Still from the film “Kauas pilvet karkaavat” Aki Kaurismaki, Helsinki 1996

khôra

"Khôra" is a research, a social project and durational performance that
exams notions of identity and national belonging. It is an art project where I attempt to become Finnish and enjoy all the benefits of a welfare country such as Finland, all based upon a coincidence that my name is erroneously considered typically Finnish, contrary to its actual historical and linguistic origins in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Through this random connection I want to examine how European artists are treated and supported differently depending on their origin, despite belonging to the same economical system. Consequently, I put myself in the process of understanding and learning the Finnish culture and social system, in order to maximize assimilation and finally become Finnish …

What are the performative mechanisms that enable me as a young Croatian artist, to become Finnish? How would this performance of national identity construct a new kind of practice? What is at stake once I attempt to absorb the culture of a distant culture? What are the privileges of being a Nordic artist? How does this function inside a global economy, where the art market is still at service to national borders and identity, particularly in relation to the dissemination of funding? I want to examine how European artists are treated and supported differently depending on their origin, even tough we are part of the same economical system. Therefore I put myself in the process of understanding, learning the Finnish culture and social system, in order to assimilate myself to become Finnish.

In a general level research project Khôra aims to question and challenge power relations and their permutations within the realms of politics, culture, and art questioning different monetary values and different art markets drawing a symbolic parallel between two polarities: Nordic and Balkan. The project tries to reach this trough the intersection of the body, politics, ideology and representation. Also considered are questions as they relate to the position of the female body within the powerful networks of public exchange such as immigration bureaus, welfare offices, schools, international art organizations and other institutional spaces, where the subject and identity is constituted. Although all of these networks are supposedly spaces in which women are equal and free (at least in the West), one can claim that a woman's body will always be shaped through its categorization and its relationship to that of a man. Through the lenses of immigration, particularly that of foreign non EU women, I hope that the process makes visible how the female body is forever coded and labeled within a western European context. Furthermore I hope to map out and understand what elements and strategies are involved in the constitution of this identity.

download the sketch of the project in pdf