Exercising Collective Disobedience
30. 11. 2023 18:00 – 21:00
House of the Lords of Kunštát, G99
We cordially invite you to the opening of the exhibition Exercising Collective Disobedience at G99 gallery on Thursday 30 November at 6 pm. The opening will be accompaynied by two performances, About Flowers and Choice and YCT529.
6pm ABOUT FLOWERS AND CHOICE (Alexandra Ivanciu, Jolanta Nowaczyk)
"About Flowers and Choice" is a "hospitable gesture" where drinks are served, the mixture of which is based on ancient herbal knowledge. The artists serve a long drink made of herbs which were used in the past to “regain the period” and invite the audiance to have a conversation about reproductive justice.
7pm YCT529 (Maria Winkler)
The mystical performance YCT529 celebrates female menstruation and builds a bridge between the four seasons and the four phases of the menstrual cycle. The artist also thematizes the ambivalence of hormonal contraceptive methods between freedom through the emancipation of one's own reproductive functions and the organized suppression of female desire.
The performance is seen as a representation of the performers' own perceptions and is composed of sound-installative moments and text.
Performance: Maria Winkler
Sound: Gabriel Wörfel, Maria Winkler
Performers: Luise Hemman, Maria Winkler
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Alexandra Ivanciu and Jolanta Nowaczyk joined their artistic forces to engage with their own means in the global fight to increase access to reproductive rights. The project “Exercising Collective Disobedience” was conceived as a generator of a context, a catalyst between art and activism; being both idea and action oriented. The exhibition space becomes an educational one, a pro-choice info-point, where the artists bring together several types of resources about reproductive justice, historical or informative in a practical sense.
Guided by a critical thinking informed by intersectional feminism, the artists oriented their collaborative practice politically, in relation to problems from the immediate reality, creativity being a weapon placed “in service of the revolution”. The urgency of challenging conservative and patriarchal legal statuses worldwide has stirred anger and motivation, leading them to search for solutions despite the limitations they face and the restricted means at their disposal. Alexandra Ivanciu and Jolanta Nowaczyk have engaged in an active art project, a call for solidarity with the Dzien Po collective that gathers morning-after pills in order to distribute them to people in Poland. Poland and Hungary are the only two countries in the European Union, where the morning-after pill can only be purchased with a prescription after a doctor consultation, which makes it much less accessible. We live in times where the human right to contraception and abortion is endangered. In recent years, reproductive rights have been increasingly restricted in many countries.
Along with informative materials about reproductive rights and related policies in the region, the exhibition includes a series of interviews with activists, offering a complex perspective on the invisible work which stands behind supporting access to safe abortions. The concept of “Exercising Collective Disobedience” strongly connects with various elements in the exhibition, such as the exercises of buying pills and making a liquor based on ancient herbal knowledge, as well as physically giving the space to the activist’s work or showcasing it. The use of an exhibition as an advertising tool to encourage people to actively contribute to the struggle for reproductive justice or the artists advocating for the redistribution of funds from the creative sector to the activist sector is embraced as a hospitable gesture.
“Exercising Collective Disobedience” is a manifesto, a call for solidarity, an invitation to take action; a wake-up call: human rights are threatened from countless directions in the region. The entire project aims to provide a hospitable and welcoming space for existing ideas and actions related to reproductive justice. What to do? What are the responsibilities of artists? Political art perpetually questions the role, place, and responsibilities of the artist in society. “Exercising Collective Disobedience” being, first and foremost, the affirmation of a desire for action, a commitment to social change.
In addition to the exhibition, the artists have created a website that gathers more information on forms of collective disobedience.
Alexandra Ivanciu (b. 1988) is an artist based in Leipzig. She grew up in Bucharest, Romania, where she experienced a very permissive access to emergency contraception. In 2013, while living in Poznan, Poland, she needed to buy the morning-after pill, but did not know it cannot be bought over the counter. She ended up unsuccessfully trying to buy it at the last minute. Finally, that evening two very kind nurses in a small clinic helped her by giving her a prescription without sending her to consult a doctor, which was and still is mandatory. She managed to avoid a pregnancy. Understanding this is not just her story, she made a step into the activist direction and decided to use her artistic skills to contribute to the fight for reproductive justice. With an art practice informed by intersectional feminism, queer and decolonial theory, Alexandra aims to overcome the boundaries of the art space in order to actively contribute to society’s needs.
Jolanta Nowaczyk (b. 1992) is a Prague-based pro-choice activist and artist. One day in 2017, she received a message from her partner at the time that the sex they’d had might have been more unsafe than they thought. Many hours later he brought her a morning-after pill to her workplace, where she took it in the bathroom. Shortly after taking them, she felt dizzy, but too ashamed to ask for a day off. Nevertheless, she was quite relieved that the morning-after pills are available over-the-counter, unlike in her home country, Poland. Using this privilege, years later she co-created the collective Ciocia Czesia that helps people from Poland obtain legal and safe abortion in the Czech Republic.
In collaboration with D21 Kunstraum Leipzig.
House of the Lords of Kunštát, G99