Alexandra Ivanciu and Jolanta Nowaczyk joined their artistic forces to engage with their own means in the global fight to increase access to reproductive rights. The project “Exercising Collective Disobedience” was conceived as a generator of a context, a catalyst between art and activism; being both idea and action oriented. The exhibition space becomes an educational one, a pro-choice info-point, where the artists bring together several types of resources about reproductive justice, historical or informative in a practical sense.
Guided by a critical thinking informed by intersectional feminism, the artists oriented their collaborative practice politically, in relation to problems from the immediate reality, creativity being a weapon placed “in service of the revolution”. The urgency of challenging conservative and patriarchal legal statuses worldwide has stirred anger and motivation, leading them to search for solutions despite the limitations they face and the restricted means at their disposal. Alexandra Ivanciu and Jolanta Nowaczyk have engaged in an active art project, a call for solidarity with the Dzien Po collective that gathers morning-after pills in order to distribute them to people in Poland. Poland and Hungary are the only two countries in the European Union, where the morning-after pill can only be purchased with a prescription after a doctor consultation, which makes it much less accessible. We live in times where the human right to contraception and abortion is endangered. In recent years, reproductive rights have been increasingly restricted in many countries.
Along with informative materials about reproductive rights and related policies in the region, the exhibition includes a series of interviews with activists, offering a complex perspective on the invisible work which stands behind supporting access to safe abortions. The concept of “Exercising Collective Disobedience” strongly connects with various elements in the exhibition, such as the exercises of buying pills and making a liquor based on ancient herbal knowledge, as well as physically giving the space to the activist’s work or showcasing it. The use of an exhibition as an advertising tool to encourage people to actively contribute to the struggle for reproductive justice or the artists advocating for the redistribution of funds from the creative sector to the activist sector is embraced as a hospitable gesture.
“Exercising Collective Disobedience” is a manifesto, a call for solidarity, an invitation to take action; a wake-up call: human rights are threatened from countless directions in the region. The entire project aims to provide a hospitable and welcoming space for existing ideas and actions related to reproductive justice. What to do? What are the responsibilities of artists? Political art perpetually questions the role, place, and responsibilities of the artist in society. “Exercising Collective Disobedience” being, first and foremost, the affirmation of a desire for action, a commitment to social change.
In addition to the exhibition, the artists have created a website that gathers more information on forms of collective disobedience.
Eröffnung: 19:00 Uhr D21 Kunstraum 24.08.–05.11.2023 in Leipzig