Sanja Iveković: Triangle

Ruth Noack

One Work Series

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Sanja Iveković’s Triangle is an 18-minute performance that took place on 10 May 1979: while Yugoslavian president Josip Broz Tito’s motorcade passes by below, the artist is sitting on her balcony, reading a book, sipping whiskey and making ‘gestures’ as if performing masturbation, until a security official arrives and asks her to leave. Exhibited as four black-and-white photographs and a short descriptive text, Triangle is one of the most resonant and defiant works of performance made in the 1970s.

Focusing on the genesis of the work, its documentation and the politics of canon construction, Ruth Noack discusses Triangle in relation to conceptualism, performance and the position of women in Tito’s Yugoslavia. She explores not only the subversive nature of Iveković’s act but also the idea that her work of the period participates in citizenship, and that it challenges the terms through which we order our world.

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