I'm pretty excited to have the oppurtunity to go and check it out next week.
Here is an extract from my undergrad dissertation that briefly sums up Ivekovic's work from the 1970s:
'Pretty Vacant: Narcissism and Feminist Activism'
Iveković’s most powerful works address the issue of the representation of women in the ‘public’ sphere and the way that this affects a woman’s behaviour in her ‘private’ life. She demonstrates an acute awareness of the way that mass media and systems of power can manage behaviour and influence identity. As a politicised female artist she harbours a sensitivity to the influx of images from magazines, newspapers and television that confront women daily. Using her own body and life experiences, Iveković shows the viewer how her own identity has been, often unconsciously, defined by these systems of power. She develops her work to show the ambiguity of these prescribed public concepts of what is ‘desirable’ and ‘normal’, thus revealing the subtlety and absurdity of their influence on gender identity. As well as addressing the many influences on the construction of a feminine identity, she confronts the issue of how a woman is then supposed to behave in the ‘public’ sphere and how this can cause anxiety in the ‘private’ life; a continually bouncing reflection. Iveković creates a dialogue between the social and political circumstances of her country and contemporary societal pressures felt by her generation of women, unveiling the inequalities that all women suffer under patriarchal systems of power.
Artworks created by Iveković in the 1970s often subverted the notion of the perfect female by revealing the lack of control that women were asserting over their identity and behaviour. They revealed how a former socialist Yugoslav society, newly saturated with mass media images, celebrity pictures and no exemplary female role models, threatened to produce a generation of unoriginal, narcissistic and idle women. Iveković chose to confront, rather than escape these problems. In playfully conceptual artworks the artist subverts messages from the cosmetic advertisements that visually saturate a woman’s life. She manipulates the intended use of actual beauty products in order to show her condemnation of their identity-forming potential and reveal the absurdity behind a woman’s fascination with such objetcs.
The key to the impact of her work, for me, is the confrontational aspect of her feminism, rather than the escapism I think we see from so many artists today.