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Silvija Jestrovic

Warwick/ JNU Conference

Silvija’s string of beads

This links primarily to the theme Performance/ Spectacle, but could also in part relate to Nationalism/ Decline of the Left:

  1. “ Back to the Future: The Battle of Kolubara” from my MS in-progress Space, Performance, Utopia (includedSpace, Performance, Utopia (included)
  2. Marina Abramovic: Lips of Thomas 1975/2005 where she plays with communist iconography and cuts a star into her belly (photos, descriptions of the performance, audio interview with the artist

www. (included)

  1. excerpts from Slavoj Zizek’s Enjoyment as a Political Factor where he talks about the relation between communism and nationalism (to follow)

With this selection of materials I would like to explore the notion of performance and spectacles and how it relates to issues of nationalism and communism. I choose two very different case studies: 1) a traditional, yet iconic performance from the ex-Yugoslavian context that is linked to the rise of Serbian nationalism and 2) a piece by the well-known performance artist Marina Abramovic that has references to her Yugoslavian background. My questions include, but are not limited to the following:

How is a given cultural and political context dramatised through performance?

What is the status of the sign? And what can’t be put into signs?

What is the relationship between art and pain (in case of Abramovic)? And what is the relationship between art and real blood (in both cases as the Battle of Kolubara turned out to be a seemingly harmless introduction to the Balkan bloodbath that ensued in real life)?

How do these case studies perform the link between communism and nationalism that Zizek explores in his writing?