April 15, 2010  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
New at MoMA: Sanja Iveković’s Double Life

I first made a studio visit with Sanja Iveković about ten years ago, when I was invited to organize a large-scale exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, Croatia. She impressed me instantly. I recall thinking, “This is an inspiring artist with whom I will forge a long-lasting relationship.” A feminist, activist, and video pioneer, Iveković came of age in the early 1970s, when artists broke free from mainstream institutional settings, laying the ground for a form of praxis antipodal to official art. Part of the generation known as the Nova Umjetnička Praksa (New Art Practice), she has produced works of cross-cultural resonance that range from conceptual photomontages to video and performance. Last month I visited Iveković again in Zagreb, this time to discuss her first survey exhibition in the U.S., which is scheduled to open at MoMA at the end of 2011.

The Museum has recently acquired four works from her celebrated series Double Life of 1975–76. For this series, the artist juxtaposed pictures of herself culled from her private albums with commercial ads clipped from the pages of popular magazines and newspapers. One part of each pair depicts Iveković through distinct periods of her life, enacting for the camera different poses, while the other part shows models advertising in women’s magazines such as Elle, Grazia, Brigitte, and Svijet. If you look closely, you will notice that sets are paired on the basis of similarities in appearance, gesture, props, locations, and situations. All images are dated, making clear that in most cases the artist was not simply mirroring media constructs of femininity but in fact was predating them—many of her remarkable self-portraits were taken before those in the ads to which they are matched. Probing mass media and its identity-forging potential with a sense of criticality, Iveković offers in this series an investigation of representation by exploring her own life retroactively. The exhibition at MoMA will cover four decades of the artist’s oeuvre and will feature Double Life as an early example of the feminist shifts that have been at play in contemporary art since the early 1970s.


Again, this is simply NOT Modern art. Why is it here? Dont lower yourselves just to be “IN”. It is degrading. and degrades the art within.

Start searching the world for art, not just the rabble from art schools, no great artist has ever graduated form one. In the arts, those who can do, those who cant teach. Stop listening and quoting teachers and critics, art has gotten so far away from its basis, its foundations, its fundamentals of purpose, it has lost meaning. And power. Read and quote ONLY artists that have lasted. NO academics, they are but the autopsy reports of dead things, not words from the being itself. They are the daycare centers of the rich and insecure. Seek strength, not attitude.

You curators need to start working, and get OUT THERE. Get out of your white cubes, art lives, breathes, and deficates. It is not dirty on purpose, it simply doing what living things do, and if it is not alive of mind, body and soul, it isnt art.

Stop illustrating absurdist theories, that isnt creative art. Its academic twaddle. Join me in saving real art, the Watts Towers. It defines humanity, explores nature, and reaches for god, in other words, what art is supposed to do. Not reflect the mentally imbalanced and needy. It is for responsible adults, not thier spoiled offspring. Get to work!

Stop presenting art school nonsense, and growing for no reason except to grow. Upgrade your collection, get some later Tamayo and perhaps Kiefer and other works that are Modern. Artists exist, just not in your precious and sterile Academies. You cannot buy talent or a life, but sure as can a MFA. This isnt business. Or is it?

Save the Watts Towers, tear down the Ivories.
google Art and Purpose to find out how.
Where have MoMA, LACMA and the Getty been? Time to put aside childish things time to get to work.
Art is not about You, it is always about US.

These are works of art. just because they aren’t traditional paintings or photographs doesn’t lessen their value or beauty. all the criticism that donald levels at contemporary performance art sounds very similar to what people first said about Picasso and Gauguin. open your mind!

It is open, just not empty. Self “expression” and exhibitionism is for children. These are horribly done, no skill at all, all illustration’s of childish “concepts”. It is not art. There is no arranging and making of things to activate the senses and emotions. Therefore, it does not fit the definition of art.

And yes, the various art forms have definitions, otherwise they are meaningless. As so well illustrated here. The art schools ridding of art meaning is for their own benift, so anyone can call themselves an “artiste”. That’s about money, not art.

Art collegia delenda est.
Fine art colleges must be destroyed.

Aloha! gpa

When Cezanne died at 65, an unknown til then, an explosion of shows carried his work to new generations, who were forever armed and invigorated. Til now. Now ennui, decadence and self absorbtion has run amok to rebuild the very salon he destroyed. We got this old broad, doing nothing, making nothing, fulfilling nothin, and held up by a few thousand art grads as an icon. Guess what, no one cares, she has made absolutley no impact on the culture as a whole, except as a joke on Sex in the City.

And art world has been constructed to shield itself form reality. Yet truth, veritas, the reality of mind, body and soul is the illusive goal of art, reflecting it in works that trigger vast waves of wordless emotion validating its truth, which is our job. This aint it. No one who graduates from an artschool can be a creative artist, without shedding its layers of selfishness and tangents away from arts purpose, and towards career. None ever have.

And this old girl proves it.
art collegia delend aest.
One cannot revolt from oneself, nor see the world clearly when in the belly of the beast. And the art school grad is the ultimate insider.

nOne aever have.

You say Sanja Ivekovic, Zagreb, Croatia. Okay, let’s think Zagreb, Croatia and see if we can find something there that really matters. For example: Ivan Grubanov, spent two years at the courtroom of the Criminal Tribunal in The Hague, witnessing the Milosevic process. Made a remarkable series of 200 drawings that depict his inner conflict with the man on trial. One of the most beautiful and potent works of art I’ve seen in the last decade (Istanbul Biennial). That is what art is suppose to do today. Mean, shift, excite, enrich, personalize, matter!

The word ‘Praksa’ is misspelled in “Nova Umjetnička Praska” it should be “Nova Umjetnička Praksa”

There is no reason why this would not be Art. Just as a painter paints what they see, she lives what she sees. Just on the surface, the idea that we live the life of advertising is conceptually interesting. Just as planned, Bernays was correct in assuming we are sheep, having our decisions dictated by mainstream and consumerist culture. I am not convinced by your argument against art schools or the above artist.

Hey check out (and like) an interesting take on Sanja Iveković exhibit “Sweet Violence” at MoMA by one of the contributors of Culture Catch Mr. Rubenstein at:

Leave a Comment

* required information

E-mail address*

Your comments*

Spam check*
Cri_71451 Please enter the text in the image.