Young artist Jasmina Runevska, from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, creates installation projects that questions the female identity in domestic and social settings. The installations are opened for reading from different, multi-layered points of views.
Project realized during the Art Residence 2016, Bahcecik, Izmit, Turkey.
All objects are keepers of memory, still recreating the past in the actual present time.
Through finding new places for old objects, we can re-make and re-write (as well as re-read) ours as well as others' identities in different contexts.
In this room-installation 'Pink Kitchen', the objects ask questions about women’s identities and their status in society. Can women have another room/home (identity, in general), or are they confined to the Pink Ghetto/Kitchen? Can they "open the door" and find the Exit?
Part II: The Blue Bathroom
Project realised in collaboration with Polish gender activist Karolina Ufa during the workshop 'Stories We Tell by Nomad Ways', March 2017, France.
‘The blue toilet’ invites for a total immersion into the Macedonian and Polish feminists’ worlds. The installation explores the secret sites of contemporary female identities – its embodied social norms, fears and expectations. By working with meanings assigned to femininity, handcraft and classical Disney’s tale 'Beauty and the Beast', the artists tried to position themselves within traditional gender’s universe and shake its fundaments.
"Bathrooms are most personal spaces within complex social cartography. Their doors are always closed as they constitute a place of bodily evacuations (abjects), nakedness and renewal cleansing. In opposition to kitchen where making voluntary tea is accepted, visitors rarely bathe uninvited." (from "The Block Reader in Visual Culture" by George Robertson)
Commerce and popular culture use the image of bathroom as a realization of male fantasy - paradise filled with eroticized bodies. In gendered household bathroom signifies a space of femininity and erotics while study, workshop or garage is domesticated by masculine powers.
Echoing ‘private is political’ nowadays bathroom/toilets are battlegrounds for gender identity. For transgender people who identify as non-binary, neither with the gender male or female having gender-neutral facilities is one of the most way of not excluding their gender identity.
I close the doors behind me.
Clothes my daily armour
are slowly peeling off from my body
One by one like a snake shedding its skin.
My eye shadows turn from deep green to light skinned tone
and the lips colour turns from coral to pink
from day to night.
The circle around my eyes slightly appear.
Like a reptile’s ecdysis to allow for further growth I remove my mask too
I am staring at myself in the mirror.
Naked, vulnerable, true.
(by Karolina Urfa)
Close the box, turn on the water and start to Cry. Nobody should see you. Nobody should hear you. Go inside the box and start to scream. Let your Hysteria inside the box. Keep this sound just for you. Everything should be nice from outside, like a Warm Home, like a Mother's Touch. Hide your Vagina, keep it clean and work on your body Shape.
Lock your Sensitivity inside your toilet seat. Put your Love near the trash can. This is the place were it should be.
Write your Poems on transparent paper and put them in the corner like cobwebs.
Write your Words on old paper. Leave them to dry. Wash them again. You must have clean paper for your new words.
Make a collage out of your mod and dast in the shower. But again. Don’t forget to clean it. Nobody should see you. Nobody should hear you.
Girl, be good to your Home sweet Home. If still, you feel like you have more words to say - take one empty jar and put in it the rest of your words, emotions, memories. Closed the jar. Nobody should see you. Nobody should hear you.
Tomorrow is a new day. Make space for the new words, because, nobody should see you. Nobody should hear you.