• CEED Feminisms 3: Labour, diasporic experience and 'East' to 'West' migration

    With Lina Džuverović, Sanja Iveković, Tanja Ostojić, Darija Radaković and Selma Selman

    Sanja Iveković, The Invisible Women of Erste Campus, 2016
    Saturday 11th November 2023, 3-6pm
    Cell Project Space

    The third CEED Feminisms session brings together screened performance and moving image works by feminist artists Sanja Iveković, Tanja Ostojić, Darija Radaković and Selma Selman, whose practices address labour, diasporic experience and 'east' to 'west' European migration.
    These artworks are the texts for this special reading group session, grounding a conversation moderated by curator and Feminist Duration Reading Group member Dr. Lina Džuverović, whose research focuses on feminist art histories and contemporary art as a site of solidarity and community-building, drawing on her connections to the former Yugoslavia. The session will be split into two halves, featuring approximately 75-minutes of artist film and performance documentation, followed by a discussion of the artists’ works. 
    Croatian artist Sanja Iveković’s The Invisible Women of Erste Campus (2016) is a filmic portrait of the staff who clean Erste Group bank's Vienna headquarters and staff its cafeteria and kitchens. Attending to the ‘exclusively migrant’ cleaning womens’ experiences of work, the artist unravels their connections to Central and Eastern Europe, where Erste Group provides financial services.
    Documentation of Romani Bosnian artist Selma Selman’s Mercedes Matrix (2020), depicts the artist and her family members breaking down a Mercedes into scrap metal. Intervening with fluxuating value in the circulation of goods and labour, the artist strategically repurposes work usually performed in a Bosnian scrap yard for a German art festival.
    Yugoslav-born, berlin-based artist Tanja Ostojić's collaborative performance project Mis(s)placed Women? (2009-2022) explores how the figure of the migrant woman is invisible, or conversely viewed as a threat, in public settings. Since the breakup of Yugoslavia, where Ostojić was born, the artist has refused to claim a nationality. Her performance Mis(s)placed Women? Dedicated to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada (2016), asserts global solidarity with displaced womxn.
    Bosnian-born artist Darija Radaković's responsive performance Misplaced Woman (2015), which hinges on the artist's decision to wear a niqab to her Canadian citizenship ceremony, expands on the control and weaponisation of female migrant bodies to divide publics.
    Further events in the CEED Feminisms series will be announced in the New Year. Find out more about the programme delivered in partnership with Feminist Duration Reading Group here.

    This event will take place in Cell Project Space's ground floor Event Space, for full details about access follow the link here. If you would like to discuss your access needs or request support via our access and mobility budget, which can support childcare and travel for a limited number of participants who live outside of London, please contact Jessie Krish: jessie [at] cellprojects [dot] org.

    Curator Jessie Krish
    Dr Lina Džuverović is a curator and  Course Leader on the MA Curating and Collections at Chelsea College of Art. She is a support group member of the Feminist Duration Reading Group. Her research focuses on feminist art histories and contemporary art as a site of solidarity and community-building, often drawing on her connections to the former Yugoslavia. Her research and exhibitions include And Others: The Gendered Politics and Practices of Art Collectives (2019 - ongoing); Monuments Should Not Be Trusted, Nottingham Contemporary (2016), Sanja Ivekovic - Unknown Heroine (2012/13), South London Gallery and Calvert 22 Foundation, London and dozens of projects with Electra commissioning agency (2003 - 2011).
    Born in Zagreb, Croatia (formerly Yugoslavia), Sanja Iveković is a photographer, performer, sculptor and installation artist. The first artist in Yugoslavia to actively engage with gender difference, tackling the commodification of women’s roles with the onset of consumerism in the country, themes including the representation and status of women in society continue to be central to her current work. Iveković has received numerous prizes and awards at film and video festivals, including Locarno and Montreal. She has participated in several biennials including documenta 8, 11, and 13 in Kassel and Manifesta 2 in Luxembourg, as well as in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Taxispalais, Innsbruck; Museu d’Art Contemporani, Barcelona; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Museum moderner Kunst, Vienna; Fundació Antoni Tapiès, Barcelona, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. 
    Tanja Ostojić is a Yugoslav-born, Berlin-based performance and interdisciplinary artist, researcher and educator, and creator of the project Mis(s)placed Women? (2009-2022). Ostojić uses diverse media in her artistic research, thereby examining feminist issues, power relationships, social configurations, racisms, economy, and bio-politics between others. Since 1994 she has presented her work in solo and group exhibitions and festivals worldwide, including Brooklyn Museum, New York; Venice Biennale in 2001 and 2011; MUMOK, Vienna; Ludwig Museum, Budapest; Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, and 7a*11d – International Festival of Performance Art, Toronto. 
    Selma Selman is from Bosnia and Herzegovina and of Romani origin, currently living and working in Bihac, BIH and New York, USA. In her art works, the ultimate aim is to protect and enable female bodies and enact a cross-scalar approach to collective self-emancipation of oppressed women. Selman founded the organisation ”Get The Heck To School” which aims to empower Roma girls all around the world who faced ostracisation from society and poverty. She graduated from Rijksakademie in 2021 and recent solo exhibitions include Don’t Look Into My Eyes (2021), Kasseler Kunstverein Museum Fridericianum, Kassel; Selma Selman (2021), National Gallery, Sarajevo, and Superposition (2021), KUK Gallery, Cologne. Selman has exhibited works at Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria; 58th Venice Biennale, Italy; Queens Museum, New Yοrk, USA; Villa Romana, Florence, Italy and Museum of Contemporary Art, Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina. 
    Darija Radaković is a Bosnian-born, Canada-based, internationally recognized artist whose work is predominantly conceptual, whether performance, ready-made sculpture, textual work, assemblage, or installation. Radaković’s experiences as a refugee and migrant are reflected in her art which questions issues of identity, equality, social conflict, and freedom of expression. Recent solo exhibitions include I Like When You Feel Uncomfortable (2022), NGVU, Belgrade and I Don’t Think Art Is Good For You (2022), Herringer Kiss Gallery, Calgary. Radaković’s work has been selected for group exhibitions at Contemporary Calgary, Calgary; Kulturstiftung des Bundes, Dresden; Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina, Novi Sad, and Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo.
    CEED Feminisms is a Research Group of the British Art Network (BAN). BAN is a Subject Specialist Network supported by Tate and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, with additional public funding provided by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. CEED Feminisms is additionally supported by Cockayne Foundation.
  • brave and pathetic is better than drowning in shame

    Josefin Arnell, Max Göran

    brave and pathetic is better than driving in shame, 2023
    Opening 7th December, 6–9pm
    8th December 2023 – 25th February 2024
    12–6pm, Thursday – Sunday
    Opening RSVP
    In their first UK two-person exhibition, brave and pathetic is better than drowning in shame, Josefin Arnell and Max Göran present new moving image installations featuring truckers, horse girls, and the police, all caught up in yearning for their lost and unattainable objects. Whilst the exhibition brings the artists’ individual practices in dialogue for the first time, its title stems from the motto devised by Arnell and Göran in 2014 for their long-standing collective work under the alias of ‘HellFun’. 
    Spanning two floors, the exhibition is set up as a showdown between the horse beyond reach, and the emancipating, CO2-emitting automobile. It begins with a daytime party murder scene and a policewoman's search for her perfect horse (Josefin Arnell, Beast and Feast, 2023). Upstairs, an artist-cum-trucker journeys through unending days at a place where the sun never sets (Max Göran, Dieseline Dreams, 2023), and on a Mitsubishi Carisma’s last day on earth, it returns from dusk to dawn hopping on and off Berlin’s landmarks and unremarked side views (Max Göran, Mitsubishi Hop-on, Hop-off - Grand Finale, 2023). 
    Both in their individual and collective work, the artists use humour, class references and absurdity, mining their own life facts, such as far from perfect parental structures, to fictionalise themselves into versions of the Self unhinged from the super-ego or guided by a childlike Id. Having met as art students, ‘brave and pathetic is better than drowning in shame’ became a principle through which to make work sidelining art world pressures while pushing each other's boundaries with ‘deep love for one another alongside some violence & destruction’. 
    Unattainable objects in the form of the horse and the car, recurring symbols and motifs in Arnell and Göran’s respective practices, often become containers for newly-found agency, affection, obsession, melancholia and tainted power. In brave and pathetic is better than drowning in shame, these appear as indispensable prostheses to fantasies of a life lived in freedoms, or fitting in.
    Curator Adomas Narkevičius
    Josefin Arnell (Ljusnedal, Sweden) lives and works in Amsterdam. In 2015 and 2016 she participated in the residency programme at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam. In 2018 she won the Theodora Niemeijer Prijs for emerging female artists in the Netherlands. She is nominated for the 2023 edition of Prix de Rome Netherlands. In addition to her solo work, she is involved in multiple collaborations and together with Max Göran she forms the artist duo HellFun. Places where her work has been shown include: Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; WIELS, Brussels; UKS, Oslo; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem; Athens Biennale; Moscow International Biennale for Young Art; Auto Italia, London; Kunsthalle Münster, Rencontres Internationales, Paris/Berlin and IDFA International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.
    Max Göran is an artist and filmmaker who lives and works between Berlin and Sweden. He holds an MFA from Goldsmiths (2020-2022), and has studied with professor Josephine Pryde at the Berlin University of the Arts (2015-2019). His first solo exhibition was at Jenny’s Gallery in Los Angeles in 2019 and his work has also been shown at festivals and in group exhibitions at galleries and institutions such as Galerie Neu; CPH:DOX, Kasseler Dokfest; the 7th Edition of the Athens Biennale; New Contemporaries; Kunstverein München, European Media Art Festival. Together with artist Josefin Arnell he forms the duo HellFun.
    Generously supported by the IFA, Mondriaan Fund, Goethe Institute London, Region Örebro Iän, Film I Västerbotten, Cockayne Foundation and the Netherlands Embassy in the United Kingdom.