- Note to an Entirety
- Simona Semenič | Nada Žgank
- © the artist
- Curated by
- Moderna galerija, Ljubljana
- Technical details
- tryptich of photographs, giclée print, 67 x 100 cm
In 2009, Simona Semenič and Nada Žgank carried out and documented a performance entitled Note to an Entirety, in which a highly pregnant Semenič, wrapped in a Slovenian flag, cut out a hole in the fabric to reveal her pregnant belly. Documented in a triptych of photographs, the performance was a reaction to the sociopolitical reality in Slovenia around 2009, but its reviews and the realizations it brought remain relevant to this day.
By exposing her own body in the performative artistic gesture, Semenič embodied (state) repression that she criticized in the work. The artist appropriated the Slovenian flag and used it to cover herself up. A symbol of the Slovenian state thus overpowered her body until she cut out a part of the flag to reveal herself and her pregnant belly. This simple gesture is symbolically associated with the biopolitical mechanisms of the state affecting women’s reproductive rights with laws and restrictions. The 2001 Referendum on Infertility Treatment and Procedures of Medically-Assisted Reproduction, which had a great impact on the critical reflections on reproductive rights as reflected in Slovenian contemporary art, and the later Referendum on the Family Code (2012) give Semenič’s gesture, which challenges the connection between the personal and the (bio)political, additional context and topicality.Performing the body has a long history in (feminist) contemporary art as a way of highlighting one’s physical experiences in a social environment. With her performance and the appropriation of the Slovenian flag, Semenič carries on this tradition and reflexively outlines the limitations imposed by the state on women and citizens in general.