recommending institutionA9-forum transeuropa
time periodJuly 2004 - August 2004
Bio Leila Topic
> born March 03. 1972 in Zagreb
> finished high school for culture and arts in Zagreb
> active member of martial art club ”Budokai Zagreb”
> graduate comparative literature and art history in 2001, at the University of Zagreb
> post graduating at the University of Zagreb, department of Comparative literature, sub department Cultural studies
> graduating at the Kineziological faculty, department fitness trainer
> graduate at the Center for Women’s studies in Zagreb 2002
> currently works as journalist and executive director for the several newspaper and magazines in Croatia and a the Croatian national Television
> 2000 independent consultant in “What, How and for whom- 125 years of Communist manifesto” exhibition
>2001 curator assistant in Museum for Contemporary Art in Zagreb during the “Post-historic Triptychs” exhibition by Braco Dimitrijevic
> 2001 curator assistant in Museum for Contemporary Art in Zagreb during “The Baltic Times” exhibition of contemporary Baltic art
> 2001 participation in “Art and Politics” conference, Belgrade
> 2001-2002 independent consultant in “Project Broadcasting” by WHW association
> 2002 curator assistant in Museum for Contemporary Art in Zagreb during the exhibition “Venice Diaries” by female artist Tanja Ostojic
> 2002 curator assistant in Museum for Contemporary Art in Zagreb during “The Misfits”, exhibition of conceptual strategies in Croatian contemporary art, exhibited in Moscow, Skopje and Berlin
> 2002 co-curator of “Femisfera”, exhibition of female artists as a part of “Femisfera” regional conference – women reshape politics and economy
>2002 assistant of Sanja Ivekovic’s “Searching for my mother’s number” project made for Documenta exhibition in Kassel, Germany
>2002 curator assistant in Museum for Contemporary Art in Zagreb during “The Women house”. Sanja Ivekovic’s public project which deals with domestic violence
>2002 curator of “Video Gallery- female artists intervene in public space” supported by Center for Women Studies
>2002 executive director of the first Croatian on line art magazine art-e-fact ( http://artefact.mi2.hr)
>2002/03 director of documentary film “Kozaric in Kassel” on one of the most famous Croatian artist
>2003 member of Center for Women studies Zagreb
>2003 member of “Electra” organization for promoting female/gender art
>co-curator of public art project “Women’s NO to war” supported by “Electra”
>works in progress:
>writing book with work title “Mistress” on Croatian female artist Ksenija Turcic, as a first book in “Female artists books” bibliotheque
>writing a proposition for conference “Women and Globalization” which will take place in Korea, 2005
>writing a proposition for conference “Next five minutes” about female artistic intervention in public spaces which will take place in July, in Dubrovnik, Croatia
“If you think education is expensive, try being ignorant.” This is a motto I enjoy repeating. I am deeply convinced that the education of women is vital in this region, ravaged by war and wearied by transition processes. Women’s studies and similar topics in this region are often neglected and deemed unimportant. Women’s voices are silenced. Especially important, for me, is artistic education and researches in gender field. With a project “Video gallery”, in Zagreb, I tried make female artists and their works more visible in public spaces. For Wiena, I propose similar project; I would like to try present contemporary female video artist and their artistic films in shop or coffee windows, in one of the frequent Wiener street or square. In that way, people, who usually don’t go to museums or galleries, will see artistic works and perhaps start makes some questions. I choose video works which doesn’t need sound, but if the sound is inevitable, then I put some headphones in coffee shop, so people could seat and also listen the sound of video works. This would be 1. part of the Wiener project. For the 2. part I would like to present, in form of short lecture, few generation of female artist, starting with, worldly known Sanja Ivekovic, and artists like, Ivana Keser, Ksenija Turcic, Andreja Kuluncic, Kristina Leko, Tanja Dabo, Sonja Vuk and the youngest, emerging artist such is Ana Husman, Lala Rascic, Jelena Nazor. Also, I plan in this lecture, explain projects of the Centre for women’s studies Zagreb, which support female artist and artistic educational projects. 3. part is Performans by Sonja Vuk (there are 2 options, I prefer “The beauty of the day”) , which proposals is in the attachment. All of this 3 parts are flexible, and could be changed considering the conditions that could be provide.
If you have any further questions or suggestion to make this project better, I am ready to reconfigure project.
«BEAUTY OF THE DAY»
Women's population is periodically cured with shopping therapy i.e. brainwashed by media dictatorship and introduces so called Cosmo-law creating vicious circle of idolatry of it's own appearance as an article offered to consumption.
Inner value system such as general knowledge, morality, and quality of character cease to be ideal.
It is valuated more or less appearance and wealth. It develops obsessive creation of our own appearance and leads towards alienation from ourselves and from basic positive human emotions.
Following blind and unoriginal fashion trends creates homo-consumers: they are beautiful,
possibly should be young and above all well-dressed, but empty and with the only one aim within – to be in trend ,to be beauty of the day!
Whatever becomes genuine addiction – relates to conspicuous of commodities, reducing to prostitution of their own needs. It means that life is lowered to overlapping desires and desire objects: owning of fashion article. Mentality of consumption comes as destructive outcome of human perversion – of emotive and intellectual handicap.
Such a people become insensitive to suffer and poverty towards other people who are born in underdeveloped countries and endangered by wars, economically and politically unsettled situations etc.
This life for itself and by itself doesn't involve any empathy and care for human survival.
That phenomenon is very often in the countries of the great material wealth, abundance as a strong contrast to states in economical crises.
This work of art is an attempt to awaken consciousness (at least to those spoiled ladies whose sense of leisure is nothing else but shopping), whereas the sense of existence of some other life less happy and less affirmed and it should think about and concern about everyday life such as ecological awareness, not discarding a huge amount of food, political consciousness as well etc.
Description of work:
Location is in the most frequent shopping streets, in area of the most visited and the most exclusive shops.
The area would be publicly marked with military iron «barriers».( could be something else)
Between these barriers there would be left an empty space as a passage for pedestrians.
On the buildings walls there would be warrants (of apprehension) with text:
«Beauty of the day»
Young women can be registered by phone (real number) from-to
Coupons from various shops in vicinity (for ex. 5000 euros in Eskada, 1500 euros in Douglas etc.)
Under attractive awards with small and hardly noticed letters would be written other awards such as:
A week of voluntary labour in refugee camp, a week of labour in public kitchen etc.
(ironically evoking beauty contest, winner gain a year title with duties of travelling around the world and performing voluntary work).
On the given telephone all reactions records everything about contestants and their readiness for awards written in small letters only with a purpose «to take» shop coupons in order to show up in contest no matter of offered awards in coupons.
Survey would later be publicly presented.
« WHAT IS DEMOCRACY? »
The opening of one of the most distinctive symbols of globalization - McDonald's company seems to represent one of the world's dangers as a possible transformation of another cultural space into one more space of mass media consumption.
I would suggest that by temporary turning a cultural space into a place of mass media consumption with common official papers with branded sign, enclosed into all glass parts of the cultural space.
Expanding McDonald's restaurants symbolizes imported American life style. That is genuine danger, virus of globalization neutralizing original and authentic ideas.
Military and aggressive attitude the US stands for as a world policeman corresponds to the aggressive expansion of American pop-culture to all English and non-English spoken countries.
However, it seems that nothing can't stop this American power: neither anti-war protests all over the world nor human rights as a basic choice.
False announcement about opening of another negative symbol of globalization (unhealthy and unimaginative food) is the only warning related to danger of cultural invasion from those who assert the most democratic form of democracy but they are ready to act (against the will of majority of world's population) because of wrong reasons and goals endangering peace and progress of entire humanity.
This work of art is conceptualised as a sort of diversion, virus on cultural establishment as peculiar false deed:
It should be happen without public information.
All this could be prepared for opening of the new McDonald's restaurant and the real truth would be known publicly after reactions in media.
The purpose of this artwork is bringing awareness about danger from antidemocratic and universal activities by American power in the eyes of global public.