The Gallery Maja Arte Contemporanea announces first collaboration with performance artist Marta Jovanović, opening on Friday, November 25, 2022 (6 – 9 p.m.) at 30 Via di Monserrato (Rome), the installation entitled “Motherhood”.
The work presented for the occasion is the sculptural transformation of the performance of the same name held by Jovanović in February 2016 at the “O3one Gallery” space in Belgrade, during which he had hit with a hammer – breaking them one by one – 246 eggs hanging from the ceiling: as many eggs as the number of fertile days, from the artist’s first menarche to the date of the performance.
Subsequently, the crushed shells became unique sculptures, made of electroformed copper, numbered and plated with 24K gold.
“Every egg I broke during the performance is a missed motherhood opportunity in favor of art”, says with a hint of irony Jovanović, who has thus alchemically transformed what could have been most sacrilegious in a dystopian world such as the one narrated by Margareth Atwood in “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
Anja Foerschner observes: “Through this work, Jovanovic provides an ironic counter perspective to the destruction of ‘his eggs’ during performance: not only are these carefully restored for installation, but his ‘wasted opportunities’ are literally turned into gold.”
If Motherhood as a performance was born out of a moment of deep personal transformation that had led Jovanović to reevaluate certain life choices and reflect on the status of the “woman artist” in a society that is still strongly patriarchal, the installation surprisingly takes a cathartic transformative direction. We are greeted by a luminous constellation of golden eggs, guardian shells of desires on their way to their moon, where-next to wisdom-we gather what is lost, or simply what is transformed.
Lungo sarà, se tutte in verso ordisco
le cose che gli fur quivi dimostre;
che dopo mille e mille io non finisco,
e vi son tutte l’occurrenze nostre:
sol la pazzia non v’è poca né assai;
che sta qua giù, né se ne parte mai.
– Ludovico Ariosto, L’Orlando furioso (Astolfo sulla luna)
Texts by Anja Foerschner and Fabrizio Pizzuto. The installation is curated by Sauro Radicchi.
Marta Jovanović (Belgrade – Serbia, 1978) is a performance artist and lecturer with a mission to promote and facilitate the further advancement of the discipline. Founder of the Performance Art Program at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade and resident artist at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, in 2017 Jovanović is featured in the documentary film “Born Just Now,” by U.S. director Robert Adanto, winner of numerous international awards. His works “Pionirka,” “It is My Body,” “Love,” and “Motherhood” can be found in important private and museum collections. The performance “BelgradeMermaid” opened the Belgrade Biennale in 2018, while the following year the sequel “Mermaid’s Tale” became a virtual reality performance.
Curator Kathy Battista has written a compendium on her early work titled “Marta Jovanovic: Performing the Self,” published by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center at the City University of New York, while in the book “New York New Wave,” Battista positions Jovanović in the realm of New York’s most urgent contemporary feminist artists.
Marta Jovanović is a RUFA lecturer and coordinator of Visual Arts.