procession from their balconies. While the first action was encouraged, standing on the balcony was forbidden as soon as it could put into risk the life of the invaluable leader. However, the artist highlighted those balconies where she managed to catch the figures of the people hiding behind the curtains and balcony doors. 

This case of the winning curiosity means a lot to the whole concept of existing limits. In any time, even the darkest ones, the human's interest to things happening around in life is much stronger than than any artificial restrictions put by a dictator's hand. This work is optimistic, it gives an idea that sometimes unnoticed and anonymous actions may become the stand points of composition, either of an art work, or the whole social environment. The main is to have a particularly attentive artist who can mark them as a priority.

Sanja Ivekovic. New Zagreb (People Behind the Windows), 1979.

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