Sanja Iveković: MAKE UP – MAKE DOWN, a video retrospective


The retrospective of Sanja Iveković will be held at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.

Opening: 26 November 2021 at 7 p.m.

The framework of Sanja Iveković’s retrospective consists of 12 video works represented in the collection of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, featuring an early anthological video from the 1970s, several works from the 1980s—produced independently or in collaboration with Dalibor Martinis—and an example from the war years of the 1990s. This selection has been additionally expanded by works lent from the collections of institutions, galleries, as well as the artist’s personal archive, while a film programme is planned as a parallel segment. This is the artist’s first retrospective in Croatia, which will enable the public’s systematic overview of her oeuvre, while addressing key thematic frameworks in the context of wider artistic and social phaenomena and feminist interventions in the field of art history.

Situated in a triangle between the politics of representation, feminist intervention and the media, the exhibition Make up – Make Down borrows the title of the early video work, thus indicating the method whereby works are gathered and grouped in the exhibition space, which indicate dichotomies and tensions of complex social relations and artistic positions, thus addressing the system that invisibly and continuously produces structural oppression, both in the field of media and in the field of gender politics. Furthermore, it confirms the actuality of video production with which the artist has acquired a position on the domestic and international scene.

The exhibition focus is developed on the reviewing and recontextualization of loose seams between identities and social norms, the dismantlement of the private and the public, grown into the tissue of video production that expresses its politicalness with media rendition of her own (female) face, thus accepting the new medium of video as an ally in criticising the existing codes and the affirmation of the new idiom of moving images. In that sense, Sanja Iveković’s video art is inseparable from performance on the one hand, and on the other hand from the development of the artists’ international networks/connections, the circulation of artworks, ideas and artists in the pioneering phase of development, thus raising questions that have since been inscribed in the artist’s practice – an interest in intermedia dialogue, first-person speech, the analytical and critical stance in relation to the artistic language and the social context. The works at the exhibition indicate forms of interventions in artistic systems and changes in artistic cartography. Furthermore, this indicates practices of self-archiving as one of the important tools with which numerous generations are familiarised with the artists’ radical or experimental practices. A view to Sanja Iveković’s video production is a view to social, historical and political implications, to personal and social artistic gestures.

Sanja Iveković generationally and artistically she belongs to the New Art Practice which rejects established aesthetical values and strives to interaction with the environment/audience. It focuses on action in the spirit of social activism by using media space as one of the forms of exploration and expression, highlighting ethical sources of art and artwork. In her work she uses document, photography, performance, installation, action and intervention in urban space. She is one of the first Croatian female artists to relate to feminist art practice. She explores and discusses the position of women in contemporary society, especially in the world of media, and the impact on a woman’s life artificially constructed by the social concept. MORE


Curated by: Branka Benčić and Sabina Salamon
Film program is curated by: Tanja Vrvilo
Lenders of works for the exhibition: Kontakt. The Art Collection of Erste Group and Erste Foundation, Vienna; Museum of
Contemporary Art, Zagreb
The exhibition is supported by: Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture, City of Rijeka, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of  Croatia, Kontakt. The Art Collection of Erste Group and Erste Foundation, Vienna. Kontakt Collection is an independent non-profit association based in Vienna. Its purpose is the support and promotion of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European Art.
Education: Ivana Lučić
PR: Jelena Androić
Technical setup: Vanja Pužar, Anton Samaržija, Miroslav Šarić

To coincide with the exhibition a screening program is taking place at Art Cinema Croatia.
Partners: Art Cinema Croatia and Film Mutations: Festival of Invisible Cinema.


The exhibition Sanja Iveković: Make Up – Make Down will be organised in accordance with the existing measures of protection against Covid-19. The information is regularly updated on the Museum’s website.


Public guides will be held Thursdays at 6 pm:
December 2021: 2/12, 9/12, 16/12
January 2022: 13/01, 20/01