What if? by Dejan Srhoj
It has been three months since our meeting. I am at the office, nobody on the street, nobody at the offices nearby. Everything is silent. I am watching at the entrance of the space we wish to rent. 160m2 one studio, 70 m2 the other one, 10 euros per square meter.
When will corona pan(dem)ic stop? Will people want to take evening trainings? If they take trainings, will they be able to pay for them? Will the insurance company get out at the end of March? April, May, June?
Once the space will run, I imagine three or four organizations will split the costs and co-run the space. We will have a weekly morning sharing of practices, a monthly assembly of all the interested parties, public events every three months in which we put our practices side by side. Evening classes, renting out the space to other artists in the city, weekend renting to agencies filming commercials. With all that in the plan, we should end by having time from 8 am till 5 pm for rehearsals and indulging in our practices.
What if we don’t rent out as much as we plan? What if we start fighting for who has the right for a bigger studio at better time slots? What if costs are higher? What if instead securing space to rehearse we will spend most of my time running the space? What if society changes, we become isolated and everything goes online?
It is silent out here, very few cars, very few people. The pizzeria is just around the corner, they bake fine pizzas, they sometimes burn them, but Italian mozzarella they use, oh, that’s the best. Oh, I never thought I will miss the studio so much.
I miss a space bigger than my living room. I miss a space with very little objects, very little colors, very little information. I miss a space I can fill with my thoughts, movements, projections, illness, health, love and hate and the space doesn’t mind. It doesn’t mind because I think of it, I look at it, I touch it and savor it, I clean it I dirty it and therefore it knows it’s not alone, and it has a purpose and meaning and things that tend to forget about me if I don’t look at them will have no reason to forget.
Dejan Srhoj is а dancer, choreographer and dance curator. His work is strongly infused with the policies of self-organization and collective work, in which it is not necessary to completely consolidate the performers in order for cooperation and creativity to take place. He is interested in the compositional processes that take place in the production, curatorial, pedagogic as well as artistic, or to be more precise choreographic fields. He calls his work composition of differences. In his childhood and adolescent years, Dejan Srhoj was a dedicated student of ballet, and between 1998 and 2001 he was a ballet soloist in the Slovenian National Opera and Ballet in Ljubljana. In 2001 he, together with Goran Bogdanovski, funded the non-government dance company Fičo Balet, in which they performed artistic and pedagogic work in the field of contemporary dance. 15 years ago he has co-founded the Balkan dance network Nomad Dance Academy, in which he plays an active role also today.
Art Spaces and Residencies Summit is organised by Lokomotiva – Centre for New Initiatives in Arts and Culture in the framework of the yearly program “Contemporary culture and public policies” 2019, developed as part of the project “Program of Lokomotiva in Kino Kultura – project space for contemporary performing arts and contemporary culture” supported by the City of Skopje, Ministry of Culture of North Macedonia and Centar Municipality and Life Long Burning, programme line Performance situation room supported by Creative Europe.