Performace, 7.47min, queer femme festival smoqua, Korzo, Rijeka, Hrvatska.
The performance of Nika Rukavina (1980) is based on long duration, endurance, and persistent concentration. The human body is emphasized as the basic medium, vulnerable and powerful at the same time. Performance Word whipping deals with the inequality of women through a historical perspective, focusing on today’s lack of self-awareness. It consists of pronouncing degrading sentences addressed to women in recent history, by socially influential people women and men. After each sentence, the author gets whipped on her back. The aggressive-defensive dynamics in which the artist takes the role of ‘convicted’ strives to awake collective unconsciousness; to invoke the historically repressed experience of a matriarchy where women had a key and respectable role in society. Word Wiping is critically focused on media discourse, but also on everyday speech practices that form the figure of a woman with deprived power and ability to resist. Text pieces talk about the body and its freedom and are used through a subversive performance that is unmasking the language of structural violence. The gallery space becomes a reflection of mutual interpersonal relationships between the artist, the public, the social, institutional and media context, from which no one comes out without his or her part of the guilt. And possible redemption.
Text: Ksenija Orelj
Video: Miljenka Matić
Co-performer: Zoran Josić