Politics and identity They (art catalogue text writers, curators, journalists, etc.) always read my work in the geopolitical context of the country I represent. So no matter what my work was about – it was seen only in the light of this Balkan communism – post-communism, war-post-war, anti-modern tradition, weird local habits, and described in terms of cultural, social and political references related to the place I come from. – Vladimir Nikolić, 2007 Roselee Goldberg reductively characterises performance art from the former communist countries in Eastern

in Performance art in Eastern Europe since 1960
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1 Sources and origins Thank god for the so-called Iron Curtain … this perfect isolation meant that we did not degenerate as swiftly or as tragically as the rest of Europe. There, art became titillation, a delicacy, a topic of conversation. Our activities are not experimental art, but necessary activity. – Milan Knížák, 1966 Pre-history In Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present, Roselee Goldberg outlines the development of performance in Western Europe and North America, pointing to its origins in Futurism and Dada in the early years of the twentieth

in Performance art in Eastern Europe since 1960
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and existed to varying degrees across the East. In East Germany, either the Stasi infiltrated artist groups (Clara Mosch) or artists feared that they had (Autoperforatsions­ artisten) but never really knew. In places such as Romania or Normalisationera Czechoslovakia, public space was monitored to a similar extent. While in Czechoslovakia in the 1960s Milan Knížák was able to enact public exhibitions and performances on the streets, during the following decade, the next generation of Czech artists retreated to the private spaces of apartments, basements or to the

in Performance art in Eastern Europe since 1960
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the East. Speaking about conditions in the Soviet Republic of Latvia, Mark Allen Svede commented, one risks accusations of sophistry to propose that gender parity existed in a society in which washing machines were luxury items and food shopping required standing in queues, yet women were expected to perform these 3 166 Performance art in Eastern Europe since 1960 domestic chores even after working all day as a gallery director, all-Union legislator, or Artist Laureate of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. At best, a pyrrhic victory might be claimed.4

in Performance art in Eastern Europe since 1960
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Introduction Memory is a weapon. Only a long rain will clean away these tears. (Junction Avenue Theatre Company, Sophiatown, 2001: 205) For decades theatre in South Africa had a specific role: to ‘protest’ injustices, to break silences, to provoke debate on issues in spaces that could facilitate discussion, often actually during performances. This theatre was about lived experiences that were often officially denied. As Fugard suggests, play-makers like himself sought ‘to witness as truthfully as [they] could, the nameless and destitute (desperate) of this one

in South African performance and archives of memory

time that artists began to ‘expose the institution of art as a deeply problematic field, making apparent the intersections where political, economic and ideological interests directly intervened and interfered in the production of public culture’.1 In the 1960s, critics Lucy Lippard and John Chandler noted a shift in focus, from the creation of objects to the process of creation in Minimal, Conceptual and performance art.2 In foregrounding process and the experience of the artwork, artists aimed to circumvent the formal atmosphere of the museum, creating an ephemeral

in Performance art in Eastern Europe since 1960
The role of theatre practitioners in exploring the past

performance’ in the production of ‘truth’. They also had to resist a widespread tendency in South African society ‘to erase the past in order to reconstruct a new collective identity’ (ibid., 280). This chapter will explore how theatre has responded to the TRC, various macro and micro truths and memories that have emerged or been denied, and will try to determine the significance of various performance aesthetics for engaging with South Africa’s experiences of the past. The TRC has generated a vast body of material, both in terms of volume and emotional impact. Njabulo

in South African performance and archives of memory

4 Performance ‘texts’ as sites of witness One of the defining characteristics of a theatrical event is the fact that it takes place in the presence of spectators, in front of a live audience. (Rokem 2002: 167) Western theatre is itself predicated on the belief that there is an audience. (Phelan 1997: 31) [T]o witness an event is to be present at it in some fundamentally ethical way, to feel the weight of things and one’s own place in them even if that place is simply for the moment, as an onlooker[…] The art-work that turns us into witnesses leaves us, above all

in Trauma-tragedy

3 Theorising and analysing media performance in wartime There are two principal objectives to this chapter. In order to move beyond purely empirical analysis, the first is to describe the analytical framework that serves as the basis for our theoretically informed and systematic analysis of wartime media performance. Building initially on existing work by Hallin (1986) and Wolfsfeld (1997), the first half of this chapter synthesises a range of models, hypotheses and explanatory variables, drawn from across the literature, in order to set out a framework

in Pockets of resistance

112 Ultras 5 Ultras and the performance of gender As the fans descended the steps of the Curva Nord at Lazio’s Stadio Olimpico for their match against Napoli at the start of the 2018–19 season, they were confronted by pieces of paper placed on the seats of the front rows. This is not unusual for choreographies as coloured pieces of card or paper are often laid out in order to create the tifo. On closer inspection, these flyers were in fact not part of a display, but a decree to the fans: The Curva Nord represents for us a sacred space, an environment with an

in Ultras