Leonida Kovač: Ulrike Ottinger’s Historical Transversals

Centar mladih Ribnjak, Zagreb

L Kovac predavanje CMR 11122023 web

In the lecture “Ulrike Ottinger’s Historical Transversals,” Leonida Kovač explores conceptual extensions of the “memory project,” focusing on the complex relationships between categories of image, time and memory in contemporary interdisciplinary artistic practices. Ulrike Ottinger, a filmmaker and theatre director, known for more than twenty feature and experimental-documentary films shot in Europe and Asia, began her career in the early 1960s as a visual artist – a painter and graphic artist. From the very beginning, her work shows clear reminiscences of avant-garde artistic movements of the first half of the 20th century, primarily the radical critical legacy of Dadaism and Surrealism. She has developed a distinctive artistic discourse in which critical reflection, or the refiguration of the concept of reality, occurs through figures of analogy and grotesque. Ulrike Ottinger’s oeuvre occupies a pivotal place in the history of feminist artistic practices; indeed, her works from the early 1970s have inaugurated a performative-critical aesthetics that is now categorised under the umbrella term “queer”. Leonida Kovač’s lecture will contextualise her autobiographical film Paris Calligrammes (2019) in relation to films from the so-called Berlin Trilogy (1979 – 1984), with a particular emphasis on the film Freak Orlando (1981).

Visuals: Footage of the façade of the Palais de la Porte-Dorée in Paris with reliefs by Alfred Janniot (now the Museum of Immigration, formerly the Museum of Colonies)

Visual design: Rafaela Dražić

Leonida Kovač is an art historian and theorist, curator, and full professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, University of Zagreb. Her focus of interest lies in contemporary art and critical and feminist theories. She has conceived and realised over forty exhibitions in Croatia and abroad, as well as several international professional and scientific conferences. She has served as commissioner and curator of national presentations at major international exhibitions, including the International Biennial of Visual Arts in São Paulo (2002) and the 50th Venice Biennale (2003). She has held positions in the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) based in Paris, where she was a member of the Board of Directors (1998-2002), Vice President (2002-2005), and again a member of the Board of Directors (2005-2007). In 2002, she received the annual award from the Croatian section of AICA for outstanding critical and curatorial work. She is a member of the International Council of the Katarzyna Kozyra Foundation. She has delivered a series of invited lectures at prestigious European universities and numerous public lectures in Croatian and international museum and gallery institutions.

Vezani sadržaj