Kondenz 2019

12.KONDENZ Festival of contemporary dance and performance

This year’s edition of Kondenz Festival of contemporary dance and performance has been made through a working process in various segments of the dance work in Belgrade and out of the need to discuss more certain topics, practices, questions and problematic points. The selection of programs that we offer is the result of our travels, meetings, discussions, confrontations and preocupations during which we have articulated possible interpretations and reflections about the local matters. The «we» are not only us, the three curators of this edition, but all our collaborators from Station, Magacin and other places of production of dance and perofrmance that have engaged themselves in everyday work and dialogue about where and what is our local dance and performance scene.

As always before, this edition of Kondenz insists on politicality of all segments of its program. Politicality is an aspect of the artwork that is a characteristics of each and every performance, as a social event practiced in public. We take the term politicality in the way Ana Vujanovic developped it through her essay “Notes on Politicality of Contemporary Dance”  from 2010 in which she differentiated three main modalities of politicality. One modality that Vujanovic registers would be politicality that relates to political content, usually connected to so called „engaged performance”: “It has a capacity to speak about social subjects, mostly critical issues like: inequality, intolerance, militarism, misogyny, dictatorship, fascism, racism, etc.”. The other modality is a politicality of the performance medium: its materiality and discursive dispositif. This framework reminds us that a performances does not have to display any particular political content and still be political – the question of how is more important than what (is said). This modality is especially important for dance “since it reveals that the very body images, positions, shapes, movements, and relations on the stage could oppose and subvert the dominant ideological”. Politicality of the modes of work/production is the third one – the one that explores questions of property and licensing, technology of authorship, principles of sharing, position of performance in the exchange economy and market, production and distribution of knowledge, organization of artistic collectives, mechanisms of decision making, collaboration, networking, etc.

We were interested in artworks that deal with politicality in some or all of these modalities at once, so that the audience of Kondenz festival can get a full insight in the specter of different artistic approaches to dance and performance as “one of the training grounds or battlegrounds of political practice” today.

With its focus on (dance) bodies that are defined by various contexts and that open (self)critical view on the common patterns of the dance practice and perception of the performing body, dealing with reconsideration of normativity in and around dance, this year’s Kondenz thematizes conditions and needs, wishes and possibilities in this frame. Where is the border between a body that performs and a body that does everyday ordinary actions? To what extent and how is a body shaped by the context and material conditions and, even more important, to what extent and how does a body shape the context? With such an interaction of performance and everyday life it is possible to palpate the outlined borders and to open different perspectives on their fagility, fluidity, complexity, conditionality.

Ida Daniel exposes manifold existences and complexities of the body that is observed and that observes. Normativities of the dance body and breaking the imposed linearity of movement are topics in Zrinka Užbinec’s performance. Rita Góbi introduces us into the world of metamorphosis with the music developped out of the Morse code. How the context which is defined by the capitalist ways of production and consumption, shapes the dance body and what strategies and attitudes are imposed on it in such conditons, as well as how we resist in front of them is articulated by Snježana Premuš in her work «Poiesis of self». In the site specific work «Walking Piece» the city is a scenography that imposes its rythm and conditions to those who move through it.

This Kondenz deals with norms and their deconstruction questioning heteronormativity. Both the performance “Moonlight” and the collective “Ephemeral Confessions” address, with loads of humor, complex social and political questions, deconstructing gender, class and social roles. Mariana Valencia investigates and calls in question the normative through an analysis of cultural patterns that had formed her as a person and artists in her performance “Yugoslavia”. The short dance film “Glance” directed by Marko Pejović points to the importance of inclusive work in arts and promotes creative work of the artists with dissabilities.

In order to fully understand all the subject matters already mentioned, it is necessary to analyze the structural and material conditions of contemporay art production and working rights of artists, especially women artists in the current trends of repatriarchalization of our society. This conceptual line of the festival stretches throughout all activities, but it is most explicit in the presentation of the research, publication and mobile mural painting of the cultural female workers from Rijeka “How do female artists live?” as well as in the presentation of the Serbian pavilion at the Prague Quadriennial of Performance Design and Space 2019 called “Scene Work Ahead”. The workshop of Dejan Srhoj with its evincive title “Outside working hours” deals with the conditions in which contemporary dance is created.

Different forms of documentation and musealisation of contemporary dance and performance are topics of another segment of the festival. It consists of lectures by two New York curators, Lydia Bell and Ana Janevski, and a video interview followed by the discussion on the occasion of 35th anniversary of Mimart Theater. This segment vitally includes the question of collectivity and we will open it with the examples from New York, Rijeka and Belgrade. The local example will be analysed by Milica Ivić during the discussion “About potentialities of the Common and its actualisations”.

We will celebrate one more jubily – 25 years of the artistic work of Dušan Murić, dancer and choreographer; he will present his no-budget imaginarium of the close future “Partisans will come, again” which in its multi-layered structre simultaneously alarms and invites to the action from the bottom.

This is actually the main motive of the festival program’s concept that goes from insights and questioning of the wide specter of normativities and normalisations to placing them in a broader context defined by working and material conditions. Behind it all, there is a wish to draw attention to the universal problems that gather all of us and that go beyond only the field of culture, but rather tackle the general working conditions that are imposed to us as non-alternative. Is being overwhelmed with endless tasks, flexibility, existential insecurity and a default burn-out an unquestionable inevitability? Or not?

Mirjana Dragosavljević, Ana Dubljević, Marijana Cvetković


23 X ::: KC Grad, 20 h
Ephemeral Confessions – Songs about decadence, crisis of fatherhood and alcohol

Ephemeral Confessions are a post-cabaret musical play that resists canons, categories, models and patterns through a series of performances focused on turbulent emotional relations of the protagonists with various experiences and professions – two drag queens, Markiza de Sada and Dekadenca, drag kings, Zed Zeldić Zed, Darlin Brando and Fritz Klein, as well as the fake queen, Johanna Helmut Kohl. 
The Ephemeral Confessions collective insists on a hybrid staged and musical form that not only does it refer to a whole spectre of historic examples of performance with an act of disguise in its focus, integrating all other formats of drag expression in one place, but it also critically articulates everyday political reality.

24 X ::: BITEF Theater, 20 h
Rita Gobi, Volitant

photo by Marcell Piti

Rita Góbi’s performance presents the intermediate state of “already not here” and “not yet there “, by guiding us in the world of metamorphosis. For this production Dávid Szegő composed the music by using Morse code sounds and noise sounds, both acoustic and electronic – these are landmarks for the dance performance designed from minimalist tools which lead to a full theatrical presence. 

25 X ::: Ostavinska Gallery, 18 h
Lecture and discussion with Milica Ivić:  About the potentials of the Common and its actualisations

Using the doctoral dissertation of Milica Ivić “The principles of commonality and collaboration in contemporary theories of artistic production” as a starting point, we are starting a conversation with a focus on the subject of the Common: about possibilities for thinking about the Common that are not “just” political, but also ontological, epistemological and logical; about different actualizations of the Common on the contemporary dance scene in Serbia; about exploitation and commodification of the Common in post-socialist circumstances, how to fight against it and how Parizans can help us.

25 X ::: MAGACIN, 20 h
Dušan Murić, Partisans will come, again

Photo by Ivan Marenic

No-budget imaginarium of near future created and realized by Hristina Šormaz, Jana Milenković, Miloš Janjić, Nemanja Bošković, Dušan Murić

Partisans will come, again

They will eradicate roots of everyday shiny evil

And then plant seeds, trees, watermelons and hemp

They will crush towers and level cities, bone to bone to dust

They will saddle up priests, then dance on eyebrows raised

Just before the midnight struck

A knock on the door

Your life as a shoe

You are sleeping, you don’t want to believe

Intertwined with screens and machines

Liking yourself in your dream

And then a face, maybe of a child

Oh, some eyes, maybe digital

For the revolution is beautiful, only while you wait for it

…a fallout, two robots clearing the ground of zeros and ones

26 X::: MAGACIN, 17h
Theodore Teichman, Frosina Dimovska i Dunja Crnjanski – Walking Piece

I think I should somehow merge with the space

Physical and mental

Physical – to find a comfortable place on the sofa, bed, floor, mat

Then everything is out of scale

and time and space seem to be out of my orbit,

walking is how I can reassert my control on my environment.

The Walking Piece searches for methods of site-specific work through participative, non-linear, epistolary narrative. It is inspired by the work Taking Time (collaboration of F.Dimovska and D. Crnjanski) which embedded reading of texts and stories, using movement and audio tapes while performing was adapted to the specific space. This time the authors start from the similar basic ideas looking for ways to place them in a broader context (city streets) and focusing on a dialogue between walkers and urban topography.

27 X ::: MAGACIN, 16h and 28 X ::: MAGACIN, 20h
Snježana Premuš, Poiesis of self

Immersive performance for 30 persons.
One could argue that our modern daily life is subject to a suspension of the body, full of immunity strategies, self-protections and anti-virus programs: our prosthesis of capitalism, roaming around the world through our biographies, has to be de-suspended, transformed – into body. Our percepts need to be reactivated. Sure, the Poíesis of the self has no intention of saving the world, nor it wants to avoid its true problems.

27 X ::: Ostavinska Gallery, 17:30h
Talk with Lydia Bell, Postcard from New York

photo by Ben Duchac

Lydia Bell, Program Director & Associate Curator at Danspace Project, will speak about recent and upcoming dance projects in New York City. Topics will include: collective research practices, documentation strategies, and the historical imagination. Bell will show video excerpts from Dancing Platform Praying Grounds: Blackness, Churches, and Downtown Dance curated by Reggie Wilson and collective terrain/s, co-organized by Bell, Jasmine Hearn, and Tatyana Tenenbaum.
This talk will be introduction to the performance of the New York based choreographer Mariana Valencia.

27 X ::: BITEF Theatre, 20h
Mariana Valencia, Yugoslavia

Photo by Ian Douglas

In Yugoslavia, Mariana Valencia explores themes of transmission, translation, relation, proximity and blend through differently angled anecdotal, historical, whimsical, and observational texts. She draws connections between pan-Slavic language and her upbringing by a Polish stepfather; she analyses her blended identity through the transmitted cultural exposure of a non-blood relative. Valencia’s relationship to her father echoes the kinship tangents that she finds between the folklore of vampires and bodies dying of AIDS.

29 X ::: Ostavinska Gallery, 18h
Scene Work Ahead
National exhibition of Republic of Serbia at the Prague Quadriennial of Performance Design and Space 2019

photo by Nemanja Knežević

Discussion with the curatorial team – Maja Mirković, Siniša Ilić, Bojan Đorđev – and presentation of the publication and research, with public listening to the Scene Work Ahead audio performance.
Scene Work Ahead is research and exhibition presented at Prague Quadriennial of performance design and space 2019,  based on studying cultural policies of Yugoslavia and Serbia and the way they “design” the artistic scene and determine conditions of work. Invited artists chose the notion of precarity as the main focus of their collective work and produced an architectural object and performance based on songs tracking different relations to labour in the XX and XXI century. A View of the Scene, a segment of an exhibition, presents artistic production in the field of performance and stage design in the period of last four years and selected through an open call.

29 X ::: MAGACIN, 20h
Talk with Nina Gojić and Tajana Josimović, How the women artists live

Illustration by Ena Jurov

In the frame of the project “How do women artists live in Rijeka and its area?” during 2017 and 2018, choreographer Selma Banich and dramaturge Nina Gojić realized the research with the same name where more than one hundred women artists and cultural workers from Rijeka and its area took part. The results of the research are the publication, a sort of organisational-artistic memento, and the mural painting dedicated to women of Rijeka.
“With the research How do women artists live? we aimed to initiate discussions about how the women artists live in Rijeka and its area, if they can live from their labour and how. The research was not meant to be scientific, but rather a method with which we try to identify common trends, problems and phenomena in the field of female labour in culture. The publication is conceived as an organisational-artistic memento… The mural dedicated to the women of Rijeka and its area is created to penetrate to the public sphere – from paper to street, calling on the critical thinking about the role and emancipatory potential of female cultural work in the wider social context, as well as position of the female reproductive labour and class contradictions in the context of the current attempts for re-traditionalisation and neo-conservative reforms”.

30 X::: Centre for cultural decontamination, 18h
Station’s homage to Nela Antonović and MIMART for their 35th anniversary

photo by Lidija Antonovic

Projection of the video interview with Nela Antonović made by Marko Milić and discussion with the audience.

30 X ::: Centre for cultural decontamination, 20h
Aleksandar Georgiev and Dario Barreto Damas, MOONLIGHT

photo by Sasho N. Alushevski

Moonlight is initiated and developed by choreographers/dancers Aleksandar Georgiev and Darío Barreto Damas. As an artistic partnership, they are interested in co-authorship creation within family constellations. They are busy with the facilitation of poetic spaces, triggering and stressing the questioning of alternatives lines of thinking. They operate around Stockholm (SE), Skopje (MK), Sofia (BG) and Tenerife (SP).
Moonlight is a choreographic project focused on poetic structures, a staged exploration of dispersed meanings, a malleable reality. This proposal rediscovers persistently established identities, unfolding and queering normativity. Moonlight functions as a quick machinery of change and disruption. Moonlight plays with Disney heritage, dislocating its known dispositions and understandings.

31 X ::: MAGACIN, 19h
Projection of the short dance video Glance by Marko Pejović and a talk about social function of art

Glance is a short inclusive dance video produced by the Group “Hajde da…”. It is a co-authored work of dancers (with and without disabilities), choreographers and directors that reflected together choreography, thematic frame and the cinematic structure. Beside its artistic qualities, the film aims at pointing out the importance of the inclusive work in arts and at promotion of the creative work of the people with disabilities.

In the discussion we will hear authors, performers and experts from the related fields.

1 XI ::: MAGACIN, 20h
Zrinka Užbinec, Exploded goo

A friendly warning: It is possible you will come and find a head looking at its own ass from afar, one big belly, a flashing pair of tiny eyes giving a dirty look, nails that don’t work anymore, a biting stingy lip that makes an annoying sound, a dance performed for the imaginary cat, and a robot leg kicking.
Exploded Goo is a choreography that tries to assemble a monster in real time. It is inspired by cut-outs in photomontages and made of exploded parts of the dance, movements, gestures, images and meanings. It is a personal wish to challenge a normative and linear perception of a dancer’s body on stage by reclaiming a monstrous one, a body of many, a body in-between.

2 XI ::: Salon of Museum of Contemporary Art, 12h CANCELED
Lecture: Ana Janevski (MoMA), Performance and dance in museum. Museological perspective

Curator of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York in the Department for media and performance, Ana Janevski will speak about musealisation of dance and performance and museal context for production, research and preservation of dance and performance as immaterial heritage

2 XI ::: Ostavinska Gallery, 17h
DEJAN SRHOJ, Outside working hours

Vrtnica, Manca Dorrer

Let’s assume we work the whole day. Let’s assume we come home. Let’s assume we search for joy. Let’s imagine we do it together. Let’s imagine we use choreographic tools to do so. Let’s see what happens. 
Performance will be created specifically for Kondenz Festival in a three day working session in Belgrade.

2 XI::: Center for cultural decontamination, 20h
IDA DANIEL, I will not stay here long

She is standing silently and looking at us: A woman in green velvet jumpsuit. Ida Daniel, is searching the traces and multiple existences that inhabit this body that is uncanny and familiar at the same time. A body lives in a promising relationship with all those who inhabit it. But what type of body do they enjoy? Maybe a singing and dancing one? Or one that is rather invisible? Or constantly jumping? Or constantly sleeping? Or just one superbody? Or two?

Lecture: Ana Janevski (MoMA), Contemporary dance and museum: Exhibiton about Judson Dance Theatre in MoMA
Curator of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York in the Department for media and performance, Ana Janevski will speak about the last exhibiton in MomA about the famous and historic Judson Dance Theatre.

4 XI :::: KC GRAD, 17 h
Delicatessen Monday / Final party of Kondenz Festival
Station Service for contemporary dance will cook for you! Home-made kitchen with sweet surprise for the end will wait for you at the Cultural Centre Grad together with the Festival crew and the guests. Let’s see the Festival off with a full tummy.

Curatorial team: Ana Dubljević, Marijana Cvetković, Mirjana Dragosavljević

Production: Ana Vuković

Assistents: Jovana Jankov, Anuška Antić, Aleksandra Đonin

Graphic design: Katarina Popović

Technical director: Boris Butorac

Marketing i PR: Monika Husar / KomuknikArt

Photo team: Jelena Mijić, Marko Pejović, Luka Knežević Strika, Lidija Antonović

Technical support: Milan Janevski, Nemanja Calić

After talk with artists moderates: Igor Koruga

Financial support: Creative Europe program of the European Union through the project Life Long Burning, Tala Dance Center and BrainStoreProject in the frame of Nomad Dance Academy, Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, American Embassy in Srbia, Accion Cultural Espanola:PICE grant

Partners: Bitef Theater, KC Grad, Magacin, Center for cultural decontamination, KomunikArt

Media partners: SeeCult, BeforeAfter, Izlazak, Belgrade edit, Gle, Kolumnista, Kulturnik, Čupava keleraba, Lookerweekly, Oblakoder, Plezir magazin, portal Preporučujemo, Storyteller, U bloku urban magazin, Remix press, Mašina