The Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb


Conference titled The Body Today: Fragment of Feelings

Hall Gorgona May 16th-17th, 2014

As part of the retrospective Vlasta Delimar... woman is a woman is a woman, in collaboration with the Domino Association / Perforacije Festival (Zagreb) the Museum of Contemporary Art (MSU) is organising a conference titled The Body Today: Fragment of Feelings scheduled for May 16th-17th, 2014.

Vlasta Delimar is one of Croatia’s most significant multimedia and performative artists of the second half of the 20th century. With this conference, the MSU seeks to examine the role of Vlasta Delimar’s body art in social and artistic context from the 1980s until today, while trying to answer the following questions: what is the somatosphere of our society today, what are we to do with the body?, what are the body studies and the body theories of today telling us?

The corporeal shift that took place in the 1960s coincides with the performative shift to which Erika Fischer-Lichte dedicated her Aesthetics of the Performative (2004). It is interesting, but also paradoxical, that the fascination with the body is growing proportionally with the process of civilisation, which Norbert Elias described as the process of abstraction at which the distance of a person towards their own body and the body of others is increasing as the threshold of shame is elevating. With the meeting-conversation of theoreticians, practitioners, curators and artists on the aforementioned subject, the MSU seeks to explore the role of Vlasta Delimar’s body art in the context of the 1980s – when she used her open body as protest potential to denote some of the blind spots of the then-socialist society – as well as in the context of the next thirty years.

It is a well-known fact that the repression of instinct was more than strong in the puritan American tradition of the 1960s; the vital body, imbued and obsessed with passion, was excluded from public culture. The liberation of the body implemented by the American neo-avantgarde (the hippie revolution) marks the fundamental cultural change in the Western world, stresses Erika Fischer-Lichte, and it was only this that enabled the Western culture to form a new identity.

What is the somatosphere of our society today, what are we to do with the body?– what are the body studies and the body theories of today telling us?

On Friday, May 16th, the speakers are the following:

Žarko Paić, Associate Professor in Sociology of Culture, Aesthetics, Semiotics and Visual Communications at the University of Zagreb Faculty of Textile Technology, Department of Fashion Design.

Lecture title:

THE NAKEDNESS OF LIFE AND THE BREATH OF PLEASURE: Reflexions on Corporeality WithinBorders of Bio-Politics Today (The ‘Case’ of VlastaDelimar)

Željka Jelavić, Senior Curator at the Ethnographic Museum in Zagreb. She graduated in Ethnology and Sociology and obtained a Master’s Degree in Gender Studies.

Her field of professional interest is museum education; her research interest is focused on anthropology of the body and sexuality, and on feminist anthropology.

Lecture title:

The Taming of Women – Female Body in the Media

Silva Kalčić graduated in Art History at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb; she also holds a degree in Fashion Design. She is a lecturer in History and Contemporaneity, and Theory of Art and Design at the Institute of Design, Faculty of Textile Technology. She is PhD Candidate in Architecture, Urban Planning and Preservation and Restoration of Monuments at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Zagreb. She works as exhibition curator and theoretician of contemporary art, architecture and design, and has authored the visual culture textbook Neizvjesnost umjetnosti (The Suspense of Art, Školska knjiga, Zagreb 2005).

Lecture title:

The Statue Man Is Leaving the Society of Architecture (J. É. Faure)

Mladen Miljanović is one of the youngest representatives of the ‘war generation’ of artists from Bosnia and Herzegovina. His artistic work is based on his own existentialist experience: on the one hand, the experience of growing up during the war, and afterwards in the destroyed, impoverished, ethnically and territorially divided, externally isolated country; on the other hand, the experience of formal education (at the Army Reserve School). The consequences of war (working with disabled veterans) and school-acquired knowledge (using the ‘pictorial military vocabulary’ devoid of meaning in a new, artistic context) constitute the basic referential field of Miljanić’s artistic activity.

Lecture title:

Good Night – State of Body

Marina Gržinić is a philosopher, theoretician and artist working in Ljubljana, Slovenia and Vienna, Austria. She is Research Advisor at the Institute of Philosophy at the Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC-SAZU) in Ljubljana, and Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. She has been involved with video art since 1982. In collaboration with AinaŠmid, she produced more than 40 video art projects.

Lecture title:

Vlasta Delimar

Katalin Ladik, Hungarian poet, performance artist, actress, visual artist.KatalinLadik began her career as a poet and actress in the early 1960s, combining acting, written and sound poetry. She was a member of the neo-avantgarde literary group ÚjSymposion/New Symposion in Yugoslavia. Later she co-operated with the art group Bosch + Bosch. Searching for her own way of self-expression, she began experimental artistic practices and auto-referential performative exploration of ‘gendered self’ on the borders of intercultural territories of Serbia, Hungary. KatalinLadik’s work was inspired by folk traditions in fusion with neo-avantgardism, both local and international, and different ways of expression through visuals, movement, sound, and writing. She often explored the subject of being both a woman and an artist in radical, challenging and provocative ways. Today her oeuvre includes written, sound and visual poetry; the visual arts, concept photography, performance art; happenings; experimental music; theatre, film and radio plays.

Lecture title:

Performance Invitation to Socialise: Vlasta Delimar and Katalin Ladik

08:00 p.m.: performance by Eisa Jocson (Philippines): Macho Dancer

On Saturday, May 17th, the speakers are the following:

Laura Kumin is a creative arts agitator and directs Paso a 2 Plataforma Coreográfica Asociación Cultural in Madrid, Spain. Paso a 2 runs an annual platform for new work in contemporary dance as well as many other projects having to do with dance, movement, community and the body. Her work also includes writing and teaching, currently at the Conservatorio Superior de Danza “María de Ávila” in Madrid. Paso a 2 is the Spanish partner in the European Performing Gender project.

Lecture title:

Beyond Boundaries – dance, the body and power

Danielle Del Pozzo develops projects and activities in the fields of contemporary cultures, gender issues and social communities. He produces and directs Gender Bender, an international festival on international imagery related to gender identities, sexual orientations and body representations. Gender Bender is partner of European Performing Gender project. He was artistic director of cultural seasons of Amo la Mole by Mole Vanvitelliana and bè bolognaestate, for Bologna City Council.

Lecture title:

Mark the difference

Lois Keidan is the co-founder and co-director of the Live Art Development Agency, London which provides Resources, Opportunities, Projects, and Publications for those who make, watch, research, produce, teach, archive and write about new performance tendencies.

Lecture title:

Made Up

Philip Babot, creates live occurrences. His installations embrace the trace elements of the performative act and explore the Zen notion of the space between birth and death.

Lecture title:

Elements of Shamanism Within Performance Art

Zvonimir Dobrović, Artistic Director of Perforations Festival, the Queer Zagreb Season and Queer New York, has been focused in his curatorial work on artistic impulses that question normativities in content and form. Besides Croatia, he has been working as curator in the USA and in many countries around the world, from Asia to South America.


Jan Martens (Netherlands)

Poliana Lima (Spain)

SinišaLabrović (Croatia)

CeciliaMoisio (Italy)

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