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Subscriber: null; date: 21 October 2019

Ziranek, Silvia locked

(b May 28, 1952).

British performance artist, sculptor, photographer and writer. She studied Russian and Arabic at Leeds University (1970–72), and completed her foundation studies at Croydon College of Art (1972–3). She then studied fine art at Goldsmith’s College, London (1973–6), where the progressive approach to contemporary art led her to design her own course of study, which focused on all aspects of performance art. Influences upon her work include Yves Klein and Bruce McLean. Her ability to deflate the pretentious and absurd in daily life was demonstrated in unrehearsed, highly skilled displays of intuitive stagecraft. These are extended monologues that engage the audience with a mesmerising mixture of mimicry, metaphors, verbal and visual clichés and that explore the conventions of suburban existence and the domestic role of women (e.g. Rubbergloverama-Drama; 1980, London, ICA). Although known primarily as a performance artist, she also made sculptural works and ‘costume constructions’ initially created in connection with a performance, but which later existed as autonomous objects. Ziranek also took photographs, wrote (e.g. The Very Food Book, 1987–8), gave lavish banquets as works in themselves and made videos. Confident in her potential as an individual and an artist, she drew attention to a perspective expanded beyond the traditional roles defined for women in society.


  • The British Show (exh. cat., Sydney, A.G. NSW, 1985)
  • Silvia Ziranek (exh. cat. by J. Walwin, London, Anthony Reynolds Gal., 1986)
  • Ici Villa Moi (exh. cat. by L. Buck, London, Waterman F.A., 1989–90)