Sanja Iveković. <i>Practice Makes a Master.</i> 1982/2009. Performance, 16:38 min. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley, Anna Marie and Robert F. Shapiro, Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis, and Committee on Media and Performance Art Funds. © 2011 Sanja Iveković

Practice Makes a Master

Thursday, December 15, 2011, 7:00 p.m.

Education Classroom B, mezzanine, The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building

Related Publication


Sanja Iveković: Sweet Violence
Roxana Marcoci and Terry Eagleton

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Sanja Iveković first performed Practice Makes a Master in 1982 at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin. The video documenting that performance shows the artist in a black evening dress on a stage, her head hooded by a white plastic bag. Her body suddenly jolts violently, and she falls to the ground. She lies immobile for several seconds and then gets up. A few seconds later she falters, falls again, and lies on the stage with legs outstretched. She stands and falls and repeats these actions over and over again. A spotlight switches on and off with a regular rhythm. All the while a sensual tune sung by Marilyn Monroe, from the sound track of the movie Bus Stop (1956), is progressively slowed until the female voice starts to sound like a man's. The score is disrupted by the jarring clamor of guns and other machines from video games, recorded by the artist in New York the previous year. Practice Makes a Master is a compelling study of the rehearsal of violence and psychological savagery. In 2009 Iveković asked dancer Sonja Pregrad to reenact Practice Makes a Master at the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, and at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht. Performed again in conjunction with the exhibition at MoMA, this contemporary restaging brings to mind the images of aggression that have followed in the wake of the September 11 attacks, among other episodes of recent violence around the world.

In conjunction with the exhibition Sanja Iveković: Sweet Violence

Tickets are free of charge and can be obtained starting November 12 at MoMA at the lobby information desk, at the film desk, or online.