Čisto umazano / Pretty Dirty

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Alenka Spacal: Self-portraits, Oil on kitchen cloth, 2002

Alenka Spacal (1975) graduated in 2001at the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy in Ljubljana, where she received MA in esthetics in 2004. She deals with feminist visual arts and theory and works as artist, theoretician, art critic and curator. She publishes publicist and theoretical texts, and participates at international conferences, dealing with the fields of esthetics and feminist theory.
She exhibited her self-portrait paintings at the following individual exhibitions: first at the 5th European Feminist Conference Gender and Power in the New Europe in Lund, Sweden (2003), then as part of the summer school of women's studies NOISE 20004 in Jazzbina club, Ljubljana (2004) and at the Women's festival Rdeče zore 6, Alcatraz Gallery, Ljubljana (2005). She also participated at group exhibitions: at the VI. Women's International Conference Woman and Migration in Graz (2005) and at the Belgrade Queer festival Susreti (2005).

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In her Self-portraits, painted on kitchen cloths, Alenka Spacal self-ironically questions her own subjectivity through a "performance" of various identities (sexual, gender, racial, religious, class identities etc.) Using the autobiographical method, through the language of painting, she places her personal stories into a broader social context. In her research of relations between the biological and sociological sex/gender she does more than question her own female identity and her identity as a female artistic subject - with her self-portraits she reaches beyond her biological sex. Through various motifs she plays with numerous representations of her own social and sexual identity, trying to overcome the established binary divisions on the male and female sex, which is especially evident in her androginous images.