Sanja Iveković:
Unknown Heroine

Sanja Iveković is a Croatian artist with a highly political edge to her work. Unknown Heroine mostly deals with the way women are presented or not presented. With that in mind there are two particularly interesting works.

The first work that stands out is Double Life. Here, home photos of Iveković appear next to magazine photos of models. Both Iveković and the models are posed in similar ways. The interesting thing is that Iveković’s photos pre-date the magazine photos, suggesting some mimetic forces at work in society’s collective unconscious.

The second interesting piece is, Invisible Women of Solidarity: 6 out of 5 Million concerns the women of the Polish Solidarność (“Solidarity”) trade union. The work consists of portraits and biographies of six women who were influential in the movement, but have been “largely omitted from the official history of the trade union itself”. While I am not in a position to judge that claim, I do wonder if focusing on individual women (none of whom seem to be doing too badly from their biographies) isn’t somehow contrary to the notion of solidarity.

Unknown Heroine spans two London venues: South London Gallery in Camberwell, and Calvert 22 in Shoreditch. It closes tomorrow, the 24th of February.

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