como espiar sin descargar nada press localizar numero movil here exposed cell pics programas para espiar por satelite el mejor espia gratis de whatsapp mua giong ong noi necesito espiar espia mensajes de texto de celulares telcel gratis como funciona spyphone pro como espiar blackberry messenger descargar programa prism espia

Anger of Bojana Pejić. An interview by the occasion of Gender Check Exhibition at the Warsaw's Zacheta Gallery

: Function ereg() is deprecated in /includes/ on line 649.

Our first question is very common... It's about the reason of making this exhibition. Why have you decided to make an exhibition on this particular topic?

Before the Gender Check project was even born, I was very angry. In 2007, there were two big exhibitions of feminist artists in the United States. One was "WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution" in Los Angeles, which covered the 60s and 70s. Of course 70% of participants were American girls, there were many west European artists and 4 artists from Eastern Europe ( Magdalena Abakanowicz, Marina Abramović, Sanja Iveković and Ewa Partum). Then a couple of months later, there was another exhibition, "Global Feminisms" in New York. There were seven artists from Eastern Europe, but I was very irritated by the text in their catalogue, "Post-Totalitarian Art: Eastern and Central Europe" by Charlotta Kotik, who exiled from Prague in the 1980s. She was an important art historian in her country. Her analysis of (-) art works may even hold, but I was irritated by her romantic view of democracy and her critique of the socialist period. She wrote that the decision of many women of (-) post-socialist period to stay at home (and therefore take care of the family) is a political decision, since in the communist age they have been forced to be employed! I simply hate such simplifications, particularly if we know that in the period of "transition" it was primarily women who lost their jobs and remained unemployed.

I did not see this exhibition, but after reading the catalogue(-) as a response I wrote a nasty text entitled "Why Feminism is suddenly so sexy?", which was later published in Springerin (Heft 1/2008) .

After this exhibition catalogue(-), I thought: if we don't start to deal ourselves with our art history, nobody will do it. About that time, the Erste Foundation from Vienna asked seven curators to propose a project for the twenty years anniversary of the fall of the Iron Curtain. And then I thought I will try to propose a project, which would deal with gender. Not gender as the theme of the show, but as a method of reading art. I didn't believe they would accept it. But some months later they did. The idea was to see if with the knowledge we have today: feminist theory, gender, queer and so on, if with these tools we are able to read art of the socialist period and if we are able to read gender roles in art. And when we got the materials from all the countries I realised we were able to do it. In general it all started because I was angry because of non-visibility of art of this part of the world. The other important thing is that there are many publications about art of Eastern Europe of socialist and post-socialist period, but none is focused on gender or gender relations as they are constructed in art. On the other hand, there is sociological literature on gender in communism and post-communism, but it doesn't deal with art. So I thought maybe in this project we could try to put together these two things.

So this exhibition can be treated as a starting point for examining power and gender relations in Europe. How would you describe power-gender relations shaped by the communist system?

Gender relations are relations of power. There's always somebody who's dominated and somebody who's dominating, active and passive role. In all possible relationships, regardless if it's hetero, homo, queer, lesbian, this balance is always there. However, these roles are not forever fixed, they change over time. Through the research on art in 24 countries, it became evident that gender model of socialism was a heterosexual model - heterosexual family. Living in socialist states we knew all this, but for me it was a surprise how the artists relate to the man-woman relations in their artworks. Although socialist countries didn't talk a lot about nationalism, in fact, they all wanted to have a bigger nation. In some countries it took an extreme form, like in Romania, where women were sentenced to six years of improsonment if they were discovered to have performed abortion. This reveals the key paradox: that in socialism men and women were equal in front of the law only in the legal sphere, I think it was the same in Poland. We were equal in the public sphere and at work (for example in Yugoslavia I had the same salary as my male colleagues in the institution where I worked, which was not the case in western countries), but there was always the question of who washes the dishes at home, who brings children to kindergarten... It was interesting for me to see if you can find art works where these roles are somehow visible. And there were several works dealing with this side of family life. There's one of my favourite paintings "Mother comes home" by Fritz Skade from GDR, (1964). Mother comes home after shopping in the supermarket, with the bags, and there's the son inviting to play. This is the definition of a socialist woman. The definition of a socialist woman as one German colleague wrote was "a working mother", I mean, "an employed mother". So when we turn to analyse Marxist theory and Marxist praxis, praxis of the state socialism, we realise that the issue of gender didn't play any role, because both early theoreticians of Socialism and later Marxists were busy with the issue of class. And as a member of working class woman was imagined to be equal to man. Any attempt to problematise the women's issues was disciplined. Thus, Lenin "disciplined" Zhenotdel, as, for example, Elizabeth A. Wood describes in her book

The Baba and the Comrade - Gender and Politics in Revolutionary Russia (1997), and (-) Alexandra Kollontai, who was the first woman in the world to become an ambassador (of the USSR in 1923) was a problematic one. Socialist governments gave women in their countries the right to vote after the Second World War and there were official women organisations launched by the Communist Party in every socialist country, but it was all about the public sphere. In Yugoslavia the Antifascist Women's Front formed by the Communist Party claimed "we deal with certain issues in our society, but we don't need feminism, because we are equal".


In 1978 my best friend Žarana Papić who died a couple of years ago, a feminist, a sociologist and Dunia Blažević, art historian, decided to a make the first feminist conference in a socialist country-Yugoslavia. The slogan of this conference held in the Student Cultural Centre in Belgrade was rephrasing the last sentence of the communist manifesto "The proletarians of all countries unite!". The feminist slogan was "The proletarians of all the countries, who is washing your socks?" We know who was washing the socks, and who still washes the socks today. So this feminist conference in Belgrade in 1978 problematised private sphere which was always invisible: who was buying food, who was washing dishes who was making queue in the socialist period-this was woman's job. However, this conference had very small impact on art of the 1970s, so, in contrast to the sociological theories, in Yugoslavia we didn't have feminist art criticism. We had, on the other hand, a feminist artist, Sanja Ivekovic.

What are the internal differences within Eastern European art? Are these cultural differences significant for artists' approach to gender, femininity and masculinity issues or feminist perspective? And how would you describe the Balkan perspective, is it different?

I personally see "Gender Check" exhibition as the first step. We try to see what was the perspective in the earlier times, because today it's probably much more clear. Then, comparisons should be the next step. People often ask me "Could you compare this with the western art?". For me it's easier to notice differences today. Because since the 90s, since (-) democracy came, I don't see many differences. Artists are critical towards the issues that are crucial to the society: nationalism, religion, trafficking of women from East to West and so on. Whatever country you take, you will find an artist dealing with these issues. But the socialist period for me is more interesting. Maybe because I didn't know much about the condition of art in other countries. We in Yugoslavia have always been much more interested in western art, and I believe that other socialist countries shared this interest. Concerning feminist art history in general, but also the one dealing with the socialist period, I think that Poland is on the first place, as it has more developed feminist art theory than the other countries. In Czech Republic there is Martina Pachmanova, terribly important, she started to cover the presence of the Czech and Slovak feminist artists in the modern period, and the period between the world wars. In Slovak art history there is Zora Rusinova, fantastic art historian, also feminist. And then if it comes to the Baltic countries: from Estonia we have Katrin Kivimaa who wrote many important texts about early 90s. She even claims that the notion gender was introduced to the Estonian society by the (-) contemporary art practices.

In Poland it was already in the 70s... (-)There wasn't feminism as a movement, but there was (-) feminist art.

Concerning the Balkans the only feminist art historian who is really active is Suzana Milewska in Skopje, Macedonia. In Serbia they have fantastic artists, also feminist, but there is no relevant feminist art criticism. Then in Croatia there is Sanja Ivekovic, really fantastic feminist artist. In her native country, there are good texts about her, but not fully filtered by the feminist consciousness. In Slovenia, they have the festival "City of women" every year. There exists feminist theory and art criticism. And then in Russia it's complicated, although there's Mila Bredekina who is really good and she organised one of the first bigger feminist exhibitions in Moscow. Art production can be related to theoretical practice or not. Sometimes you have a fantastic artist and you lack theory, and then sometimes you have good strong theory and examples are not too convincing. When we got materials from Yerevan we realised that there existed feminist art still lacking good theory. In the gender Check exhibition, I wanted to have some well-known artists from the 1970s. For me it was important so that we had some works that we know, to relate to, like Zofia Kulik or Ivekovic, so that people had some points where they would be sure. And then we could add the less known material like Slovenian artists, young female artists and so on.

What about Russia, because it is so big and not completely European...?

We can't talk about Russia here, because we couldn't get the Russian material owned by the Russian museum for the show in Zacheta, because of customs complications. They demanded that their material go back to Russia, and then to Poland, which would cause new transport costs. We got only the pieces owned by the artists. (-) But in general it's also the question how you define gender. And for me Russia is always a problem, because the scene there is always terribly male, it's a boys' club. I remember also that when I was curating the "After the Wall" exhibition in Moderna Musset in Stockholm (1999) I wanted Tatiana Antoszyna's work in which she uses her husband as Olympus. Antoszyna is a unique artist for me, because she made something that nobody else in art history did. She cast in porcelain performances by Alexander Brener, a very well-known anarchist artist. Performances are usually recorded by photo, by film, nobody makes porcelain figures. When I wanted this piece from her Moscow gallery the guy told me: "Why do you take her? She's only an applied artist". Women historically are supposed to do applied art: textile, invisible work at home, crafts, embroidery, drawings, but not to do "universal" things, not to do "high" art. But what women artists did through the last 20 years, was to turn the situation. In Hungary, Czeck Republik, Slovakia or Poland women artists are seriously into textile work, entering this "low" medium and really doing high art of this.

How can we connect the feminist perspective for art history in Eastern Europe with post-colonial criticism of neo-liberalism?

Without post-colonial theory I wouldn't be able to read our material. Particularly because of the wars in ex-Yugoslavia. I was always sensitive to women artists, but I think that I really gained true feminist consciousness because of our wars in the 1990s. It is nationalism that was eating us. Post-colonial feminist critique of power structures and also wars was for me the first step. If somebody does this critique of neo-liberal critique why not, but my main problem is nationalism. But I don't mean nationalism in the sense nationalists understand it in all countries, where always somebody else is guilty for our situation. What I learned from my feminist colleagues, Žarana Papić, in particular, is that if we deal with the critique of the national issues we start with our own "home". When I make an exhibition I don't take Serbian artists criticizing Croatian art, I take "my" Serbs critically dealing with Serbian condition. It's not very often, but there still are critical voices who are really critical towards the Serbian position in recent history. This was the case of the international exhibition Artist-Citizen - October Salon held in Belgrade, 2008.

But for me post-colonialism was the beginning. As we know, feminist art history is dominantly western, and post-colonial women theorists changed this, they problematised the paradigms of western modernism. I'm still not sure if the soviet position and today the Russian position, if they really accept the fact of their colonial position in post-1945 history. Because in Yugoslavia we really had different course than other socialist states since in 1948 Yugoslav PC separated from Stalin's "road". We were very proud of this, as we could travel abroad (meaning to the west) (-) and indeed, Russia didn't exist in my professional life. I first went to an East European country as late as 1987, to see an exhibition in Budapest. Because in Yugoslavia there was this fear, at least I felt it, that we should be "ready" if the "Russians come", as they did in Budapest or later in Prague. And I never wanted to travel to Russia, I was somehow afraid, it was totally irrational. I traveled to Moscow in 1988 because in the Student Cultural Centre where I worked from 1971, we prepared a program "Week of Perestroika. There is one text written by Katarina Diogot in the Moscow Art Journal from 1999 where she states that nobody in Russia takes the Russian colonial aggression seriously. They have a different world, they have their icons, Malewicz or whatever they have. Russians also have their own theory "feminology" about womanhood, but it is not necessarily a feminist theory.

There's one Russian sociologist who wrote in the book Gender Politics and Post-Socialism, edited by Nanette Funk and Magda Mueller (1993), that prostitution in Soviet Union during the perestroika period was a positive thing, because women in socialism couldn't express their sexuality! Come on, let's be serious! Majority of feminist texts about the socialist period say that family in state socialism was the only secure zone in life, because the influence of the state couldn't interfere in inner family life. And there's this fantastic text by Joanne P. Sharp in the catalogue of the show Private Views - Spaces and Gender in Contemporary Art from Britain and Estonia (2000) who rightly states that power relations within family in socialism are still not elaborated in the feminist theory. There's a painting by Wolfgang Peuker "Walls" from 1982 which shows a man beating a woman and they're both naked. It's like Adam and Eve, but with aggression. This is the only example of home violence we got in the research. So this proves that so-called private secure zone is still not examined. There's still material to think about this through art. In socialist time there were some laws, but I remember that when there were some family troubles in the neighbourhood, the police came and said that "this is your private affair, state doesn't intervene". So this secure island also had its power relations.

What have you discovered except for the domestic violence in the artists' works? You probably learned a lot from this exhibition...?

Of course. I was hoping to learn a lot. I read books, but I couldn't even make the thematic chapters in advance. I was hoping to get more works dealing with domesticity and it came. It was also a test how we define gender. From some countries I got only female artists. From some other also some queer positions, homo, lesbian. What was a discovery is that 70% of the works in this exhibition were made by women.

Discussed: Izabela Kowalczyk, Dorota Łagodzka, Edyta Zierkiewicz, Warsaw 21.03.2010.