Abstracts

Luchezar Boyadjiev “How Many Nails in a Mouth? Self-portrait with 2 kg of 12.5 cm long nails,” 1995 (Photo credit: Fuji Photo Lab off Vitosha Blvd. in Sofia, no longer in existence)
Luchezar Boyadjiev
“How Many Nails in a Mouth? Self-portrait with 2 kg of 12.5 cm long nails,” 1995
(Photo credit: Fuji Photo Lab off Vitosha Blvd. in Sofia, no longer in existence)

Abstracts for Friday, October 30, 2015

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Luchezar Boyadjiev

The Appeal of the Performative Lecture, Photograph and Installation

(A Survivor of Utopia with Nostalgia for the Iron Curtain and a master of Overlapping Identities in Deep Europe who sees The Balkans as Either a Door or a Corner at the time of the Visual Logic of (early) Neo-Capitalism, which is in fact a Billboard Heaven, and of the Schadenfreude (Guided Tours) neo-liberal kind of Dog-Eat-Dog-Art-World where the GastARTbeiter once said: ’Don’t Art Around!’, unless you tell the story of an Endspiel that is part of the ever going battle between The Good, The Bad and The Lonely…”)

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Branko Miliskovic

The Speech

Branko Miliskovic,
Branko Miliskovic, “The Speech,”
2011
Photo by Nemanja Ladjic

Branko Miliskovic will present a portion of his performance The Speech, which is part of a longer 2-part performance, The Absolute: 1.) The Speech and 2.) The Day of DefianceThe Speech usually involves four hours of speeches, where the artist is speaking off the top of his head – not a prepared speech. The aim is to rouse the audience for the next day, which is a battle that never happens. During The Day of Defiance, for four hours the artist waves a red flag and salutes to it, and at the end of each hour, plays the Russian antifascist song: Svyashchennaya Voyna (Sacred War, composed by Aleksandr Aleksandrov). The artist’s focus on power, politics and military rhetoric aims to stir something within his audience, by pushing his own body to the limits of its capabilities. In Aberdeen, Branko will present 40 minutes of The Speech, followed by discussion.

****Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Italian-based Montenegrin artist Ilija Šoškić will no longer be able to perform in TIPA, therefore Branko will no present The Day of Defiance as part of TIPA (and dedicated to Šoškić), at 21:30 on Friday, October 30, at Peacock Visual Arts. We are very lucky to be able to see both parts of The Absolute in Aberdeen!****

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Dr. Catherine Spencer 

Politics, Pedagogy and International Exchange: Allan Kaprow in Europe

In 1966, the US artist Allan Kaprow, the Argentine Marta Minujín, and the German Wolf Vostell attempted to collaborate on a simultaneous ‘intercontinental’ Happening. Each artist, so the plan went, would create performances in their respective countries at the same time, relaying live actions between the three sites through satellite television and radio connections. Ultimately, only Minujín was able to realise her part of the work, but the episode encapsulates the utopian visions that many performance artists had for their discipline in this period. It also demonstrates the challenges to transnational communication, and the interruptions to such exchange that reflected the complexity of Cold War politics.

This paper traces out Kaprow’s continued interest in the possibilities of intercultural collaboration through performance during the 1960s and 1970s. Although his first European experience at the Edinburgh Festival International Drama Conference in 1963 was far from auspicious – the theatre critic Kenneth Tynan forced him to cancel a performance, and many traditional theatre practitioners ‘refused to participate’ even when he did manage to stage a work – over the subsequent decades he formed important relationships with artists in the UK and Europe, from Richard Hamilton to Vostell and Robert Filliou. Kaprow’s links with West Germany became particularly important, and works such as Sweet Wall of 1970 directly addressed the political situation in a divided Europe. His performance for festivals reflected his growing interest in alternative education, and saw him develop activities and events specifically for children, as well as creating impromptu, private pieces for friends and their families. This paper explores the works that Kaprow designed for festivals and exhibitions in Europe, considering how these venues provided testing zones for his engagement with social and political issues.

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Abstracts for Saturday, October 31, 2015

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Jana Písaříková

Art is Here

The paper “Art is Here” deals with the forms and methods of distribution of Czech conceptual and performance art in the 1960s and 1970s. The main character of my paper is curator, art theorist, artist and reviewer Jiří Valoch. For a long period of five decades, his home address (in the city of Brno) was a place from and to which correspondence was sent involving nowadays internationally established artists, theorists, gallerists and curators. (Joseph Beuys, Dick Higgins, Ben Vautier, Siebe Hansma, Carl Fridrich Claus, Richard Long, Richard DeMarco). His life story has become a legend, characterized by many paradoxes. Thanks to his large correspondence, he was in connection with major cultural epicentres throughout his life, without – paradoxically – personally visiting more than five per cent of the places where his works were exhibited and his theoretical essays read. His conceptual work has been presented in many international collections at present, however, in his home town he remained – in accordance with the biblical saying “No one is a prophet in his own land” – half-forgotten for a long time. In the paper, there will be included examples from Jiří Valoch’s collection and archival materials, illustrating the specifics of the local conceptual stage as well as the ways in which it was absorbing the parameters of international art practice (such as mail-art, land-art, performance art, happening etc.). During the presentation, there will also be briefly introduced the works of other Czech authors (such as Jiří Hynek Kocman, Marian Palla, Dalibor Chatrný) that are going to become a part of a new permanent exhibition Art is Here in the Moravian Gallery in Brno, Czech Republic at the end of this year, and that, among other things, make an effort to reassess the local art scene in the context of international developments in experimental art forms.

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Božidar Jurjević Eclipse, 2007 Performance in Zagreb
Božidar Jurjević
Eclipse, 2007
Performance in Zagreb

Božidar Jurjević will present a performance on Saturday, October 31, in the context of the conference.

In 1997, Croatian artist Božidar Jurjević presented the first instantiation of a performance that he would repeat every ten years. In Eclipse, he attempts to do the impossible: to move the Landed Sun sculpture by Croatian sculptor Ivan Kožarić. The sculpture was installed in the city in 1971, and later moved. In the performance, Jurjević attempts to move it back to its original position with the help of the bungee cords connecting him to it. The task is ultimately futile. The artist struggles and struggles until he becomes exhausted and gives up. In 2014, the artist performed Art during a residency in Canada. Dressed in a straightjacket, with his hands tied, he took a piece of charcoal in his mouth and used it to write the word “art” on the wall. Because of his limited mobility, this, too, was a struggle, expressing the disturbance in the global economy that has consequently frustrated the efforts of artists and limited their ability to create. In Aberdeen, Jurjević will combine elements of both performances and engage with a public sculpture on the University of Aberdeen Campus, Evolutionary Loop 517, to express the thought that evolution is impossible without art whose overall energy has collapsed in the face of universal commercialization.

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