press release

As the first art institution in Sweden, Göteborgs Konsthall is proud to present a one-person exhibition of the work of the Croatian artist Sanja Ivekovic. Ivekovic was born in Zagreb in 1949 and has since the 1970s developed an innovative and critical artistic approach, establishing herself today as one of the most significant artists from the former Yugoslavia. A pioneer in her homeland within both feminist and video art, she serves today as inspiration to many young artists.

Ivekovic makes use of photography, video, installation and performance in her art. At first sight much of her work appears to follow the glamorous dictates of popular culture. She frequently contrasts the image of women as depicted by the media with the private vision derived from her own photo album (thus Double Life, 1975) and in this way succeeds in revealing how routines in our daily lives are influenced by fashion, advertising and celebrity attention. Sanja Ivekovic has always been a political artist and one who has committed herself and her ‘private’ sphere to confront the politics of the human body and the public domain.

Sanja Ivekovic has worked with mass media images throughout her career. The work Gen XX consists of advertising pictures of familiar photo models. The pictures can be seen at first glance as ordinary advertisements but their content is broadened by means of the texts affixed to them; these list the names of a number of national heroines from the anti-fascist struggles of the second world war. The women were familiar to the generation that grew up in Tito’s socialist Yugoslavia, and in Gen XXIvekovic reintroduces them to the young Croats of today.

In several of her works (Personal Cuts, 1982, Gen XX, 1997-2001, Lost & Found, 2003-2004, Nada Dimic File, 2000-2001) Ivekovic focuses on social and ideological developments in the former Yugoslavia, developments which reflect the changes that have taken place and are taking place in the rest of Europe. In later works she also refers to ethnic cleansing (Rohrbach Living Memorial, 2005) and the living conditions endured by battered women in sheltered housing (Women’s House (Sunglasses), 2002-2004).

Curators for the exhibition are Natasa Ilic, independent curator at Zagreb, and Kathrin Rhomberg, formerly head of the Kölnischer Kunstverein, in collaboration with Göteborgs Konsthall. The exhibition is produced by Göteborgs Konsthall, Kölnischer Kunstverein and Galerie im Taxispalais.

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Sanja Ivekovic
General Alert

Kuratoren: Natasa Ilic, Kathrin Rhomberg