Barbara Kruger Would Approve
My entire art practice evolved around silenced women’s voices throughout patriarchal history in the Balkans. First I started to document personal stories by my matrilineal relative members to compile unheard narratives that were circling around mostly in oral storytelling. I was later staging tableau vivant photography with women in my family to portray their struggles and depict the hardships they overcome due to their resourcefulness and resilience that they inherited as embedded legacy via transgenerational survival techniques common for peripheral, rural communities. I was born and raised in a small provincial town Trbovlje in Slovenia as a second-generation immigrant from Bosnia and Herzegovina. As someone who studied culture and anthropology, I am very much aware of emic (insider) and etic (outsider) perspectives and how to use both in conjunction with each other.
Recognizing sexism is harder than it once was since it is masked as subtle dismissals—today’s sexism is politically correct. It is a kind of can’t put your finger on. These statements depict the micro-aggressions I usually experienced during my stay in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Slovenia through daily communication.
The Perfect White Cisgender Woman
A short film, 2022, 6:00
The Perfect White Cisgender Woman is a satirical short film about a middle-class woman performing everyday rituals. It examines human behavior in a pseudo-scientific way. A woman is depicted in a detached manner, functioning in a room, as though she is a subject of observation. The voice-over provides comments on her mundane actions.
Camera: Mina Petrović
PRIVATE THOUGHTS IN PUBLIC CRISIS
ARTIST BOOK, ONGOING PROJECT, 2021
Short texts are engraved in the book as transparent letters with a debossing design. The first ten pages are statements about the political situation in Palestine that we witnessed in the spring of 2021 during COVID-19 and are expressed by a white, privileged person. The project continues via a QR code that leads the individual to an Instagram profile, where everyone shares their thoughts on any social issue.
PERFORMANCE, 20:00, 2020
Producer: MSUV- Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina, Serbia.
Performer: Nenad Ignjatević
Photographer: Marko Ercegović
Video Documentation: Alpha Media Plus
Curated by: Sanja Kojić Mladenov, Tijana Filipov Mezei
The artist with this performative piece is implementing the narrative of domestic violence treated in the Balkans. When paraphrasing national Serbian law and the definition of domestic violence, the performer intervenes with personal anecdotes. It illustrates the emotional impact and fills the void of the rigid bureaucratic system of the state apparatus.
VIDEO 03:40, 2019
Camera and edit: Maximilian Klamm
Hommage to Jadranka Cigelj, Nusreta Sivac, and the rest of the women survivors of the concentration camp in Omarska, BiH.
The video takes us into a complex field of transgenerational collective trauma caused by war violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The author adopts a strong standpoint that violence is unacceptable, she empowers victims and directs her attention to the perpetrators of violence, and faces us with the ahistorical moment that opens the timeless question about the ontology of evil.
FILM ESSAY, 2021, 09:45
Zahida witnessed II WW and the Yugoslav war in the ’90s. The short film essay depicts her situation in a neglected region in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The film relates directly to capitalism and the question of labor and capital structures of society. It shows how the political oligarchy devastated the country of its possessions.
VIDEO, VOICEOVER, 2017, 07:55
LINK TO VIDEO
Camera: Vitya Gluschenko
Produced by KulturKontakt and Austrian Chancellery, AT.
The video performance acts as a monologue confession of a woman in her early thirties and the obstacles she is dealing with. Content deals with gender, identity, migration, and ethnicity. Autobiographical thoughts are exposed to the audience through the audio recording, while the performer in the video is only partially visible.
ZAHIDA IS A FEMINIST
PHOTOGRAPHY SERIES 10x, PHOTO-PRINT ON COTTON CANVAS, 70×50, 2016
Sewed and print by Andrej Uduč and Matej Uduč
The red thread of the project is the question of feminism in the Balkans or how it is shaped through the occidental dominant white feminism. The issue I deal with is whether we can talk about emancipatory women’s practices. The fact that the Balkan is described by the West and its intellectuals as patriarchal, traditional, rural, backward, mystical, and scary is just one side of the story that has completely taken hold of our perception.
VIDEO Performance, 04:53, 2015
Camera: Andrej Uduč
“The artist in the video performance stands in a blank space in front of the wall, to which, across the projection, the text in English is written: “I am a Muslim I am a Muslim I am a Muslim …”. The statement is repeated until it fills the entire wall. The artist stands still, has a loosely wrapped scarf around her head, and smokes a cigarette. After a while, she takes her scarf off her head and starts to say “I am a Muslim” out loud. She repeats the statement with various affirmative intonations. When the text is fully written, the artist leaves the scene. With the gesture of the projected text on her body, the artist publicly proclaims her origin, which can also be accepted as an identity in the local environment as a negative mark. By making confident statements, she accepts this identity, affirms it, and “crosses the border,” thereby achieving empowerment.” (Vesna Bukovec, DIVA – SCCA, 2019)