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<nettime> Miss Croatia & Miss Brasil Read Zizek & Chomsky
dogmatik on Sun, 13 Jan 2002 04:20:39 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Miss Croatia & Miss Brasil Read Zizek & Chomsky

[via geert lovink <geert {AT} xs4all.nl>]

Dear Friends,

We feel that it is very important that we inform you about the unpleasant
incident which is happening even as we write on the relation Sanja
Ivekovic - state policy. A state selector has invited Sanja Ivekovic to
represent the state on the Sao Paolo Biennal. But when Sanja Ivekovic
submitted the project "Miss Croatia & Miss Brasil Read Zizek & Chomsky"
the state selector has, using laughable and confused arguments, more
exactly the totally unprovoked "doubt that of this project will be
realized in full and on time", refused any possibility that this project
could represent the state on the Sao Paolo Biennal. There is no further
need to explain, if you only took a casual look at the project, what the
misunderstanding between the artist and the state is. What we would
particularly like to underscore here is that it is quite unfortunate, for
both sides, when state "has" an artist wiser than itself.

Kindest regards,

Branimir Stojanovic & Milica Tomic

Beograd, 8. 1. 2002


Original proposal:

To: Noam Chomsky, philosopher
 Slavoj Zizek, philosopher

Re: art project by Sanja Ivekovic

«Miss Croatia and Miss Brazil Read Zizek and Chomsky»

to be presented at

25th Sao Paolo Biennial (March 23 - June 2, 2002)


At the forthcoming Sao Paolo Biennal of Contemporary Art that is happening
this year under the theme «Metropolitan Iconographies» and among the
artists that are selected by national curators I will be representing
Croatia. For this purpose I would kindly ask you for your collaboration..
Namely, regarding the main theme of the Biennal, I conceived the
video-installation entitled "Miss Croatia and Miss Brasil Read Zizek and
Chomsky".The project has been enthusiastically supported by Alfons Hug,
the chief curator of Sao Paolo Biennal.


I am a visual artist, born in Zagreb, Croatia where I teach at The Women's
Studies in Zagreb. I have been involved in the Anti-war Campain in Croatia
(Arkzin) and was a founding memeber of several local NGOs. Her art
production has spanned a range of media such as video, performance,
photography and installations. In my artistic practice I always address
different aspects of social reality, with a special concern as to the
impact of the mass-media in the process of construction of public opinion.
I do not consider the area of art as autonomous and neutral, but indeed as
a social practice which constructs our idea of reality. In that sense, all
of my works are explicitly (gender)sensitive, as well as critical towards
various social phenomena.


Conceiving her Sao Paolo project I was fully aware of the fact that to
exhibit at a big and important international exhibition such as the
Biennal, means to appear in the function of national representation, where
the organizing principle can be compared to other kinds of national
representation, for example to the Miss World selection.

On the other side, in recent times such exhibitions attract remarcable
attention from the media and they basically function in much the same way
as show-business.

Aiming to address and to question stereotypes such as femininity,
spectacle, national representation, as well as to stress the fact that
contemporary visual culture (including art) cannot avoid the rules of
consumer society and global power structure, I decided to produce two
video tapes of Miss Croatia and Miss Brasil reading texts written by two
contemporary philosophers which she admire greatly. Her decision to select
these two philosophers is based not only on their world fame but also on
the fact that both philosophers are well known for their analitical and
highly critical writings on contemporary consumerism, i.e. on the notion
of spectacle characteristic to consumer society.For example, after the
attack on WTC, Zizek and Chomsky immediately published a brilliant
analysis of its causes and possible consequences.

For the purpose of presenting the original art work for Sao Paolo Biennal
(to be shown as a video-installation consisting of two simultaneous video
projections) I would kindly ask you to produce a short text which would be
written for this purpose. We would especiallybe interested in working with
texts that deal with subjects such as the culture of resistance,
globalization, i.e. politics and present everyday life.


I am fully aware that this is a terribly late call. We would be very
grateful to receive the texts in about a week or so.

I would like to infom you that , miss Rajna Raguz and miss Sandisleia
Guiterrez have both already accepted the proposal to take part in this
project.According to my concept the shooting of the videos will take place
on several locations in Zagreb and Sao Paolo where they will be reading
the texts addressing the camera directly. Miss Croatia and miss Brazil
will be reading in their native language Croatian and Portuguese and in
English.The duration of each video (edited) will be around 15 min.The
schedule for the shooting of the videos is planned for the 11, 12, 13. of
January (Zagreb) and the 16, 17, 18. of February (Sao Paolo).

I am are very much looking forward to your collaboration in this project.
Again, we would like to apologize for  this haste.

Thank you in advance,


Sanja Ivekovic, artist

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