How to perform life or is there life outside the art?


Slovenia / 2016 / 90'

“Hence in the performance, a performer no longer refers to the character but to himself. In this self-reference as termed by E. Fischer-Lichte, a performer refers to his body, this biography as it is expressed by his body (memories inscribed on the body), often tells his own story in the performance although this is not verifiable and can also be merely fictional, but he (again often) substantiates it with his body or its presence; many a time the performers perform […] with their own name as the main characters of their own show, the auto-personalised protagonists of stage fiction.”
– B. Lukan, Performative Gestures

At least over the last twenty years, a trend can be perceived in contemporary performing arts that can be named “invasion of the real” where a performer (on stage) constructs a meaning constructing herself. By shifting the focus of performative strategies from representation to presentation (of eventfulness), a performer’s subjectivation occurs through her own subjectivation. This process of “performing the subject” or “the production of subjectivity” (A. Jones) becomes the key bearer of meaning because a performer’s character no longer exists beyond her physis, there is no distinction between phenomenal and semiotic body (E. FischerLichte).

If a performer actively draws from her life for art, what is then left of her life as such? Some point to (A. Jones) the occurring danger that a subject which has become a source of creativity in the field of symbolic, simultaneously becomes in the field of the real implicitly invisible as the actual (ideological, emotional, sexual, race, class and otherwise perceived and identified) body that forms the artwork. Therefore we are interested what “performing identity” (J. Butler) produces in the political sense? How is this ultimate interlacement of art and life politically potent or emancipatory? How in this situation construct resistance against hierarchies, exploitations, inequalities that make part of life? In what manner can we connect in (real) life if we are – as artists – constantly in the field (of symbolic) in art? Can political activity consequently only exist in the form of performance?

Through the analysis of their own works presented at previous City of Women festivals, the connections between life and art will be discussed by artists: Katarina Stegnar (Drop Dead), Maja Delak (Expensive Darlings, What If), Nataša Živković (First Love’s Second Chance (Getting Over Heintje), Still Life, For Father’s Sake), Simona Semenič (Endless Medication, I, Victim., the second time).

Concept and moderated by: Lana Zdravković

In Slovene.

Free entry.

Organisation: City of Women. In collaboration with Gallery Škuc.

Date and time of event: 
Oct 11th 18:00
Place of event: 
Gallery Škuc