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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The Politics of Performance // Warsaw, 2011

full title: Jan Ritsema, Ana Vujanović, and participants of the dramaturgical workshop Politicality of contemporary performance medium: dramaturgical and anti-dramaturgical principles and procedures: "The Politics of Performance", performance-presentation powered by Générique tool from Everybodys Toolbox

Institute of Music and Dance / The Museum of Modern Art
March 26-3o, 2011, Warsaw

Performative turn. The Politics of Performance. (english) from Muzeum Sztuki Nowoczesnej on Vimeo.

(In) the Person of the Author

Ana Vujanović (2012)

Being invited to collaborate on Four Choreographic Portraits by Christine De Smedt, I was immediately intrigued by the cluster of questions that lie behind the project: Why don’t I, an author, involve the personal in my artistic work? Do I resist it? Or, do I hide it? Why?[1] Taking this further, the following questions arise: What does this avoidance result in? In an artwork which is less authentic, less sincere, less credible, less my own? Which is more general, more indifferent, more technical, more a cold speculative construction? What intrigued me in this was not the author as a person; I wasn’t curious to reveal the secret of the personal that supposedly had been hidden – supposedly for a good, personal, reason – by the gesture of exclusion. No, what challenged me was exactly how these basic concerns were constructed in the epistemic and socio-political senses, namely, how the paradigm of art predicated on the expression, manifestation or actualization of a person’s individuality, her will and creative force, has been silently naturalized to the extent that these questions seemed a reasonable concern of an author herself. Indeed, there is no stronger paradigm of art today, and it looks like the personal and authorship are inseparably connected in an organic liaison that renders what we call art as such. The liaison is so smooth that it directly leads to the ultimate question: What is art if not an expression of individual will and creative force? Apart from the last instance, it appears in many variations, and today – when the artist’s name functions as brand, and when she with her individuality and personality is the art product par excellence – it is gaining momentum.

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Escenas discursivas (2011-2012)

Research on critical discourses on the contemporary performing arts scene in Madrid, by Marta Popivoda and Ana Vujanović

The research on critical discourses on the contemporary performing arts scene in Madrid is organized within Matadero – El Ranchito, Madrid, and in collaboration with Artea.
Co-authors: Ana Vujanović, Marta Popivoda

 

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“We are not the experts on cultural mapping who come to Madrid to ‘investigate’ its performing arts scene, nor we approach it as an exotic tribe. We define ourselves as ‘aliens’ to the scene, who are theoretically-politically laden. Thus, with our theoretical-artistic research we could hopefully give a challenging insight into the scene, being outside its circles, clans, and doxa. On the other hand, we see this research as a tool to re-think our own context and scene, as well as the concepts with which we operate.

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Tiger’s Leap: A Method of Reloading the History of Local Scenes

Ana Vujanović (2008-12)

A Happy Consensual Tribe

Many experts agree that contemporary dance emerged in the West (Western Europe and the USA) during the second half of the 20th century and, therefore, that it was conditioned by the democratic character of those societies. At the same time, it is commonly accepted that societies in the East overslept the second half of the 20th century behind the Iron Curtain that divided the democratic (capitalist) West from the totalitarian (communist) East. So it only stands to reason that there was no contemporary dance in the East. Adhering to this teleological view of history as progress, contemporary dance accordingly appeared in the Eastern societies only with their transition to democracy-capitalism in the 1990s and 2000s. Many agree not only that contemporary dance organically had to appear in the East at that time, due to the new social conditions, but also that its appearance is a proof that those ex-Eastern societies have become democratic. Naturally, this late awakening of the East results in its always-being-late in its efforts to keep up with the contemporary dance scene in the West.[1]

A lot of experts may agree about a lot of things. And when a majority agree on many “things”, the river of history may flow smoothly, all the way from its source, right down to the mouth, the past clearly shaping the future… And here we are, in the present, where one can see, on the international dance scene, contemporary dance both from the ex-East and the ex-West – although still not in equal proportions – that belongs now to the borderless – although not quite “history-less” – global society.

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