Ana Sladetić (HR) Milk

Spatial installation (framed Polaroid, breast milk in a glass bottle, wooden stand, wall text), 2019

The letter, with a thousand other testimonies, was sent for the Croatian Parliament to read on Monday, October 15, 2018:

“After waiting 14 hours for a normal delivery, getting an erroneous epidural injection, and a drip as well (for the birth to be maximally natural – 39 weeks and five days, I was a textbook pregnancy, the head of the child presenting downwards) and admonitions to be calm because it was impossible it could be hurting me, after the child’s heart on CTG was beating slowly, they sent me for an emergency caesarean, where I shrieked I was in pain, and the anaesthesiologist and her nurse sneered at me because it was impossible, and after a second cut and a renewed shriek they put me under general anaesthetic. After that, they put the child to my breast and the next day the baby was 0-24 in the ward because this was a child-friendly hospital. The nurses at once told me that I had to lift up the child and put it to the breast. They did not show me how. They repeated I had to get up and lift the baby. With a fresh 18-cm cut, this was fairly hard. It hurt me, I hadn’t slept for forty hours. And at my request for them to take the child from 12 noon to 5 oć clock, the nurse in the paediatric ward said to me: Ah, her ladyship would like to nap for a while? She came at 1 and brought the child back at 4.

You are expected to know everything, they show nothing, and everything is forced on you until you have a breakdown. What kind of a mother are you if you don’t nurse?

Sv. Duh Hospital #PrekinimoŠutnju [#BreaktheSilence] 2018

The work Milk symbolises the extravagant love and also the current experience of a mother in Croatia. It also provides a symbolic insight into the perverted manner in which a woman’s body is treated. The first food of the newborn child, unaware of its surroundings and itself, is the milk of its mother. The work takes up the issue of the position of the mother who is forced to comply with the structure of a template be complete and accepted by society.

Ana Sladetić (HR)

Ana Sladetić was born in 1985 in Vukovar. She graduated in 2009 at the Academy of Fine Arts at the Universityof Zagreb, at which she obtained her doctorate in 2015, supervised by Ante Rašić and Leonida Kovač.

She has taken part in numerous collective and individual exhibitions in Croatia and abroad. She has won a number of prizes for her work, including the best work prize at the exhibition World Youth Art Festival (Seoul, South Korea, 2017), an Ex aequo at the 25th Slavonia Biennial (Museum of Fine Arts, Osijek, 2016), the first prize at Celebrate Originality – Adidas in association with the Street Art Museum (Zagreb, 2010) and the Grand Prix of the 30th Young Artists’ Salon (HDLU, Zagreb, 2009). She has given several public lectures and held workshops in association with domestic and foreign cultural institutions, museums and galleries. She has done further studies and been on artistic residencies in Germany, Belgium, France, Finland and the USA. She is an assistant professor at the Academy of Arts and Culture at the Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek.