- DELIMAR Vlasta, Pokusaj poistovjecenja, 2001.
Vlasta Delimar received a degree in graphic design from the University of Applied Arts in Zagreb in 1977. At the time, she was collaborating with the artist Zeljko Jerman, who was associated with the avant-garde Group of Six Authors, and contributing to their publications Maj 75. In the 1980s, she began working more and more often performing in the nude. While the transition to staged photography was unproblematic, Delimar has remained true to performance art in the 35-year-long career. In 2014, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb will present a restrospective survey of the artist’s work.
During this intervention in urban space – the title of which translates as ‘‘Walk as Lady Godiva’’ – Vlasta Delimar rides through Zagreb on a horse while wearing no clothes. She thereby refers to the medieval legend of Lady Godiva, who made her husband Leofric lower the oppressive taxation of the citizens of Coventry. In England by riding naked through the town. Her husband, impressed by his wife’s courage, remitted the taxes. Delimar condenses the historical legend into a curious, ostentatious presentation of nakedness while turning the potential humiliation of Lady Godiva (she asked villagers to say indoors and close their window shades) into the opposite: a self-confident act of individual and public appearance. Without a concrete political background, her ride becomes an appropriation of public space through the provocation of the naked, female body.