VIA NEW TERRITORIES
Nine performances in three chapters in which we explore three basic fields of Via Negativa creative process: thinking, presence and relation.
At the Scotland Live Art Festival New Territories Glasgow we presented 9-hours long program of nine performances in which we explore three basic fields of an artist’s creative process: thinking, presence and relation.
Chapter One: VIA NOVA SYMPOSIUM
On the relationship between performing arts theory and practice. In order to accomplish a higher level of interaction performers do not even out a discourse differences between theory and practice, they exaggerate them. Performances:
Chapter Two: NAKED PRESENCE
It is not about naked bodies, although they are dominant in Naked Presence. Nakedness is just another mask of presence – it is not enough to take clothes off, each performer is searching for the way to unmask presence. Performances:
Chapter Three: MONEY, BLOOD & LOVE
Three simple questions: How much are you willing to pay? How far are we ready to go? How real is love between performer and his audience? And three performances:
Concept of the presentation: Bojan Jablanovec
Performers: Katarina Stegnar, Boris Kadin, Kristian Al Droubi, Marko Mandić, Primož Bezjak, Jaka Lah, Uroš Kaurin, Bojana Kunst. Interview with Kristian Al Droubi: Laura Gonzalez.
Producer: Špela Trošt
Technical director: Igor Remeta
Production: Via Nova performances produced by Via Negativa and supported by Ministry of Culture of RS and the City of Ljubljana.
Venue and date: CCA, Centre for Contemporary Arts Glasgow, 15 March 2011, as a part of “This is Performance art – Europe” at the Live Art Festival New Territories Glasgow
Duration: 9 hours
Mary Brennan: Via Negativa*****
The Herald, 17 Mar 2011 Glasgow
Nine hours and nine separate performances, under the banner of This is Performance Art (Europe), and by all accounts, this foray into the creative realms of Via Negativa scarcely scratches the repertoire surface of this performing arts project based in Ljubljana.
It did, however, reveal the serious philosphical and aesthetic questions that are chewed over and (sometimes literally) spat out by the performers – often with a whimsical playfulness, but always with an underlying seriousness that finds them putting their own bodies, stamina, and egos on the line.
The work was divided into three chapters: thinking, presence and relation. The first, in the form of a symposium, ran a brilliantly clever and entertaining gauntlet between the academic dissection of “performance” and robust “live action” where lightness of touch, debunking humour and a relaxed attitude to nudity brought vivid artistic relevance to issues such as audience expectations, the role of art in a consumer society, the place of shame in the modern world and its stages.
These themes carried over into the subsequent works, mirroring core provocations from different angles. Invalid, a blisteringly powerful performance by Primoz Bezja, informed by his own medical history, saw him striving to dance despite limbs artificially truncated by bandages –a cogent image of individuals shackled by systemic restrictions.
Chapter Three, Money Blood and Love, included a recreation of Marina Abramovic’s Knife Game, played out by a Serb and a Croat, so that the spectre of an audience wanting blood twists in different ways depending on the political/geographical context. Pungent with confrontational insights and touched with humour, poetry and naked integrity, we need to see more of Via Negativa.