Lena Simic is a performance practitioner, scholar and pedagogue, born in Dubrovnik, Croatia, living in Liverpool. A co-organizer of The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home and Senior Lecturer in Drama at Edge Hill University, UK.
Lena is an artist/scholar who is engaged in researching maternal performance, children in performance, critical arts practice and art activism. This website frames her work in four sections:
- Arts Projects and Performances
- Research Collaborations
- Creative Writing, Interviews and Publications
- Networks and Links.
Lena is a 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 their 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), FAN – Family Activist Network (2015 – ongoing) and Study Room in Exile (2015 – ongoing, in collaboration with Live Art Development Agency).
Together with her umbrella arts project Maternal Matters which collects a number of maternal video artworks and performances, The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home has functioned as Lena’s methodological frame and artwork for her creative processes and outputs.
Lena’s most recent ‘Arts Projects and Performances’ include 42 Among the Gormleys (2016) maternal performance for her 42nd birthday at Crosby beach; Friday Records live art event (2016) presented at Dublin Live Art Festival 2016 and on line journal Friday Records: A Document of Maternity Leave, a blog consisting of diary entries and photographs recording Lena’s time with baby James (2014); Medea/Mothers’ Clothes (2016) performance which was revived in 2016 from its 2004 original production and presented together with 6 Notebooks for 6 Women for 6 Years in Bratislava (2016) at Studio 12 in Bratislava, Slovakia; 40 Minutes (2014) domestic performance on the stairs of the house for her 40th birthday; and Full Term (with Julieann O’Malley, short video film 2015, first presented at Artsmill Gallery in Hebden Bridge as a part of the Egg the Womb the Head and the Moon exhibition, due to open at Majka/Umjetnica – Mother/Artist exhibition as Student Centre, Zagreb, 2017).
Lena’s autobiographical performance practice is informed by feminist discourse and its relation to everyday lived experience, memory and fantasy.
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), The Mums and Babies Ensemble: A Manual (2015), 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). For more information please see ‘Creative Writing, Interviews and Publications’ section of this website.