Ana Prvački’s vastly inclusive practice encompasses video, performance, sculpture and drawing; even ideas themselves have been a medium for the artist’s output. Prvački’s inquisitive nature is evident in her diverse educational background. The artist was trained in music, theatre, architecture and fine art, holding a BFA from Pratt Institute in New York; an MA in the Genetic Architectures program from Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona; and an MA in Fine Arts from LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts, Singapore. Prvački’s sense of humor was cultivated at an even earlier age in response to the gravity surrounding her, specifically the social and political upheaval that forced her family to leave their home in former Yugoslavia. Her curiosity and wit are the two most distinguishing characteristics of the artist’s perspective and her practice. In Prvački’s work, these qualities play out in her ability to address weighty subject matter even before it has been digested by history—such as the extinction of the common bee or the Covid-19 pandemic—with care and levity.
Prvački’s role as an artist disrupts conventional expectations. Drawing on her interest in cultural assimilation and accepted forms of behavior, for documenta 13 (2012) the artist created a series of humorous instructional videos that addressed visitors directly, explaining how to behave in public space, such as while queuing to enter the exhibition venues. In 2014, Prvački was among the artists tasked by European Commission to revitalize the messaging around paying taxes; she made a video that recast paying taxes as a sensual act akin to foreplay, and the service announcement was played on public television. In 2017 she published Finding Comfort in an Uncomfortable Imagination: A Catalogue of Ideas which detailed many of her unrealized projects.
Prvacki’s frequent and varied engagements with technology include the recent proposal for the Multimask (2020), a video commission for the 13th Gwangju Biennial. Responding to the demands of the current pandemic, the three-in-one mask is designed for safety, beauty, and transformation. The mask includes an N95 filter to stop germs and pollution; the interior can be used for gels or other skin-benefitting products like honey or cucumber; and the small eye holes distort visual perception to create sensory deprivation, leading to “an increased state of awareness and presence.” Prvački’s solo exhibition at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, wherein she collaborated with Google Art & Culture in the creation of an “alternative tour” of the museum, won the 2020 Webby Award for its use of augmented reality, and was commended by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences for significant achievement.
Prvački was a resident at Callie’s between April 2019 and March 2020. During this period, she began researching her family history of beekeeping, and experimented with larger format works. She made her first paintings in the studio; the resulting works were exhibited at PE1301 in Los Angeles in her 2020 solo show POST APIS. During her residency she also began a body of work that was exhibited at the 2020 Bangkok Biennale. Prvački contributed to the programming at Callie’s by organizing periodic events in her studio.