Gallery performance and video exhibition. 13 performances follow the structure and the context of the permanent collection. Video documentation has become part of the permanent collection of MSU Zagreb.
13 performances of VIA NOVA series follow in space and content the structure and context of the permanent collection of MSU Zagreb in which we communicate with all its units: Project and Destiny, Art as Life, Art on Art, Great World Enigma, Words and Images. Accordingly we connect to programme origins of MSU to: “initiate and show motions in presentation, communication and interpretation of MSU art collection and at the same time point to essential characteristics of contemporary art – movement, change, inconstancy, uncertainty” (Collection in Motion, p. 7, MSU Zagreb). In the context of the museum the performance becomes a process of creating and exhibiting an artefact. This way the performer presents itself as the author in the field of contemporary art: with performance he literary leaves his authorial trail, documents it on video tape and later exhibits in the museum as a video installation.
With this action the performances (video documents) became permanent ownership of art collection of MSU Zagreb. The project gets its final appearance in the form of video work under the title “No one should have seen this,” and which is from 2 July 2013 also exhibited in the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb.
All that you came for
Spotlight on me
What Joseph Beuys told me, while I was lying dead in his lap
Buyer with an eye
Interview with the artist
No one should have seen this
Game with toothpicks
Pina Bausch’s last cigarette (scene from Four Deaths)
Tonight I celebrate
Concept of the presentation: Bojan Jablanovec
Performers: Primož Bezjak, Marko Mandić, Boris Kadin, Barbara Kukovec, Uroš Kaurin, Katarina Stegnar, Grega Zorc, Kristian Al Droubi, Tomaž Grom
Producer: Špela Trošt
Technical director: Igor Remeta
Production: Via Nova performances produced by Via Negativa, 2009 – 2010, with the support od Ministry of Culture of RS and the City of Ljubljana. Collective presentation VIA MSU Zagreb produced by MSU Zagreb and Eurokaz Festival Zagreb
Venue and date: Museum of contemporary art Zagreb, 19 June 2010 as part of Eurokaz Festival Zagreb
Duration: 4 hours
Video installation: 24 – 27 June 2010
VIDEO EXHIBITION “No one should have seen this. Via Negativa via MSU Zagreb”
Curator: Tihomir Milovac, MSU Zagreb
Concept and editing: Bojan Jablanovec
Video contains excerpts from performances featuring: 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, Marko Mandić, Matej Recer, Mateja Pucko, Nataša Živković, Petra Govc, Petra Zanki, Primož Bezjak, Rok Matek, Sanela Milošević, Tomaž Grom, Uroš Kaurin
Computer programming: Slavko Glamočanin
Additional video editing: Marjan Božič
Sound editing: Tomaž Grom
Venue: Permanent collection MSU Zagreb
Iva Gruić: A decade of Slovenian agent provocateurs
Jutarnji list Zagreb, 22. junij 2010
The audience of the Eurokaz international Festival of New Theatre has been able to follow, for a number of subsequent years, Via Negativa’s provocations to a silence-bound auditorium. An international collective of performing artists with a seat in Slovenia, Via Negativa operates on the very edge of the theatre boundaries, persistently questioning the relationship between performer and a silent audience. Their works are not performances as such, they are provocative scenes or events, in which they engage the audience and their expectations directly and in turn expect them to react.
Here at Eurokaz we have also been able to uninterruptedly follow their project called »Via Nova«. Provocation is inscribed in the very logic of what they do, and sporadically a wider audience gets to hear of it. A few years ago, for example, a mini-scandal erupted with their production called Viva Verdi: the same stage that held the respected members of the opera ensemble of the Croatian National House became a site for stripped performers who then urinated over it – the word quickly got around that the ensemble of HNK distance themselves categorically from such dishonorable behavior. Such is the effect provoked by Via Negativa, as it nears the centers of the so-called established culture.
A more open audience accepts Via Negativa without any (greater) unease. For example, last Saturday at Eurokaz was dedicated to Via Negativa’s imaginative retrospective entitled “Via Nova Via MCA Zagreb”. Namely the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb collaborated on the project by turning its permanent exhibition into a stage for Via Negativa’s twelve performances. The space, densely packed with contemporary art, created an impact of its own.
The performances are enacted in four cycles, three at a time. In one of them, the actor Marko Mandić sweats in a plastic bag while on the screen the audience can follow scenes from his acting career. The sweat he has ’sweated for art’s sake’ he pours into a glass, placing it as an installation on a high pile of drama texts. In another performance Marko masturbates, because he is interested in the »performance as a process of extracting human ‘essentials’ from the performer’s presence«. In a performance based on the theme of ‘a Croat and a Serb cutting each other’, two performers play with knives. Theoretical questions thus raised and voiced on the stage are met with contrasts and a humorous response in the form of physical action.
Those less inclined towards contemporary performing arts are probably asking themselves what the point in all this is. The intention is not merely to shock, though that too plays a part. More interesting than provocation, however, is the laying bare of everything they touch – from the mechanisms in theatre, interpersonal relationships, expectations we nurture in relation to each other, to the meaning of art … And it is precisely from this skillful exposure, linked closely to self-irony and subtle humor, that every encounter with Via Negative has been exciting in its own right for a full decade now.