Lena Simic, performance practitioner and pedagogue, born in Dubrovnik, Croatia, living in Liverpool, UK. Co-organizer of The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home, an art activist initiative run from her family home. Lena’s autobiographical performance practice is informed by its relation to everyday lived experience, memory and fantasy.
Lena’s most recent solo and collaborative performances and art projects include
42 Among the Gormleys maternal performance for her 42nd birthday at Crosby beach, Friday Records live art event, presented at Dublin Live Art Festival 2016,
Medea/Mothers’ Clothes, which was revived in 2016, 6 Notebooks for 6 Women for 6 Years in Bratislava, which was written during Lena’s visit to Slovakia in 2016, 40 Minutes, domestic performance on the stairs of the house for her 40th birthday in 2014, Friday Records: A Document of Maternity Leave, a blog consisting of diary entries and photographs recording Lena’s time with baby James (2014), Full Term (with Julieann O’Malley, short video film 2014, presented at Artsmill Gallery in Hebden Bridge as a part of the Egg the Womb the Head and the Moon exhibition).
Her work also includes 1994 solo performance, as a homage to Kurt Cobain, lost youth, impossible and failed encounters from a life lived retrospectively (emergency 2012, Works Ahead 2013, Lantern Theatre 2013, Spectacle 2013), 790 Recreations (with Julieann O’Malley, short video film 2012, presented at the Bluecoat as a part of If Only festival), Blood & Soil: we were always meant to meet… (with Jennifer Verson, WECC 2011), mother & son: ‘that just sounds really sad’ (with Neal Anderson, 25 SG 2011), Masha Serghyeevna (the Bluecoat 2009), Sid Jonah Anderson by Lena Simic (MAP Live, Carlisle, 2008), Joan Trial (Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster, 2005) and Medea/Mothers’ Clothes (Bluecoat Arts Centre, Liverpool, 2004).
Co-organizer of The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home, an art activist initiative run from her home together with Gary Anderson and four children Neal, Gabriel, Sid and James. The Institute has hosted a number of artist residencies and performance events since 2007, including Miss Julie in Utopia (2008), Macbethmachine (2010), Reverend Billy & family (2011), Townley & Bradby (2011), Cinderella Residency (2012), Politics and Aesthetics Reading Group meetings (2010-2012), Unrehearsed Reading of Chekhov’s Three Sisters (2014) and has initiated the Anarchist Communist Sunday School (2014), War and Peace reading group (2014-2018) and FAN COP21 (Family Activist Network) 2015.
Lena is a founder member of Factory Floor, creative network for women performers and writers. She is also involved in MaMSIE (Mapping Maternal Subjectivities Identities Ethics) interdisciplinary research network, Migrant Artists Mutual Aid network and Performance and the Body Working Group at TaPRA (Theatre and Performance Research Association).
Recent artist publications include 4 Boys [for Beuys] (2016), Five: 2008 – 2012 (2014), a book documenting the first five years of the Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home), Foundations with Free University of Liverpool (2012), Blood & Soil: we were always meant to meet… performance document, with Jennifer Verson (2011) and Maternal Matters and Other Sisters Artist Catalogue (2009).
Lena is working on Performance and the Maternal research project with Emily Underwood-Lee. First event ‘Motherhood and Live Art‘ took place at the Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home on 29 January 2016. Second one ‘Maternal meets the Performance’ took place at Edge Hill University 30 January 2016. The third event ‘Performance and the Maternal: Intersections and Encounters’ took place in Cardiff at the University of South Wales. Lena and Emily are currently editing ‘On the Maternal’ for Performance Research journal.