Resilient Practices: A Few Case Studies on Performances in Public Spaces and their Controversies in the former Eastern Europe 
A lecture by Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez

  • Resilient Practices: A Few Case Studies on Performances in Public Spaces and their Controversies in the former Eastern Europe 

Public space(s) in the socialist cities of the former Eastern Europe have been structured with different patterns of space distribution, and differences in the functional content of public spaces. Due to the state’s declared public ownership of areas used for industrial, commercial, leisure activities or historical districts, most space was public by default.

Appropriating them with an unusual gestures or activities resulted in immediate controversy and often suppressive counter-action by the state. Several artists (Katalin Ladik, Tamas St.Auby, Lia Perjovschi, Sanja Ivekovic, Tomislav Gotovac, Jiri Kovanda) that worked with the constraints of the public space in former Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Hungary or Romania between late 1970s and 1990s, have done a series of performances in specific public spaces and thus exposed themselves to physical and also affective risk.

Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez will draw analogies to the concepts of resilience - object’s or subject’s ability to recover their original state relatively quickly after some significant stress or shock and continuing with the processes of self-realization without a major setback - as well as to the notion of controversy which, according to Bruno Latour, can be seen as an agent that leads towards public debate. 

Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez is an independent curator, living and working in Paris. She graduated in comparative literature and history of art at the University of Ljubljana, and obtained her Master degree in theory of art at the EHESS in Paris. As a curator, Petrešin-Bachelez worked in Paris at the Centre Pompidou, Jeu de Paume, Le Plateau/FRAC Ile-de-France, Paris Photo, and between 2010 and 2012 was co-director of Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers. From 2006 she is co-organising the seminar Something You Should Know at the EHESS in Paris, with Patricia Falguières, Elisabeth Lebovici and Hans Ulrich Obrist. Among other projects, she collaborated as a curator with the Lyon Biennial (2007) and curated exhibitions for Gallery Škuc, Ljubljana (2004), Living Art Museum, Reykjavik (2006), De Appel, Amsterdam (2007), Transmediale, Berlin (2008), Mala galerija, Ljubljana (2010), ICI, New York (2012). Since 2011 she has been appointed as the chief editor of the Manifesta Journal.

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