Constructed Stories of (Non)Belonging to Europe: Performative Videos of Marina Gržinić and Aina Šmid

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In the video and new media art of Marina Gržinić and Aina Šmid, the abstract quality of a technologically generated image and the mediated world becomes an expressive and politically informed means of a communication strategy across the region of post-Socialist Europe also called the former East. Working collaboratively for over thirty years now, and using mostly the medium of video, the artists juxtapose the memories of the Communist past and its symbolism with the paradoxes of the post-Socialist condition, and in doing so, engage in a critique of Western hegemony and global capitalism. Gržinić and Šmid's performative practice can be also viewed as a sort of leeway for the enacting of identities. For gender articulation, this artistic strategy also includes female masquerade and performance of sexuality. Their ambivalent performance of identities, at times contradicting one another, is realised through deconstruction, appropriation and narrative critique. Gržinić and Šmid have always been working with a critique of ideologies portrayed as fluid, changing systems, revealing their rhetorical functions in the production of culture. Ideology is represented and manifested in their works in the body, history, and culture. This paper will examine some examples of their most recent works, discussing the opportunities for resistance tactics in contemporary art.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-88
JournalArt Inquiry: Recherches sur les arts
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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