Bojana Cvejić addresses the question of publicness through a series of experiments staged within the unique public arena of Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. Invited to manifest the book Public Sphere by Performance which she co-wrote with Ana Vujanović, in this space, and working with and amongst Tate’s mass audience, Cvejić invites choreographer Christine De Smedt, filmmaker Lennart Laberenz, Neto Machado and Nikolina Pristaš to test choreographic patterns for Tate Modern’s visitors, elaborating upon and interfering with the audience flow.
After the claim that ‘the public can only be performed’ in Public Sphere by Performance, Bojana Cvejić investigates Tate Modern as a model of public institution exhibiting and producing contemporary art.
At various intervals during the day on Wednesday 21 May; Friday 23 and Saturday 24 May, the flow of visitors through the Turbine Hall is filtered through by a choreographic inquiry. As a result of questions which discern citizens as they perform their individual selves in relation to each other, group movements, postures and formations spontaneously emerge in the open public space of the Turbine Hall. Tate Modern’s audience flow is reordered in choreographic patterns that reflect the visitors’ Spatial Confessions. The arising choreographic images reveal how the museum’s visitors appear as a public in the vast public arena of Tate Modern. Watch our video below.
The book Public Sphere by Performance resulted from a two-year research project ‘Performance and the Public’ that Ana Vujanović, Bojana Cvejić and Marta Popivoda carried out in 2011 and 2012, during the residency of TkH (Walking Theory) platform (Belgrade) at Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers. In Public Sphere by Performance Cvejić and Vujanović propose an analysis of and discussion about the public – and its discontents – through several models of mass, collective, and self-performances, such as social drama and social choreography. The part of the research of Marta Popivoda gave rise to the documentary film Yugoslavia: How Ideology Moved Our Collective Body to be screened on Saturday 24 May.
Bojana Cvejić lives and works in Brussels. She practises critical theory in writing, teaching and dramaturgy, and performance in theatre and dance. Her work comprises performances, lectures and books in philosophy and performance studies (e.g. Choreographing Problems, Palgrave Macmillan, upcoming). As dramaturge, she has collaborated with a number of European choreographers, amongst others Xavier Le Roy, Eszter Salamon and Mette Ingvartsen. She is a co-founding member of TkH (Walking Theory) editorial collective from Belgrade, dedicated to theoretical-artistic research. She is currently investigating solo as a technique and performance of the self in liberal individualism.
Lennart Laberenz lives and works in Berlin. He is a filmmaker and writer.
Ana Vujanović is a freelance cultural worker in the fields of contemporary performing arts and culture. She is a cofounding member of the editorial collective of TkH (Walking Theory), the Belgrade-based theoretical-artistic platform, and chief editor of TkH journal for performing arts theory. Her particular commitment has been to empower the independent scenes in Belgrade and former Yugoslavia (Druga scena). She has lectured and given workshops at various universities and independent educational programs throughout Europe. She engages in artworks in the fields of performance, theatre, dance, and video/film, as dramaturge, co-author, performer and artistic collaborator. She publishes regularly in journals and collections and is author of four books, most recently Public Sphere by Performance with Bojana Cvejić (b_books: Berlin, 2012). She is currently international visiting professor at the Dpt. for Human Movement/Performance Studies, University of Hamburg and holds Ph.D. in Theatre Studies from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts, Belgrade. In recent years her research interest has been focused on the intersections between performance and politics in neoliberal capitalist societies.
Christine De Smedt
Christine De Smedt is a dancer and performer. Originally graduating in criminology, Christine De Smedt started studying movement research techniques in dance and performance. Her artistic practice draws upon dance, performance and choreography. From 1991 until 2012 De Smedt was a member of the ballets C de la B dance company, performing her own work since 1993. Notable works include the solo piece la force fait l’union fait la force, a travelling project in the Balkan Escape Velocity (1998) and, from 2000–5 the large scale project 9x9 which was performed in 15 cities across Europe and Canada. De Smedt has collaborated closely with Meg Stuart since 1992, and also with Mette Edvardsen, Mårten Spångberg, Xavier Le Roy, Eszter Salamon amongst others. She is currently also pedagogical coordinator at the Brussels based dance school the Performing Arts Research and Training Studios (P.A.R.T.S.) .
Neto Machado is a Brazilian artist which works as choreographer/director and performer in the fields of dance, theater, visual arts and cinema. He is one of the coordinators of Dimenti – an artistic environment responsible for the annual event Interaction and Conectivity, from Salvador – Bahia. Neto is a current fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart – Germany. Some of his works are: Desastro (2012), Kodak (2011), Infiltration (2009), Solution for All the Problems of the World (2007) and Agora (2004). He is also a screenwriter, co-director and actor in Pinta (2013), feature film produced by Dimenti. Neto also takes part in projects of Jorge Alencar, Jan Ritsema, Xavier Le Roy, Thiago Granato and Bojana Cvejić.
Nikolina Pristaš is a choreographer and dancer and one of the co-founders of BADco. a collaborative performance collective based in Zagreb, Croatia. The collective focuses on the theatrical and dance performance as a problem-generating rather than problem-solving activity and questions the established ways of performing, representing and spectating. Pristaš teaches at the newly opened dance department at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb.
Spatial Confessions is conceived by Bojana Cvejić in collaboration with Christine De Smedt, Lennart Laberenz, Marta Popivoda, Ana Vujanović and other invited guests.
BMW Tate Live is curated by Catherine Wood, Curator, Contemporary Art and Performance, Tate and Capucine Perrot, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern.
BMW Tate Live is a partnership between BMW and Tate, which focuses on performance, interdisciplinary art and curating digital space.