• WHO WAS 1968?
    28 Sept 2018 − 13 Jan 2019

    LENTOS Kunstmuseum WHO WAS 1968? Art, Architecture, Society Curated by: Hedwig Saxenhuber, Georg Schöllhammer Loans by Kontakt from: Heimrad Bäcker, Stanisław Dróżdż, VALIE EXPORT, Stano Filko, Běla Kolářová, Július Koller, Natalia LL, Karel Miler, Petr Štembera, Raša Todosijević and Goran Trbuljak A decade of eruptions, departures and redefinitions in the steel city Linz. The year I968 marks a turning point that ushered in a new era. Across Western Europe and in the United States Student protests and workers’ revolts called into question the post-war power structure itself, while Soviet tanks bulldozed the Prague Spring into the ground and signalled the end of the hope that the Eastern Bloc would open up to the West. This exhibition harks back to the echoes of I968 in Linz and Upper Austria. Embracing the arts, architecture, music, film and literature, it unfolds for the first time a synoptic map on which key figures and moments of local history – some largely unknown to this day – are accorded a place. It enables visitors to embark on exploratory trips and to survey the rich fabric of relationships and linkages that includes points of contact with international scenarios and trends. Experiments in the aesthetic field were begun with a view to escaping from the cultural stuffiness of the first two post-war decades. The participating artists include: Claudia von Alemann, Ant Farm, Heimrad Bäcker, Josef Bauer, Bill Bollinger, Dietmar Brehm, Gerd Conradt, Waltraut Cooper, Stanisław Dróżdż, Erró, VALIE EXPORT, Harun Farocki, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Stano Filko, Helmuth Gsöllpointner, Timo Huber, Johann Jascha, Martha Jungwirth, Gülsün Karamustafa, Gerhard Knogler, Běla Kolářová, Juliús Koller, Peter Kubelka, Zofia Kulik, KwieKulik, Maria Lassnig, Fritz Lichtenauer, Natalia LL, Karel Miler, Josef Nöbauer, OHO, Yoko Ono, Gina Pane, Friederike Pezold, Cora Pongracz, Chris Reinecke, Martha Rosler, Dieter Roth, Zorka Sàglovà, Dominik Steiger, Petr Štembera, Raša Todosijević, Goran Trbuljak, Tucumàn Arde, Jiřì Valoch, Agnés Varda, Peter Weibel, Hannah Wilke, Jana Želibská, Želimir Žilnik, Zünd-Up


Sanja Iveković

Since its beginnings, Sanja Iveković’s artistic endeavor has moved in the field of diverse “politics of performance” that the theoretician Peggy Phelan identifies as strategies for a critique of the ideologies of the visible: “Performance, insofar as it can be defined as representation without reproduction,” she writes, “can be seen as a model for another representational economy, one in which the reproduction of the Other as the Same is not assured.”1 Using performative practices, Iveković has investigated the relationship between the seemingly valid image of the real and an undefinable, unrepresentable real (Phelan names it the “Unmarkable”). This holds true for both her conceptual photo and text work as well as for her videos and video installations and logically also for her actions. It is decisive that the artist brings herself into play as the protagonist, especially in her early work. However, in the work of the last two decades she has, in the sense of a stronger political activism, increasingly retreated into the background, appearing less in her work in performance or in depiction.2 It lies in the logic of this artistic approach that the symbolic, political and social field that Iveković presents to us defines itself in a gender context and that the relationship between “the man” and “the woman” proves to be asymmetrical.

Iveković works with double strategies. She uses the performative potential of the mass media, of magazines and newspapers, of advertising, of “public” and – very decisively – also of “private” photography in order to bring her own person into play in the broad field of representation as a structural reference figure. Iveković follows “the woman” in the wide field of media representation, using her method of “personal cuts” to reveal empty spaces that the signifier “woman” continually highlights as it traverses this field under a host of various circumstances. She is just as likely to appropriate the images of cosmetics advertising (e.g. “Double Life”, “Eight Tears”, “Diary”) or of the glamour industry (“Tragedy of a Venus”, “Sweet Life”) as she is to make use of newspaper crime reports (“Bitter Life”) or notices regarding missing young women (“The Black File”).



1 Peggy Phelan, Unmarked: The Politics of Performance (London and New York: Routledge, 1993), p. 3.

2 Since the early eighties, Sanja Iveković has been the initiator and founder of political initiatives involving feminist issues. They include: “Podroom”, the first artist space in Zagreb, the center for women’s research “B.a.B.e”, the women’s center “Attack – The Autonomous Cultural Factory” and the Zagreb female artists’ center “ELECTRA” – (ELECTRA - Zenski umjetnicki centar / Women’s Art Center ELECTRA). In autumn of 2000, ELECTRA organized the project “co-operation: International Forum for Feminist Art and Theory” in Dubrovnik, with more than forty participating lecturers and artists from Europe, the USA and Asia. Additionally, Iveković works with the Center for Female War Victims, and one of her artistic projects deals with violence against women. Within the context of this work in progress she has worked with women in shelters in Zagreb, Bangkok and Luxembourg. See “Translocation,”Springerin. Hefte für Gegenwartskunst, volume V, no. 1 (1999): p. 24-25. See also Silvia Eiblmayr, ed., Sanja Iveković: Personal Cuts (Vienna: triton, 2001)

1949, Zagreb / HR, at that time Jugoslavija

Sanja Iveković studied Graphics at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb (Croatia) from 1968 to 1971. She lectures at the Center for Women's Studies in Zagreb since its beginning in 1994 and is a founder of Electra – The Women Arts Centre in Zagreb. In 2009 Iveković received the “Camera Austria Prize for contemporary photography” of the city of Graz (Austria).


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  • Photo: Adam Sakovy