GSG in the framework of Smoqua 1 Festival

Exhausted Time: Drag in Times of War and Shaving Patriarchy

In the framework of Smoqua, the first regional festival of queer and feminist culture in Rijeka, organized by LORI in collaboration with different associations, cultural institutions and prominent people from local and regional queer and feminist culture, From the Citizens to Their City will be hosting three events.

Schedule of events

  • 12 October Križanićeva 6a
    • 8pm exhibition Exhausted Time: Drag in Times of War by Ana Hoffner
    • 10pm concert Just: Jimmy & Jelena
  • 13 October café bar Dnevni boravak, Ciottina 12a
    • 6pm Shaving Patriarchy by the Kosovo artist collective Haveit

Ana Hoffner’s exhibition Exhausted Time: Drag in Times of War is open from 13.10. to 4.11.2017. Mon — Sat 10:00 – 13:00 and 17:00 – 20:00 (except Wednesday, when the exhibition will be open only from 10:00 to 13:00.)

In this exhibition, Ana Hoffner presents a series of works that deal with a subjective, personal perception of time and the ways of creating memory by focusing on moments of transformation, discontinuities, gaps and their effects – when the narrative has the chance of taking numerous directions. “Exhausted Time” is what occurs after crises, conflicts and wars.

In her stories and reports, facts and experiments, video installations, photographs and objects, Anna Hoffner guides the visitors towards different gender narratives. The exhibition’s subtitle, Drag in Times of War arises from a continuous subversion of uniform and binary categories of gender in Hoffner’s work. This subversion does not necessarily rely on the affirmation of “alternative” visions of gender; instead, it places the visions in crisis zones, as a necessity, as a form of resistance and survival in extreme conditions.

The only depiction of a war victim in this exhibition can be seen in the work Future Anterior – Illustrations of War, where the binary, hypersexualized femininity and masculinity aim to awaken the urge for consumerism, by “victimizing” the idealized female bodies as shown by fashion industry. This normalized spectacle of victimhood, taken from Vogue magazine and accompanied with Hoffner’s restricted narrative, places these scenes in a dystopian future.

Unlike this binary division that in Hoffner’s view eventually leads to entropy, gender transgression enables survival. In her work “The Bacha Posh Project”, where certain traditional societies leave room for transgression, survival is meant in allegorical sense. Women and girls in special circumstances, like in the case of Virdžine, have the possibility, or obligation, to move from the inferior female position to the relatively privileged position of an almost-man. The gender transgression in the tragic case of concentration camp prisoner Fikret Alić, who appears as the protagonist in The Queer Family Album – Me and My Three Daddies and Transfered Memories – Embodied Documents, is a literal depiction of survival of Omarska concentration camp through drag.

In the video After the Transformation we move from war to experiment, where the protagonist, speaking about his/her experience of gender transformation, draws a parallel between his/her transition from being a female to being a male and the transition from East to West, where mastering the speech/language is one of the main forms of integration. Hoffner observes the transformation both in terms of identity/gender transformation and in terms of the post-1989 transition and its repercussion for people coming from the “east”.   

The last, or first, work in this exhibition, Fifty-One Pieces: Believing in Art, is an intervention into the politics of depiction, where visitors are encouraged to use green-screen as the background for projecting what is not there. Fifty-One Pieces speaks about fifty-one works of art that disappeared from the National Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the 1990s war in Bosnia. Hoffner includes this work in her every exhibition.  

Performances, video and photo installations of Ana Hoffner seek ways of presenting the times, relationships and spaces in between accustomed perspectives. Ana uses the methods of appropriation, such as rearranging the photos, interviews and reports or detaching the body from its voice, sound from image, etc. Ana Hoffner completed “PhD in Practice” program at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts in 2014.

On Thursday, 12 October, 22:00, in the spaces Križanićeva 6a, “Just: Jimmy & Jelena” will give a concert. In the relaxed atmosphere following the exhibition opening, with drinks and a few bites, the visitors will be able to listen to Jimmy behind the guitar and Jelena behind the microphone. The repertoire includes jazz, blues, bossa nova, rumba, the Balkan traditional music, rock ballads… Jimmy and Jelena are longtime friends who have spent hours creating music, but only recently started to share their work with wider community. Individually, however, they are both engaged in music for quite some time.

On Friday, 13 October at 18:00, in café bar “Dnevni boravak” in Ciottina 12a, we will show a video documentation of performance Shaving Patriarchy by the Kosovo artist collective Haveit. Shaving Patriarchy, done on 28 November 2016 on the Independence Day of Albania, it was a protest against public expression of patriarchal attitudes. By associating beard with honor, loyalty and strength, people are ultimately lead to believe that the larger the beard, the better you are. Therefore, sitting on a square in the closest center of Priština, the members of Haveit protested by shaving their beardless faces. Haveit is an artist-activist collective formed by Hana and Vesa Qena and Lola and Alketa Sylaj.