How we work
We devise and develop different performing strategies, with the focus on the relationship between viewing and performing, considering both sides as active positions that enable the dynamics of the performing event, and insist on the performing with the standpoint that consciously radicalizes and relativises its own position with self-irony and humor.
The VN creative field is strictly reduced to basic stage elements (via negativa) and focused on the relationship between performer and spectator (between what is shown and what is seen – which is the basis of performing communication) and on the question of the real in this relationship (which is the key characteristic of a live performing situation). We deal with this relationship as a complex flow of points of view, expectations, judgments, conclusions, recognitions, stereotypes, fallacies, prejudices, tolerance or intolerance, and knowledge or lack thereof; all of these trigger various emotional, rational or irrational responses. No matter what the subject or the story of the performance is, we always search for the situation that triggers this relationship and gets it running.
Our performing strategies are very diverse: devised theater pieces, lecture-performances, dance pieces, video works, radical body practices, gallery projects … Our work to date has been structured as three major series: Seven Deadly Sins (2002–2008), Via Nova (2009–2011), Irresolvable (2012-).
By developing collaborative practices, we want to invite young artists into the creative field of Via Negativa and to help enable them to attain a high degree of self-realization in the field of contemporary performing arts.
Workshops are organized with the aim of giving interested individuals an opportunity to learn about our creative process and to invite them to join us in our future projects. In addition to the workshops, which are carried out on the initiative of our co-producers and various festivals, we also organize the VN Lab – the Via Negativa laboratory for contemporary performing arts, which takes place every year in Ljubljana.
At our workshops, we welcome everyone with a strong personal interest, ambition and need to express their ideas in formats of contemporary performing arts. The work follows the method of self-staging. We do not teach acting techniques or performing skills; performers devote most of their time to the developing of their own personal material and searching for the most effective performing strategy.
So far, we’ve organized workshops in Belgium (POPOK – Posthogeschool Voor Podiumkunsten Antwerp, 2003) • Serbia (Cultural Centre Novi Sad, 2004; Cultural Centre REX Belgrade, 2007) • Austria (KE Theatre Klagenfurt, 2004) • Croatia (EkS-scena Zagreb, 2005; Zalet Zadar, 2007; &TD Theatre Zagreb, 2008) • Ireland (Balkan Irish Arts Forum Dublin, 2008) • Czech Republic (Development of New Art Prague, 2010) • Scotland (New Territories Glasgow, 2011) • Finland (Performance Center Helsinki, 2012) • Greece (Onassis Center Athens, 2013) • Romania (TESZT Festival Timisoara, 2015) • Latvia (Dirty Deal Teatro Riga, 2015) • Slovenia (Secondary School Dorm Tabor Ljubljana, SMG Ljubljana, Glej Theatre Ljubljana, II. Gymnasium Maribor).
We produce our projects with the help of local and international partners who are interested in opening up the field of contemporary performing arts.
To date, we have cooperated (and most still participate) with the following partners: Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana • B-51 Cultural Society Ljubljana • Glej Theatre Ljubljana • Secondary School Dorm Tabor Ljubljana • Cultural Centre Novi Sad • EkS-scena Zagreb • Bunker Ljubljana • Zalet Zadar • ZadarSnova Festival Zadar • Eurokaz Festival Zagreb • Kampnagel Hamburg • Croatian National Theatre Opera Zagreb • Balkan Irish Arts Forum Dublin • &TD Teatre Zagreb • Perforations Festival Zagreb • En Knap Group Ljubljana • City Museum Ljubljana • City of Women Festival Ljubljana • Museum of Contemporary Art MSUM Zagreb • Forum Freies Teater Düsseldorf • Kunsthalle Düsseldorf • Mavena Split • Multimedia Cultural Centre Split • Development of New Art Prague • Maska Ljubljana • Contemporary Dance Association of Slovenia • Slovene National Theatre Drama Ljubljana • Moment Cultural Society Maribor • Zavod Sploh Ljubljana • Art Stations Foundation Poznan • tanzhaus nrw Dusseldorf • Ljubljana Puppet Theatre • Cultural Centre Bios Athens • Vasistas Athens • Cankarjev dom Ljubljana • Oblivia Helsinki • Thealter Szeged • Desire Subotica • TESZT Timisoara • Kitch Ljubljana • Ja Ja Ja Ne Ne Ne Warsaw • A Part Festival Katowice • Body Mind Festival Warsaw
Via Negativa is financially supported by:
The City of Ljubljana
The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia
SiGledal.si, web portal of Slovene performing arts