As part of this course, we will propose examples of governing and curating art and culture projects through “mainstreaming” of non-normative practices of running art projects, producing and organizing contexts for and in the field of culture and art. Also, we will enable critical reflection of how we produce knowledge in the field, how we collaborate, or how we are to establish new forms of knowledge, of learning together, of de-colonizing knowledge, contextualizing knowledge, embodying knowledge, practice-based forms of knowledge, critical pedagogies, affective pedagogies, etc.
In addition, the course will include case studies and practices of “critical management” in culture, diverse examples of co-curatorial practices, discursive programs, etc., as well as knowledge and learning about cultural policies related to advocacy practices.
“New Schools” – new formats of teaching, including a dramaturgical/curatorial perspective on how different forms of knowledge, learning together, and de-colonizing knowledge are/could be established.
Performance, Politics and Policies – Activities and actions related to advocacy in the field, creation of new collaborative models, as well as political actions and reflections that concern the field.
Crisis Ordinary, Systematic Crisis and the Future of Knowledge in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Aftermath – exploring the lived experiences of the ordinary ongoingness in the period of crisis, in particular in relation to artists, performers, choreographers, dancers, curators, and what critical forms of knowledge, strategies, and politics of curating they might generate; what sort of entanglements are being reconfigured between new media, social media, online platforms, online communication and teaching, on the one hand, and the dimension of corporeal face-to-face interaction and liveness as constitutive of performative practices and arts, on the other hand.
SEMINAR – Kirsten Maar (Germany): New Schools: New Format of Teaching and Mediating
LECTURE – Lydia Bell (USA): Performance-Based Curatorial Strategies in New York City 2018-Present: Where Do We Go from Here?
LECTURE/Presentation – Anastasia Proshutinskaya (Russia): Where Are You Staying “At Home”? (or “We Found Love in a Hopeless Place”)
DISCUSSION – Marijana Cvetković (Serbia), Jasna Jasna Žmak (Croatia), Rok Vevar (Slovenia) and Jasmina Zaloznik (Slovenia): Crisis Ordinary, Systematic Crisis and the Future of Knowledge in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Aftermath
This course will include lectures, seminars, a discussion and readings covering critical theory and socio-cultural practices that form a new curatorial reflective approach that is not based on aestheticizing the display of art or emphasizing virtuality, but on the relevance of methodological approaches, bodies politic, and contextual relations. Trying to put the concepts of curating, the curatorial, performing arts, visual arts, institutional, non-institutional and related notions and concepts into larger contexts, and in relation and interaction in order to bring together knowledge and experiences that would/could be performing other meanings and understanding.
Institutional and Non-Institutional Curatorial – what is curating in institutional frames, and what could destabilization of the given institutional frames bring, that is to say, what are the new forms of institutions and models this brings, by taking into consideration and understanding diverse economic and political circumstances, including gender and postcolonial aspects.
Feminism / Queer/ Gender/ Curating – related to the research on diverse concepts and practices – such as: orientation-disorientation; queer Marxism, femonationalism/or questions such as: How to curate ephemeral and marginal queer cultural practices that are not recognized by and resist official institutional, art and curatorial canons, and which mobilize marginal social spaces?
Curatorial Feminism – aiming to explore the non-hegemonic forms of curating, sociality and cultural practices that have been historically opened and developed by feminist theories, collectives, curators and artists, and critically rethink the ways in which historically sedimented masculine morphologies, privileges, and epistemologies structure and organize the curatorial. Considering the importance of feminist explorations of power/knowledge/embodiment, as well the feminist cutting-edge interventions in the field of performing arts, specific focus is on those concepts and material/praxis – based innovations.
SEMINAR – Suzana Milevska (North Macedonia): Becoming-Curator vs. Becoming a Curator
SEMINAR – Goran Sergej Pristaš (Croatia): Theatre by Other Means
WORKSHOP – Una Bauer (Croatia): Dictionary of Anger and Frustration
LECTURE – Goran Pavlić (Croatia): To Queer or Not to Queer: A Non-Normative Approach to Curating
LECTURE – Silke Bake (Germany): In-between (what we are used to believe in and what we actually execute)
Taking the position that the curatorial and curating are performative, we propose exploring some of the strategies being an integral part of performance, choreography dance, and theatre that bring forward liveness, transformation, ephemerality, materiality, spacetimemattering and intra-actions (Barad), as well as the problem of responsibility in relation to the curatorial and its performative material effects on the world and sociality.
Body and Context – different workshops or artistic research/extended choreography strategies, practice from the perspective of choreography/dance/performance as sources of critical knowledge, and development of curatorial practices sensitive to corporeality, affect, space, context, relationality, etc.
Uncontrolling, Failure, Change – as curatorial strategies of experimentation and openness that resist neoliberal norms of success and achievement, and subvert institutional demands based on the project time logic and reification.
Corporeality, Choreography, Affect and the Political – as sources and subjects of enactment, configuration, staging in curatorial practices; choreographic analysis and social choreography as tools for analysis and sources of knowledge in the field of the curatorial.
WORKSHOP – Danae Theodoridou (Greece): Artificial Social Imaginaries: Curation of Live Events as Construction Sites for Social Change
LECTURE – Bronwyn Bailey-Charteris (Sweden): Curating the Hydrocene
*A 30 min open discussion/conversation with the participants, hosted by Martin Sonderkamp (Germany/Sweden) and Tove Salmgren (Sweden) follows after the lecture.
We are inviting artists and curators who will share their principles, approaches and strategies of work and collaborative processes, as well as dilemmas, thoughts, struggles and perspectives. Each of them will prepare a presentation/lecture followed by discussion.
2020 artists and curators:
1.Dragana Alfirević (Serbia/Slovenia)
2.Mariana Valencia (USA)
3.Martin Sonderkamp (Germany/Sweden) and Darko Dragičević (Serbia/Germany)
4.Anna Effermson (Sweden)
5.Maria de la Paz Ponce (Germany)
6.Nikolina Pristaš (Croatia)
8.Ivana Vaseva (North Macedonia)
9.Marta Popivoda (Serbia/Germany)
10.Tiit inc. /Jana Kocevska and Kristina Lelovac/ (North Macedonia)
Kirsten Maar: New Schools: New Format of Teaching and Mediating
How do we know what we know? How do we learn from each other? How do we deal with knowledge on an ethical level? And, how can we develop alternative forms of learning? Or establish “ecologies of practice” (Stengers)? Close to critical curatorial practice the field of mediation and teaching, the workshop-seminar asks for its own conditions, it looks at ways of mediating and producing knowledge in the cultural field beyond disciplines, within collaborative, practice-based and diverse research methods. We will work, based on short texts and material distributed beforehand (Moten/Harney, Manning et al..), starting with an input in the form of a lecture, going on in smaller working groups and then altogether to finally develop an adequate form of presentation.
Lydia Bell: Performance-Based Curatorial Strategies in New York City 2018-Present: Where Do We Go from Here?
Lydia Bell, U.S.-based independent curator and creative producer, will speak about curatorial strategies within the context of recent dance and performance projects in New York City. Topics will include: collective research practices, institutional interventions, de-centering whiteness, and the historical imagination. Case studies will include Dancing Platform Praying Grounds: Blackness, Churches, and Downtown Dance, a Danspace Project Platform curated by Reggie Wilson in 2018 that examined the relationship between race, dance, and religious architecture in New York City. Another case study will be collective terrain/s, co-organized by Bell, Jasmine Hearn, and Tatyana Tenenbaum with Tendayi Kuumba and Samita Sinha in 2019, a collective research process into sounding in the body. Bell will also discuss the recent uprisings and protests across the U.S. in support of Black Lives Matter and how the dance and performance community is engaging with calls to action.
Anastasia Proshutinskaya: Where Are You Staying “At Home”? (or “We Found Love in a Hopeless Place”)
The global stay-at-home during the Spring months of 2020, among other things, revealed the diversity of what one has as “home” and how precarious one may get staying there, or not. In this short presentation I would like to speak about locations of contemporary dance in Moscow, through the lens of my own diverse practice: within a public leisure center, within a theater, within a contemporary art museum. What are those “homes” for dance in Moscow? What did I learn about dance in those encounters? Is it too out-of-date an idea to have a place very own for dance? While we discuss fluidity of definitions and intermediality in arts, specificity of medium remains one of the pinches for institutional critique and advocating for artists’ sustainability.
Suzana Milevska: Becoming-Curator vs. Becoming a Curator
In recent times, curating has provided a point of cross-disciplinary interchange between several distinguished disciplines and professions that deal with art. The courses and university departments that initially taught curating as a subject, mainly focused on its practice, but such a dichotomy no longer exists now that curating is taught as a subject or course in many different departments and universities, and the term itself is used in much broader terms. This presentation will therefore address the question of how the concept of curatorial relates to both the theory and practice of curating.
I want to argue that “curatorial” and “curatorial knowledge” have advanced into terms that encompass the condition in which philosophy, theory and epistemology are intertwined and produce a new discourse and culture that are not limited to the understanding of curating as merely theory or practice. I will focus on the Deleuzian concept of “becoming” in the context of the self-differentiation and self-actualisation of an art curator. I particularly intend to discuss the conundrums that stem from the event(s) of “becoming-curator”. The main challenge is to unravel how a person knows what he or she knows as a curator, and how one reconciles the differences and contradictions between “being-curator,” “becoming a curator” and “becoming-curator.” I will also address some related empirical issues such are the problem of historicising curating, while attempting to understand curatorial and the differences between the role of the independent curatorial practice and the institutional(ised) one.
Goran Sergej Pristaš: Theatre by Other Means
If we attempt to approach theatre not as an empty space but as infrastructure of watching, then it is a space already overwhelmed and prestressed by different dispositives of watching and showing. Could we imagine a stage of watching and not a stage of showing, an ideal space for theatrical work, an atelier, a dance studio, an auditorium, a white box, a film studio, a forensic laboratory, an archive.. and all at once?
Is it a space that does not have to be filled but cleansed to be able to accommodate production, rehearsing, exhibiting, disassembling, folding, archiving, watching…etc.
Una Bauer, Dictionary of Anger and Frustration
The COVID-19 pandemic made more visible what people in the disability community already knew: 1. that the lives of those with disability are considered expendable in relation to the able-bodied majority 2. that accessibility issues can be addressed overnight when the abled-bodied majority needs them to be addressed. I do not have a lived experience of disability, but it seems to me that the requirement to educate, inform, contextualize should not be placed solely on the shoulders of the disability community or other marginalized communities. In the context of curatiorial practice and curatiorial studies, I think it is crucial to address those issues and to see how different marginalized experiences intersect, and what happens when they co-exist and inform each other (disability, queer, race, gender, sexuality). In this workshop, I would like to look into the language used to describe negative social experiences and the tension within marginalized communities in relation to questions of representation and practices: patterned invalidation of lived experience, comparative suffering, transphobic rhetoric, weaponized identity politics, racial gaslighting, interpersonal anti-blackness, power hoarding, white-centering, examining the privilege, able passing privilege, monopoly on victimhood and suffering. How to curate marginal cultural and art practices with regards to complex situation of often frustrating intensities of misunderstandings and “good intentions”?
Goran Pavlić: To Queer or Not to Queer: A Non-Normative Approach to Curating
In my presentation, I will try to outline some of the problems we face when we try to curate the liminal fields, i.e. those spheres which defy clear-cut academic categories. More precisely, what do we mean when we say ‘queer’? Does it denote only sexual or gender identity, or can it be understood as a tool in political struggle? Is this alternative viable at all, or does it only misrepresent always fluid categories of subject’s agency and structural constraints. Borrowing some of the theoretical tools from queer-Marxist political theory, I will propose a materialist approach to the problem of curating ‘marginal’ cultural practices. To put it more concretely, we will investigate in what manner our academic apparatus with its established categories inhibits our attempts to approach the complexity of queer experiences. Finally, we will propose alternative epistemological stances when dealing with communities which depart from normative societal standards.
Silke Bake: In-between (what we are used to believe in and what we actually execute)
There is no such thing as curating outside context. Programming performing arts takes place in a specific region, city, district, institution, time, political environment, etc. It is embedded in current discourses and in the historiography of one’s field/discipline. It is made by and with certain people, within institutions and social frames, charged with narratives and economies. Curating performing arts should also focus on modes of production, how art works are being produced and developed. This includes economical or ethical questions, parameters of sustainability, power relations within a team, shared authorship, etc. All these aspects resonate in art works (and their reception). Contemporary dance/performing arts have furthermore shaped a number of job profiles the protagonists of which, such as curators, are mostly living and working under the same precarious conditions as artists do. Nevertheless, curators are often being addressed in the same ways as institutions – for they seem to have and to exercise a superior power position.
This lecture will address questions of how to define these (work) relationships between the various players that have emerged in this web of positions, resources and affinities. By means of own programs – focusing on a city and the artists who are working within (f.e. Tanznacht Berlin) or coming from outside and knowing little about a city and its scene – this lecture is about understanding how much the working methods nourish topics, curated programs, aesthetics and work ethics, and what kind of working relationships are formed by them – and vice versa.
Danae Theodoridou: Artificial Social Imaginaries: Curation of Live Events as Construction Sites for Social Change
Through a series of individual and group tasks of reading, writing, discussing, questioning, designing and testing, this workshop will involve students in a critical process that aims to reflect on the relation between curatorial practices and social change. In this frame, we will approach the design of any curatorial project as an artificial construction site for the creation of alternative social imaginaries, i.e. as a concrete alternative proposal about the way we imagine and practice our social coexistence. The act of curating will, thus, be worked as a practice that moves away from established norms and social habits; as the crafting of social encounters towards more imaginative, unknown directions, away from capitalist demands that strive for the ‘groundbreaking’, the ‘new’, the ‘successful’, the controllable, popular, profitable and effective product.
Key terms in our exploration will be the notions of ‘social imaginary’ (as discussed by C. Castoriades and other scholars), ‘dramaturgy as working on actions’ (as discussed in The Practice of Dramaturgy – Working on Actions in Performance, a book co-authored by the workshop’s facilitator), ‘commoning’ (as a concrete practice within the discourse on ‘commons’), as well as the relation between art, crafts and materiality. Students will be asked to read texts in advance related to all these issues, which will be further discussed and tackled in the workshop.
In the same frame, students will also be asked to design and, at least partly, test different curatorial frames and exchange models that could act as artificial social imaginaries, through which they will attempt to detect the processes and working principles involved in such acts.
Bronwyn Bailey-Charteris: Curating the Hydrocene
The lecture will present a historical understanding of Hydrofeminism and its contemporary relations to the curatorial and artistic practice. The Hydrocene is leaky and relational, and amplifies the often unexamined perspectives on the interrelation of art, water, and intersectional feminisms in relation to the climate crisis. Through gaining a deeper understanding of these artists’ and curators’ practices with water, the Hydrocene offers up a model for engaging with embodiment and response-ability (Haraway, 2016) to the interconnected zone of nature-culture.
Kirsten Maar is a dance scholar and dramaturge. Since 2018 she has been working as a junior-professor at the Dance Department at Free University Berlin. From 2007-2014 she was a member of the DFG-Collaborative Research Centre „Aesthetic Experience and the Dissolution of Artistic Limits“. Her research fields are an intersection between visuals arts, architecture and choreography, social choreographies, changing discourses of gender and ethnicity, scoring practices and composition. Her post-doc research dealt with the issue of presentation of dance in the context of exhibitions concerning questions of canonization processes. Among many other publications, she is co-editor of Assign and Arrange. Methodologies of Presentation in Art and Dance (Sternberg 2014). Next to her academic research, she works as a dramaturge.
Lydia Bell is a Bessie Award-winning independent performance curator and creative producer based in New York City. From 2011-2014 & 2015-2020 she worked at the Danspace Project, most recently as Program Director & Associate Curator, a role in which she oversaw programming, publications, and research initiatives. Her recent curatorial projects include Aki Sasamoto: Phase Transition and collective terrain/s, co-organized with artists Jasmine Hearn and Tatyana Tenenbaum. From 2009-2011, she coordinated the Eiko & Koma Retrospective Project in collaboration with 15 partner venues, including the Walker Art Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Additionally, Bell has worked on projects with Movement Research, Sam Miller/OAM Company, and the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance. She has presented at conferences and institutions including: Association for Performing Arts Presenters (APAP), Kino Kultura (Skopje, North Macedonia), New York Live Arts, Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA), and other. She has edited six Danspace Project Platform catalogues and contributed to publications such as Museum and Curatorial Studies Review and Movement Research Performance Journal. Bell is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wesleyan University (B.A., Dance and Classics) and the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University.
Anastasia Proshutinskaya acquired M.A. in Art Theory and History from the Moscow State University and M.A. in Performance Studies from The Southern Illinois University. Since 2012, she has been in charge of contemporary dance curating in ZIL Culture Centre, Moscow, with her focus being on the emergence of independent dance artists, knowledge and language in dance, as well as international encounters. Since recently, she is an independent curator and researcher. In 2020, she conducted a course on contemporary dance visuality for MA in Curating Contemporary Art (HSE, Moscow and Garage Contemporary Museum, Moscow). This made her interested in the peculiar presence of dance within the museum and visual arts discourse.
Suzana Milevska is a theorist and curator of visual art and culture. From 2016 to 2019, Milevska was Principal Investigator of the Horizon 2020 project TRACES, Polytechnic University Milan, and she curated its final exhibition Contentious Objects/Ashamed Subjects. She was Endowed Professor for Central and South Eastern European Art Histories at the Academy of Fine Art Vienna (2013 – 2015). She has curated numerous international exhibitions including The Renaming Machine (2008-2011), Roma Protocol, Austrian Parliament, Vienna, and Call the Witness, BAK Utrecht (2011). She initiated the project Call the Witness–Roma Pavilion, Venice Biennale (2010-2011). In 2015, she curated the exhibition Inside Out: Not So White Cube, City Art Gallery, Ljubljana (with Alenka Gregorič). She holds a PhD in visual cultures from Goldsmiths College London and she was Fulbright Senior Research Scholar. In 2012, she won the Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory. She published the books Gender Difference in the Balkans, 2010, The Renaming Machine: The Book, 2010, and On Productive Shame, Reconciliation, and Agency, SternbergPress, 2016.
Goran Sergej Pristaš is a dramaturge, co-founder and member of BADco. (www.badco.hr), performing arts collective. He worked as a researcher and curator in the Centre for Drama Art (CDU) from 1995 to 2007. Associate Professor of Dramaturgy at the Academy of Dramatic Arts, University of Zagreb. He is also one of the initiators of the project Zagreb – Cultural Kapital of Europe 3000. With his projects and collaborations (BADco., Frakcija) he participated at Venice Biennale 2011 and 2016, Documenta 12, ARCO and numerous festivals and conferences. He was mentoring and teaching at DOCH (Stockholm), JLU (Giessen), Statens Scenekunstskole (Copenhagen), P.A.R.T.S. (Brussels), etc. Teaching courses in performance dramaturgy, writing on performance, analytical writing, dramaturgy and choreography, collaborative practices, and other. He was the first editor-in-chief (1996-2007) of Frakcija, a magazine for the performing arts. His latest book is Exploded Gaze (Multimedia Institute, Zagreb 2018).
Una Bauer is a theatre scholar and writer based in Croatia. She is Associate Professor at the Dramaturgy Department, Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb. She holds a PhD from Queen Mary University of London. Her research interests include dance, physical theatre and experimental performative practices, history of ideas, theories of affect, networked publics, public sphere, travel writing, community, death studies and crime fiction. She writes theatre and dance reviews, analyses, travelogues and essays, which have been published and radio broadcasted in Croatia, Slovenia, Romania, Italy, Canada, and the UK. Her first book on theatre and everything else, including tea cosies and bicycles, Priđite bliže: o kazalištu i drugim radostima (Come Closer: on Theatre and other Joys) was published in 2015.
Goran Pavlić is assistant professor at the Academy of Dramatic Art (Zagreb). His research interests include political theory, performance theory, political economy of art. In 2019, he published a book on Krleža’s political economy Glembajevi: dvojno čitanje (The Glembays: A Dual Reading). He co-edited two volumes (with S. Petlevski): Theatrum Mundi. Interdisciplinarne perspektive (Theatrum Mundi. Interdisciplinary Perspectives) (2015), and Spaces of Identity in the Performing Sphere (2011).
Silke Bake lives in Berlin, and works as curator, dramaturge and mentor. She has worked for diverse institutions (including TAT Frankfurt, Hebbel-Theater Berlin, Tanzquartier Wien) and realized programs for the House of World Cultures, the Academy of the Arts Berlin, Kanuti Gildi Saal Tallinn and Theaterformen Hannover/ Braunschweig. She worked as the dramaturge and project manager for the performing arts festival IN TRANIST at House of World Cultures in 2008 & 2009, she was the co-curator of the biennial NU Performance Festival On Hospitality on the occasion of the cultural capital program of Tallinn 2011, and of performance platform. body affects at Sophiensaele Berlin 2012, and the artistic director of the biennial program Tanznacht Berlin in 2016 (companions) & 2018 (Out of the Echo Chamber). In 2018, she was guest professor at the MA program SODA / HZT Berlin. Together with colleagues she is continuously working on formats for discussion and discourse.
Danae Theodoridou is a performance maker and researcher based in Brussels. She studied literature and linguistics in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and acting in the National Theatre of Northern Greece. She completed her PhD on dramaturgy of contemporary theatre and dance at the Roehampton University in London. The past years, her artistic work focuses on the notion of social imaginaries and the way art can contribute to the emergence of social and political alternatives. At the same time, Danae teaches in various university departments and art conservatoires of theatre and dance in Europe, curates practice-led research projects and presents and publishes her research work internationally. She was co-creator of Dramaturgy at Work (2013-2016) and co-author of The Practice of Dramaturgy: Working on Actions in Performance (Valiz, 2017). For more information visit www.danaetheodoridou.com
Bronwyn Bailey-Charteris is a Swedish/Australian curator, writer, and lecturer based in Stockholm. Bronwyn is currently a Ph.D. student at the department of Art + Design at the University of New South Wales, researching water and art in her thesis titled ‘Swallowing the Hydrocene: Watery thinking for artistic ‘response-ability’ to the current climate crisis.’ Her research interests are focused on processes of ecology in contemporary art, water as a social metaphor and feminist methodologies. Working with practical learning platforms, artistic research, publications, and exhibitions, she has been present internationally as a curator and lecturer. She is also working in a research role at Accelerator, Stockholm University, as a guest lecturer in the Department of Dance at Stockholms Konstnärliga Högskola (Stockholm University of the Arts), as a guest lecturer in the Masters for Curatorial Practice, Stockholm University and was previously Curator at Index – The Swedish Contemporary Arts Foundation.
Tove Salmgren is a dancer, choreographer, curator and educator. As choreographer, she lingers in the absurd and the naïve, a space to trouble hegemonic understandings of the social, the self, relation, knowledge. Last years’ artistic and curatorial collaborations include We happen things/Manon Santkin and Moa Franzén (MDT Sthlm 2016) and a variety of playful interventions assisting The Blob – the curatorial persona initiated by Anna Efraimsson; “Blobbing the paper” at the conference The promises of Monsters, Stavanger University (2016), “The Conference Dinner”, at Deleuze International Conference, Stockholm (2015), “Blobbing” at Kunsthall Trondheim (2017). The solo performance I pretend that you speak (2014) and Objects and Speech (2016), were presented at MDT Sthlm. Since 2016, she has been co-directing, together with artist Kajsa Wadhia, the Köttinspektionen Dans, a platform and venue for experimental dance and performance in Uppsala, Sweden. Since 2017, she has been working at the Stockholm University of the Arts, and 2019, as a Lecturer in Performative Practices. https://kottinspektionen-dans.se/en/
Martin Sonderkamp is a dancer and choreographer and lives in Stockholm and Berlin. Since 1995, he has been creating choreographies and performances for stages, but also for museums and galleries in Europe, Russia, Asia and the USA. His interest in the ecologies of collective work is rooted in a transdisciplinary and collaborative artistic practice. It explores the interplay of different approaches, roles and methods in the fields of dance, visual arts and experimental music, drawing on the translation of performance scripts and choreographic scores using a variety of media, materials and formats. His ongoing collaboration with visual artist Darko Dragicevic include Tonträger (2019), A Collective Body (2018), Sonic Extensions (2017) and Approximations (2015). Based on re-constructing Anna Halprin’s City Dances, he was a collaborating choreographer in City Dances Cologne, DE (2016) directed by Stepahnie Tiersch. In 2012, with choreographer Vera Sander, he conceptualized and curated the alterable, participatory exhibition Social Movement at Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum Cologne, DE.
Marijana Cvetković is a writer, researcher, curator, producer, teacher in the field of culture and cultural policy. She graduated in art history in Belgrade. She completed MA in management in culture and cultural policy (Belgrade and Lyon). Currently a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts. Co-founder of Station Service for contemporary dance and the Balkan Platform Nomad Dance Academy. Cultural activist at the independent cultural scenes of Belgrade and Serbia, co-founder of associations other scene and Association of Independent Cultural Scene of Serbia. Actively participates in the initiatives Cultural Center Magacin, http://xn--zajedniko-rfb.org/ (platform for theory and practice of the commons) and the independent dance scene in Belgrade.
Jasna Jasna Žmak is a freelance dramaturge and writer based in Zagreb, Croatia, and working in the fields of performance, dance, literature and film. She is assistant professor at the Department of Dramaturgy at the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb, where she previously graduated. She holds a PhD from the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities of the University of Zagreb. Her research interests include different shades of performance dramaturgy, reflections of feminist perspectives and questions of queer possibilities. She was member of the editorial board of the performing arts journal Frakcija. She writes performance texts, short stories, reviews, research papers, and essays. She has published several books, including “Lecture as performance, performance as lecture – on the production of knowledge in the arts” (Leykam International, 2019) and “Dirty words – essays on female sexuality” (Fraktura, 2020).
Jasmina Založnik is a dramaturge, theatrologist, critic and producer. Her primary focus is on contemporary dance; she deals with its historicization and reflection, and fosters initiatives that help create more encouraging conditions for its development. She is an active member of the Nomad Dance Academy Slovenija, regional network the Nomad Dance Academy, the City of Women Association, and a member of professional guild organizations: the Association of Theatre Critics and Researchers of Slovenia and the Contemporary Dance Association Slovenia. She is also a member of the editorial board of Maska journal and Dialogi journal, and is active locally and internationally as a writer, dramaturge, curator, moderator, consultant, researcher and art collaborator. She holds a master’s degree in philosophy and is completing her PhD thesis titled ‘Claiming the Space of the New Performative Art Practices: Ljubljana, Belgrade, and Novi Sad (1965 – 1987)’ at the University of Aberdeen (UK). In 2015, she received the Ksenija Hribar Award for dance in the category of criticism/dramaturgy/theory.
Rok Vevar graduated from the Department of Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at the Faculty of Philosophy in Ljubljana. In the 1990s, he attended the Theatre and Puppetry School – Cosmopolitan art workshop (GILŠ KODUM) at the then called, ZKOS (Zveza kulturnih organizacij Slovenije – Union of Cultural Organizations of Slovenia). He is a publicist in the field of contemporary performing arts, and a historian and archivist of contemporary dance. He has published articles and reviews in a number of daily newspapers (Delo, Finance, Večer), in professional journals (Maska, Frakcija), as well as in Slovenian and foreign periodicals. As a dramaturge, he has collaborated with artists from the field of contemporary dance and theatre (Sinja Ožbolt, Jana Menger, Goran Bogdanovski, Andreja Rauch Pozdravnik, Snježana Premuš, Kaja Lorenci, Dejan Srhoj, Oliver Frljić, Ana Vujanović, Saša Asentić). Together with Simona Semenič, he has created three plays: Polna pest praznih rok (Fistful of Empty Hands), 2001, Solo brez talona (Solo Without Talons), 2003, and Kartografija celovečernih slik (Cartography of Full-Length Images), 2005. As part of the network of festivals FIT (Poland, Finland, Slovakia, Slovenia), as well as at international festivals (Bulgaria, Latvia, Croatia), he has taught young critics, dance dramaturges, and publicists. At the AGRFT academy (Academy of Theatre, Film and Television) in Ljubljana he has taught history, dramaturgy, analysis, theory of contemporary dance, as well as theatre criticism. Since 2010, he has been an active member of the Balkan network for dance, Nomad Dance Academy, and its various artistic, educational, and production programs. As part of the Nomad Dance Institute project, he has initiated the archiving and historization of choreographic practices in the region, and published the findings of this research in two issues of the journal Maska (Premiki sodobnega plesa II/Movements in Contemporary Dance II, Avtonomija plesu/Autonomy to Dance). In 2012, he established the Temporary Slovenian Dance Archives in his own apartment, moving it to MSUM (Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova) in Ljubljana in April 2018. He has also presented his archive at Harvard University, USA. He founded and co-curated with Sinja Ožbolt the Ukrep festival, which was a festival for perspectives in dance in Ljubljana at PTL (Dance Theatre of Ljubljana), from 2008-2010. Since 2012, he has been co-curating the international dance festival CoFestival (Nomad Dance Academy Slovenija, Kino Šiška). A selection of his reviews and articles was published in the book Rok za oddajo (Deadline), in 2011, and in 2018, he edited the book Dan, noč + človek = Ritem: Antologija slovenske sodobnoplesne publicistike 1918–1960 (Day, night + man = Rhythm: An Anthology of Contemporary Slovene Journalism 1918-1960), for which he selected materials and wrote accompanying texts. In 2020, he published his new monograph Ksenija, Xenia: Londonska plesna leta Ksenije Hribar 1960–1978 (Ksenija, Xenia: The London Dance Years of Ksenija Hribar 1960-1978). In 2019, he was awarded the Ksenija Hribar Award for his work (The Contemporary Dance Association Slovenia), and in 2020, he won the Vladimir Kralj Award (The Association of Theatrologists and Critics Slovenia).
Dragana Alfirević is a cultural worker in the field of contemporary performing arts. She was born in Belgrade in 1976, where she studied Art History at the Faculty of Philosophy, and then completed specialist studies in the program BODY UNLIMITED at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, Serbia. She is co-founder of the Balkan Dance Network and Nomad Dance Academy, a regional tool for communication, education and artistic exchange. She is also coordinator and producer of NDA Slovenia. Dragana is also co-founder of STATION, Service for Contemporary Dance in Belgrade and co-curator of CoFestival in Ljubljana (www.cofestival.si). Since 2010, she has been a coordinator of Nomad Dance Academy Slovenia. She is active in various international projects (Dance On Pass On Dream On, Life Long Burning, Imaginary School, among others). Dragana has authored and co-authored 15 evening length performances and a dozen short choreographies, and is regularly choreographing for theatre performances. She teaches, makes performances, writes, curates festivals, and produces art events in the space between praxis, theory, and activism. In the field of collaborative practices, she is interested in new ways of communication and organization that derive from the needs of the doing. In her artistic work, Dragana works on the development of her own artistic practice, based on research of process and continuity in search for new models of production, as opposed to project-oriented work. She is a member of the Managing Board of Slovene Association of Contemporary Dance. She received the Ksenija Hribar Award for her work in production in 2019.
Mariana Valencia is a New York-based choreographer and performer. Her work has been presented by the Danspace Project, American Realness, AUNTS, The Chocolate Factory Theater, Performance Space, the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (OR), The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (DC), The Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), and internationally in England, Norway, North Macedonia, and Serbia. Valencia is a Whitney Biennial artist (2019), a Bessie Award recipient for Outstanding Breakout Choreographer (2018), a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award to Artists grant recipient (2018), a Jerome Travel and Study Grant fellow (2014-15), and a Movement Research GPS/Global Practice Sharing artist (2016/17). She is a founding member of the No Total reading group, and she co-editor of Movement Research’s Critical Correspondence (2016-17). She has held residencies at Chez Bushwick, New York Live Arts, ISSUE Project Room, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Gibney Dance Center, Movement Research, and at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (OR). In 2019, she published two books of performance texts titled “Album” (Wendy’s Subway) and “Mariana Valencia’s Bouquet” (3 Hole Press). Valencia holds a BA from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA (2006), with a focus on dance and ethnography.
Darko Dragičević is a Belgrade-born, Berlin-based visual and performance artist. He works on interdisciplinary projects and cross-media collaborations as expanded practices within the fields of visual arts, performance, choreography and film. His most recent projects include choreographies I am now… infinity with J. Založnik (premiered in January 2020 in Kino Šiška Ljubljana), Tonträger with M. Sonderkamp (premiered in February 2019 at Open Spaces Tanzfabrik Berlin), site-specific interventions Failure as Practice (presented: November 2019 CoFestival Ljubljana, July 2019 Open Spaces Sommer Tanz Festival Berlin) and 2 books: Failure as Practice (published in March 2019 by Goethe-Institut Serbia) and The Readymades with J. Holten (re-issued in September 2019 by Broken Dimanche Press). This year Dragičević is collaborating with Christina Ciupke, Jasna Layes Vinovrški, Siri Jøntvedt, Jasmina Založnik, Martin Sonderkamp, Zeina Hanna on different projects and he is Artistic Director and Editor of the project Lie & Theft as Practice done in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut in Belgrade. Dragičević teaches at institutions including DOCH – School of Dance and Circus/Stockholm University of the Arts, ZZT Centre for Contemporary Dance/HfMT Cologne, Folkwang University Essen, Tanzquartier Vienna and Y-Institut/Hochschule der Künste Bern. He studied Film and Television Production at the New York Film Academy in New York City and Visual Arts at The International College of Arts & Sciences in Milan where he earned a BA in Visual Communication and an MFA in Visual Arts.
has switched roles between curator, producer, manager, teacher and dramaturge, etc. Since January 2020, she has been working as the director of MDT, a venue for co-production, research and presentation of dance, choreography and performance in Stockholm. From 2014-2019, Efraimsson worked as Associate Professor of Choreography with a focus on curatorial practices, and from 2017, she was the head of the Dance Department at DOCH Stockholm University of the Arts. Since 2014, she also runs the low-intensity elastic organizational body The Blob.
Efraimsson is educated at the Cultural studies program at Stockholm University, Études théâtrales at Sorbonne in Paris, France and at the ICPP, Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University in the US. Efraimsson has previously worked at The Kitchen in NYC, Kulturhuset, The Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s international dance program, Mossutställningar, Perfect Performance and other. One of her first jobs was actually Press and audience manager at Moderna Dansteatern (later MDT). Efraimsson is also proud to have started the feminist network W.I.S.P. together with Sandra Medina, Tove Sahlin and Johanna Skobe.
Paz Ponce (ES, 1985) is a Berlin-based independent culture producer, writer & researcher of contemporary artistic creation. With a background in art history (Univ. Complutense, Madrid / FU, Berlin), she investigates the collective context in which art is produced and mediated, with a special focused on self-organization, culture of cooperativism and biographical research. Her curatorial practice develops process-oriented formats: archival-research exhibition projects, art in residency programs, learning platforms and professional networks in Europe, Asia Latin America and the Caribbean, i.e: AFFECT – Program for Collaborative Artistic Practices in Berlin (Agora Collective, 2014-20, Coordinator & Artistic co-director), ¡n[s]urgênc!as: Platform for socially conscious artistic practices & activist positions from Latin America (s.2018, Berlin, Founder & Artistic director), neue Häute e.V – collective research space (Uferstudios, s.2020 co-founder & artistic co-director). Artistically, she works with Club Real devising participatory dramaturgies within contextual art projects (13 Havana Biennial, CU; Impulse Theater Festival, DE). She teaches curatorial research methods at NODE, works as an external consultant for the Erasmus + program “Curating in Context (2019-21)”, and is a post-master fellow at the Collective Practices Research Course (by the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm). She has published on contextual artistic practices in Cuba.
Nikolina Pristaš is a dancer, choreographer, co-founder of the performing arts collective BADco. (2000 -), and Assistant Professor at the Dance Department of the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb (2015 -). She graduated from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Zagreb (English Language and Literature and Comparative Literature), completed the eight-year program of the dance school Ane Maletić in Zagreb. Since 2000, she has been realizing her artistic interests through cooperation with members of the BADco. The specificity of artistic insights and knowledge produced in BADco, through a series of theater-dance performances, video installations, thematic symposia, art workshops and a few printed publications, resulted in her being invited to some of the prestigious art academies in Europe to attend as a lecturer and realize art projects in teaching practice. (Justus Liebig University – Giessen, P.A.R.T.S. – Brussel, The Danish National School for Performing Arts – Kopenhagen…). At the Dance Department of the Academy of Dramatic Art, she teaches courses of improvisational dance performance and contemporary choreography. She is currently the Head of the Dance Department.
Cassils is a visual artist working in live performance, film, sound, sculpture and photography. Cassils has achieved international recognition for a rigorous engagement with the body as a form of social sculpture. It is with sweat, blood, and sinew that Cassils constructs a visual critique around ideologies and histories. Cassils received Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax (1997), and Master of Fine Arts in Art and Integrated Media from California Institute of the Arts, Valencia (2002). Their work has been shown in exhibitions worldwide; solo exhibition venues include Perth Museum of Contemporary Art, Perth; Station Museum, Texas; and Ronald Feldman Gallery (NYC), and Trinity Square Video (Toronto). They have also received several awards, fellowships, and residencies, including support from the Canada Council for the Arts (2020), John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (2018), Creative Capital (2015), and a Villa Bellagio Rockefeller Foundation Fellow.
Ivana Vaseva (1984, Skopje) is a curator and researcher of cross-disciplinary, collaborative and socially engaged works and programs. She is program director of the organization “Faculty of things that can’t be learned (FR~U)” and is co-curator of the AKTO Festival for Contemporary Arts existing since 2006. She has curated several exhibitions and programs both in the country and abroad, and was an editor of several publications. She won the prestigious Golden Triga for best exposition (curator of the project) for the project “This building talks truly”, which represented North Macedonia at the 2019 Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space 2019. She won the award “Ladislav Barishikj” of AICA – Macedonia for the research project “Collective actions as a political, and not organizational decision” (2015, co-author), and the Special Architecture Award from the Association of Architects of Macedonia (2014, co-participant). Vaseva graduated from the Faculty of History of Art at the University “Ss. Cyril and Methodius” in Skopje, and specialized at the Curatorial Program (2011/2012) at de Appel Arts Centre in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Marta Popivoda (Belgrade) is a Berlin-based filmmaker, video-artist, and researcher. Her work explores tensions between memory and history, collective and individual bodies, as well as ideology and everyday life, with a focus on antifascist and feminist potentialities of the Yugoslav socialist project. She cherishes collective practice in art-making and research, and for several years she has been part of TkH (Walking Theory) collective. Popivoda’s first feature documentary, Yugoslavia, How Ideology Moved Our Collective Body, premiered at the 63rd Berlinale and was later screened at many international film festivals. The film is part of the permanent collection of MoMA New York, and it’s featured in What Is Contemporary Art?, MoMA’s online course about contemporary art from 1980 to the present. Her work has also featured in major art galleries, such as Tate Modern London, MoMA New York, M HKA Antwerp, Museum of Modern Art + MSUM Ljubljana, etc. Recently, Popivoda received the prestigious Berlin Art Prize for the visual arts by Akademie der Künste Berlin and Edith-Russ-Haus Award for Emerging Media Artist. She is currently completing her second feature-length documentary Landscapes of Resistance.
Tiiiit! Inc.: The key activity of Tiiiit! Inc. – Skopje is production of the only festival of feminist culture and action in North Macedonia, FIRSTBORN GIRL. The Festival creates opportunities for local, regional and international exchange, cooperation and networking of activists, and contributes to essential recognition of women’s creative production. Activism, networking and representation of feminist artists and participants is the core of the festival program, as well as inclusion of individuals and organizations working on similar topics from the region and Europe. The festival’s program is conceived as an open space for presentation and creative exchange of women artists, activists and cultural workers of today – those who theoretically address gender issues from different perspectives, those who publicly advocate and try to improve the position of women on a policy level, as well as women who authentically reflect on their role in society, expressing themselves in the sphere of various arts.
Kristina Lelovac (Skopje, 1985) is a professional actress and drama acting lecturer at the Faculty of Drama Arts – Skopje, where she is also enrolled in doctoral studies in Theatrology. Her fields of interest are professional training of actors and re-thinking of theatre practices in the context of (contemporary) political realities. She has performed at the Macedonian National Theater, in independent theater productions, as well as in film and television projects. She participated in domestic and international festivals, study visits, summer schools and workshops. She is an active contributor to the independent cultural scene in Macedonia, and a member of several activist initiatives. Since 2013, with Tiiit! Inc. she has been producing and programing the Firstborn Girl Festival.
Jana Kocevska (Skopje, 1986) graduated at the institute for Ethnology and Anthropology in Skopje. Since 2011, as a founding member of Tiiiit! Inc., she is actively involved in the cultural scene in the field of gender, feminism and women’s rights as a manager and program creator at the Feminist Action and Culture Festival – Firstborn Girl. She is also one of the founders of the Centre for Research of Nationalism and Culture (CRNC) that focuses on understanding and raising awareness of the emergence of nationalism in the Balkan Region and its complex relations with culture in Balkan societies. She worked for two years as a project coordinator at Coalition Margins, an NGO with focus on sexual and health rights of marginalized communities. As part of the Coalition Margins, she was an assistant at the Skopje Pride Weekend Festival in 2017 and 2019. She also worked as an assistant at the Festival of Critical Culture – CRIC in Skopje in 2016, 2019, 2020. She has participated in several research projects as a junior researcher.