Maja Smrekar (SI) K-9_topology: (extended) Hybrid Family

Performance and installation, 2015-2016

K-9_topology: Hybrid Family, a project executed in Berlin (2015/2016), was related to the theory of becoming-animal by rethinking the social and ideological instrumentalization of the woman’s body and breastfeeding. Overcoming the classical distinction between private life and political existence, Smrekar felt she needed to perform with her own body and the bodies of her dogs to regain their position of power by staging a public performance with the puppy Ada. Her own economy of emotions became a molecular process: during a three-month period of seclusion with her dogs, she stimulated her pituitary gland with systematic breast-pumping to release the hormone prolactin and followed a diet rich in galactogogues to promote lactation. A side effect was an increase in the oxytocin hormone levels, which led to an increase in empathy and her personal resistance to the cynicism of the zeitgeist. By being pregnant with meaning, and thus becoming (m)Other, Smrekar was further drawn to explore her “decolonial reproductive freedom in a dangerously troubled multispecies world“ (see Haraway, 2016). The myth of humanity, based on its uniqueness, has always excluded some that do not correspond to the ideal, for example animals with regard to parenthood and gender. The Extravagant Love platform will enable Smrekar to execute a continuum of the durational performance, which will serve as an extension of the original Hybrid Family and disrupt the ideological structures of the contemporary society in order to create conditions for fusing generations, ideologies, and technologies.

Maja Smrekar (SI)

Maja Smrekar was born 1978 in Slovenia. She graduated from the Sculpture Department at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, in collaboration with the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and holds a Master of Arts in Video and the New Media. She has exhibited in various fine arts and media arts museums, such as ZKM Karlsruhe (Germany), Musée de l’Homme (Paris, France), Het Neuwe Institut (Rotterdam, The Netherlands), Art Laboratory Berlin (Germany), Latvian National Arts Museum (Riga, Latvia), Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (Ljubljana, Slovenia), Milton Keynes Gallery (United Kingdom), and RMIT Gallery Melbourne (Australia), as well as festivals such as Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria), Transmediale (Berlin, Germany), Click (Helsingør, Denmark) and Musrara Mix (Jerusalem, Israel). She has received several awards and distinctions, among others the award of the European Centre for Arts Hellerau (Dresden, Germany) at the Cynetart festival 2012, a honorary mention at the Ars Electronica festival 2013 (Linz, Austria), the Golden Bird Award 2013 (Ljubljana, Slovenia), the Trend Award 2017 – Prize for Visual Creativity (Ljubljana, Slovenia), and the Prix Ars Electronica – Golden Nica 2017 in Hybrid Art (Linz, Austria). In 2018, she won the Prešeren Foundation Award – the highest national award for artistic achievements given by the Republic of Slovenia (Ljubljana, Slovenia). For various years she has been an artistic associate of production platforms, such as Kapelica Gallery / Kersnikova Institute (SI), The Culture Yard (DK), Cultivamos Cultura (PT), Quo Artis Foundation (ES), Aksioma Institute (SI), etc. Maja Smrekar lives and works in Ljubljana (Slovenia).