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Alenka Spacal: “HANGING ABOUT”

Performance with self-portraits on kitchen cloths

Kosmos Theater, 16th May 2007, 19:00

The exhibition of Alenka Spacal’s painted self-portraits will be opened with a performance, in which the author will hang her works on a washing-line. Through self-ironising the palette of various representations of own image, which she paints with oil colours on kitchen cloths, by an imitation of a household environment of hanging the washing inside the space of a gallery, the artist raises questions about the relation between the private and the public, that is, personal and political. By way of her painted self-portraits, that is, an autobiographical method of sorts, the author establishes her own subjectivity, thus opposing the objectification of the clichéd role of the woman as “other”. On the contrary, her ambition is to constitute herself as an active artistic subject. Through her own visual representations, she emphasises her own personal position of subjectivity, and, along the way, makes visible the different marginal identities which, above all, touch upon the concept of gender, and also refer to sex, sexuality, race and religion. In her feminist / lesbian questionings, Alenka Spacal doesn’t remain enclosed within the binary oppositions of sex and gender. Through different motives, she plays with the multitude of possible presentations of queer identities, whereby she strives to overcome the traditional binary divisions to male and female sex / gender, which is especially manifest in her androgynous self-portraits. All the while, with the help of her own representations, she positions herself opposite the patriarchal and heterosexist social order.

Alenka Spacal: Self-portratits, 2003-2005, oil on kitchen cloths
Alenka Spacal: Self-portratits, 2003-2005, oil on kitchen cloths

About the artist:

Alenka Spacal lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia. She works as visual artist, theorist and fine-art critic. She is PhD Student of Feminist Theory and Visual Culture at University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Department of Sociology.

She had exhibited her self-portraits at different feminist / queer events: 2003 Lund, Sweden (5th European Feminist Research Conference), 2004 Ljubljana, Slovenia (NOISE Summer School in Women's Studies), 2005 Ljubljana (Women's Festival “Rdeče zore 6”), 2005 Beograd, Serbia, (Beograd Queer Festival), 2005 Graz, Austria (VI. Women's Interenational Conference), 2005 Zagreb, Croatia (Transgressing Gender Conference: “Two is not enough for gender (e)quality,”), 2006 Dubrovnik, Croatia (Seminar of Zenska Infoteka “Women and Politics”).

Self-portratits, 2003-2005, oil on kitchen cloths

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