Creative Writing Projects
- A Room of One’s Own and £500 a Year (2017)
An attempt to undergo a residency in a room of one’s own, whilst spending a symbolic amount of £500 for it. In 1929 Virginia Woolf wrote a A Room of One’s Own essay; she noted to have received £500 grant a year (inheritance from an auntie) and a vote that year. £500 (£28 000 without tax these days) a year was more useful to sustain her being a writer.
- Manifesto for Maternal Performance (Art) 2016! (2016/2017)
Emily Underwood-Lee and I corresponded for forty days in the autumn of 2016, considering our own everyday maternal performance and scholarship around it. The Manifesto for Maternal Performance (Art) 2016! was published in special issue ‘On the Maternal’ in Performance Research journal in November 2017.
- Birthday Notebooks creative writing project (2015 – 2024)
For my 40th birthday I created a domestic performance 40 Minutes and asked all the invited audience members to give me a notebook as a present. From 2015 onwards, for the next decade I am in the process of filling them. So far I have filled Everyday Writing Notebook, the Institute Notebook, All the films I’ve seen with baby James Notebook, 20th Anniversary with Gary Notebook (depicting 20 dates in 2015), Conferences Notebook, 2004/1994/2014 stories Notebook etc.
- 6 Notebooks for 6 Women for 6 Years in Bratislava (2016) was developed as a new performance for a Bratislava audience,
a follow-up from Lena’s most recent domestic solo performance 40 Minutes which celebrated her 40th birthday, on 29 November 2014 and which was made especially through the creation of 40 notebooks for 40 women in Lena’s life in the UK, post the age of 25. 6 Notebooks for 6 Women for 6 Years in Bratislava saw Lena use 6 notebooks of the 40 birthday gifts she received and start filling their pages whilst dedicating the writing to 6 special women she met whilst studying in Bratislava from the age of 19 to the age of 25. The performance was created in Bratislava, in the 6 days leading up to Friday, 26th February, when the performed reading took place.
- 40 Minutes domestic performance was also about a creation of 40 notebooks for 40 women in my life in the UK. A process based piece in which I wrote for 40 days for 40 minutes leading up to my 40th birthday, from 20 October 2014 to 28 November 2014. I turned 40 on 29 November 2014 and performed 40 Minutes on Sunday, 30 November 2014 at 4pm.
- Friday Records: A Document of Maternity Leave online journal consisting of writing and photographs; my time with baby James in 2014.
- Maternal writing at The Egg the Womb the Head and the Moon blog
A number of entries at The Egg the Womb the Head and the Moon blog, which is a collaborative project exploring art and motherhood. For more information about it see Maternal Matters: The Egg the Womb the Head and the Moon.
- Conspiracy in the Hour of the Wolf creative writing course and workshop
‘Conspiracy in the Hour of The Wolf’ started as an experimental creative writing course with the Free University of Liverpool in December 2011. The course consists of meeting online via Conspiracy software breathing programme in the Hour of the Wolf, between 3am and 4am, during the five Thursdays in December 2011, and breathing/writing away alongside one another. The course has since bee redevelop dingo a one-off writing workshop for Dublin Live Art Festival in 2016 and Majka/Umjetnica exhibition at Student Centre, Zagreb in February 2017.
- Interview with Lena Simic from Cultural ReProducers and Temporary Art Review, 2016
- ‘Becoming British: Exploring Citizenship through Arts Practice’ artist interview in Immigrant Protest: Politics, Aesthetics and Everyday Dissent (edited by Imogen Tyler and Katarzyna Marciniak. SUNY (State University of New York) Press, 2014.
- 4 Boys [for Beuys] art activist book (co-authored with Gary Anderson, Anna Feigenbaum, Chris Jones, Mel Evans, Ritchie Hunter, Ewa Jasiewicz and children Neal, Gabriel, Sid and James, published by The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home, 2016, ISBN: 978-0-9564165-4-4. Sold on unbound.
- The Mums and Babies Ensemble: A Manual artist book (co-authored with Duska Radosavljevic and Annie Rigby), supported and funded by AHRC, published by The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home, 2015, ISBN: 978-0-9564165-3-7. Sold on unbound.
- Five artist book (co-authored with Gary Anderson) published by The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home, 2014, ISBN: 978-0-9564165-2-0. Sold on unbound.
- Blood & Soil: we were always meant to meet… Performance Document, (co-authored with Jennifer Verson), supported and funded by The Arts Council, published by The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home, April 2011, ISBN: 978-0-9564165-1-3.
- Maternal Matters and Other Sisters Artist Catalogue, supported and funded by The Arts Council and the Bluecoat, published by The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home, November 2009, ISBN: 978-0-9564165-0-8-6.
Chapters in Academic Books
- ‘Friday Records: A Document of Maternity Leave’, in Rachel Colls and Abi McNiven (eds), Time, Temporality and Motherhood, Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2018.
- ‘At Home and Abroad – The Study Room in Exile’ (with Gary Anderson), in Ananda Breed and Tim Prentki (eds), Performance and Civic Engagement, Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2018.
- ‘On Foreign Discomfort: Magdalena Makeup Live Art Event’ in Women, the Arts and Globalization: Eccentric Experience (edited by Dorothy Rowe and Marsha Meskimmon) Manchester University, Press 2013.
- ‘The Hazardous Conversation’ (with Gary Anderson) in Intimacy: Across Visceral and Digital Performance (edited by Rachel Zerihan and Maria Chatzichristodoulou), Palgrave MacMillan, 2012.
- ‘Negotiating a Domestic: Cultural Agency and the Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home’ (with Gary Anderson) in Culture and Agency: Contemporary Culture and Urban Change (edited by Monica Degen and Malcolm Miles), Plymouth University Press, 2010.
Journal Articles and Artist Pages
- ‘Manifesto for Maternal Performance (Art) 2016!’ (with Emily Underwood-Lee) in Performance Research, 22.4, ‘On the Maternal’, 2017.
- ‘Editorial’ (with Emily Underwood-Lee) in Performance Research, 22.4, ‘On the Maternal’, 2017.
- Compassion is Dissent (with Gary Anderson) in Research in Drama Education (special edition Precariousness), Volume 22.1 February 2017.
- Performance and the Maternal (with Dr Emily Underwood-Lee) in Backpages Contemporary Theatre Review, Volume 26.4 (2016).
- Contemporary Mamactivist Artists: A Forum on Maternal Activist Art (edited by Natalie Loveless and with Buller, R E, Donoghue, D, Drummond, D, El-Sherbini, Y, Haq, F, Hawkes, J, Irvin, S, Kessel, C, Knowles, H, Lusztig, I, McCloskey, P, Regn, I A, and Richter, S) Studies in the Maternal Special Issue on The Everyday Maternal Practice: Activist Structures in Creative Work, Summer 2016.
- ‘A Provocative Cold Consideration: 3 Winters at the National Theatre in London’ (with Neal Anderson and Gabriel Anderson) in Contemporary Theatre Review, Volume 25, Issue 3, 2015.
- ‘Birth Story‘ Artist Pages in Performance Research, 19-4, 2014.
- ‘Mum, is this all we came here for?’: COP15 and The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home (with Gary Anderson) in Research in Drama Education, special edition on Environmentalism, 2012.
- ‘Live Art and the Domestic: Abusing the Monogamous Heteronormative Nuclear Family Unit’ (with Gary Anderson) in Contemporary Theatre Review, special edition on Live Art, 2012.
- ‘The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home present Affective Exchange of Labour between Invisible Mother and Underpaid Au Pair’ in Studies in the Maternal e-journal, Issue 3 (1), Birkbeck University, 2010.
- ‘The Institute for Art and Practice of Dissent at Home, Recuperator/Recuperated 3’ in Concept Store: Art, Activism and Recuperation; 2010, 44-45, No. 3, Arnolfini Gallery Ltd., ISBN-13: 978-0907738978.
- ‘The free totalitarian zone: Marina Abramovic Presents…’ (with Lorena Rivero de Beer) in Body Space Technology Journal peer-reviewed journal, Mar 2010.
- Study Room Guide on Live Art and Motherhood (co-authored and co-edited with Dr Emily Underwood-Lee), Published by the Live Art Development Agency, September 2016.
- Study.Room.in.Exile performance paper with Gary Anderson for the launch of The Study Room in Exile project, a collaboration between The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home and Live Art Development Agency.
- ‘Watch Out! Here Comes Uselessness: The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home on Financial Transparency’ for In Time: A Collection of Live Art Case Studies: A Live Art UK Project (Live Art Development Agency, 2010).
Practice as Research PhD
(Dis)Identifying Female Archetypes in Live Art (2007), Lancaster University
Supervisors: Professor Elaine Aston and Professor Geraldine Harris
Supervisors: Professor Elaine Aston and Professor Geraldine Harris
From 2003-2006 I was a practice as research PhD student at the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts. The topic of my thesis was (dis)identifying female archetypes in live art. I developed three projects out of the ‘home’ setting. In doing so I have relied on my ‘female foreign’ condition, my local community, my lived experience and subsequently I developed my performance making tactics (such as intervening into my theatre background, homemade video style, family and friends as collaborators, being solo, the use of autobiographical material and a personal style of writing).
My PhD thesis considers a feminist arts practice as a form of political agency. My research is practice-led. It consists of three performances/live art events (‘Medea/Mothers’ Clothes’, ‘Magdalena Makeup’ and ‘Joan Trial’), its documentation on three sets of DVDs and a written dissertation.
Female archetypes, which have tended to be associated with the canonical, underpin my research investigations. Through my arts practice I intervene in three archetypal images of women that are representative of the patriarchal canon: Medea (the anti-mother), Mary Magdalene (the penitent whore) and Joan of Arc (virgin martyr). I juxtapose their ‘universality’ with the experiential, the local and the contemporary. I draw on the authoritative personal voice of the lived anxiety of the experience of motherhood (Medea), name identification (Mary Magdalene), spirituality/heroism (Joan of Arc) and the sense of ‘being foreign’, seen as ‘Other’. Working from my subject figuration of a ‘Foreigner’ (Croatian, living in Britain), my local community and experience of my daily life as a mother and artist-researcher in Liverpool, I (dis)identify with socio-culturally prescribed forms of the feminine, as conventionally represented by these archetypes.
My thesis is situated and contextualized within the field of contemporary British Live Art practices, feminist solo performance and transnational arts practices.
(Dis)Identifying Female Archetypes in Live Art PhD thesis can be downloaded from Lancaster University digital archive.