MisplacedWomen?

Posts Tagged ‘Tanja Ostojic’

Misplaced Women? @ Art-In-Public-Space Tyrol, Innsbruck

In Innsbruck, Performances, Workshops on May 17, 2018 at 9:00 am

In the frame of the “Misplaced Women?” performance art workshop by Tanja Ostojic, realised in the frame of the Art in Public Space Tyrol, in Innsbruck, Austria (May 2018), two workshop participants have been chosen on the base of open call. And the following six performances by Tanja Ostojic, Li Fu and Pippa Chase have been developed and performed in the carefully chosen variety of public spaces, in front of, and in interactions with diverse and numerous audiences:

 

On Friday, May 11, 2018:

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“Misplaced Women? and The Tourist Suitcase”, 30 min performance by Tanja Ostojic at Haupt Bahnhof/ main train station, Innsbruck. Photo: Daniel Jarosch

“Misplaced Women? and The Tourist Suitcase”, 30 min performance by Tanja Ostojic, on Friday, May 11, 2018, from 14:30-15:00h, at Haupt Bahnhof, Innsbruck.

 

 

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“CODE: Ich habe ja nichts zu verbergen!” 35 min performance by Li Fu, at Landhausplatz, Innsbruck. Photo: Daniel Jarosch

“CODE: Ich habe ja nichts zu verbergen!”, 35 min performance by Li Fu, on Friday, May 11, 2018, from 15:25-16:00h, at Landhausplatz, Innsbruck.

 

 

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“Eve is a Bridge”, 20 min performance by Pippa Chase, at Innbrücke, Innsbruck. Photo: Daniel Jarosch

“Eve is a Bridge”, 20 min performance by Pippa Chase, on Friday, May 11, 2018, from 16:20-16:40h at Innbrücke, Innsbruck.

 

 

On Saturday, May 12, 2018:

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“Misplaced Women? and The Tourist Suitcase”, 60 min Performance by Tanja Ostojic, at the Goldenes Dahl, Altstadt, Innsbruck. Photo: Daniel Jarosch

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“Misplaced Women? and The Tourist Suitcase”, 60 min Performance by Tanja Ostojic, at the Goldenes Dahl, Altstadt, Innsbruck. Photo: Daniel Jarosch

“Misplaced Women? and the Tourist Suitcase”, a 60 min Performance by Tanja Ostojic, on Saturday, May 12, 2018, from 9:50-10:50h, at the Goldenes Dahl, Altstadt, Innsbruck.

 

 

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“Doing Gender 8102.05.3*” , a 60 min performance by Li Fu, in front of the University, Innsbruck. Photo: Daniel Jarosch

“Doing Gender 8102.05.3*” , 60 min performance by Li Fu, on Saturday, May 12, 2018, from 12:25-13:25h, in front of the University, Innsbruck. Realised with performance assistance by Pippa Chase.

 

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“Der Roter Faden”, 42 min performance by Pippa Chase, in Hofgarten, Innsbruck. Photo: Daniel Jarosch

“Der Roter Faden”, 42 min performance by Pippa Chase, on Saturday, May 12, 2018, from 15:00-15:42h, in Hofgarten, Innsbruck, with performance assistance by Li Fu.

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On Sunday, May 13, the public presentation and discussion about the Misplaced Women? workshop and the six performances we’ve realised in Innsbruck took place in the Die Bäckerei – Kulturbackstube. 

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Misplaced Women? public discussion in Die Bäckerei, Innsbruck, May 13,2018 Photo: Ingeborg Erhart

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Development and production: Tanja Ostojic, “Mispleced Women?” (2009-2018)

Produced with the support of: Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Tirol /  Art in Public Space Tyrol, Austria.

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Photos: Daniel Jarosch

For more information please see the event’s publicity and press coverage:

The Misplaced Women? Project Blog: 

Category: Innsbruck

Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Tirol / Art in Public Space Tyrol:

Die Bäckerei (online and printed program):

Tiroler Tageszeitung 12.5.2018.

SeeCult cultural portal 13.5.2018:

Radio Beograd 2, 17.5.2018 (12-13h):

 

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Score #2: Holding the Misplaced Women? Sign

In Scores, Signs on May 10, 2018 at 9:16 pm

Tanja Ostojić: 

Misplaced Women? 

(ongoing since 2009)

delegated performance

Score #2:  Holding the Misplaced Women? Sign

Less then hour, no, or with preparation, one or more performers

Instruction: 

1. Select a migration specific place that resonates to you 

2. Make your own MISPLACED WOMEN? (or MISPLACED MAN?) Sign or a banner (on a cardboard, on a piece of paper, on some cloth. It can be a drawing or an embroidery or even a collage). 

3. Stand there and hold it for at least half-an-hour. 

4. Ask someone to take a photo of you standing there. 

5. You can do the same action at the variety of places and see how different it is being perceived at different times and locations. In such case you might draw a map of locations you performed at. 

Note: 

Reflect a pone how does it feel to hold the sign, how does it resonates with you, with your life experience, how the location you have chosen pulsates, and does it bring you closer to the people on the move, on the street, etc. Be open to talk to passing by people about the sign you are holding and the related issues and to what they have to say about it. 

 

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Misplaced Women sign Photo: Amy Bryzgel

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On October 12 2016, Bojana Videkanić holding the “Misplaced Women?” sign on the Pearson International Airport in Toronto and diving into her profoundly touching memories about her initiation into the life of a refugee escaping Sarajevo siege in 1992 and her and her family life as refuges in the UK, Croatia and Canada. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

 

Publishing:

Send a photo or a drawing of yourself holding the sing, the description about how did it go (your name, date, time, duration, location and what happened) and the related written reflections and overview of dialogues that might habe occurred. Please let us know if you would like that your contribution is published on the “Misplaced Women?” project blog.

  We would greatly appreciate your permission to publish it.

Score #1: unpacking a bag of your own

In Scores on March 15, 2018 at 3:39 pm

Tanja Ostojić:  MISPLACED WOMEN? (ongoing since 2009)

delegated performance

Score #1: unpacking a bag of your own

More or less then one hour, with or without preparation, one or  more performers, migration specific locations 

About:

Misplaced Women? is an art project that welcomes contributions by people from divers backgrounds that embody and enact some of everyday life activities that signify a displacement. Participants are invited to perform and reflect a pone different notions of traveling, identity, illegality, homelessness, security, privat space/ public space, and to share there experiences on the project blog.

Instruction: 

1. Select a migration specific place that resonates to you (public transportation, central bus station, airport, border, aria affected with gentrification..)

2. Get there and unpack a bag of your own (such as your own purse or back pack or a bag with empty plastic bags, or packaging from consumers articles..).

3. Take every single idem out and turn it inside out. Take all out of your pockets. Turn your pockets inside out. Take your shoes off. Ones you unpacked all, search to see if you discover something.

4. For advanced and additionally motivated: You can do the same action at a variety of places and see how different it is being perceived at different times and locations. In such a case, draw a map of where you have performed.

Note: 

Reflect a pone how does it feel to do this in public. Do you feel exposed? How does it resonates with your life experience, and does it bring you closer to the people on the move, people on the street, etc.. Be open to talk to passing by people about what you actually do and why. Let this performance last for at least half-an-hour. If you have unpacked your things in a hectic way, after “a brake” and exchange, try to pack items back with appreciation and care. (Or the other way around, right?)

Attention:

Places that are generally understood as public spaces might appear not to be such. That means that with your performance you might challenge the notion of public space, and see where it is (not) possible to do your action. A security guy might push you one meter away from the entrance (in a shopping mall or what many train stations also became now a days, right?) Or policeman might ask you –What are you doing?. I could only advice you to get one person with you to try to talk the security out, so that you can finish your performance. You may also say that you are looking for an item of your own that you really need but you are not sure if you took it with you. (What ever that might be, right?) This is to avoid being kicked out, arrested or so.., as performing and filming is usually not allowed at most places.

Crediting and Publishing: 

It is very important to credit everyone properly. With the “Misplaced Women?” project we pay special attention to that. Please be sure to fully credit your action as:

_____your name:  a performance in response to the “MISPLACED WOMEN?” (ongoing since 2009), delegated performance by Tanja Ostojić, “Score 1”… — where every you share it or print it. And we will do the same with your contribution. Send a photo or a drawing of yourself performing, the description about how did it go (your name, date, time, duration, location(s) and notes about what happened). Please let us know if you would like that your contribution is published on the project blog: We would greatly appreciate your permission to do so.

 

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 Tanja Ostojic: Misplaced Women?
Performed by Tanja Ostojic at Bergen International Airport, 2011. Photo: Jannicke Olsen

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

In Innsbruck, News, Workshops on February 19, 2018 at 4:57 pm

Dies ist eine offene Ausschreibung zur Teilnahme am dreitägigen Misplaced Women? Performance-Kunst-Workshop im öffentlichen Raum mit Tanja Ostojić, welche vom 11.–13. Mai 2018 mit einer öffentlichen Aufführung in Die Bäckerei, Kulturbackstube, in Innsbruck, Österreich stattfindet.

Teilnehmer_innen jeglichen Alters, Hintergrunds, Geschlechts und Erfahrungsniveaus, die sich für die gesamte Dauer der Werkstatt zur Teilnahme verpflichten können, sind herzlich willkommen. Wir ermutigen besonders Bewerber_innen, die sich für das Themenfeld Migration, für Performance-Kunst, für die Belange jener, die sich als Frauen identifizieren und die sich für die Repräsentation von Geschlecht und Kunst im öffentlichen Raum interessieren. Die Bewerber_innen sind dazu eingeladen und ermutigt, Erfahrungen zu teilen und auszutauschen, welche die Themen Migration, Vertreibung, Gefährdung und Privileg betreffen sowie dazu, einige der Misplaced Women? Performances-Scores aufzuführen. Der Workshop ist kostenfrei. Warme Getränke und Snacks sowie eine professionelle fotografische Dokumentation der Teilnehmer_innen werden bereitgestellt. Aufgrund der begrenzten Zahl von Teilnehmer_innen bitten wir um eine Bewerbung.

Bewerbungsfrist: Montag, der 16. April 2018.

In Rahmen des Workshops werden wir die Möglichkeit haben, performative Interventionen in öffentlichen Räumen zu realisieren. Die Resultate des Workshops werden am dritten Tag in Die Bäckerei, Kulturbackstube, der Öffentlichkeit präsentiert und auf der Webseite des Misplaced Women? Projekts veröffentlicht.

Dieses Projekt, einschließlich der Werkstatt, der Gruppen- und individuellen Performances im öffentlichen Raum, wurde im Kontext der Förderaktion Kunst im öffentlichen Raum des Landes Tirol ausgewählt. Die Medien- und Pressearbeit erfolgt in Zusammenarbeit mit der Tiroler Künstler*schaft.

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Participants of the “Misplaced Women?” performance workshop by Tanja Ostojić, hosted by the Aberdeen Festival of Politics 2016 and the Torry Community Center. Photo: Amy Bryzgel

Bei Interesse können Sie im Folgenden noch weitere Details zum Workshop und zur Bewerbung finden.

ENGLISH VERSION 

Über das Projekt:

Misplaced Women? ist ein Kunstprojekt von Tanja Ostojić bestehend aus Performances, Performance-Serien, Werkstätten und delegierten Performances, das seit 2009 läuft und Beiträge internationaler Künstler_innen, Student_innen, und Menschen mit verschiedenen Hintergründen beinhaltet. Im Kontext des Projekts verkörpern und inszenieren wir einige der alltäglichen Aspekte, welche Formen der Vertreibung charakterisieren, die Durchreisenden, Migrant_innen, Kriegs- und Katastrophenflüchtlingen ebenso vertraut sind wie nomadischen Künstler_innen, die um die Welt reisen, um ihren Lebensunterhalt zu verdienen. Diese Performances behandeln bleibende Themen von Migrations- und Machtbeziehungen, wie sie den mobilen, vor allem den weiblichen Körper betreffen, ein Aspekt, der bereits in diversen früheren Arbeiten von mir behandelt wurde.

Über die Workshop-Leiterin: 

Tanja Ostojić (*1972) ist eine renommierte interdisziplinäre Performance-Künstlerin, die in Jugoslawien geboren wurde und seit 2003 in Berlin lebt. Ihre Werke beschäftigen sich vor allem mit Feminismus und Migrationspolitik.  Sie bezieht sich selbst als Figur in ihre Performances ein und benutzt diverse Medien in ihren künstlerischen Recherchen, um soziale Konfigurationen und Machtverhältnisse zu untersuchen. Sie arbeitet vor allem aus der Perspektive einer Migrantin – innerhalb spezifischer sozialer Kontexte –, wobei die politische Positionierung sowie die Inklusion der Betrachter_innen die Ansätze ihrer Arbeit definieren. Seit 1994 hat sie ihre Arbeiten in zahlreichen Ausstellungen, Festivals und Veranstaltungen in der ganzen Welt präsentiert. Sie hat Vorträge, Vorlesungen und Seminare gegeben sowie Workshops bei akademischen Konferenzen und in Kunstuniversitäten in Europa und Amerika abgehalten.

Über den Workshop:

Das Misplaced Women? Projekt beinhaltet das Auspacken des eigenen Koffers, einer Plastiktüte, Handtasche oder Ähnlichem im öffentlichen Raum, eine Handlung, welche für die Erfahrung der Vertreibung steht, die den Alltag von Migrant_innen, Durchreisenden, Obdachlosen sowie Kriegs- und Katastrophenflüchtlingen bestimmt. Die Werkstatt zielt darauf, die Teilnehmer_innen mit diesen Themen vertraut zu machen und zu Diskussionen und Interventionen in den unterschiedlichen öffentlichen Räumen anzuregen.

Der erste Teil der Werkstatt besteht aus einem Zusammenkommen, bei dem sich die Teilnehmer_innen über ihre individuellen Erfahrungen und die Ziele des Projekts austauschen und informieren können.

Während des zweiten Teils werden die Teilnehmer_innen dazu ermutigt und dabei unterstützt, Live-Performances und Interventionen in den Straßen und Parks von Innsbruck zu veranstalten. Die öffentlichen Performances werden professionell fotografisch dokumentiert.

Die Resultate des Workshops  werden am dritten Tag in Die Bäckerei, Kulturbackstube in Innsbruck der Öffentlichkeit präsentiert. Alle Teilnehmer_innen sind dazu eingeladen, aktiv an dieser Präsentation und der im Anschluss daran stattfindenden Diskussion teilzunehmen.

Die Dokumentation sowie die gesammelten Notizen und Reflexionen vom Workshop werden editiert und auf der Webseite des Misplaced Women? Projekts veröffentlicht.

Termine des Workshops:  Freitag, Samstag und Sonntag, 11. – 13 Mai, 2918

Wer kann sich bewerben?

Teilnehmer_innen unterschiedlichen Hintergrunds und Geschlechts, die sich für die gesamte Dauer der Werkstatt zur Teilnahme verpflichten können, sind herzlich willkommen. Besondere Sprachkenntnisse sind nicht erforderlich. Wir heißen alle Menschen mit „Behinderungen“ willkommen sowie all jene, die kein Englisch oder Deutsch sprechen. Wir bitten darum, besondere Anforderungen in der Bewerbung anzugeben.

Die Veranstaltung ist kostenfrei, doch aufgrund der begrenzten Platzzahl bitten wir die Interessent_innen um eine Bewerbung. Dazu schicken Sie bitte eine E-Mail an tanjaostojicart (AT) gmail.com mit dem Betreff: Misplaced Women? Innsbruck, und schreiben Sie einen kurzen Absatz über ihre Motivation und ihren biographischen Hintergrund.  Sie sind dazu eingeladen, ihre Kontaktinformationen hinzuzufügen oder einen Link zu ihrer persönlichen Webseite, sollten sie über eine solche verfügen.

Zusätzliche Links:

Misplaced Women? Projekt

Tanja Ostojić, Bücher

Die Bäckerei, Kulturbackstube, Dreiheiligenstraße 21a, Innsbruck, Österreich

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

In Innsbruck, News, Workshops on February 19, 2018 at 4:31 pm

This is the Open Call for participants of the Misplaced Women? 3-day-long performance art workshop in the public space with Tanja Ostojić, May 11-13 2018, with a public presentation in Die Bäckerei, Kulturbackstube, Innsbruck, Austria

Participants of all backgrounds, ages, genders and levels of experience that can commit to participate for the entire duration of the workshop are welcome, but we particularly encourage those who are interested in issues of migration, performance art, conditions related to the ones identifying as women, representations of gender and art in the public realm. Participants are invited and encouraged to share and exchange about experiences and issues of migration, displacement, exposure and privilege and to enact some of the Misplaced Women? performance scores. The workshop is free of charge, warm drinks and snacks will be provided, professional photo documentation of participants work will be provided as well, and due to limited numbers of places we ask you kindly to apply.

The deadline for applications is Monday, April 16 2018.

Timetable:

Workshop: Friday May 11: 10am—5pm & Saturday May 12, 2018: 10am—6pm.
Public presentation: Sunday May 13: 11am—1pm.

During the workshop we will all have an opportunity to perform in the public spaces, and outcomes will be presented to the public at the third day of the workshop at the Die Bäckerei, Kulturbackstube and included on the Misplaced Women? project website.

This project, including the workshop and group and individual performances in the public spaces, have been chosen for realisation in the frame of the Kunst im öffentlichen Raum des Landes Tirol, supported by the region of Tyrol. The press and media communication are done in collaboration with the Tiroler Künstlerschaft.

 

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“Misplaced Women?” performance workshop by Tanja Ostojić at Info Park, Belgrade (2015). (Group intervention, including: Tanja Ostojić, Sunčica Šido, Nela Antonović) Photo: Lidija Antonović

Deutsche Übersetzung  

Please reed about the project and see more workshop and application relevant details below:

About the project:  

Misplaced Women? is an art project by Tanja Ostojić that consists of performances, performance series, workshops and delegated performances, ongoing since 2009, including contributions by international artists, students and people from divers backgrounds. Within this project we embody and enact some of everyday life’s activities that thematise displacement, as it is known to transients, migrants, war and disaster refugees and to the itinerant artists travelling the world to earn their living. Those performances deal with continuing themes of migration, and relations of power and vulnerability with regard to the mobile and in particular the female body, an aspect that figured prominently in numerous previous works of mine.

About the workshop leader: 

Tanja Ostojić (*1972) is a renowned Berlin based, Yugoslavian born performance and interdisciplinary artist whose artworks engage with feminism and migration politics. She includes herself as a character in performances and uses diverse media in her artistic researches, thereby examining social configurations and relations of power. She works predominantly from the migrant woman’s perspective, from within specific social contexts. The approaches of her work are defined by political positioning and the integration of recipients. Since 1994 she presented her work in numerous exhibitions, festivals and venues around the world. She has given talks, lectures, seminars and workshops at academic conferences and at art universities around Europe and in the Americas.

About the workshop:

The “Misplaced Women?” project involves the unpacking of a suitcase, a plastic bag, a handbag or a similar object in a public sphere, whereby these objects come to stand for a displacement, as theme that is common in everyday experiences of transients, migrants, homeless, war and disaster refugees. The workshop aims to familiarise the participants with the topics and to stimulate discussion and interventions in the variety of public spaces.

The first part of the workshop includes getting together, informing and communicating, whereby the participants shall exchange with each other about individual experiences and the aims of the project.

During the second part, the participants are encouraged and supported to enact live performances and interventions in the streets and parks of Innsbruck. Public performances will be documented by a professional photographer.

The outcomes of the workshop will be presented to the public at the third day in Die Bäckerei, Kulturbackstube in Innsbruck. All participants of the workshop are invited to take active part in this presentation and the following discussion.

The documentation, notes and reflections from the workshop will be gathered, edited and published on the Misplaced Women? project website. 

 

Dates of the workshop:

Friday, Saturday and Sunday May 11-13, 2018.

The deadline for applications is Monday, March 19 2018.

Who can apply: 

Students and participants of all backgrounds and genders that can commit to participate for the entire duration of the workshop are welcome. No particular language skills are required. We welcome people with any kind of “disabilities” and the ones who do not speak English or Deutsch. Please specify any special requirements in your application.

The event is free of charge, but due to limited numbers we ask interested people to apply. Please send an email to tanjaostojicart (AT) gmail.com with the subject Misplaced Women?  Innsbruck and write one short motivational and biographical paragraph. You are welcome to add a link to your personal home page if you have one and your contact information.

Additional links:

Misplaced Women? project

Tanja Ostojić, books

Die Bäckerei, Kulturbackstube, Dreiheiligenstraße 21a, Innsbruck, Austria

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Drawing by David Caines of the performance by Dagmara Bilon in the frame of the “Misplaced Women?” performance workshop by Tanja Ostojic in LADA, London (2016)

The Displaced & Privilege: A Study Room Guide on Live Art in the Age of Hostility by Dr Elena Marchevska on Misplaced Women? + Errata Sheet

In London, Reviews, Workshops on January 26, 2018 at 2:44 pm

Within this study guide that we warmly recommend you may between others reed about the brother context in which the “Misplaced Women?” Workshop by Tanja Ostojic has been produced, reflected a pone, distributed and publicised. With the “Misplaced Women?” project we pay special attention to credit everyone properly as far as possible. In that light I am pleased to share with you an Errata Sheet to The Displaced & Privilege: A Study Room Guide on Live Art in the Age of Hostility by Dr Elena Marchevska published by Live Arts Development Agency, LADA, London, in 2017, that may be download for free under this link.

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This is the ERRATA SHEET to the The Displaced & Privilege: A Study Room Guide on Live Art in the Age of Hostility by Elena Marchevska published by LADA, London (2017):

1) The drawings on the front and back cover and inside the guide by David Caines, have been mostly inspired by performances from Dagmara Bilon, Teresa Albor, Sophie Cero and Elena Marchevska developed in the frame of the ‘Misplaced Women?’ workshop led by Tanja Ostojić.

2) On page 1:

5. ‘Misplaced Women?’ workshop by Tanja Ostojić: documentation and participant’s responses

3) On page 3:

2. ‘Misplaced Women?’ Reflective Section, where you can find documentation of the workshop by Tanja Ostojić that I hosted with LADA in December 2016.

As part of the ‘Misplaced Women?’ workshops Tanja Ostojić encourages all participants to reflect in written form about their experience with the workshop, performances they developed and on the topic of the project, and she is publishing those voices regularly on the project blog. For this Study Guide, I selected from there and republished four responses to illustrate the outcomes of the workshop that she led.

For a full version of the responses and the reflection on the London iteration of the ‘Misplaced Women?’ project, please see the originally published material that has been edited by Tanja Ostojić and Danyel Ferrari:  https://misplacedwomen.wordpress.com/2017/03/07/misplaced-women-performance-workshop-in-lada-london/

4) On page 9:

For more information on Ostojić’s work please see her books:

Strategies of Success, ed. Tanja Ostojić, La Box Bourges and SKC Belgrade (2004), and

Integration Impossible?: The Politics of Migration in the Artwork of Tanja Ostojić, eds. Marina Gržinić and Tanja Ostojić, argobooks, Berlin (2009)

5) On page 65:

Note: These reflective articles were originally edited and published by Tanja Ostojić and Danyel Ferrari in January 2017, for ‘Misplaced Women?’ blog section dedicated to London’s workshop. You can see all the entries on the following link: https://misplacedwomen.wordpress.com/category/london/

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The end of the Errata Sheet.

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Drawing by David Caines of the performance by Teresa Albor in the frame of the “Misplaced Women?” performance art workshop by Tanja Ostojić in LADA, London, December 2016.

Misplaced Women? Performance Workshop in LADA London

In London, Workshops on March 7, 2017 at 6:39 pm

 

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LADA was delighted to host a London iteration of Misplaced Women? in December 2016. The Misplaced Women? workshop by Tanja Ostojić took place as part of a LADA residency being undertaken by the artist and researcher Elena Marchevska exploring Live Art practices and methodologies on working with issues of displacement. Tanja Ostojić ’s practice and the ideas at the heart of the Misplaced Women? project are so central to Elena’s thinking, and so vital to current issues, that it was a wonderful and timely opportunity to be able to invite Tanja to London.

Participants for the workshop were selected by an open call for proposals, and we were thrilled with the level of interest in the workshop from such a wide range of artists, activists and thinkers. Over two days the sixteen participants created a new community, and, following excursions into the badlands of East London, inspired a gathering of interested parties with presentations of the works they had each created in such a short space of time.

It was an honour and a privilege to work with Tanja Ostojić and to host Misplaced Women? in London.   

Lois Keidan, LADA*

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Tanja Ostojić:

I am grateful that I had great opportunity to lead two days long intensive performance art workshop hosted by Live Art Development Agency London, on invitation by Dr Elena Marchevska who also organised and facilitated our program including the final presentation.

Misplaced Women? Performance Workshop is one of important formats under the umbrella of the  “Misplaced Women?” Project (ongoing since 2009) that I have developed in the past several years.  Many participants of diverse nationalities, professions, genders, age and backgrounds have went though it so far Europe wide. Workshops are made in small and mid size groups with four to sixteen participants. Workshops have been hosted by high schools, universities, art schools, (performance)art spaces and festivals. My role within it is to initiate sensibility, dialogues and thinking about issues of displacement, migration, public space, security, exposure, gentrification, sensitivity to the issues of gender in the context of migration, between others; to initiate people to try out performative acts in the public space, and further more to give them space, support and encouragement to realise performances. And as well to facilitate them to participate in group public presentations of their workshop activities and to produce afterwords written reflexions or further interventions related to it, that some of them I edit and publish on the project´s on-line blog. Occasionally processes of healing related to deep personal, legislative or family traumas are occurring as well. Some of workshop participants produce as well at later stage works or writings that have been inspired by creative processes in this workshop.

The London iteration of the Workshop was of high quality thanks to the good organisation and pre scouting of the neighbourhood and high motivation and quality of the participating artists, activists and writers selected via open call, most of whom have been already working with issues of migration and / or have been experienced performance artists themselves. So we had very dynamic and inspiring exchange between ourselves.

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Tanja Ostojić. Photo: Danyel Ferarri

I´ve also done one small performance intervention myself, to “brake the ice” at the beginning of the outdoor part of the workshop, at 1pm on December 13, 2016 in the closest vicinity of LADA. My intention was to memorise the 3 years long fruitful existence and one year time of displacement of the ]performance s p a c e [  due to the gentrification processes raging in Hackney Wick. Along with physical changes of the neighbourhood came increased rents and the inevitable loss of arts spaces, including the important venue ]performance s p a c e [, which moved to Folkestone following complaints from residents of newly built condominium complexes.  

And so in front of the entrance of what used to be the important performance art venue I was thinking of how many amassing performances have been realised there in three years of its existence, while emptying all the contents of my hand bag and my pockets, turning every single item inside out.. At the end of this cycle, standing in socks without coat on a cardboard on a wet London December day, in front of the former location of the ]performance s p a c e [, I read a poem from a book that I purchased a day before while scouting the Westwood Shopping Mall in Stratford Station. It was a powerful poem from Adrienne Rich´s book “The Dream of a Common Language”. Then came the cycle in reverse and I turned back and packed one by one all my stuff…

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The following artists, activists and researchers developed their new works or performed some of the “Misplaced Women?” scores in the frame of the “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:

Elena Marchevska holding the Misplaced Women? sign on Heathrow Airport 

Danyel Ferrari´s Article published in ArtSlant

Teresa Albor´s performance interventions

Camilla Canocchi 

Shannon Mulvey 

Cherry Truluck

Seila Fernandez Arconada

Alice Tuppen

Hilary Williams 

Dagmara Bilon

Jasmine Lee

Nicholas Harris

Sara Zaltash

Sophie Cero

Miki Zea

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Please see this 3:50 min long video about the “Misplaced Women?” performance workshop by Tanja Ostojić, in London, that has been made by Elena Marchevska and produced by LADA.

Note: Artists and activists talking in order of appearance: Tanja Ostojić, Nicholas Harris, Teresa Albor, Dagmara Bilon, Camila Canocchi and (voice over) Elena Marchevska.

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The Displaced & Privilege: A Study Room Guide on Live Art in the Age of Hostility by Dr Elena Marchevska published by LADA, in 2017, can be download for free under this link. 

Note: And please reed the related Errata Sheet to it.

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Learn more about the Misplaced Women? project and the artist Tanja Ostojić

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Lois Keidan is a co-founder and the Director of the Live Art Development Agency. She was Director of Live Arts at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London from 1992 to 1997 where she devised a year round programme of new performance and initiated numerous new ventures for established and emerging artists. Prior to the ICA, she was responsible for national policy and provision for Performance Art and interdisciplinary practices at the Arts Council of Great Britain. She contributes articles on performance to a range of journals and publications and gives talks and presentations on performance at festivals, colleges, venues and conferences in Britain and internationally. She sits on a number of Boards and Advisory Panels, including Artsadmin (London) and Performa (New York).

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Bojana Videkanić holding the “Misplaced Women?” sign on the Toronto Airport and diving into her profoundly touching memories about her initiation into the life of a refugee escaping Sarajevo siege in 1992

In Airports, Borders, Signs, Stories, Toronto on February 16, 2017 at 6:20 pm

On October 12 2016. Bojana Videkanić was holding the “Misplaced Women?” sign on the Pearson International Airport in Toronto and was diving into her profoundly touching memories about her initiation into the life of a refugee escaping Sarajevo siege in 1992 and her and her family life as refuges in the UK, Croatia and Canada. She wrote about it:

Missing Women: Some Thoughts As to Why I Became Missing While Waiting for Tanja Ostojić

By Bojana Videkanić October 2016-February 2017.

Last year I invited Tanja Ostojić to present her work at the 7a*11d International Performance Art Festival in Toronto. As one of the members of the Toronto Performance Art Collective, I have been wanting to invite Tanja to come to our festival for some time. She generously accepted and came in October 2016. In our conversations and planning prior to her arrival, Tanja asked me to help her by doing a specific action when she landed in Toronto. She asked me to create a sign and hold it while waiting for her at the Pearson International Airport. She told me that the sign should read: “Misplaced Women” which is also the title of Tanja’s piece that she was going to perform on October 16 at a tram stop downtown Toronto at the corner of McCaul and Dundas streets. Tanja gave me a choice to, if I wanted to, put a question mark at the end of the statement. I was happy to do the action and I made the sign, deciding to put a question mark at the end. My choice to do so was guided by the fact that Pearson is a large and busy place and I suspected that the sign will be noticed if I keep it ambiguous. I, however, was not considering the impact Tanja’s work would have on me.

The day came and I arrived 30 or so minutes earlier in order to keep the action a bit longer, to give it some time to play out. While standing there at the international arrivals gate, I had some time to think about the action I was performing (standing in the middle of the great airport hall with an ambiguous sign in my hands) and what its ramifications might be. There were a couple of important thoughts I had that came about as a result. First, throughout my action I realized that I was initiating Tanja’s performance, as it became obvious that my interactions with the accidental audiences were a catalyst for a discussion around borders, policing of bodies, and (in)visible violence of that. In short, I realized that Tanja’s performance has begun as people gawked at me. Secondly, I realized the echoes of Tanja’s work in our ‘local’ Canadian context with the missing and murdered indigenous women, and the impact it had in the light of Syrian crisis and the inability of the world actors to see the refugees as human beings. What I did not expect was my own physical reaction to the sign and the moment as I became missing in it.

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On October 12 2016, Bojana Videkanić holding the “Misplaced Women?” sign on the Pearson International Airport in Toronto and diving into her profoundly touching memories about her initiation into the life of a refugee escaping Sarajevo siege in 1992 and her and her family life as refuges in the UK, Croatia and Canada. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

It became obvious at that moment that the sign “Missing Women” was not about some other missing women (although of course it is about many thousands if not millions of them) but that it was also about my own experiences of borders and violence. It brought me back some 20+ years back to 1992, and my 15-year-old self, a confused, frightened child who, in a matter of few weeks between April 6 and April 20 1992, became a refugee. At the time I did not know what that meant, but I learned quickly. When my hometown of Sarajevo came under siege and the first grenades fell, my desperate, naïve parents wanted to save me, to protect me, so they found a way to put me on one of the last planes leaving the city to go to Belgrade and then on to London, England. I will never forget the scene of desperation at the Sarajevo Airport as hundreds and hundreds of people gathered to try to get their small children, parents and other family onto Kikash military plains. Pleading with important-looking military officers, with their long lists of people’s names, to let them through––crying, begging, consoling, desperate. Through some miracle my parents managed to get me on one of those lists and on one of the planes. They gave me a few of our family photos (so that I wound not forget them and where I come from), my mom lovingly packed my sinus medication and some clothes, and told me that I will be back at the end of the summer when the war will be over, and with my English much improved. And so I went, with my grey, Yugoslav child passport (which in fact was no longer valid as we were living through the breakup of the country), 500 deutsche marks, my photos, and a book. As Kikash plane lifted off (in fact this was my very first time being on the plane) I sat on the floor of its enormous belly with a couple of hundred other people not really knowing where I was going and what will happen to me when I get there. I was all alone, a child who never travelled without her parents, going to some unknown future.

Three days later I was on a plane ride to London, England with another boy, a son of my parents’ friends. The two of us were going to his aunt who accepted to take me in for the short period until I was to return home to Sarajevo. As the airplane approached Heathrow airport I became very anxious and scared. We landed and I was immediately detained by the UK customs and immigration. I was held in an interrogation room for six hours. I had to take all my clothes out of my bag, they took my family photos and asked me about each person in the photo and where they were, they asked me about my sinus medication, about how much clothes I had, and why I was travelling, do I know what is happening to my country? They even asked me about Ernest Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” the one book that I managed to take out of my parents’ library as I was leaving (the book I cannot bring myself to read again). It is hard to describe that feeling of being helpless, of being at the mercy of people in uniform, and especially being that way as a child. Like a caged animal my heart pounded, I was shaking, and I cried. I cried as all those things that the immigration officers looked through were really the last things that I could say were mine, these were the last remnants of my childhood, of my family life, and of my country, even those darn sinus pills… My entire life on display, my entire life in one suitcase, now an object of conversation for immigration officers, and evidence of my status.

Finally, I was let through, they decided that my friend’s aunt who waited for us was credible. This was my initiation into the life of a refugee. From that moment on, I moved with my suitcase from family to family, twice in London (during the 2 month stay there), and some ten times later on when I lived as a refugee in Croatia. At one point while still in London, I was supposed to be moved for the third time with an unknown woman, but when that did not work out the people with whom I was staying decided that I should be given over to the Child Services (as having a 15-year old in the house was too much for them). I couch-surfed most of the time, slept in peoples’ baby rooms next to their kids’ cribs, in their master bedrooms on the floor, in spare rooms, living rooms, all kinds of rooms. I learned to hold my pee in so that I would not have to be in the bathroom when owners of the house were in the house. I learned to take fast showers, I learned to eat when no one was looking (usually late at night). I learned how to walk without making a sound, how to use a hand towel, soap, shampoo, or kitchen utensils so that they would look like no one has used them. I learned to be sparing with creams, food, cookies so that it would not look like someone has eaten them. I learned to be invisible, how not to be noticed by police, by men, by security. I learned how to pack my bag quickly so that I can move out fast. I learned that refugees are not welcomed, that we are perceived as a burden, not just to the state and all its mechanisms, but often to extended families, friends, and even do-gooders who think that they can take in refugees into their home but cannot deal with someone actually living with them, taking their space.

I, however, also met some amazing people on the way, selfless, caring people like my mom’s friend who took me and my family in with her son for four months. Or like a doctor from the Doctors Without Borders who I met on the street and in our conversation I told him that my parents are doctors in Sarajevo and that I was not sure if they are dead or alive as all the phone lines were down and I did not speak to them in two months. He told me that he will find my parents as he was going back to Sarajevo and deliver my letter. And he did! (that was how my parents found out I was ok and alive).

Finally, I also learned that my parents were broken by the war, the strong, independent people I knew before April 1992 were now broken physically, mentally, and professionally. When both my parents came out of the besieged Sarajevo (my mom at the end of 1992, and my dad at the end of 1994) and when we lived as refugees in Croatia awaiting papers to immigrate to Canada or Australia, I saw my parents waiting in line for food donations, for refugee status, clothes, aid, they were lost and defeated, depressed. My dad has severe PTSD which was never dealt with. The defeat only continued when we came to Canada, when my parents had difficulty learning English, not being able to find a job, being too old to go to school (early-to mid 50s) but too young to retire, struggling; my father going to a local Food Bank getting food, working on construction site as a construction worker, my mom working with developmentally disabled adults and being attacked and bitten. Yes, standing there at the arrivals gate at Pearson Airport became an embodied performance of myself missing and my parents missing. I was that 15-year old kid again, trying to find myself.

Finally, another important thought I had at that moment of waiting for Tanja, as I had some confused looks from passersby, was that people could recognize the signs, they could recognize the ambiguity of what Tanja was stating. Several people stopped and asked what the sign was about. One man came around as asked where are these misplaced women? He was confused… I replied that it was a part of Tanja Ostojić’s art work relating it to refugees and migrant women, but also used the opportunity to address a more pressing Canadian context of Missing and Murdered Indigenous women and the current inquiry into this tragedy (https://www.nwac.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/

Fact_Sheet_Missing_and_Murdered_Aboriginal_Women_and_Girls.pdf). A female security guard came to me asking about the sign, she approached and said, ”You know you will get a lot of people asking about the sign,” “they will think you might have some answers for them…” Then she said, “you know, I am misplaced too…” These interactions with the security, passersby, people who wait for family and friends, and being at the airport, opened up a whole other conversation about invisibility of violence, of invisibility and visibility of women who are marginalized, who are placed at the mercy of governmental mechanisms, police, immigration, child welfare, welfare and unemployment services, ministry of Indigenous affairs, lawyers, immigration courts. It became clear then that this performance was placing an ethical and moral obligation on the passersby as it directly asked them to confront the question/statement on the sign I made for Tanja.

I write this as the Syrian refugees are fleeing their country just like I did 20+ years ago. I write this as Trump has barred people from entering US, I write this as frozen refugee claimants are crossing the US/Canada border at -40˚C, I write this as an official Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women is just taking place 40+ years in, I write this as hundreds of unaccompanied minor children are prevented from entering UK (as the government stopped its program to help them,) I write this as women and children are still going missing––no questions asked… Tanja Ostojic’s performance which asks that question is therefore more important then ever. Standing in the crowd with a sign “Missing Women?” at this moment becomes an ethical and moral confrontation, one that troubles the age of invisibility. And at a time of alternative truths, the truth of those who are marginalized truth is the one that matters, and only one that cannot be erased in the swamp we call the Internet.

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Bojana Videkanić is an artist, art historian and curator. Originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, who came to Canada as a refugee. Videkanić now lives in Canada where she teaches at the University of Waterloo and is a member of the curatorial board of the 7a*11d International Performance Art Festival.  7a*11d festival, now in its 20th year, is one of the oldest and largest performance art festivals in Canada. The 7a*11d collective gathers over 20 international and national artists for each of its biannual festivals that takes place in the fall in Toronto: http://7a-11d.ca/  #7a11d2016

Please see as well:

https://misplacedwomen.wordpress.com/2016/12/15/misplaced-women-performed-by-tanja-ostojic-dedicated-to-the-missing-and-murdered-indigenous-women-in-canada-sunday-october-16-in-front-of-the-art-gallery-of-ontario-7a11d-2016-toronto-can/

https://misplacedwomen.wordpress.com/2016/10/14/misplaced-women-sign-on-pearson-international-airport-in-toronto/

Teresa Albor´s performances, The Yard Theatre, Hackney Wick and Westfield Shopping Mall, Stratford London, December 13 and 14, 2016. in the frame of Tanja Ostojić´s “Misplaced Women?” in LADA

In Borders, London, Performances, Shopping Center, Stories, Workshops on February 12, 2017 at 3:31 pm

In the frame of Tanja Ostojić´s “Misplaced Women?” workshop hosted by Live Arts Development Agency London and Elena Marchevska, Teresa Albor realised a series of two very strong performances on displacement:

December 13, 2016, The Yard Theatre, Hackney Wick, 2-4pm

December 14, 2016, Westfield Shopping Mall, near Olympic Park, Stratford, 1:45-2pm

On December 16, 2016 she wrote the following related statement:

Packing up the large objects this morning, the bright orange life jacket (child size), the beaded scarf, the soft black little girl’s jacket.  The smell— part smoke, part sweat, musty, human.  Then the small objects—into the orange envelopes and then the zip lock bag, the bits and pieces of jewelry, including the fragile, fragile necklace, all tangled up, hopelessly tangled up.

I imagine,the women who are preparing to be evacuated from Aleppo this morning.  They are packing up what little they can bring.  Little girls (perhaps oblivious), teenage girls (dreaming of a future?), mothers (thinking of their children’s needs).

Clio looks good in red so I have bought her a red dress.  Libby wants a particular book for her medical studies.  I put the red dress in a black box and tie a red ribbon around it.  I wrap the book in silver paper.

Someone else, once carefully packed the things I brought to Hackney Wick. All these objects once belonged to others, who took risks, who are hopefully somewhere where they feel safe, where they can dream, love, argue, fall out of love, make plans for the holidays.

The mall is busy.  People are trying to find things to give to others.  To make them smile, to show somehow—as impossible as it might be—how much they love them.

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Please see Teresa Albor´s video of her performance in front of The Yard Theatre, Hackney Wick, London

The necklace is hopelessly tangled.  I spend a good hour trying to ease the knots out.  First I try to soften the snarl, gently easing the tiny chain into a loose little heap.  Then I try to find the ends and see how long a length of chain is possible.  But this makes the knot in the middle grow tighter and tighter.  My fingers are numb from the cold, with little dents where I have been holding the chain.  It seems maddeningly simple.  I picture the untangled chain.  I picture it hanging around the neck of a woman.  She is smiling.

Tosha needs someone to babysit.  It’s not easy being a single mother.  She says it’s hard for her, now that she has a son, to watch the news, to see woman and children, the bombardment, their desperate flight.

I feel vulnerable sitting on the cement paving stone outside the Omega watch store.  Someone else has the power.  A man with a vest that says “security”.  Calling out names: Amena, Yana, Ola, Liliane, Nour, Kamar, Lamma Dayoub, Qamar, Haya, Zeinah, Aya, Nooda, Ranim, Reem, Asil. Please be safe.  What is the worst that can happen to me?  What is the best thing that can happen to you?

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Teresa Albor performing in Westfield Shopping Mall, London, (December 14, 2016. 1:45-2pm) Photo: Tanja Ostojić

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Teresa Albor performing in Westfield Shopping Mall, London, (December 14, 2016. 1:45-2pm) Photo: Tanja Ostojić

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Footnote: Clio, Libby and Tosha are Teresa´s daughters.

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Things I learned in the workshop:

The advantages of being our own audience: Working together, watching each other, making work for each other to see, acting as a magnet in public spaces to draw others in, acting as a protective shield when there’s some question about our “right” to make work in public.  Being open to each other.  Allowing everyone to be at a different point in his or her process. Observing each other and learning from each other.

Explaining to security: The art of just describing what is actually happening. “I am looking for something.”  “She is wrapping a present.”  The power (see above) of being able to focus on an action whilst someone else does the explaining.

Gut feeling + props:  The need to allow your gut feeling to direct you, to give you ideas.  To have the props but then let the action evolve.  But to still be able to edit one’s self, and question one’s ideas, and not to incorporate every single idea.  I have so many ideas.

Also, I wanted to say how much this workshop meant to me. This was a new way for me to work with these objects– the second piece, a way to put myself into the work, to make myself a bit vulnerable. It has given me plenty to think about. Once again, thanks to Tanja Ostojic for her warmth, patience, openness– for making us all feel so safe, and so encouraged as artists.

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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.

www.TeresaAlbor.com

www.TheThingsWeLeaveBehind.co.uk

www.Paradox-of-Order.com

www.Rufus-Stone.org

Photos: Tanja Ostojic

Video: Teresa Albor

Cherry Truluck, Misplaced Women workshop LADA London, December 13/14 2016.

In London, Performances, Workshops on February 12, 2017 at 2:35 pm

Misplaced Women? Workshop by Tanja Ostojić, 13th—14th December 2016 at LADA London

I have moved house all my life – I’ve lost track of how many homes I’ve lived in but it’s more than 30 – mostly in the UK, but also Germany and Belgium – so I was really drawn to the idea of returning to London (which I left 2 years ago) to be part of the ‘Misplaced Women?’ workshop. And then, in a lovely moment of coincidence that felt like more than that, Tanja decided to open the workshop with a performance in front of the warehouse that used to home ]performance s p a c e[ who – like me, have also escaped London for Folkestone in Kent.

I took in the other performances with interest – the vulnerability that emptying your bag in public created for some was in stark contrast to the way others used the opportunity as a platform to tell a particular story or explore an idea.  I was extremely conscious of our collective role as a mobile audience throughout and began to consider how our behaviour as  audience members focused our attention away from our surroundings – even in a busy shopping mall or the rather eerie Olympic park.  As we assembled and reassembled for each performance, I kept thinking about the ‘everyday’ nature of the root performance – the simple act of emptying and re-packing your bag.  It is the kind of thing that could almost go unnoticed in a crowd…. So I began, slowly, hesitantly (because to be honest I am terrified of the idea of performing) and completely unannounced, to remove each unremarkable object from my bag and arrange them carefully on the bench beside me.  Occasionally I looked around at the other participants, but no-one registered what I was doing as a performance, which suited me just fine.  I repeated the performance four times in total that day – each iteration slightly more exaggerated than the last and capturing the final one on camera whilst everyone ate lunch around me.  I catalogued the items in my bag – nothing had been placed there specially for the workshop but I instinctively wove together a story from the random selection of objects which suddenly seemed to have real personal resonance – as if they had been on a journey with me (further than Folkestone Central to Stratford…).

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Please see  Cherry Truluck´video-performance

Cherry Truluck is one half of live art and performance design collaboration, Lucky Bert.

Photo & video: Cherry Truluck

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