MisplacedWomen?

Misplaced Women? Split Station

In Split, Workshops on August 22, 2021 at 5:24 pm

A Review of the Tanja Ostojić’s Performance Art Workshop in the Public Spaces

By Culture Hub Croatia

(Scroll down for Croatian)

Tanja Ostojić’s performance workshop “Misplaced Women?” was held from April 6-8, 2021 in Split, organized by platform Culture Hub Croatia (CHC), as part of the year-round program of the project Voids2021. The following participants, selected on the basis of an open call, attended the workshop: Mia Bradić, Ines Borovac, Katarina Duplančić, Lissette Nicole Josseau and Alejandra Robles Sosa, as well, the workshop leader and the organizers from CHC joined as well. A public presentation showcasing the results of the workshop was held on April 8 in the Amphitheater of the Youth Center (Dom Mladih), with participants sharing reflections after their performances.

Tanja Ostojic: “On Rape Attempts”, performance, Peristil, Split, 2021, Photo: Neli Ruzic

“Misplaced Women?” is an art project by Tanja Ostojić consisting of performances, series of performances, workshops and delegated performances, which has been running since 2009, so we were extremely glad to be part of this distinguished project, especially because we managed to gather participants from different profiles and generations, who told their stories, touched upon numerous topics and opened some important questions with their performances.

“Misplaced Women?” workshop was held as part of the program of the project Voids2021, which, among other things, deals with the issue of space, so our work in the public space was above all a natural development of the program. Although so far within the project we have operated mainly in private spaces, or those on the border of public and private (with occasional “trips” to the completely public – as, for example, during last year’s performance of Mia Kevo’s “Common Sense”), in this year’s edition we chose to enrich activities in the public space. Public space, which by definition suggests something accessible to all, nevertheless includes restrictions (for example, determined by pandemic measures or city regulations), which indicate a certain power over the space of those who set these restrictions. At the same time responding to these constraints and challenging them, performance is in this sense a dialogue with the city, with the meanings of its places and public space that is in itself already strongly performative.

“Misplaced Women?” Workshop by Tanja Ostojic, Split, April 2021, video documentation of the workshop, 9 min

As an organization that has been operating without a physical space for work (hub) since its foundation, we are used to carrying out activities nomadically – in the premises of other organizations, cafes, souvenir shops, restaurants. Going out and acting in a public space in our work is a perfectly logical option. However, public space in a pandemic takes on an additional role or, more specifically, in our example, gains in importance – given the existing epidemiological measures and limited capacity of closed / private spaces, we are forced to use public space in our work if we want to carry out certain activities. We met the first challenge of not having our own space on the first day, when the introductory conversation was held and the participants were introduced, both to each other and to the work methodology. Due to the rain, staying outdoors was difficult, so we spent this introductory day on the stairs of the porch of the Fine Arts Gallery, where we learned more about the project “Misplaced Women?”, about different ways to participate and agreed on guidelines for the work on the following day. Participants were given instructions to think about their performance until the next meeting and to choose the personal items they want to use.

On the second day of the workshop, we met in the temporary office of “Voids” – Diocletiano souvenir shop in Bosanska 4. Some of the participants already had a clear picture of what they wanted to do, while the rest of the details formed in the later stage – even literally – being related to locations, as well as specific elements of individual performances. It was interesting to follow the process of developing the very idea of performance that was then taking place.

One of the main principles of the “Misplaced Women?” Platform, community building and building of the safe space for the realization of performances, was reflected in the fact that workshop participants, leaders, organizers, as well as friends of the organisation and gallery formed a dozen women and girls who moved around the city and supported each other especially in the process of the actual performances, collaborating on a creative and organizational level and participating in the works of other participants when it made sense, as well as giving feedback during discussions after each of the performances. By participating in this project, we have all become part of a large international community and were invited to join future international activities and meetings such as Misplaced Community performance weekends, exhibitions and gatherings.

Misplaced Women? workshop, by Tanja Ostojic, Split, April 2021, photo: Neli Ruzic

Finally, places of particular social and historical significance were selected, each corresponding to a particular performance. First, Peristil – as a place of power, in Tanja Ostojić’s performance “On Attempts at Rape” collaborating with Mia Bradić and Alejandra Robles Sosa, served as a place from which a woman is speaking from a “position of power” literally, while opening the public space to expression of trauma while facing with it within that space. 

A different connotation of the Peristil came from the performance by Ines Borovac – with her back turned to the bell tower of Saint Doimus, which in its masculine form towered over the fragile female body, naked and exposed to the storm and the cold.

Riva as a place of display of our own personality, like a catwalk, a place of validation (of women) was used in performance by Nicole Lissete Josseau, inviting us to symbolically leave everything that belongs to us as a decor and constructs our external identity. An interesting link here can be made with a commercial gallery or fair, but with the catwalk, where, in this case humanoid exhibits are on display, observed and evaluated as objects.

Two places – the bus station and the ferry port, as places of transition, crossing, movement, are symbols of nomadic life. They have become places of expression for those who are forced to travel (Mia Bradić) and those who are looking for ways to stay (Alejandra Robles Sosa).

The only performance moved from the city center, the performance of Katarina Duplančić, held on the plateau in front of the Youth Center (Dom Mladih), dealt with the topic of the precarity of cultural workers and the inability to separate private and professional spheres.

Finally, our performance, “Misplaced Organization?” is an act of struggle for the space of action. It was the only performance within the workshop with the score to perform no. 2: holding inscriptions, while the performances of Nicole, Alejandra and Mia took place according to the score for the performance no. 1: unpacking the personal bag. The scores served as an orientation and a frame, and the final form of the performance could be developed inside or outside of them.

Tourists were mostly those participating as public, which did not surprise us. From our experience, local people are mostly either surprised, or hesitant, or completely ignorant (what usually occurs after the initial surprise). This was particularly evident in Nicole’s performance. Thus, she became just another exhibit, almost instantly the subject of observation with somewhat hesitant interest, but without actually joining the performance act or questioning what exactly it was about. Finding new methods to encourage participation is proving to be necessary; however, we consider these individual contributions a significant step and progress.

A wide range of possibilities of reading and interpretation affects our understanding of public space but also our relationship to it. We must constantly remind ourselves that this can be a space of expression and a space of freedom, but that it remains a space in which power relations are very much visible. Therefore, any displacement from it should be questioned evermore.

In the post-production phase, a video of each performance was created, and every participant prepared a text about their work, the process and motivation. Video performances are posted on Misplaced Women? Vimeo channel, and bilingual texts on “Misplaced Women?” blog.

List of performances realised in the frame of “Misplaced Women?” workshop in Split:

“Misplaced Organization?” action by Culture Hub Croatia, Split, 2021, Photo: Andrea Resner

Interview with Tanja Ostojić, Dario Dunatov for vizukultura.hr 

Open Call text

Written & translated by: Culture Hub Croatia

http://culturehubcroatia.hr/en/

Edited and for the first published by Tanja Ostojic on Misplaced Women? blog, August 2021

Misplaced Women?, stanica Split

Radionica performansa Tanje Ostojić „Misplaced Women?“ održala se od 6. do 8. travnja 2021. godine u Splitu, u organizaciji platforme Culture Hub Croatia (CHC), a u sklopu cjelogodišnjeg programa projekta Praznine2021. Na radionici je sudjelovalo ukupno pet polaznica koje su odabrane na osnovu javnog natječaja koji je prethodno bio objavljen: Mia Bradić, Ines Borovac, Katarina Duplančić, Lissette Nicole Josseau i Alejandra Robles Sosa, a u izvođenju performansa pridružile su im se i voditeljica radionice, kao i organizatorice iz CHC-a. Javna prezentacija na kojoj su predstavljeni rezultati radionice održala se 8. travnja u Amfiteatru Doma mladih, pri čemu su sudionice iznijele refleksije nakon izvedenih performansa.

“Misplaced Women?” je umjetnički projekt Tanje Ostojić koji se sastoji od performansa, serija performansa, radionica i delegiranih performansa, a koji traje od 2009. godine, stoga nam je bilo izuzetno drago da smo postale dio ovog značajnog projekta, a posebice što smo uspjele okupiti sudionice različitih različitih profila i generacija, koje su ispričale svoje priče i svojim performansima dotakle brojne teme i otvorile neka važna pitanja.

Radionica “Misplaced Women?” održana je kao dio programa projekta Praznine2021 koji se, između ostalog, bavi i pitanjem prostora, stoga nam je rad u javnom prostoru bio nadasve prirodan slijed programa. Iako smo do sada u okviru projekta djelovali pretežno u privatnim prostorima, ili onima na granici javnog i privatnog (s povremenim „izletima“ u onaj potpuno javni – kao, primjerice, tijekom prošlogodišnjeg performansa Mie Kevo „Common Sense“), ovogodišnje izdanje Praznina odlučile smo obogatiti aktivnostima u javnom prostoru. Javni prostor, koji po svojoj definiciji sugerira nešto svima dostupno, ipak uključuje ograničenja (primjerice, određena protupandemijskim mjerama ili pak gradskim pravilnicima), a koja ukazuju na određenu moć nad prostorom onih koji postavljaju ta ograničenja. Istodobno odgovarajući na ta ograničenja i izazivajući ih, performans je u ovom smislu dijalog s gradom, sa značenjima njegovih mjesta i javnim prostorom koji je sam po sebi već snažno performativan. 

Kao organizacija koja od svog osnutka djeluje bez fizičkog prostora za rad (hub-a), naviknule smo aktivnosti provoditi nomadski – u prostorima drugih organizacija, kafićima, suvenirnicama, restoranima. Izlazak i djelovanje u javnom prostoru u našem se radu otkriva kao jedna savršeno logična opcija. Ipak, javni prostor u pandemiji poprima dodatnu ulogu ili, konkretno, u našem primjeru, dobiva na važnosti – s obzirom na postojeće epidemiološke mjere i ograničenost kapaciteta zatvorenih/privatnih prostora, primorane smo koristiti javni prostor u svom radu ako želimo provesti određene aktivnosti. S prvim izazovom ne-imanja vlastitog prostora susrele smo se već prvog dana radionice, kada je održan uvodni razgovor i upoznavanje sudionica, kako međusobno, tako i s metodologijom rada. S obzirom na kišu, boravak na otvorenom bio je otežan pa smo ovaj uvodni dan provele na stepenicama trijema Galerije umjetnina, gdje smo saznale više o samom projektu “Misplaced Women?”, o različitim načinima sudjelovanja u istom te dogovorile okvirne smjernice za sutrašnji rad. Sudionice su dobile upute da do sljedećeg susreta razmisle o svom performansu i da odaberu osobne predmete koje žele koristiti u njemu.

Drugog dana radionice susrele smo se u privremenom uredu “Praznina” – suvenirnici Diocletiano u Bosanskoj 4. Neke od sudionica imale su već jasnu sliku o onome što žele izvesti, dok se većina detalja iskristalizirala u hodu – pa i doslovnom – kako onih vezanih za lokacije, tako i specifičnih elemenata pojedinih performansa. Bilo je zanimljivo pratiti proces razvoja same ideje performansa koji se pritom odvijao.

Jedan od glavnih principa rada “Misplaced Women?” platforme, comunity buliding  i building of the safe space for the realizaton of performances, ogledao se u tome da su sudionice radionice, voditeljica, organizatorice, kao i prijateljice udruge i galerije formirale grupu od desetak žena i djevojaka koje su se zajedno kretale gradom i podržavale jedna drugu, posebno u procesu realizacije performansa, surađujući na kreativnom i organizacijskom nivou i participirajući u radovima drugih sudionica kada je to imalo smisla, kao i u davanju povratnog mišljenja u procesu diskusije nakon svakog od realiziranih performansa. Sudjelovanjem u ovom projektu sve smo postale i dijelom velike međunarodne zajednice te smo pozvane da se priključimo budućim međunarodnim aktivnostima i susretima Misplaced Community pefromance weekends, exhibitions and gatherings.

U konačnici, izabrana su mjesta od osobitog društvenog i povijesnog značaja od kojih je svaki odgovarao određenom performansu. Najprije, Peristil – kao mjesto moći, u performansu “O pokušajima silovanja” Tanje Ostojić u kojem su sudjelovale Mia Bradić i Alejandra Robles Sosa, poslužio je kao mjesto s kojeg žena koja progovara s „pozicije moći“ u doslovnom smislu, pritom otvarajući javni prostor za izražavanje traume i suočavanje s njom unutar njega.  

Drugačija konotacija Peristila proizašla je iz performansa Ines Borovac – okrenute leđima zvoniku svetog Duje, koji se u svom maskularnom  obliku nadvio nad krhko žensko tijelo, ogoljeno i izloženo buri i hladnoći.

Rivu kao mjesto izlaganja, poput modne piste, te mjesto vrednovanja (žene) iskoristila je u svom performansu Nicole Lissete Josseau, pozvavši da simbolično ostavimo sve ono što nam pripada kao dekor i konstruira naš vanjski identitet. Zanimljiva je ovdje korelacija i s komercijalnom galerijom ili sajmom, osim one s modnom pistom, gdje se, a u ovom slučaju humanoidni, eksponati izlažu, promatraju i vrednuju na temelju izloženog. 

Dva mjesta – autobusna stanica i trajektna luka, kao mjesta tranzicije, prelaska, kretanja, simboli su nomadskog života. Postala su to mjesta ekspresije onih koji su primorani putovati (Mia Bradić) i onih koji traže načine za ostanak (Alejandra Robles Sosa).

Jedini izmješten iz centra grada, performans Katarine Duplančić, održan na platou ispred Doma mladih, dotaknuo se tema prekarnog rada kulturnih djelatnika/ca i nemogućnosti odvajanja privatnog i profesionalnog.

Konačno, naš performans, “Misplaced Organization?” čin je borbe za prostor djelovanja. Bilo je to jedino poigravanje s partiturom za izvođenje performansa br. 2: držanje natpisa u okviru radionice, dok su se performansi Nicole, Alejandre i Mie odvili prema partituri za izvođenje performansa br. 1: raspakivanje osobne torbe. Partiture su poslužile kao orijentacija i okvir, a konačna forma performansa mogla se razviti unutar ili izvan njih.

Za participaciju od strane javnosti uglavnom su bili zaslužni turisti, što nas nije iznenadilo. Iz našeg iskustva, lokalno stanovništvo je uglavnom ili zatečeno ili oklijeva, ili potpuno (i najčešće, a što se obično događa nakon prvotne zatečenosti) ignorira. To je osobito došlo do izražaja u performansu Nicole. Ona je tako postala samo još jedan eksponat, gotovo instantno predmet promatranja, s ponešto oklijevajućim interesom, ali bez stvarnog pridruživanja izvedbenom činu ili pak propitkivanja o čemu se točno radi. Iznalaženje novih metoda za poticanje participacije pokazuje se kao nužnost; ipak, i najmanji pomaci po tom pitanju u vidu individualnih doprinosa vidimo kao značajan korak.

Širok raspon čitanja i interpretacija utječe na naše razumijevanje javnog prostora, ali i odnosa prema njemu. Moramo se konstantno podsjećati da to može biti prostor izražavanja i prostor slobode, ali da je još uvijek prostor u kojem se odnosi moći itekako manifestiraju. Stoga svako izmještanje iz njega treba zauvijek propitivati.

U fazi postprodukcije uz svaki performans realiziran je i video, a svaka od sudonica reflektirala je u tekstu o radu vlastite procese i motivaciju. Video performansi su objavljeni na “Misplaced Women?” Vimeo kanalu, a dvojezični tekstovi na “Misplaced Women?” blogu.

Performansi realizirani u okviru radionice “Misplaced Women?” u Splitu:

  1. “Misplaced Latina”, Alejandra Robles Sosa
  2. #NismoSamoUkras, Lissette Nicole Josseau
  3. “Routine” Mia Bradić
  4. “Feminizam oprašta”, Ines Borovac
  5. Self-exploitation” Katarina Duplančić
  6. “O pokušajima silovanja”, Tanja Ostojić
  7. “Misplaced Organization?”, Culture Hub Croatia

Intervju s Tanjom Ostojić, Dario Dunatov za vizukultura.hr 

Video-dokumentacija radionice, 9 minuta

Tekst javnog natječaja

Autorice teksta i prevoda: CHC

culturehubcroatia.hr

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