Tate Modern Conference

BMW Tate Live: Spatial Confessions – Speaking Part Is the public going to be instituted?

As part of Spatial Confessions this conference addresses the question of the public with talks, debates and screenings.

With Claire Bishop, Nina Power, Ana Vujanović, Marta Popivoda and Goran Sergej Pristaš.

Ever since it was established in nineteenth century Europe, the bourgeois public sphere fosters the capacity of individuals to exercise and monitor the performative aspects of their own conduct in public. Museums have been the spaces in which actions, words, deeds, gestures, and bodily movements of citizens are the aesthetic expressions that constitute the public sphere.

Recently, venues of contemporary art have accommodated performance and dance into their spaces ranging from spectacular immersive environments to clandestine and politically controversial gestures.

What is distinctive about how the public is performed in art institutions today?

What are the terms and positions in which artists, dramaturges, critics, cultural workers and theorists, curators and public officials conceive of the public arising from contemporary art?

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BMW Tate Live: Spatial Confessions symposium - Part 1

Claire Bishop and Nina Power exchange in a dialogue their perspectives on museum practices of instituting the public and notions of the public order vs. public sphere in recent political uprisings. Ana Vujanović presents a lecture on the relationship between the public sphere and public art institutions. Goran Sergej Pristaš reflects on the ex-position/posure of the public between the apparatuses of theatre and exhibition. A running commentary gives a voice-over to an edited footage from the projects and commissions  staged in the Turbine Hall.

Half way through ‘Speaking part’, the audience is invited to witness one of the choreographic attempts of Spatial Confessions in the Turbine Hall.

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BMW Tate Live: Spatial Confessions symposium - Part 2

The day continues with the screening of Yugoslavia, how ideology moved our collective body. This experimental documentary film by Marta Popivoda deals with the question of how ideology performs itself in public space through mass performances. Popivoda collected and analyzed film and video footage from the period of Yugoslavia (1945 – 2000), focusing on state performances (youth work actions, May Day parades, celebrations of the Youth Day, etc.) as well as counter-demonstrations (’68, student and civic demonstrations in the ‘90s, 5th October revolution, etc.). Going back through the images, the film traces how communist ideology was gradually exhausted through the changing relations between the people, ideology, and the state.


14:00-14:15           Introduction by Capucine Perrot and Bojana Cvejić

14:15-14:55           Claire Bishop and Nina Power in conversation

15:00-15:30           Lecture by Ana Vujanović

15:30-15:40           Q&A with Claire Bishop, Nina Power and Ana Vujanović

15:45-16:05           Observing the Public in the Turbine Hall: A Running Commentary with Catherine Wood and Claire Bishop, edited footage from past Turbine Hall projects

16:05-16:35           BREAK and choreographic experiments, Turbine Hall

16:35-17:05           Remarks following the visit to the Turbine Hall with Bojana Cvejić and Christine De Smedt                     

17:05-17:45           Lecture by Goran  Sergej  Pristaš with Q&A

17:45-18:00           BREAK

18:00-19:20           Screening of Yugoslavia: how ideology moved our collective body, 2013 by Marta Popivoda, followed by Q&A

19:20-19:30           Final remarks by Bojana Cvejić


Claire Bishop

Claire Bishop is a Professor in the Ph.D. Program in Art History at CUNY Graduate Center in New York. Her publications include Installation Art: A Critical History (2005), Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship (2012), and Radical Museology, or, What's Contemporary in Museums of Contemporary Art? (2013). She is a regular contributor to Artforum.

Bojana Cvejić

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.

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. She is currently also pedagogical coordinator at the Brussels based dance school the Performing Arts Research and Training Studios (P.A.R.T.S.)

Marta Popivoda

Marta Popivoda is a filmmaker, video artist and a cultural worker. Her artistic and cultural work explore concerns with the discursive power structure of the contemporary art world as well as with the Yugoslav cultural and political sphere. Popivoda is a member of the editorial collective TkH (Walking Theory)

Nina Power

Nina Power is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Roehampton and Tutor in Critical Writing in Art & Design at the Royal College of Art. She has written widely on European philosophy and politics.

Goran Sergej Pristaš

Goran Sergej Pristas is a dramaturgist and Associate Professor at the Academy of Dramatic Arts, University of Zagreb.  He is co-founder and member of BADco., a performing arts collective and was the first editor-in-chief (1996–2007) of Frakcija, a magazine for the performing arts. He was one of the initiators of the project Zagreb – Cultural Kapital of Europe 3000. With his projects and collaborations (BADco., Frakcija) he has participated in the Venice Biennale 2011, Documenta 12, ARCO and numerous festivals and conferences. Along with Bojana Cvejić, Pristaš co-edited 'Parallel Slalom. A Lexicon of Non-aligned Poetics', TkH/CDU, Beograd-Zagreb, 2013.

Ana Vujanović

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. 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.


Spatial Confessions – Speaking Part  is conceived by Bojana Cvejić in discussion with Tate Modern’s curatorial team

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

Tate Modern

Starr Cinema

London SE1 9TG
Plan your visit

Date & Time

24 May 2014 at 14.00–19.30