The Archive as a Process. How to Archive Contemporary Performing Arts and keep them Alive?

Slovenia / 2017
Regional Conference

Since its foundation in 1996, the Association for the Promotion of Women in Culture – City of Women – has operated on various levels and performed different activities from artistic production to education, publishing and raising awareness on the necessity of gender equality. One of the most visible activities of the association is the City of Women Festival, which is organised every October at different venues in Ljubljana and which has over the past twenty-two years hosted extraordinary artists from various fields (performing arts, fine art, music, intermedia, etc.).

This rich history raises the question of archiving and digitalization, and how to keep these contents alive in time after the festival. Focused on contemporary performing arts/live arts, we question ways in which to form the process of archiving so as to preserve the life of artistic works (performances, productions, happenings, installations, etc.) and allow these works to be seen and experienced by a broader public outside the festival. What does this add to the artistic works and what does it take away? What are the differences between documenting contemporary performing art through photography, film, live recording and the live experience of the performers? We also question what the process of archiving live arts brings in terms of content, and how to contextualise the material, how to classify it, how to avoid the ‘character of a museum,’ closing it into canon, a drawer, history. We will also address some practical issues of funding, because, in the ‘East,’ support from state funds, programmes or initiatives is almost unexisting, while in the ‘West,’ support is available from the side of private capital, patrons and sponsors. How does this affect the processes of archiving? We are interested in how this is dealt with by organisations/festivals in the region of South-Eastern Europe; hence we will host representatives of similar organisations from Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia. Moreover, good practice of other countries and local state of things will be presented.

This City of Women conference will be the first such conference trying to further the good practices already in existence as well as think about new models of archiving, recording and preserving contemporary performing arts.


Preparation and implementation: Lana Zdravković (Kitch & City of Women, Ljubljana)

Ana Čigon (Red Dawns, Ljubljana), Barbara Orel (AGRFT, Ljubljana), Bettina E. Knaup (re.act.feminism – a performing archive, Berlin), Ida Hiršenfelder (Modern Gallery – Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Ljubljana), Jelena Višnjić (BeFem, Beograd), Kristina Lelovac (Tiiiit! Inc., Skopje), Leila Šeper (Blasfem, Banja Luka), Phoebe Patey-Ferguson (Live Art Development Agency, London), Sabina Potočki (City of Women, Ljubljana), Tanja Petrović (ZRC SAZU, Ljubljana), Tihana Bertek (Vox Feminae, Zagreb), Vedrana Frašto (CURE, Sarajevo).

Full Texts of Participants


10.00am – 11.15am
How To Think Archive (of Contemporary Performing Arts)?
What Do We Do with Art When We Archive It?

Tanja Petrović, ZRC SAZU (Ljubljana), Barbara Orel, AGRFT (Ljubljana)
Introduced and moderated by: Lana Zdravković, Kitch & City of Women (Ljubljana)

11.30am – 1.30pm
How Do They Deal with Archiving in the Region of South-Eastern Europe?
Tihana Bertek, Vox Feminae (Zagreb), Vedrana Frašto, CURE (Sarajevo), Leila Šeper, Blasfem (Banja Luka), Kristina Lelovac, Tiiiit! Inc. (Skopje), Jelena Višnjić, BeFem (Beograd), Ana Čigon, Rdeče zore (Ljubljana)
Introduced and moderated by: Sabina Potočki, City of Women (Ljubljana)

2.30pm – 3.45pm
How to Archive and Preserve the Life of Archived Material?
Bettina Knaup, re.act.feminism – a performing archive (Berlin), Phoebe Patey-Ferguson, Live Art Development Agency (London)
Introduced and moderated by: Ida Hiršenfelder, Modern Gallery – Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (Ljubljana)


// in English // 

Free entry.

In the frame of the project nEXtYU.

Production and organization: City of Women. In cooperation with Bunker.

Date and time of event: 
Oct 14th 10:00 - 16:00
Place of event: 
Old Power Station - Syndical Hall
Texts of Participants.pdf307.05 KB