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Bojana Pejić

From ‘Latent Feminism’ to ‘Intimate Feminism’: Rethinking Gender Check

In my presentation I will try to identify several stations in Eastern European feminist art and theory from the 1970s to the present. My talk is based on the Gender Check project, which started in 2008 and resulted in the exhibition, several symposia, a catalogue and a reader. As the curator of the project, I identified its main aim as being to explore how different images – be they produced by ‘official’ art/visual culture or by counter-culture – have produced femininity and masculinity in Eastern European art since the 1960s until the present. The exhibition and ensuing publications – the catalogue and Gender Check Reader – were based on research performed in twenty-four post-socialist countries. This was the first occasion on which art produced during state socialism had been examined from a feminist and gender perspective. In addition, it was also the first time that an exhibition presented artworks from so many post-communist countries in a common, i.e. international, setting. The project was initiated by Erste Foundation in Vienna.

Bojana Pejić (PhD) was born in Belgrade in 1948 and studied History of Art in the Faculty of Philosophy at Belgrade University. From 1977 to 1991 she was a curator at Belgrade University’s Student Cultural Centre. In 1971 she began to write art reviews and from 1984 to 1991 worked as an editor for the art-theory journal Moment in Belgrade. Bojana was chief curator of the exhibition After the Wall – Art and Culture in Post-Communist Europe, organised by the Moderna Museet, Stockholm (1999), which was also shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation Ludwig in Budapest (2000) and at Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin (20002001). In 2005 she defended her doctoral dissertation The Communist Body: Politics of Representation and Spatialization of Power the SFR Yugoslavia (1945–1991) (in preparation for publishing) at the Carl von Ossietzky University in Germany. In 2008 she was chief curator of the October Salon in Belgrade. She was curator of the exhibition Gender Check: Femininity and Masculinity in the Art of Eastern Europe, held at the Museum für Moderne Kunst Stiftung Ludwig (MUMOK) in Vienna (2009–2010) and in Zacheta Gallery in Warsaw (2010). She also edited Gender Check: A Reader: Art and Theory in Eastern Europe (2010). Bojana has been living in Berlin since 1991.