24.8. – 5.11.23

“Exercising Collective Disobedience”


Radical Care

Opening  24.08.2023, 7pm

Exhibition period  24.8. – 5.11.23

Artists  Alexandra Ivanciu, Jolanta Nowaczyk

Curated by  Ewa Meister, Valentina Iancu

Alexandra Ivanciu and Jolanta Nowaczyk joi­n­ed their artis­tic forces to enga­ge with their own means in the glo­bal fight to increase access to repro­duc­ti­ve rights. The pro­ject “Exercising Collective Disobedience” was con­cei­ved as a gene­ra­tor of a con­text, a cata­lyst bet­ween art and acti­vism; being both idea and action ori­en­ted. The exhi­bi­ti­on space beco­mes an edu­ca­tio­nal one, a pro-choice info-point, whe­re the artists bring tog­e­ther seve­ral types of resour­ces about repro­duc­ti­ve jus­ti­ce, his­to­ri­cal or infor­ma­ti­ve in a prac­ti­cal sense.

Guided by a cri­ti­cal thin­king infor­med by inter­sec­tion­al femi­nism, the artists ori­en­ted their col­la­bo­ra­ti­ve prac­ti­ce poli­ti­cal­ly, in rela­ti­on to pro­blems from the imme­dia­te rea­li­ty, crea­ti­vi­ty being a wea­pon pla­ced “in ser­vice of the revo­lu­ti­on”.  The urgen­cy of chal­len­ging con­ser­va­ti­ve and patri­ar­chal legal sta­tu­s­es world­wi­de has stir­red anger and moti­va­ti­on, lea­ding them to search for solu­ti­ons despi­te the limi­ta­ti­ons they face and the rest­ric­ted means at their dis­po­sal. Alexandra Ivanciu and Jolanta Nowaczyk have enga­ged in an acti­ve art pro­ject, a call for soli­da­ri­ty with the Dzien Po coll­ec­ti­ve that gathers mor­ning-after pills in order to dis­tri­bu­te them to peo­p­le in Poland. Poland and Hungary are the only two count­ries in the European Union, whe­re the mor­ning-after pill can only be purcha­sed with a pre­scrip­ti­on after a doc­tor con­sul­ta­ti­on, which makes it much less acces­si­ble. We live in times whe­re the human right to con­tracep­ti­on and abor­ti­on is end­an­ge­red. In recent years, repro­duc­ti­ve rights have been incre­asing­ly rest­ric­ted in many countries.

Along with infor­ma­ti­ve mate­ri­als about repro­duc­ti­ve rights and rela­ted poli­ci­es in the regi­on, the exhi­bi­ti­on includes a series of inter­views with acti­vists, offe­ring a com­plex per­spec­ti­ve on the invi­si­ble work which stands behind sup­port­ing access to safe abor­ti­ons. The con­cept of “Exercising Collective Disobedience” stron­gly con­nects with various ele­ments in the exhi­bi­ti­on, such as the exer­ci­s­es of buy­ing pills and making a liqu­or based on anci­ent her­bal know­ledge, as well as phy­si­cal­ly giving the space to the acti­vis­t’s work or show­ca­sing it. The use of an exhi­bi­ti­on as an adver­ti­sing tool to encou­ra­ge peo­p­le to actively con­tri­bu­te to the strugg­le for repro­duc­ti­ve jus­ti­ce or the artists advo­ca­ting for the redis­tri­bu­ti­on of funds from the crea­ti­ve sec­tor to the acti­vist sec­tor is embra­ced as a hos­pi­ta­ble gesture.

“Exercising Collective Disobedience” is a mani­festo, a call for soli­da­ri­ty, an invi­ta­ti­on to take action; a wake-up call: human rights are threa­ten­ed from count­less direc­tions in the regi­on. The enti­re pro­ject aims to pro­vi­de a hos­pi­ta­ble and wel­co­ming space for exis­ting ide­as and actions rela­ted to repro­duc­ti­ve jus­ti­ce. What to do? What are the respon­si­bi­li­ties of artists? Political art per­pe­tual­ly ques­ti­ons the role,  place,  and respon­si­bi­li­ties of the artist in socie­ty. “Exercising Collective Disobedience” being, first and fore­most, the affir­ma­ti­on of a desi­re for action, a com­mit­ment to social change.

In addi­ti­on to the exhi­bi­ti­on, the artists have crea­ted a web­site that gathers more infor­ma­ti­on on forms of coll­ec­ti­ve disobedience.

pictures: ©Alexandra Ivanciu


Alexandra Ivanciu (b. 1988) is an artist based in Leipzig. She grew up in Bucharest, Romania, whe­re she expe­ri­en­ced a very per­mis­si­ve access to emer­gen­cy con­tracep­ti­on. In 2013, while living in Poznan, Poland, she nee­ded to buy the mor­ning-after pill, but did not know it can­not be bought over the coun­ter. She ended up unsuc­cessful­ly try­ing to buy it at the last minu­te. Finally, that evening two very kind nur­ses in a small cli­nic hel­ped her by giving her a pre­scrip­ti­on wit­hout sen­ding her to con­sult a doc­tor, which was and still is man­da­to­ry. She mana­ged to avo­id a pregnan­cy. Understanding this is not just her sto­ry, she made a step into the acti­vist direc­tion and deci­ded to use her artis­tic skills to con­tri­bu­te to the fight for repro­duc­ti­ve jus­ti­ce. With an art prac­ti­ce infor­med by inter­sec­tion­al femi­nism, que­er and deco­lo­ni­al theo­ry, Alexandra aims to over­co­me the boun­da­ries of the art space in order to actively con­tri­bu­te to society’s needs.

Jolanta Nowaczyk (b. 1992) is a Prague-based pro-choice acti­vist and artist. One day in 2017, she recei­ved a mes­sa­ge from her part­ner at the time that the sex they’d had might have been more unsafe than they thought. Many hours later he brought her a mor­ning-after pill to her work­place, whe­re she took it in the bath­room. Shortly after taking them, she felt diz­zy, but too asha­med to ask for a day off. Nevertheless, she was quite reli­e­ved that the mor­ning-after pills are available over-the-coun­ter, unli­ke in her home coun­try, Poland. Using this pri­vi­le­ge, years later she co-crea­ted the coll­ec­ti­ve Ciocia Czesia that helps peo­p­le from Poland obtain legal and safe abor­ti­on in the Czech Republic.

Ewa Meister (b.1994) is a Leipzig-based cura­tor. Early on, she beca­me a com­pa­n­ion for clo­se fri­ends who deci­ded to have an abor­ti­on. Despite not being the one making that decis­i­on, the­se expe­ri­en­ces taught her the cru­cial role of soli­da­ri­ty and sup­port in com­ba­ting socie­tal stig­mas. Ever sin­ce she star­ted working in the cura­to­ri­al field, her aspi­ra­ti­on has been to inte­gra­te and share femi­nist ide­as, art, and con­cepts from artists, acti­vists and prac­ti­tio­ners. This led her to co-found the asso­cia­ti­on SPACE TRANSFORMER e.V., which is com­mit­ted to the­se gui­de­lines in its trans­cul­tu­ral and trans­di­sci­pli­na­ry work.

Valentina Iancu is a wri­ter with an art histo­ry and image stu­dies back­ground. She had ear­ly encoun­ters with abor­ti­on sto­ries, a ser­vice ille­gal­ly pro­vi­ded by someone in her fami­ly, in a small town from the sou­thern part of Romania, during the com­mu­nist times. Therefore she wal­ked in life awa­re of the right of women* to have full con­trol of their bodies. She enga­ged in acti­vism for various cau­ses and infor­med her wri­ting and cura­to­ri­al prac­ti­ce with cri­ti­cal thin­king tools, try­ing to inspi­re a desi­re for change.


Graphic Design: Jana Hrádková
Set Design: Christian Brens
Pictures: ©Alexandra Ivanciu

Radical Care


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