Sandra Sterle (*1965, Croatia) is a multidisciplinary artist who works with video, media installation, web projects, photography and performance. Currently she is the associate professor of performance and video at the Arts Academy in Split, Croatia. Gender identity in social and political contexts and the question of how modes of documentation affect the ephemeral nature of process-oriented works are part of the artistic research of Sandra Sterle: “I draw rituals out of life and I deal with different forms of uprooting while questioning my own affective attachment to images as well as the strategic possibilities of manipulation. By using my identity in the form of fictional self-portraits with different social backgrounds in some of my works I point out differences between personal experience and media- constructed images.” (Sandra Sterle)
In her live performance Mučnina (Nausea), Sandra Sterle deliberately vomits to the tune of the song Dalmatinac nosi lančić oko vrata (A Dalmatian Man Wears a Chain Around His Neck) by Mišo Kovač, a cult icon of Croatian folk music. For Sterle, the song symbolises the unbowed heritage of the patriarchal culture of Dalmatia contained in a formula of sanctity and the unbroken tie of ‘blood and soil’. By publicly inducing vomiting and displaying her own position of powerlessness in the face of the norms of the social majority, the artist constitutes herself as a subject in rebellion. Instead of verbal expression, she uses simple symbols as a means of communication towards those she addresses.
Performance: Festival DOPUST – Days of Open Performance, Split
Courtesy Sandra Sterle