A Late Night Theory of Post-Dance (a selfinterview)

(Ana Vujanović, 2017)

It was around 10 P.M. when I arrived. I found her in one of her temporary apartments. A spacious living and dinning room, almost empty, with wooden floors and big windows, curtains wide open. It was in a small, three story building facing Westerpark, in Amsterdam. She made tea and at first looked willing to talk, but when she sat at the table she briefly glanced at the computer screen and then turned her head and looked towards the glass door of the balcony… I saw her withdrawing into herself like a candle in the dark… She sucked the whole energy of the room. Soon after that thought— or was it a feeling? — had arisen, I saw it leave me, and before it was immersed in the energy flow, the feeling-thought turned back, grabbed me by the hand and took me outside of myself. Now externalized, I was observing that wild woman with clear thoughts, who has been ready to abandon them whenever she was asked the right question. I hovered between her and myself. The screen lightened her profile. It didn’t say much. She was perfectly calm and only her eyes were moving rapidly as if she were reading or dreaming. I was under the impression she had forgotten that I was there, and it was not easy to break the silence in which she apparently felt comfortable. But I promised Mårten Spångberg that I would write 15 pages about post-dance and I knew I couldn’t do it without her. So… well, fuck it.

AV: It’s very late for an interview but I was told you wouldn’t mind.

AV: In fact, I prefer it this way. Now I’m a little tired after the whole day of teaching, and it’s similar to being drunk or drugged: borders dissolve.

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On Precarity and the Freedom f-r-o-m Security

Ana Vujanović (2016)

A review of the book State of Insecurity: Government of the Precarious by Isabell Lorey, published by Verso in 2015.

 

The political theorist Isabell Lorey is one of the most striking European voices in the recent debate on precarity and precarization – terms that describe the systematic inequalities wrought by neoliberalism in the name of financial crisis and austerity, and which lead to such recent phenomena as militarized violence and xenophobia. For reference, Lorey draws from political and biopolitical theory, feminism, gender and postcolonial studies, as well as the interventions made by social and political movements, such as Euromayday, Occupy, and 15-M. This invigorating intersectionalism has created a potent critical platform for analyzing the present moment.

State of Insecurity: Government of the Precarious is Aileen Derieg’s translation of Lorey’s book Die Regierung der Prekären (2012). It is her first book to appear in English, though she is the author of numerous works of cultural and political theory in German. Here Lorey is particularly concerned with the neoliberal “state of insecurity” and how it relates to the process of precarization. Lorey’s long-term research on precarity leads her to the question of neoliberal government, of government through and by insecurity. The first line of the book makes this clear: “If we fail to understand precarization, then we understand neither the politics nor the economy of the present” (1).

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PERFORMING THE SELF (currently running)

Transdisciplinary research project (2015-...) by Bojana Cvejić, Marta Popivoda and Ana Vujanović

 

After the twentieth century has been cast as the century of the self, the question arises of how the contemporary expressions of the self in the public and private domains of social life could be best accounted for. According to a prominent thesis of diverse approaches in social sciences throughout the twentieth century, the self is constructed through performances and technologies that rest on the metaphors of theatricality and choreography. Thus the notable analytical models of the self being constructed through performance include body techniques and habitus (Marcel Mauss, Norbert Elias, Pierre Bourdieu); act and gesture (Michael Bahktin), social roles and performance of the self (Erving Goffman), technologies of the self (Michel Foucault), man as actor (Richard Sennett), and performing identity (Judith Butler). The project investigates the contemporary practices of the self in search of a model that best describes and interprets their current form, basing itself on the contemporary theories of performance, dance and theater.

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