Marija Nemčenko‘s practice combines her theoretical interests in post-colonial theory (adapted to discuss Eastern Europe and the Baltics) and personal history of migration to explore a variety of visual, social and political phenomena relating to a number of issues, including the immigrant, xenophobia and power. Exposing and tackling prevalent cultural stereotypes, she often employs satire and popular culture as instruments to deal with the seriousness of these matters. She works within the public realm and outside of art circles to challenge these cultural frictions drawing influences from contemporary myth making, including mass media and advertising that are not only self-referential but aim to subvert mainstream culture that infect our memories and thoughts.
During her time here, Marija worked on the Ivanka Chai project which went on to culminate in a one day event presented at the ‘Turkish Market’ in Maybachufer, Berlin in August where Nemcenko set up a Lithuanian tea stall and connected the two markets and cultures. Integrating the project within the market the work became an act and space for social exchange, reflecting on the tea’s historic narrative. The masculine name Ivan Chai is exchanged to Ivanka Chai referring to a collective body of women by whom the tea was cultivated and bought from.