Lecture and workshop with Ana Vujanovikj and Bojana Cvejikj

LOKOMOTIVA – Centre for New Initiatives in Arts and Culture as part of the programme “Art: Politics: Institutions: Body” in Kino Kultura is presenting and inviting you to

Workshop held by Ana Vujanović on “Performing the self and the prospects of transindividuality” (Tuesday, 11 DEC, 16.00) and
Lecture of Ana Vujanović and Bojana Cvejić on “Individualist modes of performing the self” (Wednesday, 12 DEC, 16.00)

<<Kino Kultura :: Tuesday :: 11 DEC :: 16h>>
WORKSHOP with Ana Vujanović
“Performing the self and the prospects of transindividuality”
host of the workshop will be Slavco Dimitrov, theorist in culture

<workshop is intended for a group of young professionals in contemporary performing arts and cultural practices, participants in the programme “Art: Politics: Institutions: Body”>

In this workshop I propose to discuss some of the basic methodological and political postulates of performing the self in the neoliberal capitalist society of the 21st century, which are based upon, and yet, exceed the culture of narcissism and the cult of the self, established in the previous century. Since this analysis employs the tools stemming from performance studies and performing arts, I will discuss the method of social dramaturgy, the difference between action and performance, as well as Richard Schechner’s concept of performing in difference to doing. In the second part of the workshop, we will engage a close reading of Jason Read’s essay “The Production of Subjectivity: From Transindividuality to the Commons”, which provides a ground for a kind of performing of the self which is not predicated on individualism, but on the premises of transindividuality.

<<Kino Kultura :: Tuesday :: 12 DEC :: 19h>>
LECTURE by with Ana Vujanović and Bojana Cvejić
“Individualist modes of performing the self”

In a double lecture we will look at the prevalent modes of performing the self within the contemporary production of subjectivity in post-Fordist capitalist societies. Those modes are possessive individualism and aesthetic individualism. We consider the current production of subjectivity as predominantly individualistic insofar as it takes the individual, an already individuated entity as primary, and as its central concern. Our background hypothesis is that this worldview – which has already demonstrated various shortcomings in social reality – is based on a principal epistemological and political error, since it takes the individual as granted, while neglecting the whole complex process of individuation that precedes it. Our critical approach to the prevalent modes of performing the self is predicated on the process of individuation, rather than individualist ideology.

“Possessive individualism” has been one of the common critical notions to describe modern capitalist society from the 1960s onward. Its crucial concept – articulated first by Canadian political scientist C. B. MacPherson – is that of human being as the individual who possesses his own person and capacities, owing nothing to society for them and being free from dependence on the wills of others. Thus, possessive individualism assumes but is not primarily focused on owning material goods, but on owning one-self, one’s body, capacities, creativity, labor, wherefrom the private property in goods and things follows as a result. In this talk we wish to attend to how the process of performing the self in today’s society relates to certain aspects of possessive individualism, how it integrates, reinforces, or contests them. Our critical lens is influenced by a feminist insight into an unequal social distribution of possession and self-possession between men and women, and goes beyond it, showing that performing the self today is expressive no longer of possessive individualism but of a general dispossession of the self.

“Aesthetic individualism”: Searching for manners how performs oneself in current capitalist society, we repeatedly stumble upon art. The individual in the figure of the artist, the value of autonomy, the performative techniques of self-fashioning, self-expression, embodiment and sensorial/affective experience, the artistic-like intensity of experience – all these elements gesture toward the authority the arts, and lately dance in particular, have in aesthetic ways of self-understanding. Add to that the new digital technologies and social media platforms, in which subjects produce their self-image and shape their lives in aesthetic expression, and the predicaments from the late 1960s to early 1970s that “everyone is an artist” and that “in future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes” have crystallized. This part of the talk will focus on “aesthetic individualism”, a term to describe new truth games and bodily techniques from dance and performance for the modes of subjectivation in experience economy.

Ana Vujanović (Berlin / Belgrade) is a cultural worker: researcher, writer, dramaturge and lecturer, focused on bringing together critical theory and contemporary art. She holds Ph.D. in Humanities – Theatre Studies.
She has lectured at various universities and educational programs throughout Europe, was a visiting professor at the Performance Studies Dpt. of the University Hamburg, and occasionally teaches at HZT Berlin. Since 2016 she is a team member and mentor of fourth year students at SNDO – School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam. She was a member of the editorial collective of TkH [Walking Theory], a Belgrade-based theoretical-artistic platform, and editor-in-chief of the TkH Journal for Performing Arts Theory (2001-2017). She collaborates on artworks in the fields of performance, theatre, dance and video/film, as a dramaturge and co-author, with artists such as Marta Popivoda, Eszter Salamon, Christine de Smedt, Dragana Bulut etc. She published a number of articles in journals and collections and authored four books, most recently Public Sphere by Performance, with B. Cvejić (Berlin: b_books, 2012 / 2015). Currently she researches on transindividuality and landscape dramaturgy, edits the collection Live Gathering: Performance and Politics with L. A. Piazza, and works on the documentary Freedom Landscapes, directed by M. Popivoda.

Bojana Cvejić’s work spans philosophy, theater and performance education. She is author of several books in performance theory and philosophy (among which the more recent are Choreographing Problems, Palgrave 2015, Public Sphere by Performance, with A. Vujanović, bbooks 2012 and Drumming&Rain: A Choreographer’s Score, with A. T. De Keersmaeker, Mercatorfonds 2013.). She has collaborated as a dramaturg in a number of choreographies by X. Le Roy, Eszter Salamon, Mette Ingvartsen, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, C. De Smedt) and has directed (and/or performed) in a number of theater performances and operas 1995-2009 (among which Don Giovanni at BITEF 2008, Belgrade). As a co-founding member of TkH/Walking Theory editorial collective, Cvejić has engaged theoretical-artistic research projects, currently an investigation of performances of the self and transindividuality together with Ana Vujanović and Marta Popivoda. In 2013, Cvejić curated the exhibition Danse-Guerre at Musée de la danse, Rennes. In 2014, she devised a choreography and lecture program titled Spatial Confessions for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. Cvejić is Associate Professor of Dance and Dance Theory in KHIO Oslo and coordinator and teacher of philosophy and critical theory at P.A.R.T.S. Brussels.

More details about the program:

The programme is supported by Ministry of Culture of RM and the Municipality of Centre