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Nikola Balberčáková | Pennie Key | Bety Krnanska

curated by
Sylvia Sachini


Female bodies have long served the global system of commercialism. They have been used to generate profit and power for those in control and, wittingly or unwittingly, to promote and advance capitalist ideals. In recent years, however, we have witnessed women’s bodies represented in a new light — as powerful and liberated. From glossy glamour shoots and home video sex tapes to near-naked — or naked — selfies posted online, people have been again transformed into images, with advertising masquerading as social content.


When our bodies can be celebrated and seen as active agents of our own liberation, we question whether the naked female form is truly liberated from the exploitative and unequal logic of capitalism – or if it has simply been co-opted by the free market economy. In doing so, the exhibition tries to investigate the often-contradictory dynamics of feminism and free market economics, and their implications for contemporary women. It explores the various ways in which women are depicted in popular culture, from the objectification of their bodies to the reinforcement of gender stereotypes.


Bety, Pennie and Nikola explore the commodification, and even self-commodification, of

sexuality, and the resulting creation and degradation of the female self by exploring themes of identity, gender, sexuality, and power. The exhibition showcases the ways in which women navigate a terrain of conflicting pressures, from the pressures to conform to traditional notions of femininity to the pressures to reject or subvert them. The works also explore how the commodification of female sexuality is used to control and manipulate female bodies, and how women are made to feel powerless in the face of these images.

The commodification of beauty has become a way to legitimize certain forms of power and privilege while reinforcing normative ideas about beauty and gender. The exhibition also explores the role of technology in the commodification of persons. Technology has enabled us to create and share images of ourselves, and to engage in a variety of online activities. The implications of this process are far-reaching, and the show examines how technology shapes our perceptions and how it, too, contributes to the commodification of persons.


The ways in which women use their sexuality as a form of self-expression, even as their bodies are objectified and controlled, serves as an invitation to reflect upon our own attitudes and actions in relation to female sexual autonomy.


The title plays on the plurality of feminism, made up of many disparate strands and effing, a term often used to express frustration politely; replaces the f-word with the spelling of the sound of "F."

The frustration concerns ongoing conflicts among feminists to define it (what is liberating to some women can be oppressive to others, disagreements on who is included and who is not), and the complex relationship of feminism, with capitalism and social media, having been commodified and appropriated to sell products.

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Nikola Balberčáková

(b.1994 in Michalovce, Slovakia), has received a master's degree from Fine Arts (Studio of Photography) at University of Fine Arts in Prague (2019 - 2022) and a bachelor’s degree from Intermedia at University of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava (2014 - 2019). In 2018, she did an internship at Newcastle University at Fine Arts in the UK. During her studies, she participated on various projects and exhibitions, such as co-directing Feat magazine (2021) and performance 'I see everyone getting all the things I want’ (2021) in collaboration with Markéta Slaná. From 2018 - 2020 she was a member of the performative

group Marína Abramovič po sebe neupratuje (MAPSN). Her work has been featured in group shows internationally.

She works with different mediums like performance, video and installation. From her early work focuses mostly on material and object research, evolving her work further into narratives using

cinematography, storytelling, music, honesty and irony to create a specific language for emotional landscapes reflecting today’s society, its dominant power structures and our identity. She focuses on specific various characters as non-dominant identities in societal structures. Hyperbolized, affective, naive or nerd characters are creating fictions and reconstructing dominant scenarios, often using a feminist perspective. Through mixing interests in pop culture, modern and ancient, cliché, low and high culture, techniques of communication, she puts questions on various forms of our happiness - ways of survivalism and possibilities of resistance as identities in dominant power structures.

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Pennie Key

(Penelope Koliopoulou) is an artist born in Athens. She lived in London during the 2010s and received an MFA in Fine Arts from Goldsmiths in 2016. She was a Rijksakademie resident for 2020-2022 and the recipient of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation award ARTWORKS 2021. Other residencies include Saari in Finland and Can Serrat in Spain. Pennie has shown work institutionally in Gfzk Leipzig, Künstlerhaus Dortmund, Arti et Amicitiae Amsterdam, MoMa Thessaloniki and various project spaces in the U.K., Belgium and Mexico amongst others. Her biggest accomplishment to date is leading a well-attended PE class for artists, 2 years in a row. Her practice is an aggregate of multiple cross-disciplinary, intersecting pursuits — activities that are located in subcultural contexts, and that often allude to subversive social codes. These activities provide an entry point for developing artistic enquiries and often support the resulting artwork’s defining conceptual components and aesthetics.


Bety Krnanska

(b. 1992 in Prague, Czech Republic) is an artist who lives and works between Athens and Prague. She is a graduate of the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in

Prague. Her work combines elements of figurative and abstract art, driven by her personal encounters with real-life objects, typography, and two-dimensional imagery. Her work employs pictorial motifs, ornamental symbols, and a wide selection of materials, towards an artistic process with emphasis on spontaneous gestural expression.

Her practice draws inspiration from the language of patterns organically occurring in nature and the ways they function within an artificially constructed world. With the use of interpenetrating lines and spirals, as well as organic dyes, her work hints towards the paradoxes between private domestic spaces and dystopian man-made realities. Her personal vision is shaped through the lens of maternity and feminine sensitivity and is informed by her experience as a young mother and artist. Through her practice, she highlights the urgency for environmental sustainability and gender role challenges within the art world as well as society at broad.

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