Works of Heart (1970–2023) is the first major museum survey of one of the most important Croatian artists, Sanja Iveković, in her city. The exhibition is a collaboration of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb with Kusthalle Vienna, where it premiered last year. Although the two exhibitions share the same title, the Zagreb exhibition is larger and adapted to the specific space of the Zagreb museum. It also includes a new part conceived as an archive entitled Meeting Points: Documents in the Making, 1968–1982, specially curated for the occasion by Ivana Bago.
The retrospective and the archive are in dialogue and share a narrative activated by the exhibition’s title, which uses the metaphor of the heart to present Iveković’s work as a generator of various encounters, relationships and actions. The Zagreb Museum itself acts as a space of encounter, since the archive is structured around Iveković’s early work and her first big solo show, Documents 1949–1976, presented in 1976 at the Zagreb Gallery of Contemporary Art, precursor to the present-day Museum. Building on the methodology of the 1976 exhibition, which purported to “document” the artist’s personal history while in fact constructing a critical history of the present, the archive frames Iveković’s early work as a document which speaks to both the past and the present.
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Sanja Iveković’s art is as alive as her heart; it wants to leave traces in reality and carries a performative power that strives for gender equality, anti-fascism, emancipation of collective memory, and solidarity.