Ana Vujanović (Belgrade)

Ana Vujanović is freelance worker (theoretician, organizator, scientist, editor, lecturer, dramaturge, collaborator) in the fields of theatre, performing arts, and culture. She made Ph.D. in the field of Theatre Studies. Significant part of her work is connected with TkH (Walking Theory) independent theoretical-artistic platform from Belgrade. Her current focus is infrastructural problematics of self-organized initiatives and groups, particularly in post-socialist context (Other Scene, Belgrade). She publishes regularly theoretical texts and reviews for several performance and culture magazines in SMN and abroad; and is also author of two books: Destroying Performance Signifiers, Belgrade: SKC, 2004 and Doxicid c-ToPA/4, Novi Sad, Sremski Karlovci: IKZS, (forthcoming) 2006. Her work is founded and performed as a critical non-teleological investigation.


>> Exhibition 23.09. - 15.10.2006


>> Lectures/ Presentations/ Panel

Sunday, 24.9., 12 a.m. - 19 p.m.

Moderation: Marina Gržinić (Vienna/Ljubljana)

15:00 -16:30  Performance/ Lecture

„Re- Delegating, archiving performances on- the- edge- of- the- void“

Ana Vujanović/ Marta Popivoda/ Bojana Cvejić (Belgrade)

About the limits of current performance art – proposals for non-existing and probably not viable performances submitted by nine invited artists


>> Contribution in MALMOE 34:

art space is innocent! – or else

Ana Vujanović, Marta Popivoda

A: If I introduce the subject no space is innocent! into the field of art, my basic concern is how artistic work (labor, production, action) might be a political practice in the public space of society.

M: First strategy of acting in/on the society, in my opinion, is the act of going out from art space, i.e. from the framework, which is dedicated to art.

A: I also think about it… but for me it is rather a question – is it? Whenever and however I think about the gesture of going out from the art space into the open space of culture and society, I face myself with the question: Why would we deal with art in that case any more? Why should we maintain the concept of art and its attributes, as we left its space? Why wont we start to deal with cultural activism or political practice? – as they are already verified as transformative practices of culture and society.

M: Yes, I am also thinking about this, and the same question raises to me. Actually, I think it’s not necessary to save the concept of art and its attributes. Perhaps next step is to cancel space of Artworld (in A. Danto’s sense), and to act profoundly in other fields with the tendency towards activism. …But, do we then lose the potentiality of art to act? I am asking myself, would it be then the potentiality that would never be possible to be actualized.

A: What is “the potentiality” about?

M: It’s about the potentiality of artistic activity to be realized as social practice.

A: I don’t think that it is potentiality of art but its constitutive characteristics. Art doesn’t exist without being a social practice; no matter how it considers its position and function. I follow here the line of Althusser and Slovenian Marxists-Psychoanalyticians from the 1970s, and the formula of “ex-timacy” of art in society is for me still valid key to the question. And what interests me now is differentiation of social and political practices - not how to make art a social practice but how to make art as social practice politically active.

M: I also think in the line of Althusser and defining art as a relatively-autonomous social practice… But, I thought on unsecured social practice, which takes the consequences for its acting, and not just on the social practice, which was easily assimilated in the market, and with this lost in advance any possibility of critical transformativity …which it had in some other systems. At least, there was the act of resistance toward art from the side of the older systems.

A: I don’t think that the space of art should be canceled but that it should enter public space of society in order to re-politicized it. It is true that the system of neo-liberal capitalism is achieving amazing assimilation of its critical practices, and just because of that one must insist on the re-politization, which will leave no place protected by the aura of innocence. That it the question of politics based on media specificity of art as historically and socially established practice and institution.

M: For me, a radical re-politization of public space would be canceling, total erasing the art space, and conceptualized transfer to other practices. Nowadays art considers itself a non-autonomous practice in the middle of society, and helps to it also non-innocent. But in my opinion the problem is just that nowadays Artworld is innocent space indeed!

A: This thesis is quite provocative… although it turns us back to the old considering art as transcendental space of “superstructure” that levitates above the social reality…

M: It doesn’t, as the context is different. In other words, my thesis is that art does not levitate above the social reality, but that the economical system developed within Artworld iterates the current model of free market but in fact is its mere simulation.

A: And where is the innocence there? …It seems to me that the basic thing with the “simulationism” of art prodecures is their constructive character. I think on P.Virno’s theses; on the procedures that were characteristic for cultural-artistic sphere of the 1950s in opposite to Fordist social-economical reality. It’s necessarily to note, as Virno put, that the exceptional procedures of culture and art of that time – e.g. priority of communication between people – have become normal procedures of post-Fordist economy of today. In this sense, the question of politicity of art runs through two vectors: one questions inner structure of the art space (thinking about its further consequences in other social fields), while other questions the excluded elements, in a word, the outside borders of the art space (thinking about actual structuration of social space, whose certain practices are not allowed to enter Artworld).

 M: I agree… that there is no innocence in Artworld, but I meant it because of its creators’ responsibility for its non-activity. They also don’t resist to the logic of profit, and think their work within the art marker, which even does not have all economical effects. For me, it is the basic line of our work (Re-delegating) for the exhibition no space is innocent! – the priority is to investigate the evacuated, empty space of art through its outside borders full of the elements that drop off the market. It is not the question is the dropping off possible – no, it isn’t; but what is crucial is to map the edges of the possibility-impossibility.


Ana Vujanovic, Belgrade, PhD in Theatre Studies; freelance cultural worker

Marta Popivoda, Belgrade, senior of Film and TV Directing at the Faculty of Drama Arts, video artist

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Diagram Ana Vujanović and team
Ana Vujanovic, Marta Popivoda, Bojana Cvejic, Re-Delegating, archiving performances on-the-edge-of-the void