I was cooperating with artist Zvonka T Simčič on this project and here are some photos from today’s exhibition opening in Gallery Tobačna 001: Silent Power & Traces.
Zvonka T Simčič is presenting her new project.
Zvonka T Simčič is one of the few female visual artists whose works address the theme of motherhood in an extremely engagé manner. In her innovative performance Doulas “ad utero, ab ovo” (2007) she critically addressed the problem of the (non-)possibility of single women being artificially inseminated, such that by means of the image of herself as the pregnant Virgin Mary she presented her own experience of insemination, pregnancy, and child birth. The decision to be artificially inseminated represents, in a country where such right is not ensured to single women, a courageous and bold act of an autonomous woman, who has, by means of such a gesture, also rejected the subordination of women to the male hegemony with regard to reproduction.
Following the birth of her son Adam, in New Allegories, 2008, 2009 Zvonka T Simčič addressed the period after giving birth, the role of a single mother, and the treatment of single-parent families by the state. In her latest video, entitled Traces, 2012, she further develops her previously highlighted topics and by means of the motif of Fair Vida communicates to Slovene society that she disagrees with the discriminatory outcome of the referendum on the Family Code, by which rights were denied to children from more liberal family forms. In a country where nobody cares about the rights of a minority, Simčič exposes her own child to the audience in an activist-artistic manner. Having the position of a precarious worker and freelance artist, Simčič encounters numerous existential problems in her role as a single mother; she presents herself through the image of Fair Vida while carrying her child along the edge of a hill into the world – and assumes the full weight of responsibility.
Zvonka T Simčič courageously fights for the rights of women and children together with her female colleagues from different fields of art. For a number of years now her efforts have been backed by the artistic photographs of Nada Žgank. And for the purposes of the present performance she has been joined by the singer-songwriter Ksenija Jus, with her topical version of the tragic Fair Vida, who becomes a victim of capitalist criminals. Furthermore, she also enjoys the comradeship and support of the women in the female choir Kombinat, who by means of the collective power of a group sing out revolutionary songs of rebellion from all over the world and who believe in solidarity, heart-felt sincerity, courage, and social justice.
Simčič’s Fair Vida did not radically sacrifice either her own life or that of her son for a world more just. The author is not pushing her characters along the edge of a hill into ruin, but is rather saving them from a dead-end situation by means of a will that combines a certain yearning and struggle.
By means of her artworks Simčič fights in a very unique way when, as an artist and mother impersonating Fair Vida, she walks, with her child in her arms, through the meadow of yearning towards a more just and better world.
Simčič Zvonka is a painter, performer, photographer, video artist and the head of the Independent Institute for Visual Research. She graduated in 1994 and specialised at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana in 1996.