MisplacedWomen?

Posts Tagged ‘Misplaced Women?’

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 are afraid to lose 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?.

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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?

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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 

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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 Tanja Ostojic, at Berlin TXL airport.

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Misplaced in Europe?

In Berlin, News on September 11, 2019 at 6:38 pm

Performance Announcement, Berlin:

“Misplaced in Europe?”, on precarity, intimidation and illegality

Luciana Damiani came from Uruguay in order to contribute to the “Misplaced Women?” Project in Berlin. We are calling spontaneously for Berlin Misplaced Women? international community, and beyond to join us for exchange & performance(es) this Friday, September 13, at noon at the Park am Nordbahnhof. We are meeting at 12h at the main entrance of the Park, from Julie-Wolfthorn-Straße, 10115 Berlin.

I would like to use this opportunity to share Luciana’s performance announcement:

My name is Luciana Damiani, I am a visual artist and I come from Uruguay. As a Latin American migrant woman I know the fear of borders, fear of rejection and expulsion. Walking across that border is already part of my life and my artistic work. Why should I ask for a permission to exist? Being a migrant is a human condition that places us in a place of great vulnerability, so we must share it, to resist and to know that we are not alone.  I am grateful for this opportunity to collaborate on the “Misplaced Woman?” project with Tanja Ostojić.

You are welcome to find out more about my work on my website.

Mi nombre es Luciana Damiani, soy artista visual y vengo desde Uruguay para colaborar en el proyecto “Misplaced Woman?” de Tanja Ostojić. Como mujer migrante latinamericana conozco el miedo a las fronteras, miedo al rechazo y a la expulsón. Caminar a través de esa frontera ya es parte de mi vida y de mi trabajo artístico. Por qué debo pedir permiso para ser?  Ser migrante es una condición humanda que nos coloca en un lugar de mucha vulnerabilidad, por eso debemos compartirlo, para resistir y para saber que no estamos solxs. 

Están invitadxs a conocer más sobre mi trabajo en mi sitio web

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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 Tanja Ostojic, at Berlin TXL airport.


Misplaced in Time

In Airports, Signs, Skopje on August 29, 2019 at 6:09 pm

Score #2: Holding the Misplaced Women? Sign, delegated performance by Tanja Ostojić: Misplaced Women? Project (ongoing since 2009)

Performed by Ivana Vaseva

On August 28, 2019 Ivana Vaseva was waiting for the Wizz Air flight Nr. W67740 from Berlin Schönefeld, at Skopje International Airport (Меѓународен аеродром Скопје), from 00:45 am until 2:30 am, while performing the Score #2: Holding the Misplaced Women? Sign. I took this photo of her after collecting my suitcases shortly after 3 am at super crowded Skopje airport. She wrote the following text afterwords:

Misplaced in Time, Score #2: Holding the Misplaced Women? Sign, delegated performance by Tanja Ostojić, at Skopje International Airport, 28.8.2019. Performed by Ivana Vaseva, AKTO. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

There is something quite disturbing in a dialogue, polemics or a unrehearsed choir of wait-ors on airport arrivals when you are the only one holding a sign on a corner of a designated aria with a sentence ‘Misplaced Woman?’ written on it. It seems to be somehow annoying to people on many levels, just like buzzing of one fly after another on a hot summer day while you’ve just dived into a sweet nap. Why is she holding that particular sign? What does she want? Usually wait-ors have the name of the waited one written with a regular pen on a plane piece of paper. Why this one is different? Maybe it is a commercial of some sort? Maybe she is just a show off girl?

There is one child particularly staring at me.

One man starred his eyes out just to see what is written on the sign.

One hint is discovered: There is a guy taking photos of her while she is holding the sign.

Misplaced in Time, Score #2: Holding the Misplaced Women? Sign, delegated performance by Tanja Ostojić, at Skopje International Airport, 28.8.2019. Performed by Ivana Vaseva, AKTO. Photo: Filip Jovanovski

It is strange to me as well.  I’m also not accustomed of doing this, holding a sign on an airport arrival platform. People are staring and reading, puzzled. I try to enter into this situation and to ponder on it. Ah, I just recall a festival I used to work for, a film festival, where someone had an idea that the wait-ors will wait for the guest with a sign that had one of famous film quotes on it: “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse”, “There’s no place like home.” or “I’ll be back.”

On another festival the waiting sign was the guests’ face made as a printed paper mask that was worn by the wait-or.

So, if the very waiting on an airport, carrying a sign that says ‘Misplaced Woman?’ was a film, what would this film be about? It could be about an itinerant worker in culture, freelancer as a medieval mercenary as Hito Steyerl compares, jumping from one gig to another or playing several gigs simultaneously… In this precarious tormented body of hers, she doesn’t succeed to explain her situation, although she persistently tries, so she can prove the substandard conditions in which she lives and works. She lives in a corrupted capitalist pool with little chances that the water can be depolluted and clean. She is constantly bitten by sharks, not that they have ethics of any sort, those jealous and untalented swimmers… And in this very moment, she thinks of something. 

I think that this could be the film scenario, but I’m not sure. 

What we seem to have at stake here are two layers of awkwardness that share the same airport arrival platform. 

So, we’ve established the role of the wait-or, that is the one displaced from her original position of festival curator on one side, and the guest, the waited one, that seems to be displaced by plane to a different country on the other. The wait-or is physically misplaced from her position on two levels. She is voluntarily misplaced from the festival that she is co-organising – AKTO Festival for contemporary arts in Bitola, because she is in Skopje right now, doing something that curators usually don’t do. But, on another level, she feels forcefully displaced from the position of a curator in the general context because she wants things to be professionally done, while professionally seems to be misplaced from Macedonia. 

The waited one seems though not to be misplaced any more, thank all gods.  

The reality of this stream of thoughts is that we are currently organising the 14th edition of AKTO that is one of rare festivals for contemporary art in this country with such a long continuity, done with a lot of enthusiasm and dedication, and persistently marginalised. And this is because in this country only state or local institutions are considered able to produce culture, although culture is the last thing that is actually considered important. The crucial thing is that the society under construction still lays on the same grounds: corruption and fake ethics. 

In the spirit of Brechtian aphorism „Grab first, then ethics!“, we’ve opened the topic of large appetites of the corrupted spirits and the massive existential problems of the people. This suffocating environment forces you to take giant steps and to misplace yourself. 

The first step is a symbolic displacement. On an airport, while waiting and while examining oneself, why do you wait. This was triggered and enabled by Tanja Ostojić’s delegated performance “Score #2: Holding the Misplaced Women? Sign“. Waiting, thinking, reflecting and making plans for further actions. 

Misplaced in Time, Score #2: Holding the Misplaced Women? Sign, delegated performance by Tanja Ostojić, at Skopje International Airport, 28.8.2019. Performed by Ivana Vaseva, AKTO. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

So, while I was waiting for Tanja, and among all those wait-ors at the crowded Skopje airport as if it was an exclusive after midnight disco opening party, I thought of the question – Are we misplaced from the position that we should’ve taken as hardworking people?

Maybe the Wizzair flight that was supposed to land at 00:45am, and that turned into 02:25am flight misplaced the time, and it might be a time to somehow try to turn things around?

All of us, wait-ors.

Ivana Vaseva is curator and researcher in the field of contemporary visual arts, viewed from an interdisciplinary perspective. She initiates, stimulates and produces collaborative and engaging programs and researches with an intention to confront places of desire, contest established relationships and reclaim the meaning of public, by producing art and social living. She is program director of “Faculty of things that can’t be learned (FR~U)”, an organisation based in North Macedonia.

Since 2006 FR~U is producing AKTO Festival for contemporary arts in Bitola, that become resilient, strong and contextual platform promoting and producing interdisciplinary critical programs and concepts. It is a festival which tries to open not only topics relevant for the current socio-political and hence artistic reality, but also to stimulate production formats that stir up the status quo. The festival happens each year in August in Bitola and is a parallel to events produced by local municipalities and cultural institutions, with its subverting and  emancipatory mission. In 2016 and 2017, due to burning local issues and needs, AKTO re-branded into POP UP AKTO, a temporary concept of producing the festival in several other cities in Macedonia (Skopje, Tetovo, Shtip and Kochani)

Written by: Ivana Vaseva

Edited and first published by: Tanja Ostojić at the Misplaced Women? blog (August 2019).

Photos: Tanja Ostojić and Filip Jovanovski
Copyright: Tanja Ostojić and AKTO festival

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Please visit as well other contributions and posts from Airports. 

Please visit as well other contributions and posts from Signs.

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

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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.

Telciu Summer School

In Telciu, Train stations, Workshops on May 22, 2019 at 4:13 pm

The “Misplaced Women?” Workshop Telciu itinerary led by Tanja Ostojić took place on August 15, 2018, in the frame of Telciu Summer School, in Romania. 

Workshop participants included: Manuela Boatcă, Laura Covaci, Iulia Dinescu, Veronica Enusca, Iulia Ilie, Adina Marinescu, Alina Marincea, Simion Septimiu Mihai, Alise Monica Marinescu, Bogdan Popa, Veda Popovici, Alexandra Tatar between others.

Misplaced Women? Workshop led by Tanja Ostojić on August 15, 2018, in the frame of Telciu Summer School, Romania

Please visit this link to see the contribution of one of the workshop’s participants: Alexandra Tatar’s Story

This page is currently in development. More information, documentation, reflections and visuals are still to come…

Video: Ana Maria Ang

Workshop Coordination: Ágota Ábrán

Code Contribution by Li Fu

In Innsbruck, Performances, Workshops on March 4, 2019 at 1:18 pm

‘Code: Ich habe ja nichts zu verbergen!’

35 min. Performance von Li Fu

Das Befreiungsdenkmal am Eduard-Wallnöfer-Platz (vormals Landhausplatz), Innsbruck, Mai 2018

Das Befreiungsdenkmal(*1), auf welchem Widerstandskämpfende namentlich genannt werden, die einen Einsatz gegen den Nationalsozialismus geleistet haben, ist ein wichtiger Ort in Innsbruck. Mit dem Wissen um die historischen Ereignisse dieser Zeit, erhält eine Aussage – ‘Ich habe ja nichts zu verbergen!’- eine weitere Dimension. 

Beschreibung:

Eine Person mit einem Rucksack positionierte sich auf einer Seite des vor ihr liegenden Brunnens. Das Ziel des ‘Transparent-Werdens’, welches den Beweis liefern sollte, dass sie wirklich nichts zu verbergen hat, lag nun auf der anderen Seite. Um das Ziel zu erreichen, musste sie daher den Brunnen überqueren. Dabei führte sie genau eine Linie zu dem Punkt, also zu der Position im Raum, an der das Private nun Öffentlich, also Transparent werden sollte. Sie folgte der vorgegebenen Linien, aber damit sie nicht zu nass wurde, mussten vorab Vorkehrungen getroffen werden. Daher gab es eine Schutzvorrichtung für den Rucksack in Form eines spezifischen Regenschutzes und eine Schutzvorrichtung für den Körper in Form eines Regenschirms. Der Rucksack war vollkommen umhüllt und wurde nicht nass. Der Körper versuchte sich mit dem Regenschirm vor dem sich bewegenden Bewässerungssystem zu schützen. Das Bewässerungssystem folgte bestimmten Mustern, die vorab von der Person, die  den Brunnen überquerte, beobachtet wurden. Sie wartete den Zeitpunkt ab, wo die Wahrscheinlichkeit am geringsten war, dass sie mehr als notwendig nass wurde. Das Nass werden, konnte nicht vollkommen vermieden, sondern lediglich begrenzt werden. 

Li Fu: ‘Code: Ich habe ja nichts zu verbergen!’, Befreiungsdenkmal, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Art in Public Space Tyrol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojić

Am Ziel angelangt entnahm sie aus der am leichtesten zugänglichen Abteilung (der ersten Schicht) des Rucksacks, also aus dem vordersten Fach ohne Reißverschluss, das Codierungsinstrument ‘Kreide’. Damit wurde der ‘Code: Ich habe ja nichts zu verbergen!’ auf den Stufen geschrieben. 

In einem gemäßigt kontrollierten Tempo wurden alle Gegenstände nacheinander dem Rucksack entnommen und erste Kategorien geschaffen. 

Li Fu: ‘Code: Ich habe ja nichts zu verbergen!’, Befreiungsdenkmal, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Art in Public Space Tyrol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojić

Alle Objekte wurden dem Rucksack entnommen.

Li Fu: ‘Code: Ich habe ja nichts zu verbergen!’, Befreiungsdenkmal, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Art in Public Space Tyrol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojić

Anhand des Codierungsinstruments ‘Kreide’ wurde den Gegenständen ein bestimmter Platz im System gegeben, indem sie mit der Kreide eingerahmt (Frame) wurden.

Li Fu: ‘Code: Ich habe ja nichts zu verbergen!’, Befreiungsdenkmal, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Art in Public Space Tyrol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojić

Das nicht vorhersehbare Element ‘Wind’, hatte einige Objekte zwar aus den ihnen zugeordneten Platz im System entfernt, aber sie wurden dennoch nicht vollkommen aus dem System gelöscht, da die Spuren durch die vorhergehende Umrahmungen (Frames) anhand des Codierungsinstruments ‘Kreide’ sichtbar blieben. 

Li Fu: ‘Code: Ich habe ja nichts zu verbergen!’, Befreiungsdenkmal, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Art in Public Space Tyrol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojić


Nachdem alle Elemente ihr ‘framing’ hatten und auch ein ‘re-framing’ der vom Wind neu positionierten Gegenstände stattgefunden hat, wurden die Kategorien im System, je nach Zugehörigkeit, zu einer übergeordneten Kategorie zusammengefasst. Die Wechselwirkung wurde anhand von Pfeilen markiert.

In einem ersten Schritt wurden einige Kategorien benannt (allerdings blieb die Benennung in Kategorien unfertig).

Kategorie 1.0 Schutz des Körpers – direkt am Körper anliegend (Schutzkörper) – Jacke, Schal, Binden, Tampons

1.1. Schutz des Körpers – indirekt am Körper – Regenschirm

Kategorie 2.0 Nahrung – Studentenfutter, Pfirsich, magnesiumhaltiges Wasser, Kaffee

2.1. Leere Studentenfutter Packung

Kategorie 3.0 Pflege und Optimierung des Körpers – Handcreme, Make-Up, Lippenbalsam, Lippenstift, Lipgloss, Make-Up Spitzer (unbenutzt; Fabrikneu)

Kategorie 4.0 Schreibutensilien – Stifte, Kreide

hier endete die Kategorisierung und die Interaktion mit den Jugendlichen (jungen Erwachsenen) begann. 

Li Fu: ‘Code: Ich habe ja nichts zu verbergen!’, Befreiungsdenkmal, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Art in Public Space Tyrol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojić

Die Jugendlichen/jungen Erwachsenen wurden gefragt, was sie glauben würden, was das für eine Person sei, wenn sie die Gegenstände betrachten. Was sie über die Person denken würden, wenn sie die Gegenstände beispielsweise auf einem Facebook-Profil sehen würden. 

Die Jugendlichen (jungen Erwachsenen) bildeten verschiedene Kategorien: 

Mädchen- Grund: Tampons

Lehrerin – Grund : Kreide

Schülerin/Studentin – Grund: Lernunterlagen, Stifte

Eine sich gesund ernährende Person, aber auch ungesund – Grund: Obst, Studentenfutter, aber auch Filter für Zigaretten

Unzuordenbar war ein einzelner unbenutzter Drumstick, also „keine Schlagzeugerin, weil da müsstest du zwei haben“

Dann wurde über Data-Mining gesprochen und wie das damit zusammenhängt, dass ich ja nichts zu verbergen hätte, ob das so stimmt. Wie viel auf Facebook oder in den sozialen Medien über die eigene Person preisgegeben wird (im ‘virtuellem’ Raum) und wie das im ‘analogem’ Raum aussieht. 

Li Fu: ‘Code: Ich habe ja nichts zu verbergen!’, Befreiungsdenkmal, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Art in Public Space Tyrol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojić

Auch der Körper wurde vermessen. Daraufhin wurden alle Gegenstände entfernt, doch die Spuren bleiben im System. 

Li Fu: ‘Code: Ich habe ja nichts zu verbergen!’, Befreiungsdenkmal, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Art in Public Space Tyrol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojić

Konzeptionelle Einbettung:

Da für die Vorbereitung nur einige Stunden zur Verfügung standen, blieb die theoretische Umrahmung fragmentarisch und wird im Folgenden auch so dargestellt. 

Das Ziel des ‘Transparent-Werdens’, welches den Beweis liefern sollte, dass sie wirklich nichts zu verbergen hat, lag auf der anderen Seite der Linie. 

Die Linie wirkt hier wie ein Seil. „Der Mensch ist ein Seil, geknüpft zwischen Tier und Übermensch – ein Seil über – einem Abrunde.“(*2) Hierin wollte eine Assoziation zum Transhumanismus(*3) geschaffen werden, wo der Mensch sich letztlich auch selbst überwinden soll. Das Bewässerungssystem folgt dabei einem vorab festgelegten Weg und der Mensch wird von diesem von Außen erfasst. Dabei gibt es relativ wenig Vorrichtungen, womit sich der Mensch hätte schützen können, nachdem der Weg eingeschlagen wurde. Die Vermessbarkeit begann bereits beim Betreten des ‘Seiles’ zuerst von außen und dann von ‘innen’. Der Mensch entscheidet den Pfad zu beschreiten und wird angehalten aus freien Stücken, aber durch einen gesetzten Rahmen, das vorgefertigte System zu durchqueren, um sich dann selbst der Transparenz zu verpflichten (Selbstführung), da er ja nichts zu verbergen hat. Am festgelegten Platz angekommen, erlangt der Mensch Entfaltungsmöglichkeiten und kann (soll) das innere preisgeben. Er bedient sich einer ‘Software’, der unter anderem ein ‘Betriebssystem’ zugrunde liegt, die für ihn leicht zugänglich, kostengünstig und effizient zur Verfügung steht (Codierungsinstrument Kreide). Anhand dessen werden dann Daten generiert. Objekt um Objekt werden nun Inhalte dargelegt, die einen Referenzrahmen schaffen, anhand dessen das Subjekt nun kategorisiert werden kann. In einem ersten Schritt positioniert es sich selbst, da die Anordnung der Objekte Rückschlüsse auf die Person zulassen, befindet sich aber gleichzeitig immer schon in Wechselwirkung mit anderen Subjekten, die das Geschehen beobachten. Das Codierungsinstrument ordnet den Gegenständen feste Kategorien und Orte zu, die sich auch verschieben können, wenn unvorhergesehene Einflüsse von Außen darauf einwirken. Anhand der verschiedenen Beziehungen und durch immer mehr Objekte (Daten) kann ein zunehmend genaueres Bild über die Person, Interessen, zugeschriebenes Geschlecht, Zugehörigkeiten zu unterschiedlichen sozialen Kreisen usw. generiert werden. Das ‘private’ (der Inhalt des Rucksacks) wird nun öffentlich zugänglich und zur Diskussion gestellt. Bewusst tritt das Subjekt nun in Austausch mit den Umliegenden und fordert dazu auf es zu kommentieren, wenngleich es auch, sobald es von anderen gesehen wird, von anderen ohne ihr Zutun kommentiert wird. 

Dies war ein Versuch auf analogem Weg Prozesse der Datengenerierung und gegenwärtige Entwicklungstendenzen im Bereich der zunehmenden Digitalisierung aufzuzeigen wie auch, dass einmal gezeichnete Spuren im System in diesem verbleiben, selbst wenn sie verblassen können und erst durch einwirken von außen (Regen, Wasser) entfernt werden können. Jedoch gilt auch hier, dass ein bewusster Akt des Löschens nötig ist, damit die Spuren verschwinden und auch dafür gibt es keine letztliche Garantie. 

Text: Li Fu

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Zur Person: Einfälle einer* Dilettant*in(*4)

Li Fu interessiert sich für das Politische im Alltäglichen und gesellschaftliche Entwicklungstendenzen der Gegenwart. Besonders die Konstruktion des Alltags und die Betrachtung der Bausteine, anhand welchen Wirklichkeiten konstruiert werden, liegen hierbei im Fokus. In D.I.Y. -Manier wird anhand unterschiedlicher Performances der Versuch unternommen theoretische Konzepte in den Alltag zu überführen. 

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Fußnoten:

1.  Schreiber / _erinnern.at_ (o.J.)

2. Nietzsche 1974, S.8. Siehe dazu auch S. 12 – 16 

3. Siehe dazu auch Moravec 1988

4. Siehe dazu Weber 2011

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Literaturverzeichnis:

Moravec, Hans (1988): Mind children: the future of robot and human intelligence. Harvard Univ. Press: Cambridge, Mass. [et al]

Nietzsche, Friedrich (1974) Also sprach Zarathustra. Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen. Reclam Verlag: Stuttgart

Schreiber, Horst/ _erinnern.at_ (o.J.): Nationalsozialismus und Holocaust: Gedächtnis und Gegenwart. Die Intervention am Befreiungsdenkmal 2016.

Weber, Max (2011): Wissenschaft als Beruf. Duncker &  Humblot: Berlin. 

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Edited and first published by Tanja Ostojić on the “Misplaced Women?” Blog 2018/19

This Performance has been released in the frame of: “Misplaced Women?” Workshop by Tanja Ostojić, May 2018, Art in Public Space Tyrol /Kunst in Öffentlichen Raum Tirol, Austria.

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Please visit as well the other contributions and posts from the same workshops:

Review by Tanja Ostojic: Misplaced Women? @ Art-In-Public-Space Tyrol, Innsbruck

Doing Gender Contribution by Li Fu

Open Call for participants for the “Misplaced Women?” performance workshop in the public space with Tanja Ostojić, in Innsbruck, May 11-13 2018, with a presentation in Die Bäckerei

Offene Ausschreibung zur Teilnahme an der “Misplaced Women?” Performance-Kunst-Werkstatt im öffentlichen Raum mit Tanja Ostojić vom 11–13 Mai 2018 in Innsbruck mit einer Aufführung in Die Bäckerei



Teresa Albor’s and Dagmara Bilon’s continuous collaboration

In London, Performances on February 6, 2019 at 10:48 pm

Teresa Albor and Dagmara Bilon both took part in “Misplaced Women?” Workshop by Tanja Ostojić, 13-14 December 2016, hosted by LADA at their studio/office in Hackney. Teresa brought objects left behind by people in the process of migrating from Syria and Afghanistan to Europe from a collection she has been working with via a project called “The Things We Leave Behind.”  During the workshop Teresa experimented with calling out the names of people who have made this journey. Dagmara focussed on her own migration history and work she had made in the past using a suitcase as a prop as well as other objects from her earlier performances. They got to know each other in this inspiring workshop and started a collaboration soon after.

Teresa Albor and Dagmara Bilon: “Solidarity not charity”, at The Purple Ladies, Peckham, 2017. Photography: Lais Pontes
Dagmara Bilon: “Solidarity not charity”, at The Purple Ladies, Peckham, 2017. Photography: Lais Pontes

Peckham: Dagmara invited Teresa to join her making work for the “Solidarity not charity” event, hosted by The Purple Ladies, held 17 March 2017 at MARKET, to benefit refugees. This time Dagmara had replaced the suitcase with a large “migrant” bag made from woven plastic and added women’s heels adorned with the British Union Jack. Teresa had made a sound piece of names to play in the background.  Although the two were meant to perform separately, they chose to perform in the same space.  Teresa handed people objects or set them next to a candle in the space while Dagmara navigated the space from within the bag wearing the heels. 


Pimlico: Teresa was asked to make work for a public market —Tachbrook Market in Westminster — through the Rufus Stone project, during refugee week (17 June 2017).  She invited Dagmara to perform with her.  Because this was a public space, the two took care to engage the public, via a handout or through conversation.  Teresa placed objects on a pedestal, the soundtrack of names was played and Dagmara attempted to make her way across a thoroughfare to the stall. 

Dagmara Bilon, performing during refugee week 2017, Pimlico. Photography: Rachel Cherry
Teresa Albor performing during refugee week 2017, Pimlico. Photography: Rachel Cherry
 Dagmara Bilon, performing during refugee week 2017, Pimlico. Photography: Rachel Cherry


Richmond: Teresa invited Dagmara to perform at an exhibition of “The things we leave behind” at the One Paved Square Gallery in Richmond 24 Jan – 3 Feb, 2018.  The performance was 24 January, 2018.  Teresa used a torch instead of candles and used boundary tape to mark off sections of the space. Dagmara incorporated getting undressed, into the bag, movement and emerging from the bag into the performance.  Once again the soundtrack of names was played. 

Dagmara Bilon, performing at “The things we leave behind”, One Paved Square Gallery, Richmond, 2018. Photography: Sisi Burn
Dagmara Bilon performing at “The things we leave behind”, One Paved Square Gallery, Richmond, 2018. Photography: Sisi Burn
Teresa Albor performing at “The things we leave behind”, One Paved Square Gallery, Richmond, 2018. Photography: Sisi Burn

Bethnal Green: Dagmara invited Teresa to take part in a full day workshop as part of her involvement with the “I am not a village” project residency at Guest Projects in Bethnal Green.  The two experimenting with various ideas, including incorporating elements of Tanja Ostojić ’s “Naked Life” (2004-2016) performance series into their performance.  A week later, on 28 April, 2018 they performed a version of “Naked Life” — foregoing all of their previous props and gestures.   This time they entered the space, stood on a pedestal, dressed in layers of clothing.  They took turns reciting short stories of people who have been forced to move—a woman living in London dealing with domestic abuse; a woman moving from Sudan to a camp in Uganda; and so on.  With each story they removed a layer of clothing.  Once they were both naked and vulnerable, in solidarity with those whose stories they had recited, they dressed in their own clothes and told their own stories of relative privilege and security.  

Dagmara Bilon and Teresa Albor, performing at Bethnal Green, 2018, Photography: Camilla Canocchi
Dagmara Bilon and Teresa Albor, performing at Bethnal Green, 2018, Photography: Camilla Canocchi
Dagmara Bilon and Teresa Albor, performing at Bethnal Green, 2018, Photography: Camilla Canocchi

 Text by: Teresa Albor

Editied and published by Tanja Ostojic

Photography: Lais Pontes, Sisi Burn, Rachel Cherry, Camilla Canocchi

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Teresa Albor is London based performance and visual artist interested in how different groups of people negotiate the world. Her work is research-based and often involves broad collaboration. It can involve video/moving image, performance, installation, publication, community-based workshops, and forms of artist-led curation.

Dagmara Bilon is a London based Polish/German freelance Performance Artist, director and teacher, working nationally and internationally. Her multi-disciplinary practice orbits around embodied investigation and making the unconscious conscious. Central for her practice are dialog and collaboration, with self, others, materials and sites. She is passionate about art that inspires change. Over the last decade she has produced a diverse body of work which belongs to the borderlining realms of experimental performance and installation, as well as community based  projects.

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Some of the earlier blog posts for London:

The following artists, activists and researchers developed their new works or performed some of the “Misplaced Women?” scores in the frame of the Tanja Ostojic’s “Misplaced Women?” London Workshop. I would like to invite you to please check out Participants Contributions in text, photos and videos, that I edited partly in collaboration with Danyel Ferrari and published on the project blog:

Tanja Ostojic

Elena Marchevska

Danyel Ferrari´s Article published in ArtSlant

Teresa Albor

Dagmara Bilon

Camilla Canocchi 

Shannon Mulvey 

Cherry Truluck

Seila Fernandez Arconada

Alice Tuppen

Hilary Williams 

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Misplaced Roots by Katja Vaghi

In Airports, Berlin, Performances, Workshops on February 3, 2019 at 5:45 pm

Misplaced Roots 

Concept and performance: Katja Vaghi

Location: landing stripe, Templehofer Feld, Berlin

Duration: 15 minutes

January 2018

Misplaced Roots is a solo performance that was created in the framework of Tanja Ostojić’s MISPLACED WOMEN? workshop unfolding in the range of public spaces in January 2018 in Berlin. I have found the discussions during Tanja Ostojić’s workshop especially interesting. Despite none of the participants were born and raised in Berlin, those discussions uncovered moving details of the city’s social fabric, from its history on both side of the wall to actual issues. It has surely brought the city closer.

I will start with a short description how this performance came about and add a few words of reflection about it.

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Katja Vaghi: Misplaced Roots, “Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

On the second day of the workshop, a group of us (Tanja Ostojić, Rhea Ramjohn, Alice Minervini, Sara Kramer, Ola Kozioł and myself) headed from the institution hosting the workshop, the Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, to our chosen performance site, Berlin Tempelhofer Feld. Berlin Tempelhof airport opened in 1927 and was one of the oldest functioning airports before its closure in 2008. Considered a highly influential place by many people in Berlin, it has now been repurposed into an unusual park, Tempelhofer Feld and recently also housed an emergency camp for refugees. In the surreal landscape offered by the landing stripes, people jog and walk dog, grill and play.

Group Interventions on the Way

Our performance started though with little interventions on the S-Bahn (train) to Tempelhofer Feld. In the first, four of us (Ola Kozioł, Tanja Ostojić, Rhea Ramjohn and myself) decided to ‘reclaim our space’ by sitting with our suitcases between our legs in reaction to that little nagging voice preaching how good socialized women should occupy a small space. This was followed my claiming even more space while searching my bag for my phone. We wanted to know where a particular spot of the airport was and I was looking to phone a friend. So, I deliberately choose to take the most absurd or voluminous things out of my bag, thus pilling books, gloves, a scarf and bright orange mandarins on the top of my suitcase in my hunt for my phone. This partial performance of Tanja’s set score did not impress the person seated next to me who continued reading his book, or the others in the carriage. I might have appeared a little eccentric but being Berlin, I was quite in the norm. Knowing your context is key. Still the situation highlighted another element, how we are always in a liminal space, always potentially on the verge of a performance. Each act is a potential subversive act depending on the place, extent and length of its performance.

tempelhof performance #7

Katja Vaghi: Misplaced Roots, “Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin 2018. Video-still: Sara Kramer

 

Group Intervention on the Tempelhof airport

At Tempelhof airport (with Tanja and Rhea) the three of us with suitcases produced a choreography of rolling suitcases. Three misplaced women, with their suitcases, walking on the landing strip to get on a flight that is no longer there.

 

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Katja Vaghi: Misplaced Roots, “Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin 2018. Video-still: Sara Kramer

Misplaced Roots

I chose to perform Misplaced Roots in the middle of a landing stripe. I drag my suitcase away from the audience, heading nowhere and looking forlorn. This suitcase has accompanied me for seven years going back and forth from were I have been studying and then working and the place of where my emotions were, my family and my partner. I have rolled it for so long that one of the wheels is worn out. I then stop, take my coat off and open the suitcase. I try to squeeze myself in it. I am too big. My legs are out of it, as I clap myself together as a Swiss knife. I open the lid, try to put my legs in the suitcase as well, fail and fall with it backwards. I am now sitting with my back and the lid on the concrete and my legs on the suitcase. The temperature is far below zero. It is very cold. I try to use it as a cover to get some warmth from it. But it is not happening. There is no way that I am going to fit in it.

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Katja Vaghi: Misplaced Roots, “Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

I feel restless, a body without a voice. I step out of the suitcase and take a white long skirt. I wear it, and sit back in the suitcase. I take an old broken shirt, turn it inside out and try to fit in one of these plastic bags for the security check commenting as I go: “You always have to squeeze your whole life inside these little bags”. It is funny how one grows attached to objects. Especially, when travelling a lot, one has certain rituals involving particular objects that make one feel at home. A friend of mine had a special cup. I have a suitcase. Many times I have lived out of this suitcase. It was literally my home. I then read aloud a definition of migration taken from wikipedia and the comments on how to approach and survive the procedure at the German Immigration Authorities (Ausländerbehörde Berlin). Finally, I read testimonies of people who had migrated from my region a century ago. I am a voluntary migrant but this does not mean I am less lonely when settling in a new place. I am still misplaced. I am still visited with feelings of loss and nostalgia. Each time one packs a suitcase to move, one brings one’s roots with it, hoping to find nurturing soil for them. I read the definition of ‘Spolia’ or the building stones that are repurposed for new constructions. These ‘homely’ objects, these spolia, are fragments of a previous life helping one grow roots in a new country. Finally, I close my performance as I started. I pack everything in the suitcase, put my coat on and continue walking towards nowhere. 

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Katja Vaghi alternates theoretical reflections in written form to practical musing in the performing space. A dancer, choreographer, somatic practitioner and dance researcher, she holds a PhD in dance philosophy (University of Roehampton) and is an enthusiast improviser and site-specific performer. She is based in Berlin

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Text written by: Katja Vaghi

Edited and first published by Tanja Ostojić, 2018-19 on the Misplaced Women? project Misplaced Women? project blog

HD video-recording: Sara Kramer

Still from video: Sara Kramer

Photography: Tanja Ostojić

Misplaced Women? organised by: Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, Berlin Weißensee. 

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Please visit as well other contributions and posts from the same workshops:

Contribution by Mad Kate

Contribution by Rhea Ramjohn

Contribution by Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

Contribution by Jiachen Xu and Evdoxia Stafylaraki

Contribution by LADY GABY

Contribution by Ola Kozioł

Contribution by Татьяна Bogacheva

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

Berlin Contribution by Jiachen Xu and Evdoxia Stafylaraki

In Berlin, Performances, Railway-stations, Workshops on February 2, 2019 at 10:42 pm

Body Measuring and Dying Oranges Chess Play

Performance by: Jiachen Xu and Evdoxia Stafylaraki

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

Text by: Jiachen

The performance consists of three parts: body measuring, dying oranges chess play, and the in-between or misplaced spaces. It is a result of spontaneous entanglement of ideas from Evdoxia (body measuring) and Jiachen (orange chess play) developed during Berlin itinerary of the “Misplaced Women?” workshop by Tanja Ostojić. Though the performance as an entity is inseparable from any of it’s parts, I will mainly look at the latter part and the surrounding forces in this writing piece. 

Within the workshop “Misplaced Women?” facilitated by Tanja Ostojić, words such as: misplaced, women, and the question mark, became the structuring forces of this performance. “Women” in its plural form, I ask, identified as a queer feminist woman of colour, who are included in its reference? Misplaced, as the adjective suggests, on one hand, a finished state, temporally or not, in comparison to the wording “displacing”; on the other, what is the defining state of “placement”, and I wander, defined by whom?  My thought thus arrives at the question mark. 

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Jiachen and Evdoxia Stafylaraki: “Body Measuring and Dying Oranges Chess Play”, “Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, 2018. Photo: Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh and Nati Canto

Trinh T. Minh-ha is one of those feminist theorists who inspires me lastingly. She says, “Woman can never be defined. Bat, dog, chick, mutton, tart. Queen, madam, lady of pleasure. MISTRESS. Belle-de-nuit, woman of the street, fruit woman, fallen woman. Cow, vixen, bitch. Call girl, joy girl, working girl” (1986). This vivid and visual description of the ontological instability of women, especially for third world women in Minh-ha’s account, speaks for me. I gain my strength from reading works by black feminists and feminists of colour to survive joyfully, bravely and ambiguously in a seemingly constant misplaced/misplacing state, physically, psychologically, and beyond.

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

I went to the workshop with an expectation to actualise certain struggling thoughts through body performances. The result, one week after the workshop, is way more than that. It is already very therapeutic for me to be surrounded by women bravely and creatively in the face of different forms of displacement struggles. And to share and do something collectively through an honest and caring sharing of our vulnerabilities. How wonderful is that!

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Jiachen and Evdoxia Stafylaraki: “Body Measuring and Dying Oranges Chess Play”, “Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, 2018. Photo: Nati Canto and Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

 

In terms of the specific performance collaborated with Eva (Evdoxia Stafylaraki), I am a bit resistant to translate the process into languages. I would like to share some details that might be interesting to know. I come across those seven dying oranges at two friend’s kitchen. They were forgotten in the corner, waiting to be thrown away into trash. I noticed them and initially arranged them on the back placemat on the kitchen table. This was the birth of the idea “dying oranges chess play”. Number seven bears different meanings in different cultural contexts. In my memory it signifies a return in I-Ching. I guess there is always a piece of me strives for a return, even though the “original” place is non-existent anymore. To mobilise the nostalgia feeling evoked by “return” to the on-going chess play in public transportation stations seems to be one of the articulations during the chess play part of the performance. No one is setting the rules in the present, but there are waves of ghosts surrounding the gameplay. These waves of ghosts in my retrospective reading were displaced by the first part of the performance: the body measuring. Constant decision: making or un-making, and the questions of the aesthetics of misplaced existence are brought to the very surface, and will hopefully get revolved and transformed, step by step.

Text by: Jiachen Xu

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Video and photos: Nati Canto, Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

Edited and first published by Tanja Ostojić, 2018-19 on the Misplaced Women? project blog

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Jiachen recently finished a joint master degree in women’s and gender studies in Central European University in Budapest, Hungary and University of Oviedo, Spain.

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

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Please visit as well other contributions and posts from the same workshops:

Contribution by Mad Kate

Contribution by Rhea Ramjohn

Contribution by Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

Contribution by LADY GABY

Contribution by Ola Kozioł

Contribution by Татьяна Bogacheva

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

Berlin Contribution by Ola Kozioł

In Berlin, Workshops on January 30, 2019 at 1:30 pm

Misplaced Women? Workshop Contribution by Ola Kozioł

„Golden Pillow”

Location: Karl-Marx Platz, Berlin

Duration: 45 minutes

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Ola Kozioł: „Golden pillow” January 2018, „Misplaced Women?“ Workshop, Berlin. Photo: Ruth Biene

 

In the frame of „Misplaced Women?“ workshop lead by Tanja Ostojić, hosted by Kunsthalle Berlin Weißensee, in January 2018, I came across the following thoughts and have realised the following performative intervention:

At the beginning of the workshops I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to accomplish the performative task. I knew Berlin from the art-tourist perspective only, so to say: museums, exhibitions, etc. I had to find myself in a completely new context, new country, new city and about whose local problems I didn’t know anything, So just 3 days seemed to me as not much time to delve into any topic. Suddenly, I was shocked when I discovered during discussions with Tanja, that half of the people sleeping roughs in Berlin’s streets and parks are estimated to be Polish citizens. I decided to focus in my work on this problem. I was wandering why some of Polish people choose this „lifestyle“? Is Poland more desperate place for them to live in, and is a makeshift tent in the German capital currently the best option they have?

 

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Ola Kozioł: „Golden pillow” January 2018, „Misplaced Women?“ Workshop, Berlin. Photo: Ruth Biene

 

The thoughts were overwhelming. Do the Polish homeless people find life in the presumably rich west easier because of collecting bottles, begging and because of the amount of charities and places where they can get help?                                                                                                                                                                  

With all those questions and confusion I did my action during which I was sleeping on the bench on the Karl-Marx square and in the park nearby under a sleeping bag and on a golden-like pillow. Mostly people just past by me, but there were as well several reactions where people stopped with some of those questions in their mind, similar to mine.

 

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Ola Kozioł: „Golden pillow” January 2018, „Misplaced Women?“ Workshop, Berlin. Photo: Ruth Biene

 

Post Scriptum: Did you know that half of the people sleeping roughs in Berlin’s streets and parks are estimated to be Polish citizens…? There are no systemic solutions to the problem of homelessness in our country. We have a mild winter and the harvest of death is already great – more than 50 people died of hypothermia this year. There is no shortage of empty communal flats. There is a lack of heart, empathy, humanity. Homeless people are also people who once led a prosperous, successful life. They are people with higher education, some of them were entrepreneurs, in positions that failed at some point. Bankruptcy, flat auction, loss of salary, illness… It can meet each of us. The border is very thin.

Thank you Tanja Ostojic for your work and for sharing.

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Donate to Berliner Kaeltehilfe

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Text written by Ola Kozioł

Photo of the public intervention: Ruth Biene

Edited and first published by Tanja Ostojić, 2018/19 on the Misplaced Women? project blog

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Ola Kozioł: „Golden pillow” January 2018, „Misplaced Women?“ Workshop, Berlin. Photo: Ruth Biene

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Ola Kozioł is multidisciplinary artist based in Łódź, Poland. She graduated in painting at the Strzemiński Academy of Art in Łódź, where she currently works. Her performances are mostly exploring the technique of the so-called “white voice” singing typical for Central, East and South-East European folk music culture. Musical projects: Mutant Goat (released Yonder album), 18 rivers, Miejskie Darcie Pierza, Strzemiński Choir. Since 2015 together with Suavas Lewy forms a group PRZEPRASZAM, since 2017 a member of a women’s artistists group FRAKCJA. Sings to everything, loves walking, treating “pilgrimage” as an artistic gesture, went “consciously” almost 2000 km. Conducts workshops for children and with voice for the women, is involved in the realisation of numerous artistic and social projects, with the aim of activating people around. Most of her works touch upon topics of women’s rights, respect for the surrounding nature, the world of animals and people, combine ecology with post-humanism, pacifism.

Ola Kozioł Blog

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Please visit as well other contributions and posts from the same workshops:

Contribution by Rhea Ramjohn

Contribution by Татьяна Bogacheva

Contribution by Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

Contribution by LADY GABY

Public Presentation of the Misplaced Women? Workshop in Berlin, January 24, 2018

 

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