Lena’s Arts Projects and Performances have been presented through four different sections.
The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home (2007 – ongoing) is a collaborative arts activist initiative, set up in a spare room of our family house on the border of Everton and Anfield. The Institute is run from Lena’s 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). The Institute has functioned as Lena’s methodological frame and artwork for her creative processes and outputs.
Maternal Matters arts project (2007 – 2017) which is an umbrella name for a number of individual maternal performances, writing experiments, collaborations and videos:
- Medea/Mothers’ Clothes (2016- 2017) revived performance from 2004 juxtaposing Medea anti-mother archetype with Liverpool toddler groups mothers.
- 42 Among the Gormleys (2016) maternal performance for my 42nd birthday at Crosby beach
- Friday Records (2016) live art event at Mart Gallery, Dublin Live Art Festival
- The Mums and Babies Ensemble (2014 – 2015)
A collaboration with Duska Radosavljevic and Annie Rigby and babies James, Joakim and Nina, which consisted of a series of workshops, open dramaturgy performances and a production of instructions manual for new mums
- Friday Records: A Document of Maternity Leave (2014), on line journal consisting of diary entries and photographs recording Lena’s time with baby James
- Full Term video film with Julieann O’Malley (2014), first presented at Artsmill Gallery in Hebden Bridge as a part of the Egg the Womb the Head and the Moonexhibition in 2014.
- The Egg, the Womb, the Head and the Moon collaborative blog (2013-2014) writing contributions
- Mother & Son: ‘that just sounds really sad’ (2011)
Artist residency and event at 25 Stratford Grove with Neal Anderson (aged 10)
- Sid Jonah Anderson by Lena Simic (2008)
A performance showcasing maternal labour involved in putting a seven month old baby to sleep, presented at MAP Live , Carlisle.
- Contemplation Time (2007-2008)
A document of maternity leave consisting of text and photographs
Autobiographical Solo Performances developed in the period between 2004 and 2014:
- 40 Minutes (2014) was a domestic performance celebrating Lena’s 40th birthday, which took place at the Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home on 29 November 2014.
- 1994 (2013) was a homage to Kurt Cobain, lost youth, impossible and failed encounters from a life lived retrospectively; it was first developed at emergency festival at Z-Arts, commissioned by Works Ahead for further development and presented at Contact in Manchester in 2013.
- Masha Serghyeevna (2009) was a re-working of Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters into a solo performance based around the middle sister, Masha Serghyeevna; it was first developed at the Bluecoat in Liverpool with the support of Arts Council England .
- Joan Trial (2005) was a re-figuration of Joan of Arc that challenged assumptions about heroism and Catholic upbringing; it was supported by the Arts Council England, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and first presented in in the Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster.
- Magdalena Makeup (2004) was an exploration of Mary Magdalene whore archetype, transnationalism and family history; it was devised for two communities: Art Workshop Lazareti, Dubrovnik, Croatia and Old Police Station, Lark Lane Community Centre, Liverpool, UK.
- Medea/Mothers’ Clothes (2004) was an exploration of the Medea myth and Motherhood through the intimate and autobiographical portrayal of herself and a group of contemporary local mothers from Liverpool toddler’s groups; it was supported by Arts Council England and first presented at the Bluecoat, before its national and international tour.
Collaborative Arts Projects:
- Blood & Soil: we were always meant to meet… (2011)
A performance event with Jennifer Verson, funded by Arts Council England, first performed at West Everton Community Council, April 2011.
- 790 Recreations (2011)
A short experimental film with Julianne O’Malley
- Macbethmachine (2010)
A performance event at the Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home for Winter Solstice 2010. A unique series of performances by four heterosexual couples for an audience of couples.
- Touch Up (2003)
A transnational performative consideration of our hometowns Liverpool and Dubrovnik, with Gary Anderson performed at the Bluecoat in Liverpool and Otok in Dubrovnik.