MisplacedWomen?

Archive for the ‘Performances’ Category

Routine by Mia Bradić

In Bus-stations, Performances, Split, Workshops on May 16, 2021 at 9:05 pm

Mia Bradić performed a very playful improvisation entitled: Routine, starting from the Score #1: Unpacking a Bag of Your Own on the bus stop next to Saint Francis Church in Split, on April 7, 2021, in the frame of Misplaced Women? Workshop led by Tanja Ostojić.

[Translation to Croatian is below]

Routine

Contribution by Mia Bradić

Routine by Mia Bradić, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

When I was preparing for the second day of the workshop, I packed with the intention of collecting things that I interacted with in the past few days. The idea for the performance to occur on the bus stop came naturally to me, because I spend a lot of my daily time waiting for, inside, or chasing buses due to the circular migration. 

The performance itself was over 15 minutes long improvisation. I was only certain of the objects packed in my backpack and that I wanted to use the circus discipline of contortion as a guide for my movement. As a young circus artist, I cannot get professional circus education in Croatia and will have to leave my country (but also friends and family, culture, language…) to pursue my dreams. However, I am already living through this kind of scenario on a micro level. The town of some 25 000 citizens where I live, Solin, prides itself of being the town with the most children per capita in Croatia, but at the same time, it has no content for young people, including the non-existence of a high school. That’s why I have to travel every day, spending hours in traffic, because my education, training and pretty much all activities are happening in Split. 

Routine by Mia Bradić, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

In fact, my everyday backpack looks similar to the one I used in the performance, overflowing with stuff. It was a nice experience to connect my daily routine to a bigger picture of packing and leaving my current life behind, which I will be experiencing in just a few months, and it felt healing to use this performance to express my disappointment with the lack of resources for young people in Croatia and the general under-appreciation of (circus) artists in our society, which both affect my reality and, among other things, my decision to leave. 

I was not surprised by the lack of interest from the people passing next to the bus stop, mostly because performances in public spaces are very rare in Split, and people are not used to this format and the role they could potentially play in it. I think for the participants and organisers of the workshop who were also the biggest audience for my performance, the most interesting interaction was the one of a probably homeless man stopping for a moment, almost as if I’m in his spot or as if he is trying to see if he knows me. At the end of the performance, the lady who got out of the bus on this stop advised me to get my picnic blanket of the floor, so it doesn’t get dirty, but she said it in a very caring way, which made me happy. 

Routine by Mia Bradić, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

I have also just now, three weeks later, while watching the video of my performance, noticed a really interesting link between advertisements placed in the bus stop, which are focused on commercially exploiting women’s desire to look good (often only in the ways that are considered socially acceptable), and me putting clothes on myself in unanticipated ways, as well as putting on mascara in those clothes.

I’ve previously participated in workshops that required the participants to perform in the public space, but this one felt different because of the focus being put on the misplacement of women, and the fact that I was performing in what is practically my hometown — in a space that is an important part of my everyday life. I was also very much inspired by all the performances from other participants and the dialogue we had about the position of women in our society and the role of misplacement has in shaping our identities. 

I was honoured to perform earlier that day alongside Alejandra while Tanja was talking about her own experiences in which she managed to escape rape and sexual assault. As a feminist and an ambassador of an organisation which focuses on eradicating violence against women and girls, I regularly hear stories like hers, often ending even worse for the survivor. Yet, before this performance, I haven’t explored it artistically. While performing, I was carefully listening to Tanja’s words, I tried to imagine myself in her place and I let the emotions caused by this lead my movement. The space where we performed was also very symbolic, because these kind of stories are, in most cases, distorted in the media and the survivor, if she chooses to step forward, often doesn’t have any control of the narrative. In this piece, I felt Tanja was having full control over her story and in that sense, it felt like the story wasn’t just hers, but of all women who experienced rape and sexual assault, and who could, through Tanja, claim their power back.

About the contributor:

My name is Mia Bradić and I’m an 18-year-old circus artist from Croatia. For the past 11 years, I have been learning aerial skills (hoop, silks and trapeze) in Cirkus Kolektiv (Split), where I now teach aerial silks to children and adults. Contortion is also a circus skill I have been practicing for the past three years in Room100 (Split). I’m very passionate about creating positive change in the world, even if it’s small-scale. That’s why I became a Fridays for Future member working on climate justice, WAVE (Women Against Violence Europe) Youth Ambassador, and I have created a project “Leave a mark”, which connects the topics of gender equality and art through workshops for young teenage girls. 

Text written in English and translated to Croatian by Mia Bradić

Edited and First Published by Tanja Ostojić on the Misplaced Women? Project Blog, May 2021.

Photos: Tanja Ostojić 

Video recording & editing: Andrea Resner

This performance has been developed and realised in the frame of Misplaced Women? Workshop led by Tanja Ostojić, in Split, April 6-8, 2021. 

Organised by Culture Hub Croatia in the frame of Voids2021 

Production: Misplaced Women? Project, ongoing since 2009

Routine by Mia Bradić, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

———————————————————

Please see other posts from Split and this workshop:

Misplaced Latina? by Alejandra Robles Sosa

Feminism Forgives by Ines Borovac 

Misplaced Women? Misplaced Organization? by Culture Hub Croatia

#NismoSamoUkras by Lissette Nicole Josseau

Routine by Mia Bradić, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

[HR PRIJEVOD]

Mia Bradić (miacircus)

7. 4. 2021., Split, autobusna stanica pokraj Crkve svetog Frane; trajanje: 15 minuta

Kad sam se pripremala za dan pred sobom, spakirala sam se s namjerom da skupljam stvari s kojima sam bila u doticaju proteklih dana. Ideja da se performans odvije na autobusnoj stanici došla mi je prirodno, jer mnogo svog svakodnevnog vremena provodim u čekanju, unutar ili u potjeri za autobusima. Sama izvedba bila je gotovo u potpunosti improvizirana, bila sam samo sigurna za predmete spakirane u ruksak i da želim koristiti cirkusku disciplinu kontorcionizma kao vodič u kretanju. Kao mlada cirkuska umjetnica, u Hrvatskoj ne mogu steći profesionalno cirkusko obrazovanje i morat ću napustiti svoju zemlju (ali i prijatelje i obitelj, kulturu, jezik…) kako bih ostvarila svoje snove. Međutim, već proživljavam sličan scenarij na mikro razini. Grad s oko 25 000 građana u kojem živim, Solin, ponosi se time što je grad s najviše djece po glavi stanovnika u Hrvatskoj, ali u isto vrijeme nema sadržaja za mlade, uključujući nepostojanje srednjih škola. Zbog toga moram putovati svaki dan, provodeći sate u prometu, jer se moje obrazovanje, osposobljavanje i gotovo sve aktivnosti događaju u Splitu. Zapravo, moj svakodnevni ruksak izgleda slično onom koji sam koristila u izvedbi, natrpan stvarima. Bilo je lijepo iskustvo povezati svoju svakodnevicu s većom slikom pakiranja i ostavljanja trenutnog života iza sebe, koji ću proživjeti za samo nekoliko mjeseci, i bilo mi je ljekovito koristiti ovu izvedbu kako bih izrazila svoje razočaranje nedostatkom resursa za mlade u Hrvatskoj i općenito podcijenjenost (cirkuskih) umjetnika u našem društvu, što utječe na moju stvarnost i, između ostalog, na moju odluku da odem.

Prije sam sudjelovala u radionicama koje su zahtijevale da sudionici nastupaju u javnom prostoru, ali tijekom ove sam se osjećala drugačije zbog fokusa koji je stavljen na Misplaced – zagubljene žene i činjenice da sam praktički nastupala u svom rodnom gradu – u prostoru koji je važan dio moje svakodnevice. Također, nadahnule su me  performansi drugih sudionica, kao i dijalog koji smo vodile, o položaju žena u našem društvu i ulozi te “misplaced” pozicije u oblikovanju našeg identiteta.

Routine by Mia Bradić, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

Bila mi je čast zajedno s Tanjom i Alejandrom biti dio performansa u kojem Tanja govori o svojim iskustvima u kojima je uspjela izbjeći silovanja i seksualno nasilje. Kao feministkinja i ambasadorica organizacije s ciljem zaustavljanja nasilja nad ženama i djevojčicama, redovno čujem priče kao što je njena, a mnoge od njih često završe još gore za žrtvu. Usprkos tome, do sada ovu temu nisam intenzivnije umjetnički istraživala. Tijekom izvedbe pozorno sam slušala Tanjine riječi, pokušala sam zamisliti sebe na njenom mjestu i voditi se pokretom emocija koje su se budile u meni. Mjesto performansa je također bilo vrlo simbolično jer ovakve priče, u većini slučajeva, budu iskrivljene u medijima i žrtva koja odluči istupiti često nema kontrolu nad svojom pričom. Osjećala sam da Tanja u ovoj izvedbi ima potpunu kontrolu nad svojom pričom I, na taj način, priča nije samo njena, već je priča svih žena koje su preživjele silovanje i seksualno nasilje i koje su kroz Tanju mogle preuzeti svoju moć natrag.

Routine by Mia Bradić, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

Zovem se Mia Bradić i 18godišnja sam cirkuska umjetnica iz Hrvatske. Posljednjih 11 godina učim zračne vještine (obruč, svila i trapez) u Cirkusu Kolektivu (Split), gdje sada podučavam ples na svili djeci i odraslima. Kontorcionizam je također cirkuska vještina kojom se bavim posljednje tri godine u Room100 (Split). Jako sam strastvena u stvaranju pozitivnih promjena u svijetu, čak i ako su male. Zbog toga sam postala članicom Fridays for Future-a koji radi na klimatskoj pravdi, ambasadorica sam mladih mreže WAVE (Women Against Violence Europe) i osmislila sam projekt „oSTAVi trag“ koji povezuje teme rodne ravnopravnosti i umjetnosti kroz radionice za mlade djevojke.

Misplaced Latina? by Alejandra Robles Sosa

In Performances, Port, Split, Stories on May 14, 2021 at 8:08 pm

Alejandra Robles Sosa performed over 15 minutes long Misplaced Latina? based on Score #1: Unpacking a Bag of Your Own, at the Split Ferry Port, on April 7, 2021, in the frame of Misplaced Women? Workshop led by Tanja Ostojić

[Translation to Croatian is below]

Misplaced Latina?

Contribution by Alejandra Robles Sosa

“Misplaced Latina?” by Alejandra Robles Sosa, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

Who am I?

I am Alejandra Robles Sosa, with two last names, because I was born and raised in Mexico. My mother tongue is Spanish and I grew up at the periphery of a three million inhabitant city, Puebla City. I was backpacking across Latin America, South East Asia, and Europe for three years before I enrolled in 2018 at the Arts Academy in Split, Croatia, where I have been living ever since. My art practice is strongly influenced by critical theories and a decolonial approach. I explore the collective memory of the migration of the human race represented in art, textile patterns, food, and plants.

What were my expectations from the Misplaced Women? workshop?

I was interested in exploring the idea of how my “female” body as a brown Latina is read in different contexts while crossing borders. My body is not read in the same way in a South American country, in the USA or the Balkans. Every place has its expectations from me. Our bodies and our presence are also read according to the objects we carry with us while crossing borders. My body is read differently if I am alone with a hiking backpack or with a fancy suitcase. People perceive things differently when I am on a long trip with bags on my bicycle. Those objects influenced the way I feel, if I am vulnerable or not, that includes my body itself, my clothes, and the things in my bag.

The Misplaced Latina? performance

My emotions: I didn’t cry for a while. The pandemic situation brought to me, as too many people around the world, a desolation feeling. I have been constantly suppressing my feelings in order to stay mentally stable. While carefully choosing my objects, the day before the performance and at the beginning of it, I couldn’t stop crying. It is as if for the last four years I have packed my sorrow and tears in small containers. So, I brought those containers with me.

“Misplaced Latina?” by Alejandra Robles Sosa, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Neli Ružić

My sorrow containers:

Food. I brought along food ingredients that came to Europe after the colonisation of the Americas and nowadays are part of the Croatian daily diet, like homemade tomato sauce, potato and banana. Those represent the sorrow of my colonised and de-indigenised ancestors.

“Misplaced Latina?” by Alejandra Robles Sosa, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Neli Ružić

Religion. I included the Holy Rosary I bought for my grandmother on my first visit to Vatican. She died a year before I could give it to her. I am not a religious person, but I love my grandma and I know how important this used to be for her when she was alive. The Catholic Church also has a dark colonial past in the Americas.

Embroidery. Historically, embroidery hasn’t been taken seriously as a medium because it belongs to the sphere of women’s work. And women’s issues are usually related to unpractical data. I decided to embroider the existential themes that inhabited my mind for the last few weeks: Annual living cost for three different categories of people (that are considered physical persons) from third world countries required to obtain Croatian visa. Those are my personal options, since I have a remote job outside Croatia: 

  • Studentica / student: 53,368 HRK, 
  • Digital nomad: 217,718 HRK, 
  • Kao supruga / as a wife: 44,742 HRK. 

*Those are amounts needed to be present on ones bank account (at the moment of application) required by the Croatian immigration office. They refer to the sum of an average monthly rent, insurance, and in case of a student, fee per semester.

“Misplaced Latina?” by Alejandra Robles Sosa, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

Final reflections

Regarding my initial expectations, I ended up reflecting upon how our sorrow and tears are read when our body is seen as a female foreigner. What is a woman supposed to cry about? How do I express my feelings, and how people validate our feelings according to our gender, race, and social status? 

Each of the performances realised in the frame of Misplaced Women? workshop was full of those feelings and reflections that as women we experience in our day-to-day life. Sexual harassment, the church imposition of values over our bodies, the precariousness of artistic life, self-exploitation at work. Being seen as an accessory, and not being taken seriously when we argue against structural problems. Which feelings and in which way are allowed to be expressed in the public spaces? Tanja Ostojić has done silence braking performance in which Mia and I took part. She spoke in the public square of Peristil about attempts of sexual violence that she experienced in the past, about the subject that has been encapsulated into the private space, thus denying its social and structural nature. On her right side, Mia Bradić was appropriating every part of her own body with her contemporary dance improvisation, while my accompaniment included embroidering seemed more passive and therefore within the category of the feminine. Embroidering allowed me to listen, meditate and reflect.

As a foreign woman in a city where there is no Latino community, during a pandemic I have experienced a feeling of loneliness that I did not know before. Meeting with women from different backgrounds who responded to a feminist call was a hug to the heart. Thanks, everyone!

“Misplaced Latina?” by Alejandra Robles Sosa, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

Alejandra Robles Sosa (born 1988) is currently Split based artist and designer of Mexican origin. She graduated from the Arts Academy in Split. 

Text written by: Alejandra Robles Sosa

Edited and First Published by Tanja Ostojić on the Misplaced Women? Project Blog, May 2021.

Copy-editing: Cultural Hub Croatia (CHC) and Tanja Ostojić

Translation from English to Croatian: CHC

Photos: Tanja Ostojić and Neli Ružić

Video recording & editing: Andrea Resner

This performance has been developed and performed for the first time in the frame of Misplaced Women? Workshop led by Tanja Ostojić, in Split, April 6-8, 2021. 

Hosted and organised by CHC in the frame of Voids2021 

Production: Misplaced Women? Project, ongoing since 2009

“Misplaced Latina?” by Alejandra Robles Sosa, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Neli Ružić

———————————————————

Please see other posts from Split and this workshop:

Feminism Forgives by Ines Borovac 

Misplaced Women? Misplaced Organization? by Culture Hub Croatia

#NismoSamoUkras by Lissette Nicole Josseau

Routine by Mia Bradić

Misplaced Women? Split Station

Routine by Mia Bradić

Self-exploitation by Katarina Duplančić

“On Rape Attempts” by Tanja Ostojić

“Misplaced Organization?” by Culture Hub Croatia

Please see as well videos of the performances published on the Mis(s)placed Women? video channel:

Embroidery by Alejandra Robles Sosa, Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Alejandra Robles Sosa

HR PRIJEVOD 

Tko sam ja?

Ja sam Alejandra Robles Sosa. Imam dva prezimena jer sam rođena u Meksiku (1988.). Moj materinji jezik je španjolski i odrasla sam na periferiji grada s tri milijuna stanovnika.

Alejandra Robles Sosa (born 1988) is currently Split based artist and designer of Mexican origin. She graduated from the Arts Academy in Split. 

Tri godine sam putovala po Latinskoj Americi, jugoistočnoj Aziji i Europi, a 2018. godine sam upisala Umjetničku akademiju u Splitu u Hrvatskoj, gdje živim od tada.

Na moju umjetničku praksu snažno utječu kritičke teorije i dekolonijalni pristup. Istražujem kolektivno sjećanje migracija ljudske rase zastupljeno u umjetnosti, tekstilnim uzorcima, hrani i biljkama.

Što sam očekivala?

Zanimalo me istražiti ideju kako se moje “žensko” tijelo Latinoamerikanke tamnije puti čita u različitim kontekstima tijekom prelaska granica. Moje se tijelo ne čita na isti način u južnoameričkoj zemlji, u SAD-u ili na Balkanu. Svako mjesto ima svoja očekivanja od mene.

Naša tijela i naša prisutnost također se očitavaju u skladu sa stvarima koje nosimo dok prelazimo granice. Moje se tijelo drugačije čita ako sam sama s planinarskim ruksakom ili s otmjenim koferom. Ljudi različito percipiraju stvari kad sam na dugom putu s torbama na biciklu. Ti su “rekviziti” utjecali na to da se osjećam ranjivo ili ne, što uključuje i samo moje tijelo, ali i odjeću i stvari u torbi.

“Misplaced Latina?” by Alejandra Robles Sosa, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Neli Ružić

Performans

Moje emocije:

Neko vrijeme nisam plakala. Situacija s pandemijom donijela mi je, kao i mnogim ljudima širom svijeta, osjećaj pustoši. Neprestano sam prisiljavala svoje osjećaje da budu posve stabilni. Dok sam birala rekvizite, dan prije nastupa (i na početku), nisam mogla prestati plakati. Kao da sam posljednje četiri godine pakirala tugu i suze u te malene posude. Pa sam te posude ponijela sa sobom.

Moji kontejneri za tugu

Hrana. Sa sobom sam ponijela hranu koja je u Europu došla nakon kolonizacije Amerike. I ona je danas dio hrvatske svakodnevne prehrane,oput domaćeg umaka od rajčice, krumpira i banane. To predstavlja tugu mojih koloniziranih i neo-indiginiziranih predaka.

Religija. Uključila sam i „svetu krunicu“ koju sam kupila svojoj baki prilikom prvog posjeta Vatikanu. Baka je preminula godinu dana prije negó sam joj uspjela dati krunicu. Nisam religiozna osoba. Ali volim svoju baku i znam koliko joj je ovo bilo važno. Katolička crkva također ima mračnu kolonijalnu prošlost u Amerikama.

“Misplaced Latina?” by Alejandra Robles Sosa, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Neli Ružić

Vez. Povijesno gledano, vez nije shvaćen ozbiljno kao medij, jer se radi o ženskom djelu. A ženska su pitanja obično povezana s nepraktičnim podacima. Odlučila sam izvesti teme koje su mi okupirale um u posljednjih nekoliko tjedana: troškovi života na tri načina (od mnogih) za dobivanje vize u Hrvatskoj kao osoba iz treće zemlje.

Ovo su moje osobne mogućnosti, budući da obavljam posao na daljinu za poslodavce izvan Hrvatske:

– studentica: 53,368 HRK,

– digitalni nomad: 217,718 HRK,

– kao supruga: 44,742 HRK.

* To su potrebni iznosi na bankovnom računu (u trenutku prijave) koji zahtijeva Hrvatski imigracijski ured. Odnose se na zbroj prosječne mjesečne stanarine, osiguranja, a u slučaju studenta, školarine po semestru.

“Misplaced Latina?” by Alejandra Robles Sosa, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Neli Ružić

Završni osvrt 

Što se tiče mojih očekivanja, završila sam razmišljajući o tome kako se čitaju naše tuge i suze kada se na naše tijelo gleda kao na žensku strankinju. Zbog čega bi žena trebala plakati? Kako mogu izraziti svoje osjećaje i kako ljudi potvrđuju naše osjećaje prema našem spolu, rasi i socijalnom statusu?

Svaka izvedba bila je puna onih osjećaja i razmišljanja koja kao žene doživljavamo u svakodnevnom životu. Seksualno uznemiravanje, crkveno nametanje vrijednosti nad našim tijelima, nesigurnost umjetničkog života, samo-eksploatacija na poslu. Na nas se gleda kao na dodatak i ne shvaća ozbiljno kad propitujemo strukturne probleme. Koji se osjećaji i na koji način smiju izražavati u javnim prostorima?

Svaki od performansa realiziranih u okviru radionice Misplaced Women? bio je pun onih osjećaja i razmišljanja koje kao žene doživljavamo u svakodnevnom životu. Seksualno uznemiravanje, crkveno nametanje vlastitih vrijednosti našim tijelima, nesigurnost umjetničkog života, samoeksploatacija na poslu. Na nas se gleda kao na dodatke i ne shvaća nas se ozbiljno kad se pobunimo protiv strukturnih problema. Koji se osjećaji i na koji način smiju izražavati u javnom prostoru? Tanja Ostojić izvela je performans koji prekida tišinu, a u kojem smo sudjelovale i Mia i ja. Tanja je na Peristilu govorila o pokušajima seksualnog nasilja koje je doživjela u prošlosti, o temi koja je inkapsulirana u privatni prostor, negirajući tako njegovu društvenu i strukturnu prirodu. S Tanjine desne strane, Mia Bradić prisvajala je svaki dio vlastitog tijela svojom suvremenom plesnom improvizacijom, dok je moja pratnja s vezenjem djelovala pasivnije i, samim time, unutar kategorije ženskog. Vezenje mi je omogućilo da slušam, meditiram i razmišljam.

Kao strankinja u gradu u kojem ne postoji latino zajednica, tijekom pandemije doživjela sam osjećaj usamljenosti koji prije nisam poznavala. Sastanak sa ženama iz različitih sredina koje su se odazvale feminističkom pozivu bio je zagrljaj srca. Hvala svima.

Pogledajte i druge priloge iz ove radionice/ this workshop:

Feminism Forgives by Ines Borovac 

Misplaced Women? Misplaced Organization? by Culture Hub Croatia

#NismoSamoUkras by Lissette Nicole Josseau

Routine by Mia Bradić

Misplaced Women? Split Station

Routine by Mia Bradić

“On Rape Attempts” by Tanja Ostojić

“Misplaced Organization?” by Culture Hub Croatia

Self-exploitation by Katarina Duplančić

Mis(s)placed Women? video channel:

Feminism Forgives

In Performances, Split on May 5, 2021 at 11:01 pm

Ines Borovac developed and performed for the first time Feminism Forgives in front of the Saint Domnius Cathedral in Split on April 7, 2021, in the frame of Misplaced Women? workshop led by Tanja Ostojić, inviting the audience to embody sexually liberated Mary Magdalene, the role of institutionally stigmatised woman and the unexplored powers she carries…

Feminism Forgives

Contribution by Ines Borovac 

During my adolescence age, I have been faithfully attending the Sunday mass as considering myself Christian. Unfortunately, my approach towards Church was superficial at a time. Looking at it now, it is clear I was motivated by the lack of religious diversity in my social and family circle. I didn’t pay much attention to what the priest was saying nor applying or understanding the ideology of the Christian community as much. Nonetheless, my physical presence was soaking up the Christian ideologies, more then I wanted and could control. The influence was undeniably present inside of my body. Entering the sexual awakening as a teenager, I was a little bit disappointed. The intensity of the sexual desire was not as expected, on the contrary, it was barely present. Whereas, when the desire would appear, it would come in bursts and would make me feel uncomfortable, dirty and guilty for feeling the pleasure I was allowed to feel.

Ines Borovac: “Feminism Forgives” Misplaced Women? workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić
Ines Borovac: “Feminism Forgives” Misplaced Women? workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

Croatia is still a religiously homogenous country where more than 90 percent of the population is identifying as Christian, not leaving the young generations much space to explore and own their body and identity. Thus, the performative piece is inviting the audience to identify with the character of sexually liberated Mary Magdalene. With the symbolic gesture of washing the feet (just like Mary Magdalene did to Jesus when she was asking for redemption for her sins), performative act is inviting the audience to embody the role of institutionally stigmatized woman and the unexplored power she carries. Contrary to the Biblical story, the audience was not washing the feet of the forgiver’s body (Jesus) but mine, feminist body with the red letters written on my chest saying “feminism forgives”. Wearing nothing but a skirt and bra, I set exposing my feminine vulnerability radiating the motherly strength of understanding and care. Therefore, instead of begging for forgiveness, with the gesture of washing the feet of the misplaced feminist body, I took a role of the medium through which one is encouraged for the “sins”, opposite to the atonement and change.

Ines Borovac: “Feminism Forgives” Misplaced Women? workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

The performative act took place in front of one of the oldest churches in the region, the Cathedral of Saint Domnius (Katedrala Svetog Duje) on April 7, 2021. The performance lasted 30-40 minutes, influenced by the weather conditions, cold wind, low temperatures and very cold stone ground, my wet feet were lying on. I could not help but notice that the people leaving or entering the Cathedral were ignoring the performance, acting like it wasn’t happening (avoiding the eye contact and bypassing), – which could be seen as denying such realities and rejecting liberated female bodies from the Christian community, labelling them as marginalised bodies. Parents were turning away their curious children looks or even changing the walking route not to confront the performance. Ironically, while I was taking off my clothes, the male passers stopped to observe and show interest, showing us the transparency of the patriarchal culture in Croatia. Apart from female participants of the workshop, there were other brave woman who challenged their inner Mary Magdalene and participated in activation the performance. At this point the performance expanded from the workshop circle towards the interaction with other bodies, making me endlessly happy.

Ines Borovac: “Feminism Forgives” Misplaced Women? workshop Split, 2021. Video: Andrea Resner

On this occasion, I would like to thank all the women who’ve embraced Mary Magdalene during the performance (Kristina Tešija, Lissette Nicole Josseau, Alejandra Robles Sosa, Jasmina Šarić, a group of South-American tourist girls, Tanja Ostojić, Mia Bradić, Neli Ružić…) and the ones who are still carrying and searching for her inside themselves. Thank you Tanja Ostojić for holding the workshop and all the other beautiful participants I met; Culture Hub Croatia girls for organisation and confronting the Split with such topics; Andrea Resner for commitment and creation of the digital archive.

Ines Borovac (b.1996) is a student at Design Academy Eindhoven (NL) where she is enrolled on the Masters program of Social Design. In her design work, she is often working with performance and body as the locus for social change and critique. Ines is currently working on her thesis project where she is researching the topic of patriarchy in Croatia, performativity of the patriarchal values and Croatian traditional dance. She holds a bachelor degree from the School of Design, Zagreb

Ines Borovac: “Feminism Forgives” Misplaced Women? workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

Text written by: Ines Borovac

Edited and first published by Tanja Ostojić on the Misplaced Women? Project Blog, May 4, 2021

Translation from English to Croatian (see below): Ines Borovac

Copy editing: Cultural Hub Croatia (CHC)

This performance has been developed and performed for the first time in the frame of Misplaced Women? workshop led by Tanja Ostojić, in Split, April 6-8, 2021. 

Performed by: Ines Borovac

Performance assistance: Alejandra Robles Sosa

Photos: Tanja Ostojić and Neli Ružić

Video recording & editing: Andrea Resner

Hosted and organised by CHC in the frame of Voids2021 

Production: Misplaced Women? Project, ongoing since 2009

Instagram: @lochnesi

Ines Borovac: “Feminism Forgives” Misplaced Women? workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

Croatian/ HR PRIJEVOD 

Lokacija: Katedrala Svetog Duje

Feminizam oprašta

Tijekom adolescentske dobi vjerno sam prisustvovala nedjeljnim misama. Smatrala sam se  kršćankom, ali, nažalost, moj pristup prema Crkvi bio je površan. Gledajući to sada, jasno je da me je motivirao nedostatak vjerske raznolikosti u mom društvenom i obiteljskom krugu. Nisam obraćala mnogo pažnje na to što svećenik govori, niti primjenjivala ili razumijevala ideologiju kršćanske zajednice. Unatoč tomu, moja fizička prisutnost upijala je kršćanske ideologije više nego što sam htjela i mogla kontrolirati. Utjecaj je nedvojbeno bio prisutan unutar moga tijela. Doživjevši seksualno buđenje kao tinejdžerica, bila sam pomalo razočarana. Intenzitet seksualne želje nije bio onakav kakav sam očekivala, već naprotiv, bio je jedva prisutan. Kada bi želje došla u valovima, osjećala bih se nelagodno, prljavo i krivo zbog osjećaja užitka koji mi je bio dozvoljen. 

Hrvatska je još uvijek vjerski homogena zemlja u kojoj se više od 90 posto stanovništva identificira pripadnicima kršćanske religije, a to mladim generacijama ne ostavlja puno prostora za istraživanje i posjedovanje vlastitih tijela i identiteta. Dakle, ovaj performans poziva publiku da se identificira s likom seksualno oslobođene Marije Magdalene. Simboličnom gestom pranja nogu (baš kao što je to učinila Marija Magdalena Isusu kad je tražila iskupljenje za svoje grijehe), performativni čin poziva publiku da utjelovi ulogu institucionalno žigosane žene i neistražene moći koju ona nosi. Suprotno biblijskoj priči, publika nije prala stopala tijela onomu koji oprašta (Isusu), već feminističkom tijelu (autorici) kojem je na grudima napisano “feminizam oprašta”. Noseći samo suknju i grudnjak, otkrila sam svoju žensku ranjivost zračeći majčinskom snagom razumijevanja i brige. Stoga, umjesto da moli za oprost, gestom pranja nogu mog “misplaced” feminističkog tijela, sam utjelovila medij kroz kojeg se potiče na “grijehe”, suprotno pokajanju i promjeni.

Performans se odvio ispred jedne od najstarijih splitskih katedrala, Katedrale svetog Duje, 7. travnja 2021. Trajao je 30-40 minuta zbog vremenskih neprilika poput hladnog vjetra, niskih temperatura i iznimno hladnog kamena na kojem su stajala moja mokra stopala. Nisam mogla ne primjetiti da su ljudi koji su ulazili ili izlazili iz katedrale ignorirali perfromans ponašajuci se kao da se ne odvija (izbjegavanje kontakta očima i zaobilaženje mog tijela) što može ukazati na njihovo nijekanje sličnih stvarnosti i odbacivanje oslobođenih ženskih tijela od strane krščanske zajednice označavajući ih kao maginalizirana tijela. Roditelji sa djecom su sklanjala znatiželjne poglede svoje djece ili čak promijenili rutu svog kretanja da izbjegnu prostor performansa. Ironično, dok sam skidala odjeću, muški prolaznici bi se zaustavilis ciljem da promatraju te su pokazali zainteresiranost ukazujući na transparentnost patrijahalne kulture u Hrvatskoj. Nakon što sam se smjestila na stolac i pozvala publiku na sudjelovanje, osim sudionica radionice u performansu su sudjelovale ostale hrabre žene i izazvale unutarnju Mariju Magdalenu. U ovom trenutku perfomans je izišao iz kruga radionice u interakciju s ostalim tijelima što me je učinilo neimjerno sretnom. 

Ines Borovac: “Feminism Forgives” Misplaced Women? workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

Ovom prilikom želim zahvaliti svim ženama koje su prigrlile Mariju Magdalenu tijekom nastupa i onima koje je još uvijek nose i traže u sebi. Hvala Tanji Ostojić na održavanju radionice i svim ostalim lijepim sudionicima koje sam upoznala; curama iz Culture Hub Croatia za organizaciju i suočavanje Splita sa sličnim temama; Andrei Resner za angažman i stvaranje digitalne arhive.

Ines Borovac (1996) studentica je Akademije za dizajn u Eindhovenu (NL) gdje je upisana na Masters program Socijalnog Dizajna. U svom dizajnerskom radu često radi s performansom i tijelom kao mjestom društvenih promjena i kritike. Ines trenutno radi na svom diplomskom radu u kojem istražuje temu patrijarhata u Hrvatskoj te performativnosti patrijarhalnih vrijednosti unutar hrvatskog tradicionalnog plesa. Preddiplomski studij završila je na Studiju dizajna u Zagrebu, smjer Produkt dizajn.

A day with Tanja Ostojić

In Performances, Stories, Train Station, Workshops, Zürich on March 6, 2021 at 9:09 pm

[Please read the original text in Sorani Kurdish language below]

[Translation to English]

A day with Tanja Ostojić

My name is Azad. I am a political refugee. I had to come to Switzerland from Kurdistan, with everything left behind. The land where I was born is a prohibited geography. Our language, culture, literature and art are forbidden.

Azad Colemêrg: Misplaced Women? performance intervention. Main train station Zurich, April 2019, Misplaced Women? workshop by Tanja Ostojić. Videostill: contact zone

As someone who lived through all these bans, I met Tanja Ostojić one day. My view of art and performance has changed because of the experience with her Misplaced Woman? performance project. Ostojić broke all the narrow moulds on which women were placed, taking them out of an object position and giving them a completely different breath. It had revealed an important contradiction. She sent a message to the male dominated society which misplaces women in every sphere of life.

We all opened our bags and suitcases that day. Because capitalism first chains people with a bag. Then it squeezes our lives into it. It’s like we can’t live without that bag. All of our belongings are in it. This created awareness of humanity’s dependence on material things.

There are taboos in all societies. Why is there a fountain in the main train station of Zurich, decorated with blue light, which resembles a waterfall? The fountain is a taboo. Nobody should touch it. But there are no taboos for Ostojić. She stood under the water with her umbrella. She looked at shoe brands in the store and inspected them.

Azad Colemêrg: Misplaced Women? performance intervention. Main train station Zurich, April 2019, Misplaced Women? workshop by Tanja Ostojić. Videostill: contact zone

That day we made a performance under the blue waterfall. I felt very free. I stood under the pouring water with my umbrella. I was very excited. I loved to be able to stand below the water because it was a socially forbidden place and therefore it seemed attractive to me. I was wet but it felt good.

We went to a shoe store. I even looked at the brands of shoes in the shop there. Together with the others of the group I was reading aloud where the shoes had been produced. We lifted the bottom of each shoe and read their place of production and mostly they were made in China, China, China. Then Ostojić gave the shoe seller an advertisement for a family poster. Me and some others followed her lead. 

We unpacked our suitcases.  All our luggage was gone.

With Misplaced Woman? Ostojić creates different images of women by opening up new possibilities, new spaces. It is not a woman in a kitchen, not a woman in the bedroom, but a woman imagining a blue sky.
A woman is not an item, which would fit in a suitcase.

Finally, I would like to conclude with the words of Simon de Beauvoir: “Suddenly in the kitchen, where her mother is washing dishes, the little girl realises that over the years, every afternoon at the same time, these hands have plunged into greasy water and wiped the china with a rough dish towel. And until death they will be subjected to these rites. Eat, sleep, clean … the years no longer reach toward the sky, they spread out identical and grey as a horizontal tablecloth; every day looks like the previous one; the present is eternal, useless, and hopeless.” Beauvoir asked herself if she will be able to live like that while placing the plates in the closet, and she said to herself, ‘no’. 

Tanja Ostojić taught us to say “No” to the male dominated, capitalist world.

Azad Colemêrg: Misplaced Women? performance intervention. Main train station Zurich, April 2019, Misplaced Women? workshop by Tanja Ostojić. Videostill: contact zone

Yours truly,

Azad Colemêrg

July 11, 2019.


Azad Colemêrg is currently studying cinematography at the University of Zurich. He was born in 1988 in Kurdistan, near Colemêrg, in the very east of Turkey. Azad Colemêrg has been based in Switzerland since 2018 where he received a status of a political refugee in 2019. Before he had to flee the country, he had been working as a school teacher in Kurdistan and in Turkey.

Read more about Azad’s life

Performance intervention by Azad Colemêrg on April 4, 2019. has been realised in the frame of “Misplaced Women?” workshop by Tanja Ostojić at the ZhDK, Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, in Zurich, April 2-4, 2019. 

Text written by Azad Colemêrg on July 11, 2019.

Edited by Tanja Ostojić and Olivia Jaques

Published for the first time by Tanja Ostojić on the Misplaced Women? blog

Video-stills by contact zone (Andri Schatz, Azad Colemêrg, Demian Jakob, Irem Gungez, Jan Stolze, Livia Thommen, Mercedes Borgunska, Olivia Jaques, Santiago Pina, Severin Hallauer, Zoe Wagner)

Azad Colemêrg: Misplaced Women? performance intervention. Main train station Zurich, April 2019, Misplaced Women? workshop by Tanja Ostojić. Videostill: contact zone

Rojek bi Tanja Ostojić re

Navê min Azad e. Ez penaberek siyasî me. Ez ji Kurdistanê, kû her tiştên wî qedexe kirine, hatime Swîsrêyê. Axa ku ez lê ji dayik bûm welatekê qedexe ye. Ziman, çand, wêje û hunera me qedexe ye.

Ligel wan qedexên min dîtiyan da rojekê min Tanja Ostojić nas kir. Nêrîna min a huner û performansê de guheriye. Ji ber ku Ostojić performansa navê xwe „Misplaced Woman?“ da hemî qalibên teng ên ku jin tê da hatibû danîn, şikand û wan ji objeyekî da derxist û jiyanekî nû dida. Bal kişandi bû ser dubendiyek girîng. Wê peyamek dabû wan mirovên kû ewên jina li jiyanê da her dem cihekî xelet da dibînin.

Me hemûyan wê rojê  çente û valîzên xwe vekirin. Ji ber ku kapîtalîzm pêşî mirovan bi çente zincîr dike û paşê jî jiyana me dike wê çentê da. Wek ku em bê wê nikarin bijîn. Her tiştê me tê de ye. Wê agahdariyek dida mirovan ku jîyana me girêdayî objeya ye.

Di hemû civakan de tabû hene. Çima li rawesteka bajêr da ku wek sûlav bi rengek şîn da avek çêkirine? Ji ber ku ew tabû ye. Kes nikare destê xwe lê bide. Lê ji bo Ostojić tabû tine. Ew  bi sîwanê xwe ve binê avê de sekinî. Wî li firoşgehek cilûbergan li marqeyên pêlavan dinêrî û dixand.

Azad Colemêrg: Misplaced Women? performance intervention. Main train station Zurich, April 2019, Misplaced Women? workshop by Tanja Ostojić. Videostill: contact zone

Ez bi sîwanê ve binê avê de rawestiyam. Wê rojê em bin sûlava şînda rawesteke da sekînîn. Min xwe gelek azadî hesiya. Ez gelek coş bûm. Min hez dikir kû ez bêcil bin avêda bisekinim. Lewre cihekî qedexe bû û ji ber wê ji min ra şêrîn dihat. Ez ter û av bûm , lê belê hêsekî xweş bû. Min li pêlavfiroşek da li marqeyên pêlavan dinêrî û me ligel yên din marqên pêlavan dixand kû kîderê berkêşandin e. Em çûne cihekî pêlavfiroş. Mê binê pêlava ra mezinand û marqe wan dixwandin û me digot marqê çînê çînê çînê çînê Paşê jî wê pêlavfiroş da reklamekî da posterekî malbatekî hebû. Me jî wan teqlit kir. Em wek wan sekînîn.

Me çentên xwe xalî kirin. Çi tiştên veşartî li çentê ne man. Her tiştên me holê ra bûn .

Ostojić li performansa xwe yan „Misplaced Woman“ da jinên kû mitfaxê û cihê razanê da derxist û xewnekî bi asmana şîn dida wan. Jin ne ewe ku li çenteyekî da cih bigire.

Azad Colemêrg: Misplaced Women? performance intervention. Main train station Zurich, April 2019, Misplaced Women? workshop by Tanja Ostojić. Videostill: contact zone

Di dawiyê de, ez dixwazim bi gotinên Simon de Beauvoir biqedînim: „Rojek min alîkariya firaxên dayika xwe dikir. Diya min tebex dişûştin, min ziwa dikir. Ji pacerêya mitbaxê, cihên agirkûj û mitbaxên xaniyên din xuya dibûn. Li van mitbaxan jî, jinên din tawe firkandin , qûşxane spahî dikirin, sewzî vebijartin. Her roj xwarina firavîn, xwarina şîv, her roj firax; her roj paqijkirin; Ew karê çinehî bi saetan dirêj dibûji çinebûnê pê ve bêdawîtiya ku nagihîje tu derê. Ji çinebûnê pê ve jî bêarmancekî bêdawîtibû. Gelo ez ê karibim wusa bijîm?  Wek min tebex li dolavê cih digirt, min go te xwe  „Na“ Jiyana min bê guman dê bigihîje cihekî.”

Tanja Ostojić fêrî me kir ku em ji cîhana serdest a mêr û jiyana kapîtalîst re „Na“ dibêjin.

Silav û rêz

Azad Colemêrg

11 Tîrmeh 2019

Azad Colemêrg niha li Zanîngeha Zûrixê sinematografiyê dixwîne. Ew ji 1988an li Kurdistanê, bajarê Colemêrg ê, li rojhilatê Tirkiyê ji dayik bû. Piştî ku xwendina xwe qedand li Kurdistanê û Tirkiyê Mamosteyê dibistanê xebitî. Piştî hingê neçar ma ku ji welêt derkeve. Ew ji 2018an ve li Swîsreyê dijî, 2019an de statuya penaberiya siyasî stend.

Azad Colemêrg: Misplaced Women? performance intervention. Main train station Zurich, April 2019, Misplaced Women? workshop by Tanja Ostojić. Videostill: contact zone

Body Measuring and Dying Oranges

In Berlin, Performances, Railway-stations, Train Station, Workshops on March 3, 2021 at 10:55 pm

Body Measuring and Dying Oranges Chess Play

Performance by: Evdoxia Stafylaraki and Jiachen Xu

Locations: S-Bahn stations Prenzlauer Allee and Ostkreuz, Berlin, January 23, 2018.

Text by: Evdoxia Stafylaraki

During my stay in Berlin, I had the opportunity to participate in the “Misplaced Women?” project by Tanja Ostojić. So, I made a performance with Alice (Jiachen Xu), posing questions about the rules set by society, and the women’s position in it in the course of time. Thus, the core concept of that performance was the diachronic nature of social inequalities, and the marginalisation of women in every aspect of life.

“Body Measuring and Dying Oranges Chess Play” by: Evdoxia Stafylaraki & Jiachen Xu, “Misplaced Women?” workshop by Tanja Ostojić, Ostkreuz Berlin, 2018.

That lack of women’s freedom that exists by tradition and the tight boundaries of a woman’s existence were presented through a ‘self- confinement’ act, by letting myself being tied up to a public clock pole with a tape measure, a strict metric system wrapping me ritualistically.

Alice’s proposal to develope this performance together with me, within the Ostojić’s Misplaced project context was the complement of the paradox I wanted to express. It should be noted that kitchen space is a space traditionally intended for the women as nurturers, housekeepers, and housewives; and Alice selected a placemat from that space to be the chess board that would bear some half-dead tangerines. Laying the tablecloth on the external social space, we set up the chess board, and the game started or rather kept evolving. A game, which none of us understands, a game with no justice, a game that is simply still being played beyond all reason.

Suddenly, a security guard interrupted the performance and demended that we leave the place. We tried to understand the reason for that in vain though; some passers-by translated the guard’s words for us, explaining that we should have been able to speak German since we were in Germany. Was it that we were both coming from a foreign country? Or was it that we were merely women? Or was it the combination of both that made him react so rudely? That’s a rhetorical question. His interference actually confirmed the term ‘misplaced women’ not only in words, but also in practice…

“Body Measuring and Dying Oranges Chess Play” Performance by Evdoxia Stafylaraki and Jiachen, “Misplaced Women?” Workshop by Tanja Ostojić, Berlin, Ostkreuz, 2018. Photo: Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

___________________________________________________________________________

Video-recording: Nati Canto, Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

Video-editing: Evdoxia Stafylaraki

Text edited and first published by Tanja Ostojić, March 3, 2021 on the Misplaced Women? project blog

___________________________________________________________________________

Evdoxia Stafylaraki is a mathematician, sculptor and performance artist from Chania, Greece. 

Jiachen completed a joint master degree in women’s and gender studies in Central European University in Budapest, Hungary and University of Oviedo, Spain. She is now based in Beijing, China.

___________________________________________________________________________

Please see more photos and read Jiachen’s review of this very performance published on the Misplaced Women? Blog in February 2019 

___________________________________________________________________________

Please visit as well archive of earlier contributions and posts from Berlin, from workshops, individual and group performances: 2009-2021:

Contribution by Nati Canto 

Contribution by Rhea Ramjohn

Contribution by Mad Kate

Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz

Contribution by Katja Vaghi

Contribution by LADY GABY

Contribution by: Susan Merrick 

Contribution by Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

Contribution by Jiachen Xu and Evdoxia Stafylaraki

Contribution by Ola Kozioł

Contribution by Татьяна Bogacheva

Contribution by: Luciana Damiani 

Our Lady of Auguststraße by Tanja Ostojić

Contribution by Tanja Ostojić: Berlin, TXL Airport and Valentina Medda: Misplaced Women?, Performa New York, 2009. Simultanious delegated performance with the one by Tanja Ostojic, at Berlin TXL airport.

Public Presentation of the Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, January 2018

___________________________________________________________________________

Score#1, Raspakivanje osobne torbe na Muzilu

In Performances, Pula, Stories on November 23, 2020 at 6:35 pm

Misplaced Women?, delegirani performans Tanje Ostojić

Score #1/Raspakivanje lične torbe/ Performans Solidarnosti: kontribucija Roberte Weissman Nagy uz Partituru za izvođenje performansa br.1

Izvela: Roberta Weissman Nagy 

Lokacija: Muzil, napušteni vojni kompleks, vojna zona bez dozvole prilaska, Pula, Istra, Hrvatska

Datum: 21.11.2020. Vreme: 11–14 h, u trajanju od tri sata

Misplaced Women?, delegirani performans Tanje Ostojić, Score #1, izvela: Roberta Weissman Nagy, Muzil, Pula, 2020. Fotografija: Zoltan Nagy

Opis i refleksije:

Ja sam dijete vojnog lica. Dijete nekog drugog svijeta. Priključila sam se Misplaced Women? performans-projektu u želji da preispitam spoznaje o sebi kao ženi, upravo kroz ogoljavanje i prezentiranje sadržaja svoje „torbe“, odnosno, intimnog, skrivenog i erotičnog svijeta osobnosti. Na prvi pogled bezazleno istresanje sadržaja osobne torbe, uprizoreno na lokaciji za koju sam smatrala da je jedna od onih koje su me trajno oblikovale kao ženu, postalo je duboko emotivno iskustvo proživljavanja vlastite fragilnosti i ženskosti, te vrtlog emotivnih i uznemirujućih reakcija koje me povezuju sa lokacijom i prošlošću.

“Misplaced Women?”, delegated performance by Tanja Ostojić, “Score 1/ Unpacking a Bag of Your Own”, Performed by: Roberta Weissman Nagy, 21.11.2020, Muzil, Pula, Istria. Video-still: Zoltan Nagy

Trajno napušten sablasni prostor vojnog kompleksa, koji je JNA mirno i bez razaranja napustila  tokom rata, 15. Decembra 1991. u 17 sati, i u koji je i danas nemoguće ući bez dozvole Ministarstva obrane, posjetila sam pre nekih 50-tak godina, jednog ranog hladnog jutra sa svojim ocem, kapetanom bojnog broda, koji je imao ured u zgradi ispred koje je snimljen performans. Sećam se da je danas zaraslo dvorište tada bilo čisto i uredno. U njemu je stajalo nekoliko stotina mladih mornara iz cijele Jugoslavije pod punom spremom, koji su čekali prekomandu. Razgovarali su i pušili.

“Misplaced Women?”, delegated performance by Tanja Ostojić, “Score 1/ Unpacking a Bag of Your Own”, Performed by: Roberta Weissman Nagy, 21.11.2020, Muzil, Pula, Istria. Video-still: Zoltan Nagy

Sjećam se zvukova, mirisa i osjećaja, a posebno njihovih pogleda, dok sam kao petogodišnja djevojčica prolazila u mimohodu i pela se potom stepenicama, ulazeći u zgradu. Neki su bili ljubazni, osmjehnuli se, a neki su me sa vidljivim prijezirom ružno gledali, čak i psovali. 

“Misplaced Women?”, delegated performance by Tanja Ostojić, “Score 1/ Unpacking a Bag of Your Own”, Performed by: Roberta Weissman Nagy, 21.11.2020, Muzil, Pula, Istria. Video-still: Zoltan Nagy

Osjećaje bespomoćnosti i nejasnog straha koji su usledili odmah nakon nesvesnog prepoznavanja da sam poslatala meta kolektivne emocije, koje su mi tada izazvali, došla sam sada istresti pred njih, kao odrasla žena. Stajala sam sama pred tisuću ljudi kojih nije bilo. Strahovita je energija  i dalje prisutna na tom trgu.

Strah, suze, inat, ponos i snaga prepliću se kroz pokret dizanja ruku i čin izvrtanja torbe. Intenzivno sam doživela ovaj performans, kao veliku snagu i kao usud. Doneo mi je osećaj pomirenja, da konačno mogu biti to što jesam, što sam postala, sa skinutim cipelama, bosa, bez rezerve prisutna, baš tu na javnom platou u zabranjenoj zoni gdje odavna nikog više nema.

“Misplaced Women?”, delegated performance by Tanja Ostojić, “Score 1/ Unpacking a Bag of Your Own”, Performed by: Roberta Weissman Nagy, 21.11.2020, Muzil, Pula, Istria. Photo:  Roberta Weissman Nagy

Orkanska bura koja je kao neminovnost toga dana bila sveprisutna, dotakla se i predmeta iz moje torbe, pomno odabranih da simboliziraju svaki segment mog života, uključuju i oktobarski broj časpisa Cosmopolitan, koji je tek izašao, i u njemu, članak o meni — da žene čitaju tko sam. Tek sam prazneći torbu saznala koliko još imam nesvesnih delova sebe. Istresajući sebstvo, sagledavši akt ove izjave, plakala sam čitavih sat vremena.

 “Misplaced Women?”, delegated performance by Tanja Ostojić, “Score 1/ Unpacking a Bag of Your Own”, Performed by: Roberta Weissman Nagy, 21.11.2020, Muzil, Pula, Istria. Photo: Roberta Weissman Nagy

O Muzilu:

Iako se nalazi unutar grada, Muzil je oduvijek predstavljao zagonetku za većinu Puljana i Puležanki. Od 1859 godine kada Austrougarska određuje Pulu za svoju glavnu ratnu luku, pa sve do 2007. godine ova ogormna zona, površine od 180 hektara, bila je zatvorena za javnost. Tu su se smjenjivale razne vojske: Austrougarska, Italijanska, vojska Kraljevine Jugoslavije, SFR Jugoslavije, i Hrvatske. Vojni  kompleks Muzil je do raspada Jugoslavije koristila Jugoslovenska ratna mornarica (JRM). Po uspostavi Rrepublike Hrvatske, kompleks je kao i cjelokupna vojna imovina prešao u korištenje Hrvatske vojske. Danas je napušten i u statusu iščekivanja novog vlasnika, i prenamjene, jer je nejasan odnos vlasništva između Republike Hrvatske, Ministarstva obrane te samog Grada Pule na čijem je teritoriju kompleks, a za koji građani pokazuju interes u smislu prenamjene u javni prostor za kulturne i druge urbane sadržaje.

O autorki:

Roberta Weissman Nagy je umjetnica koja u svom radu kroz različite medije otvara pitanja o objektivnoj i subjektivnoj korelacij i realnosti. Ova puležanka je diplomirala na FLU u Beogradu 1988. godine, međunarodno je aktivna na preko 80 izložbi, te je nagrađivana za svoj umjetnički i pedagoški rad.

Fotografije: Zoltan Nagy / Roberta Weissman Nagy

Videast: Zoltan Nagy

Tekst napisala: Roberta Weissman Nagy

Tekst uredila i prvi put objavila na Misplaced Women? blogu: Tanja Ostojić


Molim Vas pogledajte priloge i članke koji se direktno nadovezuju na ovaj:

Partitura za izvođenje performansa, br.1: Raspakivanje lične torbe 

Partitura za izvodjenje performansa, br.2: Držanje natpisa

Jesenja izložba Udruženja Likovnih Umetnika Srbije u Paviljonu Cvijeta Zuzorić na Kalemegdanu Beograd

Prethodne kontribucije: Perfromans Solidarnosti

Score#1: (in English)

Score#2: (in ENglish)

Performans Solidarnosti

In Belgrade, Performances on November 11, 2020 at 9:22 pm

Evo prvistigli su i prvi prilozi za performans solidarnosti:

  1. Misplaced Women?, delegirani performans Tanje Ostojić, 

Score#1: Raspakivanje lične torbe 

Performans izvodi: Lidija Antonović

Datum 11.11.2020. Vreme: 16-16:30h, u trajanju od 30 minuta

Lokacija: Na stepeništu kod Hotela Srbija, Šumice, Beograd

Fotografije: Teodora Sarić

Opis: Pored nas su prolazili nezainteresovani ljudi sa maskama. Oni koji su stali nisu komentarisali. Kada se završio performans, samo je jedna žena pitala šta sam radila, i to tek kada smo se zajedno našle u autobusu. Objasnila sam joj da sam radila performans po partituri umetnice Tanje Ostojić. Stepenište kod hotela je nekada bilo prepuno turista i bogatijih migranata dok se nije pojavila pandemija korona virusa.

Misplaced Women?, delegirani performans Tanje Ostojić, Raspakivanje lične torbe, izvela: Lidija Antonović, 11.11.2020, Hotel Srbija, Beograd. Foto: Teodora Sarić
Misplaced Women?, delegirani performans Tanje Ostojić, Raspakivanje lične torbe, izvela: Lidija Antonović, 11.11.2020, Hotel Srbija, Beograd. Foto: Teodora Sarić

———————————–

2. Misplaced Women?, delegirani performans Tanje Ostojić

Score#1: Raspakivanje lične torbe 

Perfromans izvodi: Nela Antonović

Datum 11.11.2020. Vreme: 17.30–18:15h, u trajanju od 45 minuta

Lokacija: Gandijeva ulica, na stazi prema tržnom centru, Novi Beograd

Fotografije: Lidija Antonović

Opis: Odabrala sam klupu na kojoj su, do pojave virusa, migranti često prespavali. To je bezbedno mesto u blizini tržnog centra, osvetljeno i skriveno. Izgovarala sam “missplaced woman”, kako bih više privukla pažnju i onima koji ne znaju šta to znači. Pitanja prolaznika su uglavnom bila da im protumačim šta govorim i zašto. Jedna tinejdžerka je rekla da će da istraži na internetu ko je to Tanja Ostojić. Jedna starija žena je dugo stajala i gledala. Na kraju mi je rekla da dobro dezinfikujem sve kada se vratim kući.

Misplaced Women?, delegirani performans Tanje Ostojić, Raspakivanje lične torbe, izvela: Nela Antonović, 11.11.2020, Gandijeva ulica, Novi Beograd Foto: Lidija Antonović
Misplaced Women?, delegirani performans Tanje Ostojić, Raspakivanje lične torbe, izvela: Nela Antonović, 11.11.2020, Gandijeva ulica, Novi Beograd Foto: Lidija Antonović


Veliko hvala: Lidiji Antonović, Neli Antonović i Teodori Sarić

Molim Vas pogledajte priloge i članke koji se direktno nadovezuju na ovaj:

Partitura za izvođenje performansa, br.1: Raspakivanje lične torbe

Partitura za izvodjenje performansa, br.2: Držanje natpisa

Jesenja izložba Udruženja Likovnih Umetnika Srbije u Paviljonu Cvijeta Zuzorić na Kalemegdanu Beograd

Misplaced Women? Radionica u Beogradu- Priča Nele Antonović

Missplaced Women? Performance & Migration Workshop and Performance series by Tanja Ostojić, in Info Park and the park in front of the Faculty of Economy Belgrade, October 29, 2015

Video about Misspalced Women? Workshop in Belgrade, SEEcult.org, 2015

The Safe Circle

In Berlin, Performances on September 19, 2019 at 2:22 pm

Contribution by: Luciana Damiani 

The Safe Circle, a 30 minute performance by Luciana Damiani, Park am Nordbahnhof, Berlin, Misplaced Women? workshop, 13.09.2019.

A few months ago I contacted Tanja Ostojic because after getting to know her work and her project Misplaced Woman? I considered significant and necessary for me to try to get an opportunity to share my experiences and generate bonds with other people who have experienced similar situations. So I came to Berlin with the travel grant from MEC (Ministry of Education and Culture in Uruguay) in order to collaborate with her on the project.

Luciana Damiani: “The Safe Circle”, Misplaced Women? Workshop, Park am Nordbahnhof, Berlin, 2019. Photo: Tanja Ostojic

I am a visual artist who lives in Montevideo, Uruguay, but 3 years ago I was based in Spain. I left Uruguay because I wanted to continue my studies and had the chance to do so University of Barcelona. I am a privileged migrant as I left Uruguay because I wanted to, not because I had to.

My years in Barcelona were hard as at the course of my stay, it was impossible for me to find a legal job that would allow me to study. I had to pay tuitions twice as high as European students for my master’s degree. I borrowed money on several occasions and even falsified documents and lied in immigration office in order to renew my student visa. I lived itinerantly, moving from one house to another, more than 10 times. I carried my bags all over the city, assembling and disassembling my luggage, generating new homes and leaving them behind.

When I arrived to Barcelona I had the expectation of staying for a long period of time but, after just a few years, I wanted to return to Uruguay as I was exhausted and felt lonely.

Luciana Damiani: The Safe Circle, Misplaced Women? Workshop, Park am Nordbahnhof, Berlin, 2019. Photo: Cecilia Capurro

I realised that some places tend to expel the individual, generating a dehumanised metaphoric void that denies the presence. Places full of people but stripped of identity, where one inhabits adversity, where we travel but never leave a mark, where relations of power and vulnerability become increasingly visible and enduring.

After discussing possible performance locations with Tanja, we decided that Park am Nordbanhof could serve as a good site to perform at, next to the Berlin Wall. The choice of this place was not random. I remember watching the fall of the Wall on TV at home with my father. At that time I did not understood the shock as I was seven years old and my mother died just few months earlier. I was born in Uruguay in 1982, at the end of the dictatorship and I am part of a hinge generation, a generation encapsulated between what was said and what was not said, with the history veiled and reconfigured from silence.

Luciana Damiani: “The Safe Circle”, Misplaced Women? workshop, Park am Nordbahnhof, Berlin, 2019. Photo: Cecilia Capurro

When I started traveling and crossing frontiers I began to understand the Eurocentric cultural heritage and Uruguayan wounds, regarding the patriarchal and Judeo-Christian tradition and norms of white people. From this perspective I started to explore and reveal unequal power situations, in an attempt to dismantle historical truth as an unalterable legacy.

When we arrived to the Nordbahnhof park I drew a yellow circle on the floor and asked everyone to join me within the circle, as a micro-political action to deconstruct the individual and establish collective connections and constellations. This circle is outlined as a metaphorical place, a new territory where we were all safe, where those outside were now inside. A space where we could share and heal.

Luciana Damiani: “The Safe Circle”, Misplaced Women? Workshop, Park am Nordbahnhof, Berlin, 2019. Photo: Tanja Ostojic

I started with taking everything out of my suitcase: books, clothes, shoes, papers, documents. I turned all my clothes inside out. After my suitcase was empty and all my belongings were on the floor, scattered, I began to read my manifesto.

“I am body and I am statement.

I am witness and I am evidence of manipulation.

I don’t want to ask permission to be.

I don’t have to ask permission to be.

I don’t want to be defined by you, or anybody, or anywhere, or anything.

I don’t want to be from here or there.

If my existence threatens you, that is because you’re afraid of losing  your privileges.

If your walls will surround me, my words will be the weapon to make them fall.

If you hurt me, I will heal.

And I will repeat this all over again.

Because I have a pact with all of my kind.

Because that’s my duty and my only way to resist.”

After the reading, I tried to get inside the suitcase but of course, it was very small, I would never fit inside it. At some point this action was immediately connected with my experience in Barcelona, ​​trying to be in a place where there was no room for me. It was like bringing everything back.

Luciana Damiani: “The Safe Circle”, Misplaced Women? Workshop, Park am Nordbahnhof, Berlin, 2019. Photo: Cecilia Capurro

I lit a cigarette, smoked it and waited a few minutes. Then I got up and held my yellow sign declaring myself a Misplaced Human?.

_______________________________________________________

Luciana Damiani is a visual artist and independent researcher born in 1982 in Montevideo, Uruguay. She graduated with a degree in at Fine Arts School (UDELAR – Uruguay) and Magister in Artistic Production and Research at UB- Barcelona. Since 2009 she is member of FAC Collective (Fundación de Arte Contemporáneo, Uruguay). She participates in individual and collective shows since 2007. Her work has been exhibited in Uruguay, Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Mexico, USA, Spain and France. 

In 2018 she won FEFCA scholarship granted by MEC (Uruguay) to perform “Misplaced Woman?” with Tanja Ostojic in Berlin.

Text by: Luciana Damiani

Translation from Spanish: Jessica Moreira

Edited and first published by: Tanja Ostojic

Photo credits: Tanja Ostojic, Maya Hristova and Cecilia Capurro 

Luciana Damiani: “The Safe Circle”, Misplaced Women? Workshop, Park am Nordbahnhof, Berlin, 2019. Photo: Maya Hristova

Contribución de: Luciana Damiani 

“El circulo Seguro” 

Misplaced Women? Workshop

Park am Nordbahnhof, Berlin – 13.09.2019

Hace unos meses contacté a Tanja porque luego de conocer su trabajo y su proyecto Misplaced Woman? consideré importante y necesario para mi tener la oportunidad de compartir mis experiencias y generar vínculos con otras personas que han vivido situaciones similares. Entonces viajé a Berlín con una beca del MEC (Ministerio de Educación y Cultura Uruguay) para colaborar en el proyecto.

Soy una artista visual que vive en Montevideo (Uruguay) pero hace 3 años estaba radicada en España. Dejé Uruguay porque quería continuar con mis estudios y tuve la oportunidad de hacerlo. Soy una migrante privilegiada. Me fui de Uruguay porque quise, no porque tuve que hacerlo.

Mis años en Barcelona fueron duros. Durante mi estadía me fue imposible encontrar un trabajo legal que me permitiera estudiar. Pagué el doble que cualquier estudiante europeo por mi maestría. Pedí dinero prestado en varias ocaciones. Falsifiqué documentos y mentí en oficinas de imigración para renovar mi visa de estudios. Viví de forma itinerante, mudandome de casa en casa más de 10 veces. Cargué con mis maletas por toda la ciudad. Iba armando y desarmando mi equipaje, generando hogares nuevos y dejándolos atrás. 

Cuando llegue a Barcelona tenía expectativas de quedarme mucho tiempo, pero al cabo de unos años solo quería volver a Uruguay. Estaba exhausta y me sentía sola. 

Entendí que los lugares muchas veces expulsan al individuo, generando un vacio metafórico, deshumanizado, que niega la prescencia. Lugares respletos de gente pero despojados de identidad, donde las personas habitamos la adversidad, por donde transitamos pero nunca dejamos huella, donde las relaciones de poder y vulnerabilidad se hacen cada vez más visibles y perdurables. 

Luego discutir posibles lugares para la performance con Tanja, elegimos hacerla en el Park am Nordbanhof al lado del muro. La elección del lugar no fue aleatoria. Recuerdo estar mirando la caída del muro en la tv de mi casa con mi padre. En ese momento no entendía la conmoción de la gente. Tenia 7 años y mi madre había muerto hace unos meses. Nací en Uruguay en 1982 al final de una dictadura. Soy parte de una generación visagra. Una generación encapsulada entre lo dicho y lo no dicho, con la historia velada y reconfigurada a partir del silencio. 

Cuando comencé a viajar y a cruzar fronteras empecé a entender la herencia y la herida cultural eurocéntrica de mi país, sobre la tradición y normas de lo blanco, patriarcal y judeo- cristiano y partir de esto comencé a trabajar develando situaciones de poder desiguales, en un intento de desarticular la verdad histórica como un legado inalterable

Cuando llegamos al parque Nordbahnhof dibujé un circulo amarillo en el piso y le pedí a todxs que se unieran a mi dentro del circulo, como una acción micropolítica para reconstruir lo individual y establecer conexiones y constelaciones colectivas. Este circulo se esboza como un lugar metafórico, un nuevo territorio donde todxs estábamos salvo, donde lxs de afuera estamos dentro. Donde podemos compartir y sanar.

Empecé a sacar todo de mi maleta. Libros, ropa, zapatos, papeles, documentos. Di vuelta toda mi ropa, de adentro para afuera. Luego de que mi maleta estaba vacía y todas mis pertenecías en el piso, desparramadas, empecé a leer mi manifiesto. 

“Soy cuerpo y manifiesto.

Soy testigo y evidencia de la manipulación.

No quiero pedir permiso para ser.

No tengo que pedir permiso para ser.

No quiero se definidx por ti, por nada nip or nadie.

No quiero se de aquí ni ni de allà.

Si mi existencia te amenaza es porque tienes miedo a perder tus privilegios.

Si tus mueros quieren rodearme, mis palabras seran el arma que los hara caer. 

Si me hieres, sanaré.

I repetiré todo esto de nuevo.

Porque tengo un pacto con todos los míxs, con todos los de mi clase.

Porque es mi deber y mi única forma de resistir”

Luego de la lectura traté de meterme dentro de la maleta pero claro, era muy pequeña, nunca iba a caber dentro. En algún punto esta acción se conectó de inmediato con mi experiencia en Barcelona, tratar de estar en un lugar donde no había espacio para mi. Fue como traer todo de nuevo.

Encendí un cigarrillo, lo fumé y esperé unos minutos. Luego me levanté y sostuve mi cartel amarillo declarandome unx Misplaced Human?

_____________________________________________________

Luciana Damiani es una artista visual e investigadora independiente nacida en 1982 en Montevideo, Uruguay. Graduada de la Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes por la UDELAR en Uruguay y Magister en Producción e Investigación Artística por la UB en Barcelona. Participa en exhibiciones individuales y colectivas desde el 2007. Sus trabajos han sido mostrados en Uruguay, Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Méjico, EEUU, España y Francia. En 2018 gana los FEFCA (Fondos de incentivo a la formación y creación artística) otorgados por el MEC en Uruguay para realizar la performace “Misplaced Woman?” con Tanja Ostojic en Berlín.

Texto de Luciana Damiani

Editado y publicado por Tanja Ostojic

Fotos: Tanja Ostojic, Maya Hristova and Cecilia Capurro 

____________________________________________________________________________

Please visit as well archive of earlier contributions and posts from Berlin, from workshops, individual and group performances: 2009-2019:

Contribution by Nati Canto 

Contribution by Rhea Ramjohn

Contribution by Mad Kate

Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz

Contribution by Katja Vaghi

Contribution by LADY GABY

Contribution by: Susan Merrick 

Contribution by Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

Contribution by Jiachen Xu and Evdoxia Stafylaraki

Contribution by Ola Kozioł

Contribution by Татьяна Bogacheva

Contribution by Tanja Ostojić: Berlin, TXL Airport

and Valentina Medda: Misplaced Women?, Performa New York, 2009. Simultanious delegated perfromance with the one by Tanja Ostojic, at Berlin TXL airport.

Misplaced Women? A Translation of a Travel Diary in British Sign Language

In Berlin, Performances, Railway-stations, Train Station, Train stations on July 15, 2019 at 11:04 am

Contribution by: Susan Merrick 

“Misplaced Women?, A Translation of a Travel Diary in British Sign Language”, 30 minute performance by Susan Merrick

23.05.2019 Berlin-Gesundbrunnen Train Station (Berlin, Germany)

Tanja invited me to consider presenting a performance for the Misplaced Women? project whilst I was working with her for a few days in Berlin. I’d asked Tanja if I could work with her on my own project ‘Practicing to Share’ and it seemed appropriate to actually work within each others projects during this time, to understand one another and to consider each others theme of work.

“Misplaced Women?, A Translation of a Travel Diary in British Sign Language”, a 30 minute performance by Susan Merrick, 2019. 
Video recording: Tanja Ostojić. Video editing: Susan Merrick

I spent some time thinking about what would feel appropriate, and where. How it would fit to my own idea of misplaced, my feeling of ‘place’ while in Berlin, a city I’d only visited once before as a young woman. Also my feelings of my ‘[mis]placement’ within my work as a Sign Language Interpreter, working between two cultures, between two languages, being at times ‘invisible’, yet very visible.

Rather than cultivating a performance in any way Tanja simply gave me the performance score to look over and using the rucksack I already had with me, we chose to explore Berlin train station, Gesundbrunnen that was near to where we were working. 

Susan Merrick: “Misplaced Women?”, Berlin-Gesundbrunnen Train Station, 2019. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

I chose a position at the end of a platform. It felt quiet, intimate, and sat at a junction of two tracks. I have an affinity with train stations and much of my work has taken place in or around them. I have worked within busier positions but for this day I wanted some space and to see the location of Berlin behind me.

I began by removing my shoes and jumper. I wanted to be comfortable and to sit while I disclosed my belongings. I slowly removed each item from my bag, surprising myself by how much was in the bag that I had only emptied earlier that day (or so I thought!). Items of everyday use, but also items of specificity to the trip I was on, a camera, some shaving foam and razor – ready for some other work we were to do later – and a travel journal that I had written 17 years previously whilst on my only other visit to Berlin. 

Susan Merrick: “Misplaced Women?, A Translation of a Travel Diary in British Sign Language”, Berlin-Gesundbrunnen Train Station, 2019. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

Often I allow my surroundings to influence my actions in my work, responding to the stimuli around me. I allowed these items to do the same to me, not planning but following what the items suggested to me. I was really interested in my position between the train tracks so I decided to perform the creation of a track, placing shaving foam on my leg in a line and shaving the hair from my leg in a strip, straight like a track. I wiped it clean with a red head scarf.

I then opened up my travel journal from 2002. I read and translated into British Sign Language (BSL), some of the pages that spoke of my previous visit to Berlin. The journey into the city on the train and a visit to the zoo where we couldn’t afford the photographs that were taken of us. The language miscommunications and the laughter of the train guard who found our worries over a door not closing hilarious. Our lack of money and our exhaustion at travelling around. Our decision to sit and wait 7 hours in a hostel reception waiting for a room and our reliance on the kindness of others.

Susan Merrick: “Misplaced Women?, A Translation of a Travel Diary in British Sign Language”, Berlin-Gesundbrunnen Train Station, 2019. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

Using BSL in this way felt an appropriate challenge to the work, on a quiet platform, in a train station in Berlin, speaking only to the camera and to Tanja behind it, with no-one understanding me, using a language not native to the country, or even to me. A language that has become my profession, and that I have adopted now for over half my life, that works its way into my Art, and that I can never truly feel I belong.

Susan Merrick: “Misplaced Women?, A Translation of a Travel Diary in British Sign Language”, Berlin-Gesundbrunnen Train Station, 2019. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

Finally I took up my polaroid camera, taking a photograph of the semi circle of belongings surrounding my feet. Of Tanja watching me. Of the Train tracks reaching towards and away from me. 

Mis placed. Placed mistakenly. [Mis]placed

Lost. Unfound. In-between. Where am I?

As Artists where are we? Where do we belong? Who decides? Who finds us? Who loses us?

Susan Merrick is an Artist from the UK. She is also a Sign Language Interpreter and this profession greatly influences her performance practice.

Photos from performance on May 23, 2019 at Berlin-Gesundbrunnen Train Station were captured by Tanja Ostojić

Video recording: Tanja Ostojić.

Video editing: Susan Merrick

___________________________________________

Please visit as well other contributions and posts from Berlin, from different workshops and individual or group performances:

Contribution by Nati Canto 

Contribution by Rhea Ramjohn

Contribution by Mad Kate

Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz

Contribution by Katja Vaghi

Contribution by LADY GABY

Contribution by Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

Contribution by Jiachen Xu and Evdoxia Stafylaraki

Contribution by Ola Kozioł

Contribution by Татьяна Bogacheva

Older posts Berlin 2009: 

Contribution by Tanja Ostojić: Berlin, TXL Airport

and Valentina Medda: Misplaced Women?, Performa New York, 2009. Simultanious delegated perfromance with Tanja Ostojic, at Berlin TXL airport.

The International Women’s Day contribution by Tan Tan

In Gent, Performances on March 16, 2019 at 12:56 pm

A Pink River, the International Women’s Day contribution by Tan Tan is a story (as she says) —about a “misplaced woman” who comes from China and currently lives in Belgium, who attempts to find her place as a foreign woman despite all the stereotypes and cultural misunderstandings.

This poetic performance has been created in direct response to the “MISPLACED WOMEN?”: “Score 1 – Unpacking a Bag of Your Own”, delegated performance by Tanja Ostojić (ongoing since 2009). Tan Tan was initially supposed to realise it in China in the frame of “Trouble Diaries, a political statement” at Big House, Wuhan, China (2017–18), an exhibition that was curated by Dermis Leon, in which Ostojić took part. As Ostojić was not able to travel to China, Tan Tan has been delegated to interpret her “Misplaced Women?” performance in the public space. 

Tan Tan who is doing her PhD in Belgium, decided to build in her perspective on stereotypes from the Westerners towards Chinese, exposing her vulnerable status as a foreign Asian woman living in this developed but closed society. And so she has finally chosen to perform it in Gent in the feminist context of the annual manifestation against sexism on The International Women’s Day, as she was particularly curious about reception of her performance in the context of this woman’s rights event. Would they embrace someone from different perspective to join their struggle? Here is what she has done and how she reflected a pone it. 

Tan Tan: “A Pink River”, Stadshal, Gent. A 2018 “Misplaced Women?” contribution. Photo: Okky Oki, Sara De Vuyst, Sallisa Rosa

_________________________________

A Pink River
60 min performance by Tan Tan
March 8, 2018, Stadshal, Gent, Belgium
Duration: 1 hour

Tan Tan: “A Pink River”, Stadshal, Gent. A 2018 “Misplaced Women?” contribution. Photo: Okky Oki, Sara De Vuyst, Sallisa Rosa

At 7 pm, on March 8, 2018, I arrived to the central plaza of Gent with my large suitcase that I normally use for international travels. After several days of rain, there was a splendid sunset but also fierce wind running around the city. In half an hour, the biggest annual manifestation against sexism in this city would start from under the roof of a pavilion of the city hall.

Tan Tan: “A Pink River”, Stadshal, Gent. A 2018 “Misplaced Women?” contribution. Photo: Okky Oki, Sara De Vuyst, Sallisa Rosa

I started unpacking my suitcase near one of the pavilions gates. First I took out a tablecloth and put it on the floor, then I placed many of my stuff on it, such as toiletries, cosmetics, candles and some Chinese convenience foods. More and more people came and passed by me, most of them were women, including socialist activists, feminist fighters, and lesbians. In front of them, I started to put some make-up on my face, as if I was in my bedroom. After that, I ate some Chinese pickles with a toast, and then put on my pyjamas. I slept for a while with a panda toy in my arms, with all the messy stuff around me. 

Tan Tan: “A Pink River”, Stadshal, Gent. A 2018 “Misplaced Women?” contribution. Photo: Okky Oki, Sara De Vuyst, Sallisa Rosa

At about 7.30 pm, the square was already full of people, holding diverse slogans and flags for women’s rights. On the stage, the leader of the manifestation began her speech that was to encourage people to do actions together. So I “woke up” to the loud sound, and started to draw out a piece of very long narrow pink cloth out of my suitcase. I unfolded it, and placed it on the ground. Soon, the people were surprised to find out  that an Asian woman was spreading a seemingly endless piece of cloth in the middle of the crowd, which compulsively divided them into two sides. Some women actually helped me in a friendly manner to spread the cloth. After a long way squeezing among the people, I set the “end” of the cloth somewhere near the stage, so the cloth kind of resembled a “red carpet”.

Right after, I ran back to the suitcase, took out some flashy clothes and put them on, to begin a “cat walk”. I wore some traditional Chinese clothes between others, and lifted a Chinese lantern over my head, with a background music of the “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show”. I walked several times back and forth, and gradually removed layers of clothes, until just few kind of “sexy” summer clothes left on my body. 

During the performance, some people noticed that there was a hand written text along side of the pink cloth, while majority kept focused on the speeches going on on the stage. This is the text I wrote on the cloth for this occasion:

I’m a woman
I’m made in China
But I’m not cheap

I’m a woman
I like shopping
But I’m not a commodity

I’m a woman
I work like man
But I don’t get the same (pay*)

I’m a woman 
I sleep with man
But I deserve my own place

After a while, the crowd departed for the parade, left me standing on the pink “carpet” with some balloons in my hand. The same place which was fully packed became completely empty. Only the wind was still turning around. Suddenly, I punched the balloons one by one. And the sounds of bursted out balloons spread all over the square. 

Tan Tan: “A Pink River”, Stadshal, Gent. A 2018 “Misplaced Women?” contribution. Photo: Okky Oki, Sara De Vuyst, Sallisa Rosa

Then, I removed another layer of my clothes and ended up in a nightgown. With a gust of wind, I lifted the cloth that flied in the sky like a running river! I tried to hold and move this “pink river” until it made a circle surrounding the staff packing the rest of the stage from the manifestation. However, they just pushed the cloth aside from them, continuing their job, as if nothing strange was happening…  

Tan Tan: “A Pink River”, Stadshal, Gent. A 2018 “Misplaced Women?” contribution. Photo: Okky Oki, Sara De Vuyst, Sallisa Rosa

At the end, I reeled the cloth on my body and turned it into clothes. Afterwards, l lay down along my stuff on the table-cloth again, as if I was buried by the “pink river”.

Tan Tan: “A Pink River”, Stadshal, Gent. A 2018 “Misplaced Women?” contribution. Photo: Okky Oki, Sara De Vuyst, Sallisa Rosa

It is a story about a “misplaced woman” who comes from China and currently lives in Belgium, who attempts to find her place as a foreign woman despite all the stereotypes and cultural misunderstandings. Sometimes, she has a drive to disguise herself like a model in a fashion show, to act different roles that she is expected to be… She tries very hard to coexist with the people here, and to join their struggles but she somehow fails again and again… It seems she even can’t understand what they are fighting for… The only thing she could do is to live like a flowing river, dancing, singing, across the world, as it seems to be the most suitable manifestation of her existence and journey of life.

Performance and text by: Tan Tan
Photography: Okky Oki, Sara De Vuyst, Sallisa Rosa, Tan Tan
Video:  Lennart Soberon
Assistance and light: Cathy
Contribution by Tan Tan has been edited and first published by Tanja Ostojić on the “Misplaced Women?” Blog 2018/19

(*) editorial comment

_________________________

Tan Tan is an artist and curator who currently lives and works in China and Belgium. Her oeuvre so far includes experimental film/video art, as well as intermedia works that combine performance, music, sound and image. She took part in numerous exhibitions and film festivals internationally. Urban spaces, social intervention, and spiritual healing are the core topics concerned in her work. 

In the international context, she has been often asked about her “Chinese identity” or “female features” in her work, but she doesn’t really want to answer to those questions. She prefers to live freely worldwide and to practice whatever kind of art she wants. However in regard to her current stay in Europe, she has a records of several visa refusals, as she has been suspected for her migratory tendencies.

%d bloggers like this: