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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TAKE IT OR MAKE IT (2016-2017)

Artistic experiment on social choreography of democracies by Ana Vujanović

 

I set an experimental artistic process based on the premise of working together, in a group, on the issue of the democracy as a real-existing organization of social situation. The experiment takes as its point of departure the cinematic score by experimental filmmaker Heinz Emigholz for his movie Schenec-Tady I (1973).

Emigholz_score

Heinz Emingholz: score plan

Firstly, five performers interpret that score individually, creating artistic materials separated from each other and then they get together and negotiate how to create the group situation democratically, starting from the five solos.
This experiment can result in a presentation, performance or stay in a laboratory framework.
Every time the process is different, as well as its results, since the types, forms and principles of democracy which are examined and physically probed depend on the artists involved and their social contexts and concerns.
For that reason I’m especially interested in the contexts with fragile democracy, where we can see it weak and under the question.

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Social Choreography: The “Black Wave” in the Yugoslav Slet

Ana Vujanović (2013)

Slets were a form of mass events that were staged in socialist Yugoslavia on a variety of occasions. The most famous and spectacular slets were staged on the Day of Youth, every May 25th, at the Yugoslav People’s Army Stadium in Belgrade. The slet was the central and final event of every Day of Youth, preceded by the Relay of Youth. The Relay was a form of ceremonial mass run organised every year beginning in 1945 and involving thousands of youths, who would run for dozens of miles across Yugoslavia, carrying a baton with a birthday card for Josip Broz Tito, the president of Yugoslavia.[1] In 1957, upon Tito’s suggestion, his birthday was made the Day of Youth and Tito’s Relay was renamed the Relay of Youth. Still, for the rest of his life, until 1980, he remained the “birthday boy” of the Day of Youth – every year, he received the baton, along with the card, and occupied the place of honour at the stadium.[2] This direct association of Tito’s birthday with celebrating youth seems odd, given that at the time, he wasn’t young anymore, not even at the beginning of the tradition – in 1957, he was already 65 – so could not really symbolise youth. Of course, the association was made for other reasons, which take us directly into the history of the slet and its social functions. First of all, it is well known that Tito seriously counted on Yugoslavia’s “youth” and tried to forge a direct link between them and himself, and that he used his speeches to interpellate them as those who would eventually take over and continue down the same path, where their elders – Tito’s own generation – were obliged to stop. But that couldn’t happen just like that. To continue down the path of revolution, which included labour as well as defensive warfare, Yugoslavia’s youth had to be healthy, strong, and physically and spiritually cultivated and robust. And the spectacular self-performance of a slet was the best way to show just how strong, cultivated, and robust they were.

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PERFORMANCE AND THE PUBLIC (2011-2013)

Transdisciplinary research project by Bojana Cvejić, Marta Popivoda and Ana Vujanović

 

In the frame of TkH [Walking Theory] residency How To Do Things By Theory at Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers (2010-2012), we started a research about Performance and the Public. The main focus of Cvejić’s and Vujanović’s theoretical part of research are the concepts of “social choreography” and “social drama”, while Popivoda focuses on mass performances of ideology in former, socialist Yugoslavia.

 

Presentation of the research Performance and the Public at the symposium “Broken Performances: Time and (In)Completion”, March 21-23, 2013, Zagreb:

 

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