• Suzana Milevska at Summer School as School 2021
Suzana Milevska The Lack and its Supplement
Suzana Milevska at Summer School as School 2021
August 2, 2021 20:20
Venue: Boxing Club

The Lack and its “Supplement”: The aporias of intersectionality of nation, gender and sexuality in visual culture and contemporary art

Key concepts: visual culture, public art, gender difference and sexuality, intersectionality, national identity, monuments.

The main aim of this lecture is to extrapolate and deconstruct the hierarchical intersections of nation, gender, and sexuality in the context of contemporary art, visual culture and public space. I want to argue that this imbalance, in a reciprocal and often vicious circle constructs and reinforces a visual culture and public spaces that are “amplified” with masculinity, aggression, violence, and typical militant tropes. I will offer an analysis of what is lacking (or erased, emptied out, renamed) and what is offered as a “supplement”. The obvious strategy of leaving out the visual representations of the woman’s societal role from public spaces uses as compensation the figure of pregnant woman and mother or objectified and eroticized representations of women.
Intersectionality is thus particularly relevant when discussing memorials, monuments and other sculptures in public spaces representing certain traumatic events from the past. The socio-political and cultural structures and strategies calling for over-writing different historic narratives often prompt relocation or even destruction of the monuments from previous epochs in a kind of ‘monumentomachia’ and ‘memorymachia’- unnecessary contentious competition and imbalance between different collective symbols and insignias that are shared by different communities.

Suzana Milevska is a curator and a visual culture theorist based in Skopje. Her curatorial interests span from postcolonial and feminist critique of representational regimes of hegemonic power to collaborative and participatory art projects in marginalised communities. In 2019 Milevska curated the exhibition Contentious Objects/Ashamed Subjects at the Polytechnic University Milan as Principal Investigator for the project TRACES - Horizon 2020 (2016-2019). Since the 1990s she curated numerous international exhibitions such as The Renaming Machine, Roma Protocol (Austrian Parliament, Vienna), and Call the Witness, BAK Utrecht. She was the initiator of the Call the Witness - Roma Pavilion, Venice Biennale (2011). Milevska was the Endowed Professor of Central and South Eastern European Art Histories, Academy of Fine Art Vienna, 2013-2015. She holds a Ph.D. in Visual Cultures from Goldsmiths College London and was a Senior Fulbright Scholar. In 2010 she published her book Gender Difference in the Balkans and edited the reader The Renaming Machine: The Book. She also edited the book On Productive Shame, Reconciliation, and Agency, Sternberg Press, 2015 that was a result of the eponymous international conference that she curated in 2014 at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. In 2012 Milevska won the ALICE Award for political curating and the Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory.