UMOCA Presents Ana Prvacki: Neutralize Negative Feelings

Contact: Sarina Ehrgott | | 801.328.4201 | 20 S West Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Tuesday – Thursday and Saturday 11 AM – 6 PM | Friday 11 AM – 9 PM

February 27, 2013


UMOCA Presents Ana Prvacki: Neutralize Negative Feelings

MAR 1 – APR 27

Salt Lake City – The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA) is proud to present Ana Prvacki: Neutralize Negative Feelings, an installation about etiquette.

Join UMOCA for an opening reception of Ana Prvacki: Neutralize Negative Feelings March 1st from 8 to 10 p.m., Prvacki will be present to talk about her work.

Using social codes and cultural structures as a raw material, Serbian-born, Los Angeles-based artist Ana Prvacki (pronounced Pri-vatch-key) turns the rituals of hospitality into a theater of performance. Until 2010 the artist was CEO of the brand Ananatural Productions, a conceptual factory of ideas ranging from the practical to the absurd, creating products which offered shortcuts to better living and designs for needs we never knew we had. Merging Martha Stewart with Marina Abramovic, the language of Prvacki’s work seems as familiar as IKEA or Emily Post but awkwardly turned on its head.

For the recent edition of Germany’s renowned contemporary art survey dOCUMENTA13, Prvacki was commissioned to create a series of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) that were cleverly dispersed in locations throughout the city and on German television. The television spots helped citizens and tourists navigate difficult social circumstances like personal space, spinach in one’s teeth or accidentally spitting while speaking. These scenarios were played out on camera and then corrected by the artist, etiquette counselor Vartouhi Keshishyan and comedy group The Intecollectuals. The result is a strong mix of humor and instructional empathy empowering viewers with tools to recover their possible embarrassments with grace.

In her exhibition Neutralize Negative Feelings at UMOCA, Prvacki morphs her PSA work into a new artistic direction, historicizing the codes of imposed etiquette with the motivational sloganeering of past generations. Embroidered adages like “Happy Wife, Happy Life” are given new and more relevant meaning by updating it with current, universal situations of human folly and faux pas.

Prvacki’s installation is comprised of ceramic hearth plates, napkins with embroidered spinach spots, and the complete cycle of her PSA series. The public is invited to engage in dialogue about social codes, gossip, sewing circles and days of old in the founding of our new “Embroidery and Etiquette Club.”

Meeting every Friday in the gallery space from 6 to 8 p.m. for the duration of the exhibition, the club members are free to wax lyrical about their favorite circumstantial stumbles while creating embroideries in the style of Prvacki’s exhibition. The Embroidery and Etiquette Club is a combined effort between the artist, UMOCA and LAXART, the Los Angeles-based curatorial initiative, to create a new series of artist-designed totes which will be available for sale.

“Ana Prvacki is a savvy chameleon whose artistic practice is often invisibly presented and consumed,” says Senior Curator Aaron Moulton. “Taking both the attitudes of feminism and the culture that created them, her work causes us to reflect on the rules and tools for engagement in today’s society. “Neutralize Negative Feelings” itself becomes a mantra for the theater of customer service culture and the hegemony of hospitality.”

UMOCA’s programing including Ana Prvacki: Neutralize Negative Feelings is made possible in part through the generous support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. A special thanks to LAXART and Lombard Freid for their kind collaboration.

About The Artist
Ana Prvacki (b. 1976, Serbia) is an artist whose work draws on daily practices and social research. Her interventions into daily life are meant to transform the viewer’s perception and experience of daily life and routine, attempting to provide solutions to our daily problems, worries, and fears. She explores social anxiety and the comedic potential of faux pas.

Her art work has been exhibited internationally and was included in the 2006 Singapore Biennial and Turin Triennial, 2008 Sydney Biennial and dOCUMENTA 13. She has developed projects at various art institutions, including Bloomberg (NY), Art in General (NY), Artists Space (NY), Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea (Turin), and Hammer Museum (Los Angeles). She is represented by Lombard Freid Gallery where she will have a solo exhibition this fall.

 About UMOCA
Award-winning Utah Museum of Contemporary Art exhibits groundbreaking artwork by local, national, and international artists. Four gallery spaces provid e an opportunity for the community to explore the contemporary cultural landscape through UMOCA’s exhibitions, films, events, classes, and presentations.

Founded in 1931, the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art has been recognized as Best Museum in the State of Utah for 2011 and 2012 and is a four-time recipient of funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation.

Located at 20 S. West Temple; open Tuesday-Thursday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Friday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Saturday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; closed Sunday and Monday. Admission is free. For more information call (801) 328-4201 or visit