Over the last four decades, Croatian artist Sanja Iveković has developed a pioneering practice that tackles issues of female identity, the politics of power, consumerism and the paradoxes inherent in society’s collective memory.
A feminist, activist, and video pioneer, Iveković’s early work became a part of the generation known as the Nova Umjetnička Praksa (New Art Practice), producing cross-cultural works that range from conceptual photomontages to video and performance. In the 1970’s Iveković worked alongside a generation of artists in Yugoslavia who questioned the role of art in society. They strove to democratise artistic space by breaking away from mainstream institutional settings and galleries and started to use performances and cheap, accessible materials. Living and working in a turbulent political context for many years brought forward questions regarding social structures, gender politics and identity.
Iveković explores the intersections and commonalities across local conditions and global shifts. The artist focuses on the individual through the media, as well as the continued invisibility and erasure of women from the public sphere and from dominant historical narratives. Her works explore the effects of power and political agendas on public space, irrespective of regime. In the late eighties she was a founder and a member of a number of women’s non-government organizations in Croatia such as Elektra- Women’s Art Centre, The Centre for Women’s Studies, B.a.B.e and the Women’s Human Rights group.