Structure
Structure

This exploration of mass media’s socioideological effect is present in many of Ivekovic’s works
of the period, including Structure (Struktura), which consists of ten newspaper pictures of
women of various age groups and backgrounds that have been multiplied ten times and
arranged in a grid. Each of the ten times and arranged in a grid. Each of the ten pictures in the
first row has a different handwritten caption taken from various newspapers. In subsequent rows
the captions are redistributed among the pictures in new combinations, so that each image is
presented in ten different semantic contexts. Anne, Princess Royal of England, appears with the
caption “Sought consolation in horse racing and nightlife”; Patty Hearst with the caption
“Expecting her master’s return”; an unidentified woman with “Executed in Bubanj in 1944”; the
Yugoslavian actress Beba Loncar with “Learned how to be photogenic”; and Ellen Stewart,
founding director of the experimental theatre club La MaMa, with “Finally find [sic] the time to
shorten her trousers.”
These pairings deconstruct the binding status of the standard media format (an image
accompanied by a caption), and with them Ivekovic unfolds the banality of media language used
to simplify the plurality of feminine selves. Eight Tears (Osam suza), in a similar vein, is made
up of eight identical ads for Helena Rubinstein perfume, each showing a woman with a teardrop
on her cheek, accompanied by various words and images.
The last image in the series is shown with the text “Helena Rubinstein presents Courant: The
perfume that expresses all that a woman can feel,” and in the preceding seven images the
original text has been erased and replaced with a small, kirschy color picture of a different
woman, with the captions “Love”, “Work”, “Marriage”, “Household”, “motherhood!, “Old age”, and
“Ego”. By presenting femininity as a positional game –the mimicking of poses, accessories,
makeup, and situations fashioned by society- Ivekovic reveals how gender representation intersects with mass-media fictions.

About Sanja Iveković