In 1975, neo-avant-garde artist Katalin Ladik, performed an action entitled Identification on the stairs of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. On an individual level, the action scans layers of identification ranging from the citizen’s general status as political entity, to one’s belonging to a political block in a Cold War situation. It also touches the politicization of the woman and her body as a biological, social entity and national property, or simply the condition of the artist as a woman in a highly patriarchal system. On a broader scale, the piece forecasts how societies of the (not only post-communist) Eastern Bloc countries shape their contemporary identity, relate and identify with their past and/or present in the luring light of Western Europe and the European Union.
Taking as a starting point Katalin Ladik’s action, the exhibition explores different narratives, contexts and practices of identification – as spectacle, as exorcism, as reappropriation, as alarm, as catharsis and as craft – through the work of six contemporary women artists from Central-Eastern Europe: Jasmina Cibic, Šejla Kamerić, Luiza Margan, Tanja Ostojić, Selma Selman and Katarina Šević.