This new discipline - which I call social sculpture - can realize the future of humankind. It could be a guarantee for the evolution of the earth as a planet, establish conditions for other planetarians too, and you can control it with your own thinking. Joseph Beuys
„Being an artist means taking an active role in society“, says Marija Mitrovic, student of classical piano from Montenegro. During her semestre abroad at the Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf, she developed a transmediale performance that represents an utopian social (dis)order and questions our identity. Who do we want to be in relation to the world we live in?
What was the main idea behind your project?
Everything in the present has to be transformed and since I became tired of daydreaming, I decided to try to make what I was missing – a model of working society rather than a dysfunctional one like the one we live in at the moment – by trying to make an artwork in that manner.
Homocordia Disapiens is an artwork of/for humanity in which dissociated processes of the world and our minds become interconnected. Already the title (originates from ‚Homo sapiens‘ and ‚Concordia(harmony) Discors (disharmony)‘) considers a human as multifaceted being with powerful contradictions in its behavior. These contradictions – presented in juxta position – give us a real power, power to make a choice, from the specter of choices we have as a possibility.
Except that, it is clear that we are in a crisis of collaboration in general (egoism) – therefore this project should not be consumed as an absolute and passive art performance. Instead, it includes a social dimension of participation by initiating space which is giving room to walk and think through the installations or other medias serving as an opening of a continuous exchange or unity between audience, creators and performers.
This triangle, our short-term community, serves as a model of society that doesn’t have pre-existing rules and structures. Through this artwork, I desperately wanted to create a social situation starting from the state of tabula rasa, so that could impact other human minds to be active, to react, interact, rethink or reconnect. This impact could be manifested through inner thinking processes or mutual interaction, doesn’t matter, the only thing I wanted to achieve was – a move in whatever possible way.
How was the Performance, held on the 24th of July 2019 structured?
What I found is that people are constantly worried and spending a lot of time in stressful situations. One of these situations, unfortunately, are even concert halls and cultural institutions because they usually require a certain way of behaving, seating, smiling, talking and minimum amount of intuition and spontaneity. For the night of performance, I wanted to transform classical institutional hall into the space for creative discussion and free interactions but still keeping a specific level of attention. I didn’t want any person in a hall to feel irrelevant, so art was there for people to make things, together.
The Performance was devided into 4 units, in which each of the units symbolizes a part of my reflection concerning human relationships:
INTRODUCTION – IDENTITY: participants names are going into a loop and are heard on speakers + short videos of interviews with citizen with different nationality, sexuality, personality — In the social system we are living in, our identities are lost or we constantly live in fear to show our own real ones.
PART I – INTERACTION: 5 audio-visual installations, each made for 2-4 persons to use, connect, make a dialogue, interact — In the social system and time of excessive use of social media we are living in, real communication is suddenly lost.
PART II – REVELATION: critical silent movie followed by composition performed by an ensemble in realtime — In the social system we are living in, humen are stuck in lack of awareness.
PART III – MUTATION: light installation interacting with circular positioned musicians and with audience in the middle of the hall — In the social system we are living in, fast change is urgently needed.
How did you experience the process of working together with so many artists?
If we take a look on Homocordia Disapiens as a final artistic product – it could be perceived as an interesting transmedial interactive performance, but what I experienced was a specific social situation; a constantly changeable social situation within diverse collective and different creative processes.
The eclectic idea of the project required diversity of artistic fields. The main project crew was made by a group of 8 persons coming from different artistic fields and with different mindsets. Every person understands human behavior, concept of identity and social interaction in authentic way. So adapting these 8 personalities to think and create in similar direction and to function as one system/organism was a quite exiting and inspiring process. It was an active and diverse collective creating followed by the same subject matter. Through working on installations, sound, image, light and stage design we created specific social and self-reflecting situations out of nothing. I had the feeling that these 2 months we lived a real small but powerful community which we were supposed to make working right so we were constantly influenced, moved, inspired and willing to learn from each other in different ways.
Me, as an Erasmus montenegrian student following a strict german system who never experienced role of directing such a big project, imagined an easy slow process of building up the concept with the constant flow, but it was not simple as that. I wanted an equal treatment and creative freedom of every participant but that was not possible. So the project culminated in negative direction and the day before the final performance, the participants were confused and totally unsure if the project could be realized at all. I understood how, actually, everyone expected an clear authority and felt afraid of too much freedom. It’s something we’ve got from educational institutions where we usually supposed to do what Main says and rarely get a task to for example, freely create our „homeworks“.
After the performance – how do you reflect the result?
This project was an experiment for me, a social experiment, in search for liberal democracy within different artists from different fields with different mindsets while creating, what unfortunately, couldn't be totally achieved yet.
I wanted to evoke a post-conventional perception, I wanted everyone to experience a situation ‚out of box‘ and out of comfort zone. I wanted that everyone finally gets a space to speak and breath freely without fear of not getting enough credits from educational institutions. Through suddenly being putted in a 2 months time limited situation where 27 (mostly) unknown persons are working on the same multimedia project on very delicate subject of human; we met ourselves more with some (until now) undiscovered strong and weak points. We gave ourselves a ‘room’ to change and evolve. So except collective processes we experienced even many personal inner conflicts.
"How do you mean I can do however I imagine?"
"Hey, in this interview you asked me to do about myself, what am I supposed to say?"
"How do you mean I don't need to watch conductor in this part at all?"
"I can do whatever I want with this recordings? Really? Are you sure?"
"When you say free, does that mean free as in pop band or to sound like free but on the same harmony?"
"No, they can't 'follow the intuition!' They have to stay in d - flat major or chaos will happen." Participants
That night we created an artwork full of interaction, connections, diversity, thoughts, creative energy, touch, sound and laugh; that night we created specific social (dis)order as a reflection of our personal inner developments and conflicts, mutual shared and invested energy and huge inspiration and motivation at the same time.