Sanja Iveković. Personal Cuts. 1982. Video (black and white and color, sound), 3:40 min. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley, Anna Marie and Robert F. Shapiro, Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis, and Committee on Media and Performance Art Funds
The first museum exhibition in the United States of the work of Sanja Iveković (b. 1949, Zagreb) covers four decades of the artist's remarkable career. A feminist, activist, and video pioneer, Iveković came of age in the post-1968 period, when artists broke free from mainstream institutional settings, laying the ground for a form of praxis antipodal to official art. Part of the generation known as the Nova Umjetnička Praksa (New Art Practice), Iveković produced works of cross-cultural resonance that range from conceptual photomontages to video and performance.
This exhibition brings together a historic group of single-channel videos and media installations, including Sweet Violence (1974),Personal Cuts (1982), Practice Makes a Master (1982/2009),General Alert (Soap Opera) (1995), and Rohrbach Living Memorial(2005). Among the 100 photomontages featured in the exhibition is Iveković's celebrated series Double Life (1975–76), for which the artist juxtaposed pictures of herself culled from her private albums with commercial ads clipped from the pages of women's magazines.
While in the 1970s Iveković probed the persuasive qualities of mass media and its identity-forging potential, after 1990—following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the disintegration of Yugoslavia, and the birth of a new nation—she focused on the transformation of reality from socialist to post-socialist political systems. Iveković offers a fascinating view into the official politics of power, gender roles, and the paradoxes inherent in society's collective memory. The exhibition will be accompanied by a major publication.
Sanja Iveković: Sweet Violence
A panel discussion on feminism, art, and politics with artist Sanja Iveković and Ivana Bago and Antonia Majaca, curators, Institute for Duration, Location, and Variables (DeLVe), Charles Esche, director, Van Abbemuseum, art historian and curator Bojana Pejić, and video, installation, and performance artist Martha Rosler. Roxana Marcoci, curator, Department of Photography, and organizer of the exhibition, will moderate.
The panel will be followed by Iveković's performance Practice Makes a Master, featuring Sonja Pregrad. Separate tickets are required for the performance and can be obtained free of charge starting November 12 at the lobby information desk, at the film desk, or online.