Bojana Cvejic & Ana Vujanovic (ed. by TkH)

Public Sphere by Performance

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The book Public Sphere by Performance results from a two-year research project Performance and the Public that Ana Vujanović, Bojana Cvejić and Marta Popivoda carried out in 2011 and 2012, during the residency of TkH (Walking Theory) platform (Belgrade) at Les Laboratoires d’Aubervillier. The part of the research of Marta Popivoda gave rise to the documentary film Yugoslavia: How Ideology Moved Our Collective Body.

b_books (in cooperation with co-publisher: Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers)

Thepoint of departure for this research is the recurrent problem of the public: the eclipse of the public sphere throughout the twentieth century as a markerof                              the crisis of representative democracy. The theoretical and political perspectivesof this transdisciplinary research stem from the discontinuous                                  experiences  of participation in the public sphere in  former socialist Yugoslavia and contemporary Western neoliberalism.The authors propose an                                  analysis of and discussion about the public - and  its discontents - through several models of mass, collective, and self-performances, such as social                              drama andsocial  choreography. In numerous collaborations  with artists,  theoreticians, and activists in 2011, they have closely observed transversal                                  social,  artistic, and cultural artifacts and  practices: movements, images,laws, habits, and discourses.

"There are few questions as politically pressing as that of  the public - who it is, what it desires, and perhaps more crucially, who wants to destroy it in the name of                          neoliberal privatisation and the “order”  imposed by the state’s own image of a ‘public’  mobilised against its own people. By addressing the question of the public                          through the prism of performance, Bojana Cvejić and Ana Vujanović acutely outline the past, present and future of the ‘public’ in an era when all of  its                          supports—the welfare state, a strong image of  democracy, collective movements—have been marginalised or destroyed." Nina Power, senior  lecturer in philosophy at Roehampton University, London.                      

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