SHOULD HAVE SEEN THIS
10 years of Via Negativa. The retrospective video work, an “memory explosion” of Via Negativa transgressive and excessive performative acts in the period 2002 -2012 in Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana.
As a form of artistic expression, excess is a performing strategy that has marked the work of Via Negativa. However, transgressive acts, nudity, provocation, shock, etc. have never served just as cheap means for attracting media attention; they are carefully thought-out strategies with which we would like to give viewers an unexpected insight into the paradoxical, often extremely perverse positions we (art makers and art consumers) accept in the frame of modern industry of pleasure.
Today, we live in the paradox time of media blindness – the more everything is visible, the more everything is exposed by media, the more we indulge in the visual pleasure, the less we actually see. Via Negativa employs the same strategy to demystify its own position (and that of a viewer) in the machinery of contemporary art production: that what no-one should see, never reveals some hidden point of things, but merely presents a new, ever-more spectacular mask covering that what we should all see.
The video installation No One Should Have Seen This is a “memory explosion” of all our excessive and transgressive acts – a memory of the nudity, blood, semen, sweat and urine with which the VN performers have soaked the Slovenian and European contemporary performing arts scene in the last ten years. That’s why the installation does not follow the chronology, nor trying to be detailed documentation of VN work. In the focus are primarily our transgressive and excessive performative acts. The installation is structured in the logic of the foreground and the background. The foreground provides 18 video clips (mostly performances from the Via Nova series), which focus on questions about the meaning and position of the performing artist (and the viewer) in the modern society of spectacle. The background of the installation is formed by 25 looped excerpts from eight performances of the seven deadly sins series – which are projected simultaneously.
Video material selected and edited by Bojan Jablanovec
Authors and performers: Anita Wach, Barbara Kukovec, Barbara Matijević, Bojan Jablanovec, Boris Mihalj, Boris Kadin, Darko Japelj, Daša Doberšek, Dylan Tihge, Gaber Kristjan Trseglav, Grega Zorc, Iva Babić, Jaka Lah, Katarina Stegnar, Kristian Al Droubi, Lada Petrovski Ternovšek, Loup Abramovici, Magdalena Tuka, Marie-Louise Stentebjerg, Marko Mandić, Matej Recer, Mateja Pucko, Nataša Živković, Petra Govc, Petra Zanki, Primož Bezjak, Rok Matek, Sanela Milošević, Tomaž Grom, Vito Weis, Uroš Kaurin
Computer programming: Slavko Glamočanin
Additional video editing: Marjan Božič
Sound editing: Tomaž Grom
Coordination: Maks Soršak, Tomaž Kučer
Technical director: Igor Remeta
Producer: Špela Trošt
Produced by Via Negativa in collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana, with the support of Ministry of Culture, Science, Education and Sport of RS and the City of Ljubljana
Venue and date: Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana, 14 December 2012 – 13 January 2013
Ten years of research, sins and excesses of Via Negativa
Zala Dobovšek, Delo Ljubljana, 17 December 2012
(…) In 2002 Via Negativa held its first performance Anger in the Modern Gallery of Ljubljana and a few days ago, at the very same location it rounded off a decade of its continuous creativity, which had confronted Slovene theatre with a new set of aesthetic and thematic questions with the event No One Should Have Seen/Heard This. Under the constant watch of the director Bojan Jablanovec, Via Negativa has primarily redefined the relationship between the audience and the performers, shattering the performer’s private and public image in the process, while researching select thematic clusters in intense laboratory workshops. (…)
Excess as an artistic form of expression
Patricija Maličev, Sobotna priloga, Delo Ljubljana, 5 January 2013
(…) Urinating on the stage of The Croatian National Theatre, masturbating live, forcing chocolate hearts up the vagina, gorging yourself on rice, enacting Marina Abramović’s performance Rhythm 10 – Game with Knives with deep cuts and blood flowing … These are just a few excesses of the Via Negativa project (VN). And they have all been carefully thought through, for the work of Via Negativa as an artistic form of expression has been heavily marked by excess – transgressive acts, nakedness, provocation, shock (…)