Great NYT article about Sanja Ivekovic

“Sanja Ivekovic: Sweet Violence” is at the Museum of Modern Art through March 26; (212) 708-9400,

Venus Rising From her Pretty Prison
"How many of the world’s problems would be solved, or at least greatly reduced, if women had true parity with men? Just think how having equal rights before the law, equal access to education and reproductive autonomy would affect women’s ability to fulfill their potential worldwide. Then consider, as various writers have maintained, how this might increase the world’s collective brain power and economic resources. There would also be benefits if men could be freed of misogyny and the debilitating self-hatred that it, like all bigotry, masks."
"In the wake of “Triangle” Ms. Ivekovic’s work has been more expansive in its ominousness. In the video re-creation of her 1982 performance piece “Practice Makes a Master,” a female performer in a black dress and heels with a white plastic bag over her head repeatedly falls, stands up and falls again, as if rehearsing an execution. On the soundtrack the recording of Marilyn Monroe singing “That Old Black Magic” repeats at ever slower rates, until she sounds like a man. This adds a touch of vaudevillian slapstick, but the suggestion that women’s relationships with men are often just gentler forms of obliteration is not exactly funny."

"And in “Rohrbach Living Memorial,” a 2005 installation, Ms. Ivekovic effectively triangulates a small Nazi-era photograph of Gypsies rounded up for deportation to a concentration camp; a video of a group of current citizens of Rohrbach, Austria, sitting in their village square and silently reliving this situation; and us, the viewers, standing in a small gallery between the sepia-tone photograph and the video. The villagers look somber, but also intermittently restless and bored, which is also how you may feel. Then it may dawn: It is difficult to imagine facing death when you’re not. Suddenly the piece evolves into a very pointed lesson not just in history and memory, but in the importance of empathy and the ability to put yourself in other people’s places. Ms. Ivekovic’s spare, selfless art is full of such unexpected twists and thought-provoking turns."

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