"Nobody is born as an artist. You can just die as an artist."
WHAT JOSEPH BEUYS TOLD ME WHILE I WAS LYING DEAD IN HIS LAP
Solo performance by Boris Kadin
On categorisations in art. Boris deals with categorizations in art in an extremely self-ironic way. “There are three basic categories of artists: those who have earned the theme they are dealing with; those who might earn it, and those who definitely have not earned their theme. In my view, the artist can only be worthy of the theme if he unconditionally takes it into himself and provides evidence of it with his own body. To confirm this thesis, I will need a knife tonight.” According to Boris Joseph Beuys is an artist beyond all categories. The only one able to talk about Beuys is “the dead rabbit” which at the opening of his first independent exhibition lay in his lap and listened to Joseph Beuys explanation of the work of Joseph Beuys.
Conceived and written by Boris Kadin and Bojan Jablanovec
Performer: Boris Kadin
Direction and video: Bojan Jablanovec
Voice: Joseph Beuys, Ja ja ja ja ja, nee nee nee nee nee
The mask: Sanela Milošević
Producer: Špela Trošt
Production: Via Negativa, 2009, with the support by Ministry of Culture of RS and the City of Ljubljana
Premiere: 26 June 2009, Performance Studies International, PSI 15 Conference, Zagreb
Duration: 40 min
From Fiction to Flesh
Arena, journal of the Mladi levi Festival, no.3, Ljubljana 27. August 2009, Alenka Perpar
(…) Boris Kadin’s declared performance, ‘What Joseph Beuys told me when I was lying dead in his lap’, serves a hefty portion of theoretical debate. Interestingly though, it does not turn an event into a typical event, for we could say, it kills what is fictional and thus rejects all excursions into the real. Except that this ‘rabbit’ fiction is the real. What a cataclysmic act this is, since the performer is not selling his own blood, or coaxing the spectator, or cutting himself, etc. Instead, he cuts up the rabbit. Destroys him. Kills the fiction. Which fiction? What is achieved by this? Is anything achieved? Fantastic action; rather than flesh it is fiction that gets killed. (…) The performer does not cut his own arm, he cuts a rabbit. The rabbit is no mere surrogate here; with the incision he becomes flesh. The event surrounding the rabbit is no longer fictional, the event becomes real. The real intrudes through the rabbit. Kadin avails himself of strategies which are not always clear, but have an impact that is no less direct. The success of the performance is precisely in that we are not made to fall for the typical differential resonating side where the symbolic logic allows us to attribute definitive meanings to everything. It is not about the subconscious or even the surreal. It is about how to turn fiction into flesh. What makes a performance? When does something become performance art and when is something merely a production? These are the questions cropping up with this performance, calling for a fresh appraisal and a reconsideration of the role of the most typical strategies used in performance art. (…)