SERBIA-UK: Danilo Prnjat and Ana Cavic

This dialogue ran from 22 November 2009 – 17 January 2010, after which the artists were invited to discuss ideas for new work. The dialogues have now ended, but you can see and engage with the development of the selected proposals here.

Danilo Prnjat

Danilo Prnjat

Ana Cavic

Ana Cavic

 

I eat dirt to be close to you

Drawings and thoughts from a proposed series of performances about eating flowers and throwing up.

Somewhere between compelling desire and complete disgust, eating flowers is  on the one hand a simple act that nevertheless describes more complicated ideas around desire, around our capacity to experience attractive and repulsive impulses simultaneously, mentally and physically. At once nauseating and fascinating, these performances (mis)use flowers in this way to display the self fulfilling failure and infinite beauty of the everyday.

I eat dirt to be close to you

I eat dirt to be close to you images

I eat dirt to be close to you images

Short prose about the idea for the performance, in Serbian.

Pojela sam svu svoju snagu i gladna sam skroz. Smisljam neki novi rad vezan za cvece, odnosno jesti sveze cvece (ali ono sa apetitom) i povracati istovremeno od silnog preteravanja, mozda kao Rimljani nekada. Kao zeleti nesto gledati gladnim ocima, nesto jako lepo i onda shvatiti da si ipak gladan u stvari i da zadnje sto si potrosijo na lepotu je prazno i razocarajuce. Kao sto sam kao mala jela zemlju i cvece svakako jer je bilo gorko i to mi je trebalo, jer sam ponekad mastala pobeci i ziveti u sumi kao divlje dete sa zivotinjama i najozbiljnije razmisljala da li prezivela od maslackovog mleka, ljubicica, detelina, trave i tako sam i zemlju jela.  Kao sto karanfili su najgore cvece za jesti, odvratni su i odmah ti se povraca od njih, i nos ti curi i suze liju, od muke. Kao sto sam probala i to nekoliko puta da se uverim da nije lepo, jer sam radoznala, i nije lepo nikako. Kao sto sam ponovo bila tuzna i ‘Besame Mucho’ sam slusala sasvim preglasno i sve ponovo, jedna po jedna glavica karanfila je stradala pod mojim zubima a pesma se bezkrajno ponavljala. Kao sto svaki cvet zahteva se jesti na poseban nacin; Lale se mogu gutati cele, Ruze se moraju pazljivo brstati, Narcis treba u malim kolicinama jesti, Ljiljan se moze lizati, karnfili se traze prezvakati. Kao sto se an poseban nacin ponovo probijaju neke emocije kroz mene kao cvece kroz zemlju, ponovo i ponovo, iz godine u godinu. Kao sto strvarno jesti korenje od Narcisa, koje u stvari lice na crni luk je strasno otrovno i pojedinci od slabog crca mogu umreti od toga, kao mala deca i starci, kao zaljubljeni mozda. Moram probati i to pa makar se trovala. Kao ta mala razlika gde se nalazi opet to cuveno slovo ‘o’ ipred trovanja (otrovanja), umesto ‘e’ usred prezivecu (prozivecu). Mislim da cu nazvati performans ‘I eat dirt to be close to you’, posveceno cvecu.

Proposal form

All our artists are invited to submit one or more proposals for new work, individually or collaboratively, by 1 April 2010. Please click here for the form:

iaa proposal form

Cuban proposal for project production

CUBAN PROJECT by DANILO PRNJAT

Text by Aneta Stojnić

It is always a bit delicate to write about the art project that is still a work in progress. However, in this particular case it is a rather exciting task as the artistic concept itself already opens the vast space for theoretical reflections and debates on different levels of interpretation.  “Cuban”, the new project by Danilo Prnjat will be realized through a real life action that shall be developed as a project within the art system. Methodologically, this isn’t a new approach for this artist whose work is often characterized by emancipatory practices that explore the possibilities of art to intervene in the real life, rather than just to interpret it.

The “Cuban” project will consist in the following:

In the first act of the project, the artist will help a pour Cuban citizen, unhappy with her/his current life, to immigrate to Serbia. For this person Prnjat will firstly provide a letter of invitation for the embassy (necessary for the Cuban to leave their country for Serbia), then the airplane ticket from Havana to Belgrade, accommodation in Belgrade rented for the following six months and some pocket-money to help her/him around until she/he settles. Secondly, the artist will assist the Cuban citizen to find a job in Belgrade and start an independent new life, leaving her/him the possibility either to stay in Belgrade or to go back to Cuba if she/he decides so. [1]

On the global level the “Cuban” project re-questions the position of a human life regulated by problematic mechanisms of power in the contemporary post-ideological world, with a focal point on the problems of immigration in terms of their economical and political factors. On the local level it questions the current position of Serbia as a post-communist country in transition that is currently confronting various new problems causing great social stratifications. We could argue that the artist is obtaining a somewhat problematic position of power by taking over the care for a certain (human) life, whereas life becomes the object of power (in Foucault’s terms). However, by obtaining this position in the context of bringing the immigrant from Cuba – a socialist country, into Serbia the post-socialist country in the state of primitive capitalism, Prnjat intends to show that in the contemporary post-ideological world mechanisms of repression are the same regardless the systems that employ them.

We could also argue that “playing” with the real person’s life in the purpose of art project can be regarded as ethically problematic act.  However, the fact that all parties are willingly taking part in this performance, as well as the fact that the project provides a (relatively) safe artistic environment, and the initial intention is to positively act in reality, may justify this position.

By performing the “Cuban” project in the system of art (and not for instance as a private arrangement between two people) the artist intends to suggest that the mechanisms of political and economical regulation and control of human life may be confronted by real intervention in alternative fields of human activities.


[1] Upon her/his arrival the Cuban will be given an amount of money that would cover the cost of airplane ticket back to Havana.

what do YOU want (really)

back to basics – (I) what do YOU want to say? (II) how is your desire going to inhabit the language (medium) you intend to use?

Moving Out

Danilo,

Moving in with the Russians… for a while. I hope you don’t mind.

I left the lights on and some delicious food, all over the place, in case you return, one of these days… I stole it all from Midas, I mean before he got his hands on it. A mean feat, let me tell you, but it was worth it! Though I lost some things along the way. Which brings me to the gold key, it’s under the gold Romeo and Juliet paperback, you know where, on the gold balcony. Of course, I had to climb, one last time. It will probably all be incredibly dull and covered in dust, by the time you ever read this, my last, thought crumb. Leave a note, on your way out…

Speak sometime soon.

x

Ana

iaa dialogue official end date 17 Jan. however…

some dialogues will continue

after midnight

Thank you!

Those of you who have expressed interest in communicating beyond today’s end date  can do so by either continuing the current dialogue, or by migrating to another ‘country’ and establishing a dialogue with a new artist/filmmaker. The IAA team will stay with you.

Thank you…everyone.

Love,

Ana

final

Dear Ana,

Thank you for this nice e mail for the end. Today is last day of our dialogue so I won’t make our discussion more complicated at the end. I’ll try to explain you just few technical things.

1. About my photo. That photo ISNT PHOTOSHOPPED. And I really don’t know why you and your friend Rene thought like that and cornering that accuse me for male chauvinist point of view etc. It’s my photo with my friend Ana, and really there is no reason for doing that. I understand that there are a lot of elements on that photo that make you believe that something there might be photoshopped, night club’s lights, her make ups, plastic surgery interventions at her face or whatever, but you are really wrong.

And, there is one more problem that I have with your pointing out that. Because, even if it is photoshopped, I really don’t see the problem with that fact at the way you do, because its digital information anyway. Of course, now I don’t want to enter in discussion about reality of (digital) photography today and all problems around that relation fakeness/reality which photography as a phenomenon (especially in the ages of digital information undoubtedly) open. (What is real in mediated reality?)

2. About my projects. As I already told you. My projects are direct intervention and not only critics from the distance of the phenomenon I’m dealing with. Ethically, I can much before see the problems in all other forms of art that are ‘political’ but performed in autonomous space of art than with it etc. And yes, some of the mechanisms I’m using could look problematic, but I think it’s because I’m using already existing mechanisms and act with them directly. Also, I want to say that these few projects of mine that you sow are just part of my praxis and they are presented by very short descriptions here because of the character of this communication. All of them have additional material, contextual descriptions and larger critical interpretations and I can present it to you sometimes.

So, for the end, I would like to say that I really like your final comment about territory, you and me.

Hug,

Danilo

Territory

It might be London and Belgrade? Having read more information about your work made me realise how heavily specific ‘Tempo’ and ‘Lily’ in particular are to your immediate and very localised reality in Belgrade, and in Serbia. Beyond site specificity, you seem to be targeting cultural, social and political particularities in a very very specific way.  It’s the ‘very very’ in your work the both fascinates me and the very part I have problems with. What I mean precisely is your over the top logic carried through to its logical conclusion in one after another action of aggressive ‘insertion’ or actual physical ‘penetration’ into society, culture and politics as represented by a ritual, media or institution.  

I find I can follow your logic and perhaps even agree with your motivations or empathise with your plight but up to a certain point beyond which I only find it frightening? Your ‘Wedding Project’ was problematical for me from the point of view of the actual people who’s wedding you were crashing and at the point you use their wedding to illustrate your view that weddings are a socially and culturally constructed ritual empty of real meaning and significance and devoid of ‘love’.  However, as I’ve said before, I could and still can empathise with your ‘outsider’ position and could find beauty and value in the pathos of your repeatedly setting yourself up for rejection in that way, in the flawed and failed logic of it, returning weekly to the same ritual knowing full well you’ll never be one of them. ‘Tempo’ and ‘Lilly’ are more activism than art to me. How do you see them? I’m still struggling with the very real ethical issues in these pieces and your positioning in relation to them. It seems to me that you’re attempting to criticise the system through the logic of participation which in my view puts into jeopardy the very critical distance you are trying to maintain in that you become a part of the system you are trying to disavow. In both ‘Tempo’ and ‘Lilly’ my concern is that you initial criticism of capitalism fuelled by Serbia’s nationalism (in ‘Tempo’) and Serbia’s social taboos in respect of gender roles and sexuality (in ‘Lilly’)  is in my view compromised by your disproportionate reaction by which I mean a type of activism that is tantamount to assault and terrorism? While I admire your over the top logic and ambitious resolve and have no doubts about the passion behind your actions, I’m deeply uncomfortable with your breaking into a shop and frightening the general public with bomb threats. Does the fact that men in Serbian society should be able to walk into a beauty shop like Lilly and not be discriminated against justify you organising what is effectively a 200 men strong rape? Why would you do that? You’re only reinforcing the very “patriarchal”, “male” behaviour you’re fighting against? The  moment you act out your carefully laid out plan in reality the“ “ are not there anymore. And it’s the same with ‘Tempo’. Your approach is somehow heavy handed, you know. And I know you probably expect me to say that, but I think I have a valid point here. For instance,  you would have to think a lot more carefully how you represent your work in the art realm after the fact of the act and develop a greater sensitivity in handing such ‘very very’ material in order to effectively implement it into a vehicle for consciousness and change and not end up alienating yourself and everyone else.

Maybe it’s about territory again? Maybe in Belgrade, Serbia your actions are not perceived as aggressive as they seem to me? Maybe I’m a product of my politically correct and socially and culturally sensible (if not sensitive) Western world view? Maybe something is lost in translation? Territory? Maybe this is why I see you as an angry young activist and you see me as a sexually charged fairy?

So at the end, I’ve come around to our talk at the beginning, around territory. Perhaps, as you suggested, I could do with marking some territory and can I suggest in return that you could perhaps become less territorial? For instance, I’m prepared to say that as much as your work seems to be about ‘penetration’ my work is about ‘seduction’ and I’m prepared to open up for discussion the sexual and seductive elements in my work which I am mostly reluctant to go into. Why? Why me? Why you? Fertile territories… way beyond Belgrade and London don’t you think?

Love,

Ana

You and I

Dear Danilo,

I have the impression that our dialogue throughout has been probematicised by one or another form of misunderstanding and misreading of one another and possibly of ourselves?  If that is possible? I mean I believe it may be for me, to misunderstand others and myself, sometimes perhaps too easily. And you?  Maybe?

Our photos. I was thinking about that back when photos were all we had, all we knew about one other, before we met. At first, it seemed like an insane thing to do. Put us together.  Me and you. Our photos had nothing at all in common, not even aesthetics as you pointed out. But that is something in itself, at least each of us has an aesthetic, and our photos say something about us. Still, I know what you mean.  A film still featuring a seriously moody female lead (character?) on a dramatically lit set at some illogical if not fantastical location  engaged (posing?) in an ordinary domestic activity (acting?) making what else, a Serbian coffee? And as if all these ingredients for an impossibly saturated narrative were not enough, the photo was taken by a photographer friend of mine in photo shoot style who I specifically asked. It’s all lights, camera, action! And then there’s my line about the poetic, about living and working in a caravan in London and coming over all authorial and authentic. And then there’s your photo. A flash paparazzi style night shot of a seductively and suggestively posing and pouting woman in front of a young man, in front of some shadowy figures, in front of a metal shutter, in some sort of underground nightclub in Belgrade. At first I assumed the woman standing in front you was real, that you perhaps paid the woman to pose with or for you, a socialite or celebrity of some sort? She was already like a sign standing in front of you, bolstering your profile or standing ‘up’ or standing ‘in’ for you? Larger than life really and more lively looking in a sort of orange Photoshopped way too? Hang on, something is not right here.  I had read your line about standing , and I would have argued not so much next  to but behind Serbia’s new social values, which at the time I took to be ironic. And the photo was amusing, the most amusing of all probably. But then the humour and irony turned into something more serious, sarcasm perhaps . I had about passed my initial outrage at you seemingly using a living breathing woman to illustrate  your point when suddenly and sadly, to my great relief and greater disappointment, I realised that your photo was a full frontal fake, in your face fraud, a total fabrication. How didn’t I see it before? At that point the real woman along with the real Danilo were gone. What was I dealing with here? If not a  chauvinist pig, a comedian, a faker? Was I wrong?

So what do I think, why are we different? I don’t know.

All I can say is that my photo was taken by Piper Mavis, an artist and photographer but also, more so, one of my closest friends. I couldn’t trust myself to anyone else. I was very uncomfortable about posing for this,  as Piper would tell you, and it took several attempted shoots to get to the point of even photographing me anywhere near the caravan which I consider my private space and ordinarily invite only my friends into. Probably frustrated by days of failed attempts she distracted me by playing on my annoyingly ingrained Serbian ‘I want to be a good and generous host’ side by asking to have a  Serbian coffee with me inside. Of course mortified that she even had to ask, I was making her a Serbian coffee at the time and hence my strange pose and that particular glare. Which is curious because I have never seen a photograph of myself with that stare.  I look like my mother when she was my age. And in fact I sent in to imagine art after as an archive photo and not the one I selected which shows me sitting, more comfortably perhaps, in front of my caravan and my favourite place. My photo is lit that way it is because I wanted green light in my life at the time. I do that sometimes.  I find green light calming and inspiring, it’s a highly personal thing. I sort of whatever the human version of hibernate is in green light. It probably comes from when I was very young, I believe, for the longest time I thought that blood was green.  I reasoned everything living was green, so why not blood? I tell you, eventually, it was traumatic to discover that blood is burgundy. So the green light is probably the most makebelieve element in my photo in that sense.

So now I’m wondering what’s behind your photo? I’m wondering are we the same? Or? Are we different behind our photos, behind our social and cultural masks in relation to our posts before? And if so, why haven’t we, like Romeo and Juliet, or Tybalt and Mercutio in fact, fallen in love and/or killed ourselves by now?

And all this is after our very first real conversation offline today where a lot was said and evidently, there’s a lot more left to say. Typically, on the final day.

Appropriately, at two in the morning and with a poet’s fascination for dialectical emotions, I’ll leave you with a ’till it be morrow’.

 Ana

two

Dear Ana,

Of course we are different, but as I already told, we live in one world. I was thinking now about two of us, our differences and how they are caused by culture or personal experiences…

So, what you think, why we are different?

I was looking in our two photos. Yours which is like one still from some European film, artistic, narrative, shadows, colors, composition… And mine, which is like from some Las Vegas night club, pale faces of drugs or drink, make ups, shines, sexual…

Is it London, is it Belgrade..or..?

Xx

Danilo

Like when Nabokov wrote “Again, I must have been wrong, twice.”

Danilo Danilo,

Sitting at the table in the caravan, I find a note from the other night that says *write to Danilo, and then a further *write to Danilo note from the other other night. Writing to you has become a twofold thing. A double vision of two of everything. Temper, temperamental poetry. And, two nights like these. When I’m so tired, I am already asleep. I’m not really here, typing. I’m not really here, typing. Wait. I typed that. Already. Like when I used to have waking dreams. Like when I used to eat dirt, I was walking in. Like when something was not anything again. Like when the most real thing I’d seen was one dream dreaming of another dream. Like when I wore out the night. The other. Night. Like. Tonight. Wore out. Me. Like the thought of falling over a thought of falling over.  Again, for the first time. For the first time, again. Like. What you’ve written. I like. What you’ve written. 

Night, night.

Ana

art/politics

Dear Ana,

Finally here I am. Sorry for not communicating several days, I was feeling very ill. Also at the moment I’m in kind of depression and during that phase I rather not to communicate with the people. I find I’m boring during that period.  And also thank you for continuing our dialogues here…

You said a lot of things in your long mail that was reaction on mine post ART IS POLITICS. So, I’ll start from that topic. Actually I’ve already told everything I think. Now I can just say that all examples that you gave, the one with Romeo and Juliet especially, in my opinion, just confirm my statement that everything is political. Even the way we love.

Well, you said that Romeo and Juliet met each other at the ball under the masks. And, I think it’s not by accident. They fall in love under the masks on a very social event – and it’s not something apolitical at all! Having a masks on their faces they weren’t Romeo and Juliet, they weren’t Capuletti and Montechi, they weren’t ‘social beings’, they weren’t from the families in conflict, they were, let’s say ‘freed’ from that. So, they fall in love freely. But social constructions were their barrier to love. And at the end by killing themselves, by killing one Romeo Capuletti and one Juliet Montechi (their social beings) they become ‘free’ again. They killed themselves because they were social beings, social constructions which was a barrier to their love. Maybe more explicit situation we have in Wagner’s Tristan and Isolda. At the end, when they had already drunk a poison, that was the strongest and the freest moment of their love. In the time between they had drunk a poison (by doing that they knew that they already killed themselves, their social beings, their constructions) and the moment of their dead – the moment before the poison started to influence them self, it’s the only moment they experienced free love. The moment of their freedom and happiness.

And I know, now you would say: “I agree with you, art is politics, everything is politics. But where does that leave me or you or Breda or any audience too, or Romeo and Juliet for that matter? There is a reason Romeo’s face was perfect to Juliet, even before he unmasked it and it fell into place.”

I think answer is clear: that political situation leave them to death!

2. About this: “And, I do want you to individualise your experiences, as you say. Otherwise, how can I relate to what you’re really saying to me in any real way? Other than intellectually, of course. Which is easy enough on the face of it although it’s one of the reasons, at least it is for me, that you have to ask “ I thought you met me better after all this dialogues” and I have to answer. No.”

Dear Ana, for me there is no differences between intellectual and personal. It’s the same thing for me. If I said something that for you can look too intellectual, it’s really my personal experience. I am thinking about my experiences and also some experiences are intellectual. Also, the medium of this communication is on words, by writing the posts, and it’s something conceptual by itself. That’s mean that we are transforming any other our experiences into words, on thoughts…

3. About this: “I’m not going to interpret your prior line “Dear Ana, there is only one world!” as a sarcastic provocation but as a genuine offer of continued friendship or whatever our version of that is here.”

Of course that it wasn’t sarcastic, it was suggestive.

Big HUG

Danilo

‘Live Press’

I’m out tonight making a ‘live press’ performance for the second time this week as one of the Ladies of the Press* (together with Renee O’Drobinak). This is another thing I do. One half of a performance and art publishing duo. We have a broad art publishing practice and one of our favourite activities is the ‘live press’, a term we use to describe making spontaneous magazines in situ at openings and live arts events . So I’ve have dashed home straight from work to pick up my equipment and post this in a whirlwind of pressing activity! I was (we were) working late last night. Tonight we’re at  a Fourth Door Review talk at The Gallery and earlier in the week we made a ‘live press’ publication at ‘Paper Jam’, an event held at The Gallery at Goldsmiths College of Art.  At some point that evening,  someone came to interview me at the very moment I was assembling the first finished publication of the night (‘Papered Jammed, Pressed <LIVE!>’ http://www.ladiesofthepress.org/livepress_pdf/pjpressed_readers.pdf) asking for a definition of a ‘live press’  … I ended up trying to convince them that there was some sort of contradictory but creatively charged relationship between performance and print, or so I (we) thought in any case.  A type of art publishing version of improvisation in music or ad hoc poetry readings or play rehearsals and so on, which is really contrary to the traditionally long processes of  publishing involving concept, research, editing, design, layout and finally print and assembly. I went on.  I (we) therefore thought it conceptually closer to, and potentially capable of, capturing ‘live’ art. And on. So that it’s not so much where the ‘live press’ work is located, but when? And right then, as I was wrapping up by saying that interrupting the performance by asking about the performance was type of archiving and contrary to the performance itself, in the mid sentence, for the first time in the three years of ‘live press’ing,  I found myself inhabiting the moment of the performance that was in progress all around me, without me. i found myself in the ‘pressing’ (to use a printing pun) moment. In moment of its own making at the place of its own making and in the impromptu and the performantive manner of its own making. Anyway, all this got me thinking about performance all over again. Performance and whatever the opposite of that might be? Archiving? And that was before the ‘What do ‘I’ want?’ post.  Which slightly paralysed me, mentally and emotionally. Which is what ‘wanting’ does to me normally, or not so normally, whatever the case may be? I can only say that ‘I want’, truthfully.  The ‘I’ and the ‘what’ of it all is more mis-leading and make-believing. I must must make a move but I’ll return, very soon. Speaking of which Danilo, come back! Left alone to my thoughts, I couldn’t decide between ‘Paris’ and ‘Tybalt’? What do ‘I’ want?

Lots of love,

xxx

Ana 

Latest images from the Ladies of the Press* ‘live press’ activities:

http://www.ladiesofthepress.org/livepress.html                 

http://www.facebook.com/ladiesofthepress

Ladies of the Press* website:

www.ladiesofthepress.org

What do ‘I’ want?

“All blueprints of what people should be like are at once denials of reality and attempts to create it anew. It is one of the peculiar characteristics of human wanting that it always involves being persuaded about what it is one should want. This persuasion, which takes many forms – from brainwashing to education, from seduction to conversation – is one way of describing the experience of growing up in any society.

The wanting without which human survival is impossible is symbolically organised; wanting is inextricable from what our societies tell us we should want. If our loves and hates, our likings and our curiosities, our passions and aversions ‘come under conceptual definition, manipulation and control’, then there is no natural state in which we can live, or to which we can return. Indeed, the whole notion of a natural state, or significant origin, is itself one of those culturally generated conceptual definitions.”

Whether in country of origin or in country of destination, one burning question seem to overlap – What is it that we really want? What do you really want your art or filmmaking to do?

d

dear ana, breda,

im a little bit ill and i have a temperature for few days. i’ll write you as soon as i can

best

danilo

O Danilo, Danilo…

I’ve either gone too far with the Romeo and Juliet thing, or not far enough?  

So, rather than pondering out loud what sort of performance artist Mercutio would make,  one of the thoughts occupying me tonight… Or which Romeo and Juliet character you’d be and why? I’m wondering , what is (pre)occupying you  tonight?

xxx

Ana

And, I forgot to say…

It’s nice to be back. :) Looking forward to speaking to you both again soon.

xx

Ana

January

Danilo and Breda,

I’m back. From France and in other ways. The light outside is fading so fast. I swear I sat down to write to you in better light, and that was how many hours ago? January really has two faces. (It’s named after Janus, isn’t it? Or did I imagine that?) Wait. It was. Or so it says out there, somewhere. On the internet. Another face. Anyway, it’s not important. I believe it, because I want to. “A rose is a rose is a rose.” I hate January. I have my customary January cold and have swapped day for night as a result, sleeping in the daytime and waking at odd hours in the night. I wasn’t aware of it until I checked my own timings and writings. Which I will now share. Aware, as I am that they probably have only an oblique relationship to the dialogue developing here in my absence. If only in the sense that this maybe an aerial shot in the dark “taken from an airplane with the camera directed horizontally or diagonally downward” –the definition of an oblique photograph— but I have to begin again somewhere.

I believe Gertrude Stein when she said that. And Juliet when she said “What’s in a name?” Juliet didn’t need a conceptual framework to feed her flame for Romeo but she had one anyway. The coordinates of her desire described the constellation of Romeo before they ever laid eyes on one another. Everyone knew this the moment the play opened, from the first line, in ACT I, SCENE I ‘Verona. A public place’. No one needed Shakespeare as the Prince as ‘Big Other’ to tell them that. I get it, Danilo, believe me I do. I get your analytical approach and I agree with you, art is politics, everything is politics. But where does that leave me or you or Breda or any audience too, or Romeo and Juliet for that matter? There is a reason Romeo’s face was perfect to Juliet, even before he unmasked it and it fell into place. And there is a reason Romeo could only navigate his fate through one after another act of bad timing while Juliet could steer hers and his beautifully throughout the play, from their first conversation at the masked ball when she convinces him to see her way her speeches are brilliant pieces of reasoning all the way to the very end when, through Romeo’s bad timing, she stabs herself. And there is a reason most of us can only remember Romeo and Juliet as the greatest love story ever told or “O Romeo, Romeo where for art thou Romeo?” Shakespeare was a great artist first and foremost. In my opinion this only makes what he had to say about the human condition and our capacity for love, for compassion, for hate and our relationship to authority and the law in Romeo and Juliet even more compelling. He even spelled it out at the very end of the play (again as the Prince as the ‘Big Other’) and so the greatest love story ever told is indisputably political and it’s remains so to the present day, to every public that sees it. But my point is that it’s not the Prince or his final word that we relate to, for all it’s virtue of truth and authority. I’m talking about Juliet’s dialogue in particular when I mention (irreducible) multiplicity and their ability to capture mutiple meanings artfully even though they are simultaneously the most politically minded, by your definition, of any character in the play and she successfully navigates all the ‘social relations involving authority of power’; her father, her mother, the priest, Paris and even Romeo. You misunderstand me, I’m not talking about closing down discussions when I talk about ‘multiplicities’. On the contrary, political differences like plays on words and ambiguous meanings in this particular instance are absolutely something I can relate to and engage with whenever possible. I try to do this like I tried to explain my position in relation to politics in my work by showing you how my work could be interpreted as political, but that I reserved the right for it to be ambiguously so. Or, in fact, the right for it not to be so if that is my (political) position. But as I’ve said previously, I’m not always successful . I think Shakespeare is. So all this to say that ambiguousness is not necessarily a bad thing in art or politics. It leaves room for the imagination and for negotiation and I can’t see how approaching the issue of politics in art in this way can be a bad thing. So I think you misunderstand me. Perhaps I’m misunderstanding you? When I mentioned socialism and capitalism in relation to last century and your interpretation of both your and my work, I did so because it seemed to me that you’d been pushing a Western – v- Other dichotomy throughout our dialogue up to that point in a similar (though I admit in a more contemporary context) way as the Capitalism – v- Socialism dichotomy to which I was only saying that this simplistic relation was not possible for the same reasons you then wrote about subsequently in your ART IS POLITICS. But since we’re here, what are the differences you perceive I’m annihilating and how am I doing that, precisely?

I hate January. Still. However, being asleep during the day and awake at night as you can see, lead me to amongst other things, read Romeo and Juliet and see another face to our debate. And so, I’m thinking, this two faced thing might be important in some way? I shouldn’t be so one faced. So, instead of saying categorically art is not politics in this post I’m prepared to say, politics is one face of art and call it instead ‘January’. January with its looking forward and back at once, with its sleepwalking and awakedreaming. Janus and Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet and the two of you have started my upsidedown and downsideup thinking. A constellation has formed, complete with it’s own black hole, namely, my night land (prob)ability to see another side to an argument, another face to a debate. I was going to write night life but land seems to have aptly slipped in there. Freud has permanently altered my thinking, I swear. But as I said before, he’s a great writer so I forgive him his imprinting, on me. So, aware of how I’m slipping, it stays. ‘Night Land’, a black hole in the constellation of my January nights where anything is possible. Lacan also. For I’ve always already missed it, like the objet petit a, I’m scared and afraid I will lose it though it’s something I’ll never have. “What’s in a name?” My black hole. A symptom of my January cold.

I really appreciate what you wrote about politics and art from your point of view. Your points of reference, including being a young man, are obviously new to me. I’m a product of my Western education so you’ve opened up some interesting topics. Thank you for that. I hope to be able to do the same for you. With regard to Yugoslavia, former socialism and present capitalism are one obvious reality that each of the now independent Yugoslav states face. What did you mean when you said “Can you really imagine total crash of one system?” That it’s impossible or that it’s so immense it’s too difficult to imagine? Can you explain? And most of all, I do want to know about you personal experience of capitalism, the ‘primitive-capitalistic’ and transitional period of Serbia you mention? And, I do want you to individualise your experiences, as you say. Otherwise, how can I relate to what you’re really saying to me in any real way? Other than intellectually, of course. Which is easy enough on the face of it although it’s one of the reasons, at least it is for me, that you have to ask “ I thought you met me better after all this dialogues” and I have to answer. No.

About your last paragraph. Again, I’m not sure where the misunderstanding arose but I’d like to clear it up. I simply mentioned the complications that might arise out of Breda, in particular, but anyone in general documenting and so mediating my performance. I meant that obviously in relation to it being posted here. At no time did I declare that my performance is about it being mediated, especially not above and beyond it being a ‘live’ performance. The live performance is the actual site, the place where it exists, for me. Having said that, the mediation is a part of the work at this point, as it appears, posted and discussed here, and that has its artistic and political implications. Which we can discuss if you want to. What I meant by my relationship with the camera is more general, meaning any performance artist’s relationship with the camera and person behind camera documenting them and with documentation of performance art in general. But we can discuss my specific relationship to which I admit I alluded to if you want to. As for “he can be she if you want”,  he cannot be she if I want, that is for sure. But that is a subject for another post from me, to follow. 

Finally, you didn’t humiliate me. As for provoking me, at the time, it seemed to me you were trying to provoke me with what I perceive to be your arrogant and/or ignorant statements about my performance Since then, I’ve ruled out at least one of those. I shouldn’t pick fights with giants. Though I’m no David and you’re no Goliath. But I do it anyway. Pick fights. If I think I’m provoked. It’s not something I can control. Most of the time. As you saw. Besides, I like being stupefied from time to time, preferably in a contaposto pose and with a loaded sling or whatever our version of that would be here? Anyway, I’m prepared to say I was wrong to reply to you as if provoked if you can prove I wasn’t? Either way, as the pose suggests, I’m ready. So, following your Friendly hug! I’m not going to interpret your prior line “Dear Ana, there is only one world!” as a sarcastic provocation but as a genuine offer of continued friendship or whatever our version of that is here. Unless you can prove otherwise. Though I still hope you can see how even that, both your statement and mine, can be taken either way. Ambiguity. Surely, there is room for both our worldviews somewhere in there, that is all I’ve been trying to say.

Good morning more than good night.

Best,

Ana

crisis of masculinity?

since it’s not possible for me to relate to any form of feminism that doesn’t include men, it’s probably best to fall back on Susan Faludi who talks about how we have changed fundamentally as global corporatism sweeps away institutions on which men felt some sense of belonging and replacing them with visual spectacles that they can only watch while constantly being bombarded by advertisements to buy consumer goods to fill the void. Loss of economic authority, devaluation of loyalty, their fathers’ silence and the elevation of the ornamental as the standard of personal worth…no simple enemy is responsible.

Faludi, offers hope in a conclusion that men and women have an opportunity to move beyond an adversarial relationship to create change together, to create a new paradigm for human progress that will open doors for both sexes as they fight the dilemma of mutually being powerless in a modern, corporate-dominated society.

strategy/ concept of masculinity-d

Dear Breda,

About Lilly Project. I was one of a finalist for Mangelos- The Best Young Visual Artist Award and I got a production of this project. Total amount that was paid to the agency for the statists was about 1500e.

I document my performances mostly secretly because I don’t want to have another insider with cameras there and I don’t want to be obvious that whole action is arranged and planned. Most of my performance documentation is in technically not so perfect shape, but that’s something that is not so important to me, and that’s because of the nature of the projects.

About strategy. I don’t use a gallery space as a place of realization of my projects, but only as a place for presentation of it. I found public space (and of course its topic by itself what does this term mean today), media space is much more democratic space for art than any autonomous space of art institutions etc. Its because one can touch much more people by it, involve them in one’s work, one’s activity and change some social thing directly. But also, presenting such a project as art means present it as cultural activity, as emancipator social practice. And, yes, using the space of institutions means dealing inside of system of power, and that can be just one more layer.

About crisis of masculinity. Can you say a little bit more about it. What is crisis of masculinity for you? When someone say ‘crisis of masculinity, one usually mean some patriarchal and traditional concept of masculinitynand its crises. I don’t believe in concepts like ‘identity crises’ etc. I think identity is something complexive and it’s always changeable. Also it’s depend of many things. Probably it’s not the same concept here in Serbia and there in London, for example.etc. etc.

Also, is it feminist point of view connecting concept of masculinity with financial sector?

Best,

Danilo

BLUE moon, New Ear

Hazem and all at IAA:

Cambridge BLUE moon, turning the last  pages of the 2009!

Issam Kourbaj

Issam Kourbaj

Issam Kourbaj

Issam Kourbaj

Wishing you many inspiring days in the coming year, and a very Happy New Ear (as my son. profoundly,  used to say!)

Issam

Russian Salad!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Throwing a handful of Russian salad over the net to you!

Taus Makhacheva

Let Us all end up face down in our own Russian salad tonight!

Happy new year/weaving/webs/net

IMG_1839IMG_1840IMG_1847IMG_1849IMG_1851IMG_1841

When you feel everything is somehow connected and we are all joining a big net
life takes another meaning. This project is a big net that is full of significance also.
I love being part of this, and it is nice to read and get to know others process and thoughts.

I Wish you all a wonderful new year; truly great, full of adventures, joy, neverending curiosity for things to come, creativity, love and inner peace!

best wishes from Colombia

Adriana

Happy New Year 2010 !

Best wishes for the coming new year !

Andro

Andro Semeiko

Transmitter_BASE2F, by Yu-Chen Wang and Andro Semeiko, 2009

global crisis of masculinity?

What do you think? Is it possible that it’s bigger then the current financial crisis?

Guerrilla art

according to your description of the Lilly project, it seems that you had to pay 200 men to perform your guerrilla action!? How much? Where did the funding come from? How do you document your actions/work? (For example, I am more interested in what was happening inside the salon then in onlookers outside the salon.) Is it at all important for you to show this kind of work within a gallery context? If yes, what’s the strategy?

Danilo Prnjat_TEMPO PROJECT

TEMPO PROJECT

Description:

In Serbia the first half of year 2008 was marked with continuous tensions in media domain induced by announcement and recognition of independence of Kosovo. As Slovenia was the chairman of Europe Union, and was during the creation of this project positively disposed towards future independence of the province, great number of “Merkator” supermarkets, which are owned by Slovenians, were targets of anonymous bomb tip-offs and attacks.

Concerning complex (partly quoted) circumstances these ways of radical, anti-capitalistic behavior in public, commissioned via media were observed exclusively in context of narrow national and political interests and were allotted to some of the nationalistic organizations in the country.

My project considered false tip-off of a bomb set up in one object of supermarkets owned by Serbian investor (“Tempo”) and by it, created media manipulation changed public reception context of all previous tip-offs/ attacks.

Namely, right after the realization of the project (08.02.2008.), in a period from 17th of February to 8th of May there had been 114 false tip-offs of bomb set-ups in Belgrade[1] addressed to key state-ideological institutions of our society (schools, hospitals, courts,…). Therewith, we can assume that the project contributed to subversion of critical public focus from foreign affairs determination of a problem to ideological aspect of national policy. In other words, the goal of the project was to demonstrate that the central problem that country was facing with – issue of Kosovo – was actually a problem (of nationalism) completely determined by inner politics of our own,[2] and not the matter of foreign politics in which the public of Serbia was encouraged to believe through media mechanism.

Connecting supermarket as capitalistic formation and the importance of Kosovo updated as an issue of the greatest national interest, this performance actually propound a question of meaning of  nationalism and its purely material determination in our country. (Written by the author)

Express_subota, 9.februar 2008.Tempo Project 1-za mail


[1] Statistic taken from: http://www.politika.co.yu/rubrike/Hronika/Sluzbenica-suda-slala-dojave-o-laznim-bombama-u-Palati-pravde.lt.html , 10th of April 2008, 21:23h.

[2] Supermarket “Tempo” was used only as a synonym for  “domestic capitalist”.

Danilo Prnjat_LILLY PROJECT, performance

LILLY PROJECT

Description:

Dominant principles of establishment, when it comes to public space in our environment, represent the space mostly scheduled for specific gender only. Starting with separated public toilet premises to betting places, large beauty shops and saloons…

Entering post socialistic era and losing of formed national identity have brought comeback of traditional values of patriarchal system in which all relationships are placed in special hierarchy. That state is additionally enhanced by arrival of large corporate systems (capitalism) which logic of permanent market expansion erased this hierarchy to some extent but contributed its additional alienation.

Lilly Project represents an action in which at one point 200 man performed unannounced guerilla invasion into the largest beauty shop in Belgrade- Lilly. This literal and not metaphoric performance of “patriarchal”, “male” behavior- which is based on assumption that He has the right to occupy any space or person by all means, with or without permission (standpoint that is mostly unique to individuals raised as man)- exists as an example of pure form of protest by which the distance that suspends normal, utilitarian and social process is marked.

On the other hand, the fact that performers of the action agreed to participate in project on condition to be paid – carrying out of particular behavior that in our surrounding can be seen as sexually “wrong”- indicates exclusively material determination of acceptable behavior limits and mechanism to determine some of the most vital human identity aspects (such as sexual) in capitalistic society.

Concerning 200 individuals entering one object, who are impossible to be covered by number of employees, this performance instantly led to system halt, its instant collapse- but not in purpose to offer anarchistic alternative to it, but in order to drastically formally remark its flaws.

Danilo Prnjat_last projects

Dear Breda,

we already discuss about Wedding Project I’m doing now. You can see photos and discussion about it bellow. Here I’m going to attach some short info about few last projects of mine. So, you and Ana can tell me how it looks to you.

Best,

Danilo

I better come clean

the now much talked about Baku dress – I helped Ana with the ‘what do I wear’ and ‘how do I look’ stuff. Exhausted from the negotiation with the biennial people, she was ready to wear a pair of nondescript comfortable leggings and a tee-shirt. Why did I do this? because there is something wonderful about female action when charged with ambiguity (and let’s not forget – Ana was in charge of the action, not looking lovely while reacting on someone else’s action). and, because art is an intellectual, emotional and a physical experience (cannot help but repeat myself). and, because all good art communicates a permanent state contradictions…

Danilo, when are we going to see some images of where you are, what are you looking at, and possibly talk about something that you are doing at the moment?

ART IS POLITICS

Ana,

I’m going to pass through your comments:

1. You said:

“Are you a politician or an artist? I think you can’t be both. Being a politicized artist is one thing but I can’t agree with art taking politics as it’s totality and it’s raison d’être. I never could. Maybe you can change me? As for artistic politicians, wasn’t that Hitler? For me, art simply cannot take political aspects of life as it’s inspiration, it’s material and it’s conceptual support all at once. And this is all I’m reading from you in relation to your or my art.“

-Ana, art is politics! Being artist is being a politician (but of course not in a sense of political parties). Art is something that is public, artist is one who is entering in public space, who intervenes on others. One who communicate. And it’s not something new in art, art was always like that. If you put one painting on the wall, why it’s on the wall, why it’s flat, why it’s on the same height as our eyes…? Because art is communication, its aim is to attract you, to touch you… When you put one artwork in front of the others you are communicating with them, you intervene in public space, you exhibit that artwork in public space (galleries, museums, streets…) And that’s is so political! And that’s why I think that art should be criticized (at the same way we are criticizing the politicians for example) and that artists have to be responsible and aware of their social influence. And not only that. How we are looking, how we are dressed, how we are eating, kissing each other, how we love each other.. it’s all politics. And art by itself is entering in public space, it’s something communicational and that’s why it is much more politics than all these things.

Politics is a process by which groups of people make decisions. The term is generally applied to behavior within civil governments, but politics has been observed in all human group interactions, including corporate, academic and religious institutions. It consists of “social relations involving authority or power“ and refers to the regulation of a political unit, and to the methods and tactics used to formulate and apply policy. The word “Politics” comes from the Greek word πολἰς (“polis“) meaning city-state. The Greek word πολίτἰκος “Politikos” describes anything concerning the state or city affairs. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics)

PS.Hitler is not an artist.

2. You said:

„Maybe, early in the last century, in art and in film for instance (Eissenstein, Vertov, Medvedkin etc.) when socialism and capitalism were evolving  out of their respective revolutions  into a sort of a forced opposition this may have been a reality but I think it’s certainly is not possible at present. Not possible to maintain this position critically when the situation is so much more ‘dissolved’ and multiplicitous, politically and artistically.“

-I would really like to ask you to explain me, Why it’s not possible at present to think about this relation? Just saying that today we are living in a world which is much more ’dissolved’ and with ’multiplicities’ is something that actually open this discussion, not close it. Look. If we are REALLY live in multiplicity world then we should accept all this different opinions, political systems and let them to make our positions better. But not thinking like this “ok there is a lot of multiplicities in world, but today it’s not important (why it’s not important, is it because only liberal capitalism is total value?)”. And that’s something that I felt from your observation. I don’t want to be so strict, but it’s sound to me like one typical western position which annihilate all other real ‘differences’.

In today world there are lot of different systems that can be comparable and strong opposition to the liberal capitalism, like many socialisms, Cuba, China, South America, Balkan, Middle East… West invented post modernistic parole ‘everything goes’ just to annihilate and totalize all other, to put it all under itself, but not to accept them as different (because it can be danger for liberal capitalism of course).

3. You said:

“Yes, the ‘freedom’ you describe was present under the former Yugoslavia was there but take a look around you at the disappointed people of our parent’s generation, still unable to adapt to the rampart capitalism infecting what is left of the federation of Yugoslavian states, Serbia perhaps more so than others. There is a generation of hard working, well educated but unemployable people who have been let down by the Yugoslavian system and having been spoon fed all their lives by the state have no real tools with which to survive let alone thrive like the criminals and young opportunistic capitalists that are ‘Serbia’s new social values’ standing by your side. They’re(the real Yugoslavs) getting on with it why can’t you? You come across as such a Romantic, as one of the spoilt intellectuals of the century before last. (…)When you generalise about of the plight of the poor young alienated male (and it is a distinctly male point of view that comes through) in modern society I’m not sure if you’re talking about your personal circumstances or something you read in a census or a compendium of modern philosophy or the ‘political art’ chapter in art history? Are they your real experiences?

Dear Ana, the period you are talking about are 1990’s in former Yugoslav countries, not former socialistic Yugoslavia or present state of ‘capitalistic’ Serbia. And period in ‘Yugoslavia’ during 1990’s was determinate by total crash of socialism (and it’s not only that that system was felt down by itself, also capitalism is the one which stroke down socialism, but it’s another topic). Can you really imagine total crash of one system?

So, yes, I’m the one who was in ‘Yugoslavia’ during that period, I felt all these crises in every sense, and I’m not a Romantic, at all (I thought you met me better after all this dialogues :)). There are a lot of my personal experiences of course, but I think it’s not topic here, and also I don’t want to individualize these experiences by talking about them.

Also, the period I was talking about is much more contemporary and much more ‘primitive-capitalistic’ and transitional period of Serbia. And that’s mine experience of capitalism. That’s something what I compare with socialism, and I still stay behind that.

PS. What is a distinctly male point of view in an example of ‘poor young guy’ I didn’t understand?  Is it the fact that he is a male or what…? He can be she if you want. There are no differences.

4. About your performance in Baku.

Dear Ana, I’m really sorry if I make you angry or humiliate you at any way. I really didn’t want to provoke you, or to make a pressure at you to speak about your project. At the beginning of our communication we already discuss about some, I would say, much more essential topics about you project. Question of territory you are dealing with and so on. Now, when you post new pictures of the same performance that you did in Baku, I understand that you are expecting some additional comment. And also, gender element I mention is just one aspect that I realized now while I was looking at your photos from that performance.

So, Ana, I repeat. I didn’t want to speak general or to generalize your performance as gender related project. And I think that it’s just one aspect of it. Maybe the one you absolutely didn’t think about, you don’t like…or maybe it’s my projection as a men. However. I don’t like to individualize it, but I’ll do it now because we don’t have enough information about it.

Also, when you say that my way of looking at it is distinctly male and that I ‘haven’t seen’ all other women in that room, its completely misunderstanding. First of all, you are the one who mention the Prime Minister (so, you accent him from the audience, not me). And the other thing I had in front of myself only the photos you post here.

But the most important thing is this. I said that project might be gender related not because in audience is Minister or something, not because of (male) audience, but because of you who are women! You are a nice blond girl that is ‘flying’ through room in small soft dress. And, according to some feminist theoreticians, this kind of women representation is image of women how She wanted to be is seen by Men’s eyes. I propose you are aware of that. And I repeat again, it might be just one aspect of whole project.

Now you said a lot of new information about your project. You said that the video camera was very important for you, that you perform it “mostly because of Breda” who was filming it etc… Of course that’s now opens a lot of new relations. Questions about Breda, what was her role there, is she there as a curator figure, or artist figure, of friend figure, or lover figure.. Also question of media is very political, because you were annihilating real performance, real surrounding and context of the performance and you were focused on recording, on a relation between you and camera.. Does it mean that you are not believe in reality as such but in mediated reality..? And if it’s true, how it’s related to the Azerbaijan social reality (I would say that it is?)… Of course, I’m not claiming anything those are just possible questions, which of course you don’t need to answer…

And at the end about this: „You could be right about everything! You are in your own world as I am in mine. Right about everything.“

Dear Ana, there is only one world!

Friendly hug!

Danilo

Thinking about kindness too…

Dear Danilo & Breda,

As far as I can tell from the passages provided here ‘Modern Kindness’ seems to be about an act of kindness complicated by modernity  or modern reality.  This makes the definition and act of ‘kindness’ even more interesting because it suggests that in every moment of our present reality we are potentially faced with our individual acts and with our hopes in spite of value systems of any ideologies that may otherwise be our social or political reality.

The one line that got me is:

That it is kindness, fundamentally, that makes life seem worth living; and that everything that is against kindness is an assault on our hope.’

Hope. That we will know pleasure and intimacy and be capable of including ourselves in others? And that we will be able to do this instinctively? It gets complicated here. Instinct. For instance, my instinctive and very immediate response to Danilo’s most recent posts included every one of the listed Modern Unkindness’s; a sense of moral superiority, an impulse for domineering beneficence and finally the raising of a protective wall of good feelings and positive thoughts. My instinct soon took me somewhere else but in the interest of kindness here is the whole story…

Danilo,

Are you a politician or an artist? I think you can’t be both. Being a politicized artist is one thing but I can’t agree with art taking politics as it’s totality and it’s raison d’être. I never could. Maybe you can change me? As for artistic politicians, wasn’t that Hitler? For me, art simply cannot take political aspects of life as it’s inspiration, it’s material and it’s conceptual support all at once. And this is all I’m reading from you in relation to your or my art. Maybe, early in the last century, in art and in film for instance (Eissenstein, Vertov, Medvedkin etc.) when socialism and capitalism were evolving  out of their respective revolutions  into a sort of a forced opposition this may have been a reality but I think it’s certainly is not possible at present. Not possible to maintain this position critically when the situation is so much more ‘dissolved’ and multiplicitous, politically and artistically. Yes, the ‘freedom’ you describe was present under the former Yugoslavia was there but take a look around you at the disappointed people of our parent’s generation, still unable to adapt to the rampart capitalism infecting what is left of the federation of Yugoslavian states, Serbia perhaps more so than others. There is a generation of hard working, well educated but unemployable people who have been let down by the Yugoslavian system and having been spoon fed all their lives by the state have no real tools with which to survive let alone thrive like the criminals and young opportunistic capitalists that are ‘Serbia’s new social values’ standing by your side. They’re(the real Yugoslavs) getting on with it why can’t you? You come across as such a Romantic, as one of the spoilt intellectuals of the century before last. When you generalise about of the plight of the poor young alienated male (and it is a distinctly male point of view that comes through) in modern society I’m not sure if you’re talking about your personal circumstances or something you read in a census or a compendium of modern philosophy or the ‘political art’ chapter in art history? Are they your real experiences? They are mine, all of them even the part where I’m an administrator by day to support myself, my family and my art. All apart from being male. Which brings me to the other problem I have with your point of view, literally, can you not see the other women in the performance stills? Really? Wait I’m not finished here. It’s obvious from our conversations that overtly political art is not something I can relate to as easily as you. It doesn’t mean that I am not politically conscious in terms of my own art practice or that there aren’t artists who I feel navigate political issues astutely and elegantly (Alighero E Boetti, Ana Mandieta, Thomas Hirschhorn, Felix Gonzalez-Torres etc.) Thought having said that, these artists like the above directors, like the New Wave (Godard etc.) after them also investigated the guts out of their respective media whilst making debilitating political commentary. This is something I can relate to. More. Conceptual rigor and medium specificity within art. And even when I can’t produce it myself all of the time I hope to. It’s the reason I can access their political views even if they are offensive or contrary to my own and not be alienated by them from the very outset. Which brings me back to the where I cut myself off earlier. Apart from obvious problems of displaying performance stills outside of the performance itself a reading of which is complicated further by a blog entry rather than art blurb about the performance itself and things lost in translation, you are way out of line with your comments about it.   As I’ve said. Art is not politics. So of course I’m in opposition towards the place and the audience, visually as you pointed out and in every other way. For me that is the place of art. But that is a separate argument and a personal aesthetic and  psychological preference. On the surface, if I try really hard, yes I can see why “does she have any underwear on?” might be relevant thing to spring to your mind. But it’s like me saying, Danilo’s work in sexual because he’s licking the window and the performance is called ‘Perfect Lover’. I am  someone’s secretary and so are the women around me. It’s authentic, another aspect of art I can really relate to. I could have gone along those lines, the female staff sticking it to the Minister, immaterial laborers of the world unite! I could have not worn the dress that got you and incidentally the Minister talking and alienated the women around me, who incidentally during the course of our working together, sharing stories, learning the others’ languages, specifically asked if I had a special costume I performed in and having appraised it really wanted me to wear my dress. At this point, to avoid further misunderstanding, I have to qualify what I mean by ‘alienated the women around me’: socially, culturally, economically and politically by forcing my own political view onto their theirs which I would never do and which I detest.  Instead, I was performing for or rather ‘with’ the women certainly before and perhaps more so than for anyone else present. Why? To affect our reality for a few minutes, for ten minutes or so, where some sort art transformed or transfigured our perceptions of reality. By our I mean the women present (participants), the meandering art audience, the Minister and his aide, the gathered elite, Breda who was documenting the performance and myself. Perhaps I should post a paragraph about my initial aims and the actual affects of the performance for us to talk about? Perhaps I should perform for you too? Anyway, there were many powerful figures in the room that day and I think picking on the Minister is too easy a thing to do. Me, for instance? And if anything, the problematics of my performance really arise around my relationship with the camera, the perennial problem. And perhaps with the person behind the camera, Breda, who if I’m brutally honest, I was absolutely performing for and trying to impress. Probably, because of something like acts of Modern Kindness between us, but that is another topic altogether for another post perhaps.

Basically, it got everyone including the Minister to a place they would not have come to otherwise, to see something (and I don’t mean me) they weren’t expecting and that got everyone feeling, thinking and talking. About what? Art, hopefully. And  politics, as far as actual quantifiable values, the real impact of the performance might be that I and the women (and they were all women, from the two directors of Shirvanshahs’ palace to the wonderful girl I met, Jala, who was an interning at the time and was my interpreter for everyone including the minister) who made the performance happen at the Shirvanshahs’ palace contributed to the likelihood of there being another contemporary art biennale happening in Baku and to the possibility that a UNESCO protected building might continue to be allowed to be used as a place for contemporary art.  But again, if asked, Breda and Jala are the reasons I’d return to Baku again.

So that’s the story. But then my instinct took me somewhere with a lot more potential…

You could be right about everything! You are in your own world as I am in mine. Right about everything. So it leaves me with The Stones:

 

“You can’t always get what you want,

But if you try sometimes you just might find,

You get what you need.”

 Is that kindness?

Best,

Ana

I’m away tonight but I will be around tomorrow. Let’s talk some more.

MODERN kindness

“…can never be the pleasures of moral superiority, or domineering beneficence, or protection racket of good feelings. Nor are acts of kindness to be seen as acts of will, or effort, or moral resolution. Kindness comes from what Freud called ‘after-education’, that is, a revived awareness of something already felt and known. And this after-education entails the recognition of kindness as a continual temptation in everyday life that we resist. Not a temptation to sacrifice ourselves, but to include ourselves in others. Not a temptation to renounce or ignore the aggressive aspects of ourselves, but to see kindness as being solidarity with human need, and with the very paradoxical sense of powerlessness and power that human need induces. Acts of kindness involve us in different kinds of conversations suggesting that we may be more interested in them, may in fact want much more from them, than we let ourselves know.” from On Kindness, by Adam Phillips & Brabara Taylor, Penguin Group, 2009

thinking about money – d

Breda, thank you for mentioning question of money. Of course, it’s always question of money that is connected with the value system at any kind.  My understanding of value is (in opposition to Breda’s?) materialistic one. I think that any kind of value system, any cultural or moral (’kindness“) value have some capitalist interest in the back. Even the systems which seems completely in opposition toward that, like nationalism (which means completely control (of capital) on some territory which is determinate by national borders) or some kind of communism (where whole country is privatized by party elites who ’represent people’) etc. It’s just question who is going to earn, and whose position is important to stay on the same place. It’s question of interest and question of money.

But, of course this logic can be used at any cultural phenomenon. I would really like to think about what can be MODERN KINDNESS today, and is it possible to exist today without any ideology from the back, any exclusion of others, any exploitation etc. What is going to be Kindness and who can define that?

PS. No Santa for me, not yesterday, not in January! L

Best,

Danilo

finally!!!

finally a genuine dialogue moment!

catching us-d

Dear Ana,

I cant be free for communication this weekend because I have a visitor at my place, but from Monday I’m free… Maybe if you are free at some time in Monday, or Tuesday before you leave? Also I’ll be free during the holidays all the time, so you can contact me at any time you find a spare time…

I was looking at yours photos from Baku performance. You look like some little girl that is buzzing, flying through room, through space… Of course, dominant aspect is that you are ’flying’ through some administrational office or something.. (and thats why I still think that you are dealing with the system of power actually, especially when you mention that you performed that in front of Minister for a few minutes). And that was very interesting to me, that gender element I would say. You, little girl in soft dress are climbing through the room (office) in front of one macho male dominant and ‘powerful’ figure. Are you ‘his secretary’, can he/audience look under your dress, did you have underwear…? These questions are very important I would say. Of course I don’t have enough information, but I would say that this element is pretty strong in that performance in which you are so thin, so soft and light, almost unreal (phantasm) in that place. And its in so strong opposition toward the place and toward the audience.

Best,

Danilo

Totem and taboos 2

Dear Ana,

First of all, sorry for my some delay with the answering these days. When I came back in Belgrade, there are so many things around to do, and also I had to finalize one very important project of mine, because deadline is end of this year. Also, you opened some very interesting topics and I didn’t want to jump over that…

About individual/collective. There is one thing that is, in my opinion very important when we are comparing socialism and liberal capitalism toward this relation.  Is socialism, Party was everything, it was kind of global god that is in every human being, everything, every social or ‘not social’ phenomenon. But, I think that people were actually much more free then they are in liberal capitalism. For example, in former Yugoslavia, when one person for example would finished his/her studies (which he, of course, didn’t pay), Government immediately found the job for that person (there was no unemployment in socialism), gave that person a flat for free, gave him a health insurance, schools for his children for free and so on. That person maybe lived in system that is under totalitarian Party, but as individual was free to live how he/she wants. He/she was just free from this system things, he hadn’t need to think about renting the flat, health protection, job… he really can be focused on his private INDIVIDUAL life. At least, much more then in liberal capitalism today. Today, when one finished his studies (for which, by the way he/his parents paid so much money, and which are, by the way unaffordable to everybody), then he find himself at labor market.. Usually spend few years without jobs, or changing it all the time, passing through very stressful period.. and when that person finally found fixed job, then he take a credit for the flat, for example. And that is the place where his slavery starts. His bosses can do whatever they want with him, poor guy cant say anything… He have to endure all possible humiliating and so on, because if he would say anything, he can be fired, make redundant,  and then all his world would be crashed. He will lose his flat, his family, his insurances, health… everything. And, in my opinion its just a different kind of slavery what we actually have in capitalism.  What I wanted to say is that in capitalism system just privatized your individual much more then in socialism (in socialism your social being, social consciousness was privatized by the system, but not your individuality as such). In liberal capitalism, your individuality is something for exploitation also. Capitalism (post-fordism) developed immaterial labors, communicational jobs, ‘not-productive work’… Just look how large are lists of that new jobs like PRs, creative directors, managers, people who are actually working 24h a day, cos between their private life and working hours there is no strict lines…

Of course, there is no strict border between individual and collective, are we living in more individualized society or more with a collective consciousness…  The main question is to figure out the balance between these two, to find the best possible relation that might be good for everybody, not only us, and not only for one society.

Best,

Danilo

thinking about money

When Ana & Danilo talk about value systems, I’m thinking about MONEY – the fact that whenever money becomes a basic value all other values seem to disappear; and about the pleasures of MODERN KINDNESS as described by Adam Phillips – ‘…we still desire it, in some way knowing that kindness – the unromantic kindness, which encourages a feeling of aliveness as compatible with, indeed integral to, a feeling of vulnerability – creates the kind of intimacy, the kind of involvement with other people, we both fear and crave. That it is kindness, fundamentally, that makes life seem worth living; and that everything that is against kindness is an assault on our hope.’

Ana, Danilo, did your Santa visit yesterday or is he coming in January?

Bruises

for Baku

I’m still bruised (watching them fade) from the performance and from spending the past week pining after Baku. I can’t take me anywhere without tears and some sort of silent tantrum these days. But it, was w o n d e r f u l, all of it. The performance worked like a charm, though I ended up performing once on the opening night of the Biennale for the Baku elite, the organisers and the Minister of Culture and his aides, all twenty or so of them? I thought I saw a small girl watching also at one point? Can’t rely on performance memory… It wasn’t my intention to be so exclusive but it was like being in the former Yugoslavia again, leftovers of socialism and soviet mentality regimenting everything and everyone into their set place and set time: “The Minister will be here to watch you perform in five minutes.” I tried to organise performing it again for everyone but the ‘iron’ tape got in the way and several days later it was somehow already too late. But rumours about the performance spread and I felt fantastic for having pulled it off and the parts that were above and beyond my control were pure performance magic and the reason I perform at all. I met three very special people there, Taus, Francisco and Miha (if you’re reading this, I miss you!) and managed on the very edge of myself to stay on the right side of sanity for the seven days and not let the spell of Baku overwhelm me, at least not completely. I lost a part of myself in Baku, I mean not counting the literal stuff; my bank card (false alarm), my Alice in Wonderland earnings in Miha’s room, my scarf at an artist’s studio and one morning the entire complement of breakfast staff made a spectacular unwitting performance raising tablecloths and brushing upholstery and prodding carpets when I lost my tiny silver seahorse and so on and so forth. I lost something every day. I even lost my guard, in the strange and comforting solidarity of my newly found friends’ company. And then it was over, as clumsily as only life could possibly be. So I’m left with the things that I gained; three friends for life, a pseudonym, ‘Madame Boucheron’ on account of wearing ripped out catalogue pages featuring outrageous chandelier necklaces and matching earrings and so forth; a suspended moment in time where according to my conspirator ‘Monsieur Piaget’s’ giant catalogue page wristwatch it will always be 10 past 10; a part of myself; and of course these bruises.

A day in the life of…

Sheets, white light, white of the eye, winter sun, snow, white coffee, sugar cubes, white stones, white oak, white rose, white dahlia, fog, frost, mountain peaks, white walls, white curtains, white tiles, Snowy Owl, doves (white pigeons), white geese,  swans, white peacocks, great white egret, white feathers, white tea, small white (butterfly), white socks, white underwear, white gloves, white lace, white hair, white witch, white magic, white bow,  white blood cells, bones, white casket, white opal, white diamond, white marble, porcelain, White Button (band), Great Day for White Wedding (song title), The White Album (The Beatles), White Sea,  white cliff, surf, white leather sofa, tea lights, fridge,  milk, flour, egg white, white meat, mayonnaise, white bread, white beans, white onion, meringue, white wine, winter moon, clouds, lightening, steam, white towel, white mattress, vanilla ice cream, dandelion milk, baby’s breath, Snow White,  white dwarf, white half of chess board, white half of zebra and a Unicorn.

Catching us

Dear Danilo,

I’ll be writing more these days as I’m back from Baku and finally off of work and so have some time to really devote to our dialogue. I haven’t heard from you in a while though I’d like to so I thought I’d try to catch you (and me) before the year ends and I leave for Paris for a week this Tuesday. I was thinking, if you’re available this weekend, would you be interested in meeting up and talking with me online? We can email or instant message on msn or skype? Let me know what you think…

Best wishes and all, keep warm!

X

Ana

Totem and Taboo

I admit it. I read Freud because he is a wonderful writer. Although I’m familiar with all of his major works and like everyone else on the planet am conscious of the total pervasiveness of Freudian psychology in terms of its irrefutable and irrevocable impact upon modern day psyche and I admit I’m a Freudian most of the time I still seriously do not know whether he is as wonderful psychoanalyst as he is a storyteller. I must believe in the cult of the individual above all else or in the cult of epic storytelling capable of capturing human consciousness and curiosity, in Freud, the individual. Freud must too and more problematically he sold that dream to our collective consciousness. Which is where your argument comes in; the problem of the collective of ‘individuals’? Of course for us today it’s more complicated than Freud even dreamt it. For me, the history of advertising illustrates the problems surrounding the cult of the individual within the dominant ideology of liberal capitalism in Western society much better than the history of art ever could. And of course we’re literal products of the society we live in, some of us more or less so, but all of us somewhat for sure. I agree with you that postmodernism’s  “everything goes” permissiveness and pervasive “presentness” does dissolve opposition but I disagree with you in that  I also think it dissolves individualism which for me is the imperative and the operative problem. So this is my one and only problem with Socialism, at least on the surface, but I also have seen and done individual acts within socialism, perhaps more than within capitalism, that make me think the active pursuit of the individual is the only opposition to the inevitability of the collective totality. So I think perhaps we’re on the same side? Perhaps? But coming from our opposite positions? Perhaps not? I watched ‘Fight Club’ when it first came out because I liked the guy that took me to the cinema. I couldn’t sleep at all that night because I liked David Fincher’s directing. I read ‘Fight Club’ and Chuck Palahniuk’s other books because of David Fincher but prefer the ending of the book because Marla’s character is not dissolved in the open ended postmodern fashion (ala ‘Blade Runner’ et  al) of the film.  I like Tyler Durden and the Narrator, between them Chuck Palahniuk just about asks all the questions you asked in your last post about life and death and asks them with a sincere suspicion of the cult of individuality.  

Narrator:  This is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time.

But then Fight Club moved into the basement and turned into Project Mayhem and things went up in smoke and the shit hit the fan  and the beginning folded into the end and at ‘the end’ (of the film and the book) we’re left with Marla. I think ‘Fight Club’ is all about Marla. I like Marla most of all.

I liked the guy that took me to the cinema. His name was Bobby.

So of course I’m interested in you and in hearing more about what you think about absolutely everything. And is that so bad? Perhaps? So write more whenever you can.

Veliki pozdrav,

Ana

taboos/individuals

Dear Ana,

Finally I’m in Belgrade again. Sorry for not communicating these few days, I was moving from Stuttgart, pack all my things, clean the studio, and then everything the same but with unpacking… here in Belgrade…

I was thinking about your email, where you are speaking about taboos in our societies. And your claim that taboo is always personal. Of course it’s a personal, but dominant ideology that is often connected with producing the taboos to many individuals is collective. And that’s, I would say, the difference. That there is apparatus that is producing a discourses like that. Sincerely, sometimes I’m very suspicious about this cult of individuality that seems that we have today, and the goal we are aiming. I think that if we put everything on the level of personal , individual.. than we are doing a risk not to see some general thing, system thing, dominant ideologies and so on. Actually, that we can see even on a very naïve example… Today none anymore think about some crucial thing, like its sense of life, question of death… I shouldn’t say that today none actually can’t imagine that different system than liberal capitalism is even possible. And that’s new totality for me. And that’s something that we derived partly from postmodernism where everything is individual, possible, “everything goes”… So, if everything goes, that’s means that there is no polarities, dissolutions, separations, there is no Other… everything is present. And of course its enormously problematic because if we accept that, we annihilate any other strong opposition (for example Islamic movement as very strong opposition etc.). And what stay is – totality.

Of course, it can be problematic also that what is individual today, or is such a thing possible and how. When you are speaking about dress code in socialism, I was all the times have in front of my eyes many people that are dressed with the same way of unification like that today… and if your clothes (or ‘you’) are not enough fashionable, you are actually not existing as a relevant social unit. Let just take an example from today schools, if one pupil is dressed differently than many others, probably he will be kind of outsider in that class and with less possibilities for socialization or even ‘personal’ progress.

I think that we shouldn’t humiliate socialism too much as we did before. We need to start learning and taking some positive aspects of it. Especially today, when become obvious that liberal capitalism failed at many layers and that we need to replace it with something different, something with bigger social responsibility.

One thing is also interested. When you are telling about Comrade Kotov and how he felt beaten in the back of the car. The film made as to see him personaly, as individual, by showing him not in war but with his family. And thats why we are reacting on beating of him like that, personaly. But, the thing that we are forgoting is that he is representation of power, he is not only individual (most of the time he is in military suit). And thats I would say interesting for our topic. Cause in socialisam, especially for the time of Stalin, the persons who were missing and were killed were the persons who were at the top of the system, party leaders and so on.. Not the small man. And thats turn over.

Thats all from me for this time..

Xx

Danilo

When in Baku…

Danilo,

It’s the same here. I arrived a week ago and it’s been intense. I’ll post some more from my Baku week when I return later tonight and we can continue our London – Belgrade discussion. Here are some images from the performance, more to follow.

‘Lessons in Flying’

Performance at  Shirvanshahs’ Palace on Friday 11 December 2009  at the opening of ‘Aluminium’ 4th International Biennale of Contemporary Art, Baku Azerbaijan.

Pictures 2

Pictures 2

Pictures 2

Pictures 2

Pictures 2

danilo2

Dear Ana,

sorry for non comunicating few days, I was moving from Stuttgart to Belgrade. I had so many things to do, to pack, I did a few presentation in last moments and so on, and so on..

Now I’m again at my place in Belgrade.. I read your post and I like it. These days Im going to answer you and to comment cos you open few very interested topic now.

I have one small question for you. I sow few times that you asked me Was I convinced by you. Can you tell me at what exaclly you meant with that? And of course, Im sorry cos my english, its not so perfect, so maybe I missed something..

About this “d1″ that I put, it doesnt mean anything, I just dont like putting the titles, names and so on.. D is like Danilo, lets say like this. :)

Write you soon longer!

Best,

D

I don’t believe in Mermaids

Danilo,

What are you up to this Sunday? I made myself a mermaid tail out of tape and threw myself around the warehouse today. I tried to find the fastest way to move around the floor. It worked surprisingly well but looked ugly as hell.  I found out two things:

I could escape in a flash if I was ever tied up.

I don’t believe in Mermaids. If mermaids were real they’d have bodybuilder type arms, I mean huge Mr Universe bi and tri ceps, capable of beating Hercules, He-Man (and his tiger!), the Terminator even.

D1. I convinced you then?

I was thinking about what you wrote about ecology and agree with you, mostly. It seems to me that CCTV poses a similar problem although it’s more obviously invasive and objections to it are raised more often. Have you heard about the ‘talking’ CCTV trials in some towns in UK? It’s a speakerphone system where security staff can talk at offenders if a crime is being committed. ‘Big Brother’ is a part of our society these days one way or another. I recently heard a proposal to install CCTV inside people’s homes, pointing out onto the street, an effort to make London neighbourhoods safer. People were generally offended by the idea, but I think not because it was making individuals complicit with the state in a direct way (in the way that you suggest with your Ecology idea, if I got the right idea) but because it was potentially too threatening have a state camera in the home. So, I’m not sure whether I think people have or haven’t got a problem with Big Brother or with ‘being’ Big Brother.  But I am sure, that for me at least, taboos operate at the level of the individual. This is why I’ve never found socialist state propaganda effective, the scale was all wrong. I never felt personal pride singing “death to fascism and freedom to the people” – all sound principles – as a child, as one of Tito’s pioneers, wearing the same hat, red scarf and pin as every other then Yugoslavian child in every other school quad. The scale of it felt like a parade, a fake,  a bit of fun. I’m sure the adults thought so also. For me this was not taboo. Neither was how I felt about it then or now.  My grandfather used to say about his time as a Partisan: “Ratovao, doratovao i dorat ostao.” This is taboo. This is personal. I can hardly deal with what that meant to him or with what it means to me and yet I’m compelled to. Like I’m compelled when I’m watching Burt by the Sun. I imagine that’s how Comrade Kotov’s character felt beaten to a pulp in the back of that car. The more personal and fictitious something is the more involved and interested I become in the facts and in the social and political aspects of it.  Because of the ‘sun’ that sounds like a fire, the burning tree, because Mitya is so debilitating charming throughout the film, as Hamlet and importantly when he asks Marussya, frustrated, “Why aren’t you asking me any questions?” that I become a politicised viewer and can assume a critical position in relation to socialism, ecology, CCTV and last but not least, love.

More later.                                                              

X

Ana

d1

Ana,

sorry I’m little slow with answering these days. Firstly my fingers are with the plasters, and when I’m clicking the tasks I’m making a lot of mistakes… But one thing intrigued me, and I started to think… I was in Marroco a month ago, and my hands, face and neck are still a little bit dark. I realized how plasters are produced only for white skin people. Also there is one scene In Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, in which one black guy is injured and he have a plaster on his hand. Of course white one.

I also started doing research about my new project that I want to realize here in Stuttgart when I came back in spring. The political party that have majority in City Parliament is The Green one. I found its very interesting, especially because this reason is one of the strongest industrial zone in whole Germany. I’m doing a research about ecology. My idea is that ecology is one of the strongest ideological weapons of globalization. Because, its sound easy to accept that, its sound natural (like martial community in Wedding Piece project), but by having ecological consciousness, we actually morally and unconsciously legitimize intervention in the Space of Other. And it’s becoming logical for us. If my neighbor is firing the garbage in his garden, I have to stop him, because he is going to pollute my air too. That’s opening the space for legitimization of different kinds of neo-colonialisms and exploitations of Other. For us, intervention it the space of Other, became so natural and we advocate that. And I think its very important to make it clear, especially for us in Eastern Europe. (I still cant tell you my idea of the project until I do it)

Yes, I sow “Burnt on the Sun”. The film is really nice, human story very touchable… But, I have a little bit a problem with the films that make taboo of socialism. If I remember as well, film is about beginning of Stalin repression, and there are so many films on the west about that. (In some science fiction Hollywood films, aliens are actually Russians). Also, if you have in mind that this film is filmed in the middle of nineties and you have in mind that this is the period in which Macedonia started to demarcate itself from socialistic Yugoslavia into pro-European liberal capitalism, than that film can be seen as a very illustrative representation of state system.

I’m leaving from Stuttgart in Thursday definitely, after I’ve spent 3 months here. But I didn’t finish my project with the weddings and I’ll come back in spring for one more month. And that’s pretty cool.

XXX

Danilo

On. And. Off.

On.

All night, on and off heating. Have you ever seen Nikita Mikhalkov’s ’Burnt by the Sun’? It’s a film Breda recommended to me and it is fantastic! Every time I see it, it’s as if for the first time. I forget entire scenes happened. Wait, does that mean I’m in love, with it? And there is this magical burning ball of light thing -a sun- cracking glass, setting trees of fire and ending lives. I’ve never seen anything like it, it’s literally figurative. How is that even possible? Above and beyond being simply a filmic device, I mean. It sort of functions as a destructive out of this world pure fantasy symbol that actually affects reality. It makes the rest of the implausibly hyper poetic action of the film seem comparatively sober. It also sounds like a log fire. All wrong, wrong. But so so right. I am in love with it. I must be. Tonight, I’m on and off writing around (about) my thoughts as they’ve slipped out through the window, again, I swear for the last time! (Shouting) That’s it, I’m through with chasing them, they’re grounded! I need to get thought glue, like those strips that catch flies. (I have a thing against flies, it seems, that’s the second time I’m mentioning them dying.) On and off watching A Z (zed) OO (and two naughts) by Peter Greenaway on my laptop too. ZOO is full of thoughts. Someone had glue.  Thought made into words, made strange, like ‘uncanny’ or like ‘tendentious jokes’ in the Freudian sense: 

Man: How are the Zebras? 

Woman: Black and White.   

And.

ZOO has two of everything and an anxiety of one of anything. ZOO. See, Z is the problem and there they are, two of them, peas in a pod, OO.

Off.

Have I convinced you?

ANA

(N is definitely the problem. Z on its side. A  A)

DANILO

(You have one of everything!?)

Warts, friends and fighting with things…

Life’s like that sometimes isn’t it? I feel for your friend though, it’s not right to be in hospital a moment longer than you have to and wish him some answers very soon and a speedy recovery.

So your film night went down a storm!? I, on the other hand, swapped a film night with friends for a night ‘in’ and immediately aged about a hundred years, give or take some slippers, muscular ache (I told you, I’d pay for my yoga!), some leftover Chinese takeout from several days ago and reading the papers! Save yourself, it’s too late for me! I’m  o l d. Other than that, I’ve been overworking lately, working full time during the day, falling asleep in the afternoons for the past couple of days…I’m sure I haven’t done that since I was five, since I wore a pony tail on one side! I’m not even dreaming. So I need to take a break to shake of some adrenaline from your fur! I suppose that’s what this is, these days I write to you.

The photos are of some of us ‘IAAs’ in London, taken on Saturday at a pub, we all met up for a drink! It’s Titus, Denizan and myself from the selected artists as well as Breda, Eline and one of their friends Kati. I wonder if I can share it with everyone else? I’ll try.

More soon.

Laku noc!

(Night!)

X

Ana

hospitals

Dear Ana,

These few days I was very busy, many things. Also, I had four small surgeries at my hands. I got 4 warts mostly on my fingers and I decided to remove it. It appeared suddenly and really don’t know how… But I decided to use this health insurance I have here and to resolve it now, better then waiting in orders in Serbia and spend too much time on that. Stuttgart is not so big city, and everything is easier. The other thing that makes me busy today is that I was to the hospital, but this time because of one my dear colleague, he have some problems with liver and they still can’t figure out what is the diagnosis. And he is also the fellow here, but unfortunately half of his fellowship he spent on fighting with these things…

Yesterday night I show Shutka to my colleagues and they all were so exalted. The next film that I’m going to show them is “Made in Serbia”. It’s the film about Serbian porn industry. Very rough but very touchable. Suggestions.

I didn’t understand these photos that you uploaded. It’s you with your friends, or some special event?

Best,

Danilo

Imagine…

Dove

Eeeejjj Danilo

Surprising you is what I was after!

You surprised me too, with yoga this evening! I do yoga every Monday after work. We have these lessons once a week at the primary school where I work. This evening, we did these ‘archer’ style poses, they’re always called something ‘asna’ or so my yoga teacher says though I couldn’t even begin describe how our body parts came to be pointing in all different directions at once. I feel invigorated, for sure, though I suspect I’ll pay for it with every muscle in my body tomorrow. As I suspect I’ll pay for this: I’m afraid I also rolled out my yoga mat over a fly this evening? Unintentionally of course. I found it on the floor after I came down from my headstand. Was that bad of me?

Shutka! I’ve seen it, I’ve seen it! It was on late one night, on BBC4 or something, heartbreakingly charming film! I totally bought into how competitive and serious they were about their music, fantastic music too! Felt like the amateur enthusiast that I am, like when I’m scoring figure skating once every four years from my lounge. Like I know about the music scene in Shutka? I remember getting seriously involved…that one has an accordion solo to die for but that one really pulls the heartstrings- that one really hurts. Resisting emotional outburst while silently shouting ‘10’! Your ‘internally of course’ made me laugh though I have no idea what you meant by it. Could you be an amateur enthusiast too? Makes me think of the “one of us, one of us” scene in Bertolucci’s ‘The Dreamers’, of unbridled enthusiasms, whether they be film references, figure skating or Shutka’s music scene apparently?!

So, the oven heating situation has given me a headache, the upper half of me is hot and lower half is cold ? Heat rises. That must be it!

Nice to hear from you again and have a great film night!

X

Ana

danilo

Woooow Ana,

I was so surprised with your photos, thank you for that. Its seems like real artistic life, caravan, simple things around, books.. Sometimes I have an impression that my life in Belgrade became too complicated, surrounded with too many things, relations..  And then, when I move somewhere, like here now, simple studio, only elementary things, loneliness, few books.. I feel much more relaxing and mine.

Tonight I had my the first yoga class ever.  It was so super experience, I feel so relaxing now. I’m not familiar with religious aspect of it, vows etc, but only with physical aspect of it. Hope I’m not sound too superficial now. J

Tomorrow night I’m going to organize a showing a Serbian film “Shutka-The Books of Records” for some my colleagues here, internally of course. Have you seen it? If you didn’t, its my suggestion for you for today! J

Have a nice day!

Best,

Danilo

Migrations

Danilo,

I spent the day moving back into my caravan studio for the winter. It’s inside of the two storey warehouse where I live and work, on the ground floor below. Once a year, usually a very cold November day like today, I pack up everything upstairs and move downstairs into my caravan for a few months, which is where I’m writing this to you from, at this moment. Having precariously arranged piles of books and papers in the caravan fridge (storage space) and used the oven to heat myself I promptly folded out my table, plugged in my laptop, made myself a Serbian coffee and sat down to write to you. Thus satisfied, I’m seriously considering wallpapering the caravan from floor to ceiling with the contents of my fridge and covering the outside of my sad winter windows with…Wait. Sweltering beach scenes. Maybe a couple of swaying palms, a crystal clear coast, a sunrise! I’ve gone too far, haven’t I?

And you?

xxx

Ana

 Ana CavicAna CavicAna CavicAna Cavic

Interpretations and designed contexts

Dear Ana,

I was also busy these few days, many things to do.. My residency here is almost at the end, and also there was many events last few days. Thank you for the info about Baku Biennial.. I have never been there. Actually I was traveling through Georgia and Armenia, and in one moment I was completely at the border with Azerbaijan… I have impression that it might be very nice country…

About the „Opposites“. Actually I didn’t put that title („On Opposites“), someone from Team probably did it. But never mind… Of course I didn’t have in my mind to make kind of opposites or strong line differences between our practices. Of course, its obvious that we are dealing with different relations. I won’t say different systems, because I think today in the era of globalization and post-colonialism, nothing that can be separated, cant be local enough. Actually, I think that there is no any local that is not projection of global. Of course, these terms are very complexive, and its entering in question of interrelation between nationalism and capitalism, what is also very complicate, and this is the topic I’m facing with in my practice a lot. (Wedding Piece is just one example) But we can discuss about that also, and I think its pretty connected actually with this Breda Beban’s project. The thing I wanted to say is that I was just thinking about your project as a phenomenon, and I didn’t have in my mind make any opposites in that way. (It will be interesting to compare one yours and one my work toward this relations, what you think?)

About Susan Sontag. As you probably know, she is not so popular in Serbia and Bosnia. She spent 2 years in Sarajevo during the war, and some general opinion there is that she was one sided oriented and mostly on a side of Bosnian Muslims. But my opinion about her is personal and different, I love her as philosopher a lot. I’m always so exciting when I’m reading something of her, her pure intellect is brilliant. For me, she is one of those writers where I’m finding strong accordance with my impressions about many life things. About her essay “Against Interpretation”. As I told before, she criticized interpretations of artworks (through critics, theoretical texts etc.) as a kind of logic of consumption. But I think there is a deeper problem there. Throwing out of visual artwork is also giving new context of it and new design of it. That’s changing the meaning of artwork. That can be seen also as separating the artwork from its direct meaning, from its audience (of course its also question what is a direct meaning of artwork or does such a thing exists). New design. Conceptual artists did exaclly that-they started writing in a aim to take the power from critics, and system. Jean Baudrillard wrote a fantastic text “Design and Environment (…)” in which he showed how everything is designed today, our bodies, our sexuality, human, political, social relations, our needs and wishes… The main idea of design lays on use value (utility) and functionality (Bauhaus). And that’s obviously connected with the logic of capitalism (Protestant Ethics also can be seen in that key, as Max Weber shows). So, shall we live in environment surrounded with decorative forms and buildings or pure minimalistic ones as we actually lives today, its just question of utility and question of power (political elites).

So, I wanted to say that we need to be responsible as much as we can, and that we need to know all these relations and possible contexts of our works that can be produced around and with us if we want to be politically conscious as beings and citizens in a real sense of that word.

I wish you nice day today!

Best,

Danilo

Silent, but…

Danilo, 

I’ve been making work these past few days so I haven’t been around to reply to your  last couple of posts. Probably because I’m still thinking about them, considering your points and finding my coordinates within your critical references. Nice replies. I’m captivated by the way you say things sometimes. So rest assured I have read your replies and have them in my mind, as I’m working, all the while. Thinking…

I reread my entry ‘Opposites’ to which you responded with ‘On Opposites’ and you have a point, I do come across dreamy at best and indulgent at worst, though,that was not my intention. I was thinking out loud about some of the contradictions in my own practice, which I sometimes find frustrating, and I tried not to censor myself in any way. So, importantly, my post was not meant to draw out a comparison between our two practices in any way. It was meant to be an opening up? On my part? Possibly? Anyway, your reply to my post was great and so my post is not important beyond telling you that.

And your latest post. I’m excited for you. I’m curious and want to hear more when you’re ready to tell all!

I’m in the “shhhhh” stage of my work too, for Baku. It’s called The International Biennale of the Conceptual Art “Aluminium”. The concept is something like this “Since  ancient  times  various civilizations obtained the secret knowledge uncovered  to  few people. .. We live in crucial time. The knowledge concealed is becoming open to people. The scholars or writers, the astrologers, philosophers, and geophysicists referring to various sources and using various arguments insistently focus our mind on the date the year 2012. What’s that? Is that the beginning of the end? It seems that technical progress is beyond any limits. The newest technologies are striking the imagination of the most sophisticated erudite.  It is true that our world  is swift to develop. But what about ourselves? …Are we obedient  robots  that are  learning again and again  to be sentimental? Or we are hard-hearted zombies  living by algorithms calculated by somebody…  Or still we are the entities from flesh and blood who are able not only to kill  but to love, not only to take life away but to give it back. We are  destroyers,  but  the creators as well …” And so on.

I’m working on it. I’ll probably end up posting something when I get the urge again. I’ve been writing to friends about it on and off. The past couple of days, I’ve been obsessing about bubble wrap(!). I tried to bubble wrap the floor, I mean, deliberately. Overly. Like anyone needs to protect themselves from the floor? Or thinking about uneven layers of floor, like Thomas Hirschhorn’s ordinary materials from life taking over, from the floor, up the wall. Or Elephants swept under carpets? Ridiculous!  See, I shouldn’t talk.

So, it’s nice to have you here, with your thoughts and your coordinates. Susan Sontag. I read her at art school I remember at the same time as studying comparative literature on Romantic and Symbolist poets, so piles of  Baudelaire, Mallarme, Valery et all. As well as Cubist, Dadaist and Surrealist poets and writers Aragon, Breton, Tzara, Eluard, Desnos and contemporary theorists of the field. Perhaps not the best combination ? So, I’m reading ‘Against Interpretation tonight, and some modern versions of the above.  Looking for the two of us in the ‘text’. I’ll tell you what I find.

Before I fall alseep. I want to say I loved it when we talked on Sunday, at the same place at the same time.  I mean. Maybe we should do that again, what do you think? One evening on the weekend or one weekday?

Have a wonderful Saturday Danilo. I’ll look out for your posts.

Night!

More soon.

x

Ana

King Midas

Dear Ana,
you send me very nice email, sensitive. Thank you for that. Honestly, I was also very bad these few last days, very depressive and closed in my studio. Sometimes I just have these kind of phases and I cant communicate with the people so much. Its the period in which I need some more space for myself than usual. But good thing is that I was thinking a lot and I have now one idea for new project, and I’m so exciting about that! I won’t tell you much about that now, cos I don’t like to much to speak in advance if I haven’t finalized the concept yet. (Also, how is functioning here with possibility of producing a work at the end of these discussions, do you know?)
Hope you are satisfied with the things about performance in Baku. Are you planing to go there, do you know more about the concept of that biennial?

I wish you one very specially nice day today!

See you,
Danilo

On Opposites

Dear Ana,
thank you for your explanations. I didn’t plan to intervene in your art practice, I was just thinking about what you said, your project with climbing etc. Of course every individual artist have his/her own right to deal with reality on his/her way. We are probably different in that way. I think that today we are living in extremely utilitarian societies, and all mechanisms of culture are defined by utilisation. If one culture need to choose what to accept, it will always choose the cheapest way to achieve that. For example, if there is one profligately woman in one, for example, muslim or christian society. For that society is much cheaper to rock that woman with the stones at the main square than to start changing some infrastructure of its power. Its just question of economy. So, that’s why I’m claiming that today artists cant be anymore kind of romantic type who are living in a dreams and who are waking up in the middle of the night with the ‘genius’ ideas. Being intuitive and spontaneous its just not enough practical and economical. Artists are not living in some metaphysical spheres but in a very real, social environment. They are social beings not genius separated from the people and society. And that’s why every performance, our every action are defined by social context in which we are performing that. Its not defined by our dreams, hopes, wishes and so on, but with a very real, social. Or contemporary. Marina Abramovic had a performance 7 easy pieces in Guggenheim in NY, few years ago, probably you heard for that. In these performances she made remakes of 7 (according to her) very important performances in the history of performance art). Of course, that project was mega-institutional-isation of herself in history of art and demonstration of power. But, anyway, each of these remakes can be seen with a different eyes today. She, for example, performed a performance of Bruce Nauman in which he was laying into the floor of the gallery and masturbating, so that audience just can hear his sound. But now, when one lady in her 60ies doing the same thing, its of course something completely different. Its questioning about sexuality of old people (that is very big taboo in our societies) and so on… What I wanted to say is that context (or speaking about your project, ‘territory’) is the one that is defining what one art piece is or not. And that artist needs to have a control of it the most he/she can.
About the texts as a part of artwork. Its, of course, very complex question, especially according to long history of conceptual art. I definitely wouldn’t agree with you that text are not making clear anything. We think on words and its very important for ours thinking (if we want to think) and defining ours opinions. Also, texts are very important because they are saying about context of the project which is not usually obvious. And it’s just a way to perceive the project. Sometimes, the crucial one.
Of course, there are some aftermath of using the textual interpretations of visual artwork (if you think only about visual, but in my opinion there is no any artwork that is just visual, even the paintings etc.). Susan Sontag wrote an essay “Against Interpretation” in the beginning of 1960s (much before conceptual art appears!) in which she criticized the possibility of transforming visual art into the text, into the interpretation. She said that this logic is actually consumeristic, cos audience are waiting for critics who are going to ‘read’ the artwork for them. She was claiming that its something that make us much more passive. And also, she anticipated that by this logic Art will be transformed in Culture, what actually happened in the last two decades.

You can tell me when you are going to be free and we can maybe organize to be on a same time here and do some discussion. Maybe during the weekend..?

And once again, tank you for your comment!
Best,
danilo

King Midas has big ears!

Danilo,

A couple of weeks ago, I got invited to perform at the 2009 Baku Biennale in Azerbaijan, 9-18 December. I’ve been preoccupied with developing a piece for it ever since…One of the pieces I proposed is ‘Climbing the Walls’ but, being a site specific performance, I’ve been nervous about realising it in Baku without knowing the kind of space I will be working with. Increasingly. Nervous.

So, tonight, I suddenly have an urge to propose to flood the floor of the room I’ll be climbing. Suddenly,I see it clearly and urgently:

Wet

Shallow

Still

Reflective

It’s taking all I’ve got to not write to them in my present state of adrenaline fuelled over enthusiasm and lay out my obviously unreasonable demands. So, in a last effort to regain some control in this situation, I’m sharing this with you. (Everyone , but mostly, you). Midas, digging a hole and talking to it. Wet. Shallow. Still. Reflective. I am suddenly wondering, are all secrets destined to come out somehow, sometime, somewhere? And, is talking into a hole a metaphor for sleeping on it? And, what would you do? So he had really big ears, he never had a hope in hell of keeping those a secret, did he? Argh, who’s afraid of the big bad Greeks!? Me!

Night.

xxx

 Ana

Opposites

Our schedules, makes me wonder, will we ever meet again?

Another Ritual

Regarding reading and meaning of artwork, I agree, clarity is important. But I’m certain clarity and art making are opposites, at least in my art practice. I’m not sure I’m capable of clarity, not critical clarity, if that is what (I think) you’re referring to and not with reference to my art making process. I mean, it’s not that there is an absence of clarity. Clarity. I often have a crumb of an insanely clear picture, or concept, emotion or even piece of text that then drives me insane with its instance and completely motivates my art making. The actual art making process itself is probably the opposite. I’m often stumbling in the dark, sometimes for days, weeks, months, years (maybe?) before I find what I think I was after in the first place and infuriatingly, often, it’s not what I was looking for anyway but something else I found on the way. I made some head way, covered some ground, marked some territory but ultimately it’s mostly about the journey.  This process is a massive part of my art practice. Which leads me to wonder where I’m with ‘Climbing the Walls’? In the process of it? Is it about the process even when I’m performing it and/or after the fact? And it is a ritual, in the sense that it’s repetitive but the result varies every time. I have periods of activity, passivity, activity and what can be best described as involuntary spasms (probably accurate) of intense focus, blur, intense focus, blur and so on. I wake up clear about my work one day and I’m totally in the dark by the time I go to sleep.  So, I think I could never be entirely clear about what any of my artworks are about because it’s never about clarity but about the crumb? Maybe it’s about the clarity of the crumb?

As for text, text never clears up anything for me.  Text has the opposite effect on me. Text is another crumb. But I’m very conscious of that effect of text and I’m clear about it being unclear in my work. In fact, that is what makes text such an exciting material to work with. Text has a capacity for enormous contradiction and at times complete absence of clarity.

Speaking of opposites. I loved your comment about LOVE  -V- MARRIAGE. I believe that.

Autumn

Dear Ana,
Nice day today for you! We had yesterday very nice conversation and many things are moved now. Generally, I’m free during the day, mostly in the morning (not early) and in afternoon till maybe 5pm. After that I’m working something for myself or going out…

In opposite to you, I don’t like autumn in Belgrade, especially not winter. I don’t like when everything is gray but blue and green. J I like September the most, because everything is clear, and you can see the things that are so far from you. Montenegro I also like in spring, but there is nice during the autumn and winter too cause of nice Mediterranean climate… My parents are living there now, and I am usually there for some days in summer or spring.
How you decided to move in London and why? How your life there?
Hug, Danilo

Ritual

Ana, I like your way of thinking and I like that you mention ritual. Because wedding ceremony is a ritual, its a projection picture of ideal community. Being present at the ceremony without being invited, I simulate desire to be part of community whose values are based on mutual love, solidarity, welfare.. But what is beyond this ideal picture of wedding spectacle? Family life is often presented as a natural model based on biological reproduction processes. In our societies its existing as a kind a naturally given institution which is automatically socially eligible. This ideology of marrige and family love is perfectly materialised in a act of wedding and can be seen as a way to camouflage opressive social arrangements that are being used to construct a life in a community. Its enough just to count a few, like a status of women in family/society, economical aspect of this alliance, exception of others ect. Here is the part of the text that serbian art theorist Ana Vilenica wrote, concerning my project:
Elimination and inhospitality are symptoms of both, community model such as family and those political models embodied in national countries and communities whose tendency is to create new over national geo-political space (the example would be European Union) based on neoliberal capitalistic model of production. These communities by promoting individual responsibility and emphasizing the importance of self-totality identify mentioned mechanisms as natural models of self-preservation. The model of European Union is based on defense of welfare utopia from immigrants and all others who are not functional and who can endanger this welfare. Likewise, ‘ nationalistic identitarianism is based on self-affirming  and homogenizing identity which is doing all its best to prevent the other to cross ‘our’ borders, to take over ‘our’ jobs, to enjoy ‘our’  benefit, to go to ‘our’ schools, and to intrude ‘our’ language, culture, religion and public institutions’. Regarding the previously mentioned it is likely to draw a conclusion that the model of elimination is one of the central ways of management in contemporary communities and it functions as a mechanism no other than a regulation based on exploitation and essentialisation of identity which contribute to preservation of system based on interests of not numerous.

About your project with the ‘territory’, I think that you should aim to be clear as much as you can in defining your position toward that question. Maybe through some additional text or something.. Because, if you dont do that, many others contexts can work and change the aim of you idea. And thats somethng that artist really need to have a consciousness about. When you said that yorur performance can be seen diferently depending of the space, mood etc., I was thinking that maybe your project can be read exacly in that key, that the galeries, system of art is the one which defines your position, your “territory”, your belonging, if you want. And that’s something that is very important. Best, Danilo

Underthinking…

I’m about to do some.

Danilo, it’s been a great afternoon. I work during weekdays but I’m around in the evenings and weekends so I’ll write again soon. I’ll try and respond to your posts whenever I can.
Also, on re-reading my previous post. Immature of me, I mean, not of you. In case you were wondering where I was going with that. I bet you are now. The danger of writing everything down. Evidence.
I miss Serbia and Montenegro. Especially in winter. No, in Autumn, it’s worse in Autumn. And you?
So then, maybe see you later on tonight or soon.
x Ana

Overthinking…

I suppose your wedding performance operates at the point of the entry into the ritual and deliberately doesn’t ever go beyond that. There seems to be a point of no return but also no possibility of advance. It’s always already a foregone outcome that you’ll be refused entry, it’s set up that way. I mean, you’re destined to repeatedly fail in the first place. I suppose that is the point of it. Is it irrelevant to wonder what would happen if you were welcomed with open arms past the front door, or whatever castles have, gate? For me, there is something poetic about this inbuilt failure and about your investment in it. Beyond the aggressive act of inserting yourself, an outsider, in an insider wedding I mean. I’m fascinated by your preparation for the ritual, making nice your hair, dressing in your Saturday best and especially by your waiting to enter… (an emphasis on the ellipsis). Transgressing out of longing. Acting up or acting out. I like the rebelliousness of it. It’s almost immature but I like it.   
 
Insert. A small poem about it (‘it’ again).
 
So long,
all along,
longing.

 
Is what I mean. As for your talking, it’s not too much. It’s interesting, all of it. And the posts, as I understand it we’ll be talking whenever possible or whenever we want to around the demands of our daily lives until the end of the year at least. 
Still, ‘territory’, definitely literally is very important but I think it changes in meaning depending on the space I am in, the space I am ‘claiming’. And, I’m moody.

Time

My suggestion is that you can be free to post the comment whenever you find a time, and im going to answer you the same day. I’ll try to to check for updates few thimes a day..

Have a nice evening! Danilo

Free

Dear Ana, I was planning to be at home today all the day because of this dialogue. I can be free when you say that. Also, am not so sure that I understand as well, how much this dialogues are going to last, its not only today but for some time? I m not sure are we free these day just to check posts few times a day and comment, or we need to be online in some specific time..?

And, please, don’t take care too much about all this I told. Maybe I told too much thing. :) We can also talk about some other topics.. Danilo

Tonight

And, what are you doing later tonight? While I’m thinking about all this… Ana

Weddings again

Danilo Prnjat Danilo Prnjat
Ana, I like your comment.
About weddings. Yes, I dress myself every Saturday morning, I make nice hair, wear nice shoes, and I’m waiting in front of the castle where they usually organize wedding ceremonies. Something I loose some, sometimes I was waiting for about 5h and none didnt come. When I see the wedding (there are, as I already told you, very small groups, about 15-20 persons weddings) I just enter in the group and take a part. Of course, they currently see that I’m insider there, then they are starting to look at me strangely, whispering on each other ears, and always someone come to ask me something. Then they see that I cant speak german, and realise that “i made kind of mistake”. But I’m pretending that everything is fine. And after that someone always come to me and ask me to leave. Of couse I always did it. But, I must say that this is maybe the most difficult performance I ever done. Its just so logical that I shouldnt be there, and I continue to insist on that. Its becoming so strong tension there, that I hardly resist not to leave immediately, much before they ask me for that…
About documentation. I ask one camerman/photographer guy to film it for me, but from a very distance, like paparazzo, cos I dont want another one insider there or to be obvious that my presence is arranged.
And its very interesting what you say about presence of the children at the wedding. I found this is just one more example of the mehanism of alienation I was talking before. The ridiculos one. Danilo

images

Hi Danilo, it is perfectly possible to post images. We’d love you to do this. Large word documents are not recommended. IAA team

Weddings

Ana, I tried to send you a text about project with the Weddings, but its to large, and I dont have smaller one. Also, probably photos are not allowed to be published here..

I’ll try to explain you in short my main idea. In some global view, Serbia is usually seen as nationalistic, society with the close borders and so on, and EU as a kind of open society, with equal egsistance of multiple differences etc.. What I actually did? I found the traces of conservativeness and nationalism in the Wast (and ‘open hands’ from my sides). I intervened in that essential unit of one society, in family cicle, and in the moment where is the clearest demonstration of exclusivistic logic (wedding) – dream of happy marrige of only two persons (without Others) and I brought it with ‘my dream’ for EU at the same place.
Also, sounds illogical that this kind of conservative formulations of human relations (like marrige) still strongly egsisting in today’s society. But if you have in mind that only USA spend 100milion dolars a year in programmes which promotes (heterosexual) marital community and marrige than its become logical that kind of economical interes is in question. Less imigrants that could take theirs jobs and so on. What I wanted to do is to materialze this main mechanism of exception and elimination. I insisted on continious presense on their wedding photos. After some time, I become real on that place, but they becomes an ilusion, phantasm.

Hope I was a little bit clearier. Danilo

This is different

This is different. But nice. Though no, nice is not it. We must be able to find another word for what this is? I’m thrilled to be here and to have to find words for ‘it’.

Your “…they knock me out” made me laugh. It’s a great image. And, that you have a ritual of your own, ‘wedding crashing’ every Saturday. Using one ritual to investigate another? I wish I could see you before and after. A street view would be great. In, and a short while later, out. A bit worse for wear, perhaps?

As for Serbian weddings, what can I say? I survived the last one I went to, barely, it knocked me out for weeks! Brass bands blasting, brandy and more brandy and still more brandy (rakija), singing and dancing night and day and of course some shooting. You know I heard that there’s a growing trend for some western weddings to have a ‘no children’ policy at least at the Reception or ‘adult’ part of the wedding? I found this strange. In my head, I can imagine a bunch of children crashing a wedding screaming and and running and tripping up adults, crawling under tables and skipping across chairs, spilling drinks and losing forks. Shocking!

Your gold shades, I was thinking, are a super cool answer to and/or a shield against the overwhelming glare of the of the perfect lover? Is that wrong? To think it, to write it down? Am I being the perfect audience? Anyway, it’s enough to say it’s a highly effective and elegant frame.

Thinking about “territory”…

Performance

Danilo Prnjat Danilo Prnjat
I sow many letter mistakes in my former comments, I was hurry, sorry cause of that.

Your performance sounds interesting. Its only question on which way are you going to politicize it. I mean how you are understanding ‘the territory”. Is it your intimate place and relation with the things you are surrounded (like Claud Cahun’s intimate photo-performances), territory of art (system of art), or you are working with the territory in objective political sense (teritory of your country, territory of the country you are living) and your place in there and you are performing that in literal way…
Danilo

New Sunday ritual

Breda, Eline,
Champagne in the rain… Clearly I need a new Sunday ritual!

Danilo,

Yes, yes. I would like to know more about it? Images would be great.

I’m working on a performance at the moment also, ‘Climbing the Walls’. It involves impromptu climbing around spaces without setting foot on the floor but also without disrupting a space in any way or leaving a trace beyond the act of a (hopefully) elegant climbing. There’s a lot of precarious balancing on doors, climbing in and out of cupboards, on tables and sofas, along window ledges and so on, all the while avoiding breaking glasses, knocking books off shelves, disturbing dust and breaking my neck. The audience can indulge in imagining themselves climbing and suspend ordinary reality for the duration of the performance giving in to the tense anticipation and potential danger of my falling at any moment. It’s sort of territorial and transient at the same time. Highly poignant in the moment and highly insignificant the moment that it’s over. I’ve performed it before but each time it changes according to the space I’m in. I never know where it will lead me. I don’t climb if there is no danger of falling or if the danger is not greater than ever before. Ana

Also…

thanks for nice oppinion about Perfect Lover perormance. I did it in Florence 2 years ago. I was at one artist-in-residence with many serbian artists. I realise that many people are so fascinate by these luxury showrooms and that they ere scared to enter there because of so large prices.. I decide to make transparent this wish, how we are affected by that world, how we are not critical.. but also to problematize the distance (glass) beetwen us and some higly esteticized, real capitalist world we are facing with.

Danilo

Nice

nice to meet you. Very unusual meeting. Usul, when two persons meet each other publicly, they started they communication privatelly, and this is different.
I started to do one performance here, itc called Wedding Piece. Every Saturady, Im takinfg a part at the german weddings as insider, not called guest. I borrow the Hugo Boss suit of my german friend and apear there. These weddings are not like in Serbia, where many people can come, but only for close family and friend. After some very short time they knock me out, and ask to leave. I decide to intervene in this elementary  unit of one society, aiming to demonstrate this mecamisms of exclusion of others that soieties produces on that bio-political way. If you want to know more, i can send you on some way a text about it (but its preatty large, I dont know is it for here) and the photos..
How are you, what are you doing?
Danilo

nice to meet you. Very unusual meeting. Usul, when two persons meet each other publicly, they started they communication privatelly, and this is different.

I started to do one performance here, itc called Wedding Piece. Every Saturady, Im takinfg a part at the german weddings as insider, not called guest. I borrow the Hugo Boss suit of my german friend and apear there. These weddings are not like in Serbia, where many people can come, but only for close family and friend. After some very short time they knock me out, and ask to leave. I decide to intervene in this elementary  unit of one society, aiming to demonstrate this mecamisms of exclusion of others that soieties produces on that bio-political way. If you want to know more, i can send you on some way a text about it (but its preatty large, I dont know is it for here) and the photos..

How are you, what are you doing? Danilo

Finally, we meet!

Finally, we meet!

I’m sitting with a monstrous coffee, my Sunday morning ritual, at my work table with several books open face down where I left them last night…

lies/
leg/
and/
mumbling/
weather/

…it saysin Piers Hugill’s ‘Il Canzoniere: A Book of Songs I-V’ which I picked up last weekend and it seems to make sense for this one. It’s all the same only today I’m also writing it all down for you.

What are you up to? And, my favourite thing of yours I’ve seen is the still for ‘Perfect Lover’, perversely because you’re wearing gold shades.

x
Ana

Champagne and rain

Waiting for Ana to join. It’s pouring with rain here in London. We are having champagne to celebrate your message, which marks the start of the dialogues. Breda and Eline

Hi Breda, Ana..

Nice that we finally start this. at the moment, I’m at Akademie Schloss Solitude, artist-in-residence in Stuttgart, Germany. I’m doing one new performance here. If you are interested, i can send you some more info later about that.. How about you? Danilo

Welcome

Welcome to imagine art after! Danilo, Ana, where are you now? What are you up to?