MARIJA (2018)

Because gender identity is part of my research into the concept of identity, I sometimes get into the skin of the opposite sex. The typical roles of man and woman can thus no longer be distinguished. For the project Marija (Eng. Mery), dedicated to my deceased grandmother, I created a performance for the camera. In this project, which talks about mourning, family roles and sexuality, I got my inspiration from the Ethno mask Orači. The Orač mask, which originats in the Slovenian region where I was born, preserves the tradition of cross dressing. In Orači, a man hides his identity and dresses up as an old woman in order to get closer to women during the carnival. To overcome my personal grief after the sudden loss of my grandmother in 2011, to get closer to my femininity and overcome the social prejudices of wearing women’s clothing, I crawled into her empty space and dressed in her preserved clothes. When I found her beautifully preserved clothes in an old closet on an abandoned homestead, I found that she was fine and tidy. I only remembered her as a housewife who wore unattractive peasant clothes, due to the hard daily work in the kitchen, barn and field. Only portraits were a way to overlook my grandmother’s difficult life and experiences in the countryside and the role she played as a housewife in the family. Through beautiful clothes I wanted to feel her very repressed female beauty. I staged the photos in an abandoned house where my grandmother had lived for them for years. While I used a camera on a tripod during the Jakob project, which was dedicated to my late grandfather, I am now taking photos by hand. I wanted the project to be more modern and necessary. It was as if Grandma herself was making selfies with the best clothes and house decorations for her Instagam profile before she died. The photos therefore contain the irony of the Instagram culture as well as the joy I always shared with my grandmother when she was still alive.


2022 | Repressed memory, solo exhibition, Mihelič gallery, Ptuj, Slovenia

2019 | Iets met ruimte, group exhibition, Kunstlievend Genootschap Pictura, Groningen