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Kunsthalle Wien presents Sanja Iveković: Works of Heart (1974–2022)

October 4, 2022–March 12, 2023

Opening: October 4, 7pm

Performance: October 5, 7pm, Sanja Iveković and Mitja Obed, Mother and Daughter (Chicken and Egg)

Since the 1970s, gender and political themes have been consistently addressed in Sanja Iveković’s artistic work, which has a definite feminist and activist stance. She has impacted a number of generations of artists and curators with her unwavering approach to fusing aesthetic and political studies.

As part of the Nova umjetnika praksa [New Art Practice] movement in Yugoslavia, Iveković produced early feminist works that focused on the relationship between mass media and ideology. Her later projects, which looked at the Balkan countries’ shift from socialist to nationalist political systems, are also included in the exhibition Works of Heart (1974–2022), which is proudly presented by Kunsthalle Wien.

In order to explore representations of female identity, female history, violence against women, state oppression, and ideological manifestations through mainstream media, Iveković’s works frequently begin with very personal settings and life circumstances that are then juxtaposed with official histories and mainstream depictions. Works of Heart (1974–2022) explores one of the central topics of the artist’s practice—the relationship between history and contemporaneity—by examining the understudied histories of antifascism and socialism through the lens of her own personal past.

The persistence of the emancipation fight may be seen in Iveković’s works. Although there has been little to no development in some areas, her practice primarily inspires a sense of irreverence and tenacity in the face of difficulty. The show’s name relates to Ivekovi’s enthusiasm and involvement with the issues she addresses as well as the 2001 work of the same name, which exposed the cynicism of the media’s coverage of the siege of Sarajevo during the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The retroactive character of Iveković’s Works of Heart (1974–2022) belies the fact that she creates in the present. Her work has a performative strength that pushes for solidarity, gender equality, anti-fascism, the liberation of communal memory, and anti-fascism. She collaborates with feminist and activist organizations and exchanges resistance tactics with them in the careful construction of many of her works. Prior to her exhibition at Kunsthalle Wien, the artist created a new installment of the series “enska kua” (Sunane naoale) [Women’s House (Sunglasses)] and a new iteration of Shadow Report, both of which focused on gender-based violence against women refugees in Austria.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an extensive program, which will also be characterized by the artist’s decidedly activist approach.

Curator: Zdenka Badovinac
Curatorial assistants: Maja Alibegović & Andrea Popelka

Kunsthalle Wien
Museumsquartier, Museumsplatz 1
1070 Vienna
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