The Balkan Bride’s Project – Croatian Wedding, Hoxton Gallery, London, May 2014
Martina Miholić, a conceptual activist; OKO urban street and visual artist; Petra Mrša, a photographer, sociologist and psychologist questioned the pros and cons of lifestyle in Croatia and London/UK.
In this work, three Croatian artists living in London, gathered around mutual interest, and the need to appropriate to the new environment. Starting point was the conversation about perception and stereotypes built around Balkan women who just want to get married for a visa.
“We have continued our work with an analogy of ‘bride’ who comes in a new house where she finds existing hierarchy and set of roles she needs to adapt and obey. How to be successful in the new situation, depends on her ability to adopt and subtly changes her new environment.”
The Balkan Bride’s Project is a collage of experiences, works, different media and it does not end with the physical manifestation of the work. It grew organically through the collaboration of three authors and contact with the audience.
“During the private view night, we tried to convince the visitors with all possible means that were a good marriage material. Dressed in wedding dresses, we were acting as charming hostesses and offering visitors homemade schnapps. We were the “new brides in the house”. We took ethnological path of that role: showing off our “host” skills, which are next to a dowry, highly rated in traditional communities, where woman knows she belong to the kitchen. In a form of appealing and typical Balkan party we tried to ask numerous questions about cultural differences, emigrant and immigrant policies, citizens of another order, hopes and expectations, immigrant women, and their market value.”
Photo: Petra Mrsa