• Probe 1 – The Story of Slovak (Post)Conceptual art
    12 Dec 2018 − 24 March 2019

    Prague City Gallery / Stone Bell House Curated by: Vlado Beskid and Jakub Král Loans by Kontakt: Ján Mančuška, Julius Koller, Stano Filko, Roman Ondak The exhibition will introduce Czech public into one of the crucial tendencies found in modern and contemporary Slovak art. It will focus on the origination and development of Conceptual and post-Conceptual Art within the horizon of the past fifty years in Slovakia, i.e. from the alternative, unofficial scene of the 1960s to the post-1989 legal artistic platform. The oeuvres of two generations of artists, such as Viktor Frešo, Jozef Jankovič, Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkáčová, Martin Kochan, Július Koller, Marek Kvetan, Ján Mančuška, Roman Ondák, Boris Ondreička, Monogramista T.D, Rudolf Sikora, Pavla Sceranková, Peter Rónai and Jaro Varga, will serve to present particular forms of Conceptual artistic morphology, as it was shaped by the new aesthetic criteria with their codes, in the context of time. The exhibition, held as a specific contribution to the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the existence of Czechoslovakia, will go hand in hand with interventions by several Czech artists (Jan Brož, Alice Nikitinová, Vít Soukup, Pavel Sterec, Antonín Střížek, Michaela Thelenová) who will loosely contextualize selected historical, social, economic and world-view facets of our history. Their main subject of interest is the transformations of the internal social paradigm, presented the loss of the utopian outreach of our thinking in connection with the declining big ideologies.


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 (like those described above for Personal Cuts). 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), 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): 24-25. See also Silvia Eiblmayr, ed., Sanja Iveković: Personal Cuts (Vienna: triton, 2001)



1949, Zagreb / HR, at that time Jugoslavija

Please follow this link for a selected bibliography available at the ERSTE Foundation Library
Still of the Video "Inter Nos", 1977
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  • Photo: Adam Sakovy