Jasmina Tumbas
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Jugoslovenka’s body under patriarchal socialism
Art and feminist performance politics in Yugoslavia
in “I am Jugoslovenka!”
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Chapter 1 focuses on the avant-garde art circles in the 1970s and early 1980s in major cities, such as Belgrade, Zagreb, and Ljubljana. Tumbas singles out specific artworks that put the complicated history of feminist resistance into dialogue with performance and body-centered work by women artists in Yugoslavia. The analysis of women’s performance and conceptual works does not follow a chronological line but is instead conceptualized around multiple points of departure, all tied to embodied and performative practices and enveloped in the figure of Jugoslovenka. These include key feminist moments in the arts; women artists contending with the site of the bed as an exploration of sexism, sexual pleasure, visions of female intimacy in the home, and as a place of emancipation and freedom; critical play with the Yugoslav socialist flag and Tito himself; and the introduction of women’s voices, sounds, and vocalized concerns into an otherwise male-dominated sound and visual scape in the arts. The chapter covers the works of well-known women artists Marina Abramović, Sanja Iveković, Vlasta Delimar, and Katalin Ladik, along with lesser-known examples of feminist resistance in the self-published magazine Maj 75, illustrations in Yugoslavia’s adult magazine Start, and new feminist readings of the contributions by “wives” of well-known male performance artists, such Marinela Koželj and Jasna Tijardović.

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“I am Jugoslovenka!”

Feminist performance politics during and after Yugoslav socialism


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