Kastracijski stroji/English

Iz Wikivira, proste knjižnice besedil v javni lasti
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Castration Machines
Theatre and Art in the Nineties
Boris Pintar in Jana Pavlič
Izdano: (COBISS)
Dovoljenje: Green copyright.svg To delo je objavljeno s pisnim dovoljenjem avtorja, pod pogoji licence CreativeCommons Priznanje avtorstva-Deljenje pod enakimi pogoji 3.0.
Stopnja obdelave: 75%.svg To besedilo je v celoti pregledano, vendar se v njem še najdejo posamezne napake.
Izvozi v formatu: EPUB silk icon.svg epub      Mobi icon.svg mobi      Pdf by mimooh.svg pdf      Farm-Fresh file extension rtf.png rtf      Text-txt.svg txt

Boris Pintar, a philosopher and a sociologist, is an author of essays and a writer. From 1992 to 1996 he was the manager of the international theatre and dance program at the Cankarjev Dom cultural centre in Ljubljana and a member of the artistic board of the Exodos contemporary performing arts festival in Ljubljana.

Jana Pavlič graduated in comparative literature and French at Ljubljana University. She works as a translator, essayist and dramaturg and leads Center for performance research DELAK in Ljubljana. Between 1995 and 1997 she was counselor for performing arts of the minister of culture of Slovenia.

On the Cover
Ivo Godnič as hermaphrodite Lily in Ernst Toller's play Hinkemann, directed by Eduard Miler, staged by the Slovensko mladinsko gledališče (Theatre Mladinsko) in Ljubljana October 29th 1999, in a remake of Wilhelm Reich's orgon accumulator, costumes by Leo Kulaš, make-up Barbara Pavlin, photo Andrej Prijatelj, Ljubljana October 15th 2000

Design J.E.S.U.S. Ajaks, AJAX Studio


In 1784, Luigi Galvani discovered that electric current causes frogs' muscles to contract. Today, we know that the functioning of the muscles is controlled by weak electric impulses travelling from the brain via nerves. In 1864, James Clerk Maxwell developed a theory on electromagnetic waves, which represents the basis of radiophonics. In 1888, Heinrich Hertz discovered radio waves, a rapidly oscillating electromagnetic field, and, in 1895, Guglielm Marconi built the first radio receiver. In 1897, Nikola Tesla guided a ship by radio waves from a distance of several kilometers. The progress of science changes attitudes towards the body. The age of electricity saw the development of electronic manipulation of the body, making it possible to use electric impulses in the brain under the pretence of an accident. If electric impulses, shooting through the neurons while we are dreaming, are replaced by impulses of the encephalovideo, dreams can be transmitted to the sleeping. Dream interpreting psychoanalysis turns into a dream implanting psychosynthesis.

Max Weber’s fear that the rational bureaucratic organization, which places all power in the hands of the bureaucrats, might prove ineffective in times of crisis since bureaucrats are not qualified for initiative and decision-making and consequently operate in favour of the capital, turned out to be well-founded. While according to Weber the solution to the problem would be parliament and public control of bureaucratic organizations, the contemporary bureaucratic apparatus controls the public instead. Christopher Lasch's analysis of the narcissistic character of consumer society holds true primarily for its power elite. Social power is concentrated within bureaucratic organizations which function on the principle of secret services and indirectly maintain the dependence of more than half the population, thus turning democratic apparatuses into a soap opera. Centres of power organize the scientific elite, but their notions of Good and Evil are not subject to public reflection. The contemporary elite believes it has been chosen, and it believes in the sense-lessness of the people - the antithesis of the 18th century Enlightenment, which with its social reforms enabled the formation of the scientific elite. The contemporary elite no longer has an insight into the totality of the sociological, humanistic and technical sciences, unlike during the Enlightenment.

Despite all the splits, the Western world is governed by Christian regulation of sexual economy. Bourgeois morals seemingly place sexuality within the field of privacy in order to protect family values on the one hand and sexual fulfillment on the other. Deviant sexual practices remain conspiratory ‑ either sanctioned or privileged. When covert homosexuality or forced bisexuality is/becomes a measure of recruitment to top positions in secret organizations of power, the sexual orientation of the elite is no longer a private question but a political one. The culture of disclosure ‑ publicly parading the subconscious of individuals ‑ will also have to face the transparency of the elite's sexual orientation in order to preserve social consensus. The homosexual elite justifies itself as the ultimate possible system with a motto of ubiquitous bisexuality that further justifies public preservation of the heterosexual family as the basis of social reproduction as well as accelerating the secret expansion of homosexual prostitution. Covert homosexuality is approved by the heterosexual majority, by straight partners of homosexuals who consider it a success of the dominant socialization, and finally by the covert homosexuals themselves, who are rewarded with social respectability and privileges. Concentration of covert homosexuality within the structure of power has similar effects on society as irrational religious or nationalistic tendencies. An organization that posseses all the power functions cynically and clandestinely promotes conflicts that prevent the formation of a rival power. The result of such seemingly rational organization is massive bodily and intellectual prostitution, physical and psychological violence and the use of catastrophes as market stimuli. The covert homosexual elite justifies itself through hatred of the openly homosexual population, who are used as the subject in experiments on how heterosexuality is nothing more than the result of socialization and psychological development. Breaking homosexuals' limbs as a form of symbolic castration, and staged murders intended to evoke feelings of guilt, which aim to trigger the re-structuring of the subjects' unconscious fixation, remind us of the chairs used for torturing witches. Psychotherapy that is more interested in its share of the market than in social changes continues the tradition of religious wars. By propagating tragedies of the privileged, the yellow media maintain the social pact. The mechanism that could protect modern society from discrimination is the use of positive discrimination according to gender and sexual orientation when selecting cadres for the leading positions in the centres of power.

Art is a characteristic approach to the symptom: either as an unconscious circling around the symptom or as its conceptualization. In the first case, artistic form hides the symptom yet the symptom escapes in the form of symbols, in the role of women and in the form of inconceivable pain. In the second case, it answers the question of how to exist with the pain.

Boris Pintar

Translated by Mojca Krevel

I. Jana Pavlič: Prologue[uredi]

1. A Fragment of History[uredi]

Without a doubt, Slovenia represents one of the greatest theatrical mysteries of Europe. For big nations unacquainted with the autonomous governmental status of Yugoslavia’s federal republics[2], Slovenian theatrical art of the last eight decades has been veiled by the misleading front of the Yugoslav theatre. In the Hapsburg Monarchy that ruled the Slovenian territory for 600 years, Slovenian theatre was left to the sole care of Slovenians themselves – and of Viennese censors. The first and perhaps only major change that followed Slovenia's declaration of independence and the founding of the first independent Slovenian state in 1991, was external rather than internal in character: Slovenia and Slovenian art raised interest abroad. Despite dating back a thousand years, then, the term "Slovenian art" (and related notions such as that of "Slovenian theatre") only became international ten years ago.

Moreover, the West has generated its own image of the East - a cliché incongruent with actual reality. Aggravated by inaccurate geographical and historical knowledge, it has sprung from certain political manipulations, especially those of the big countries lulled by the comforting thought of belonging to grand nations - intangible and eternal monuments per se. Another cliché is that of isolation. Slovenia could hardly be defined as an isolated state, or one shielded from the influence of western mass and media cultures. From a geographical viewpoint alone, it represents a meeting-point of three European linguistic and cultural foundations - the Slavic, Germanic and Latin (and additionally borders Hungary). In the course of history, the Slovenian capital Ljubljana established itself as a multicultural centre, which is clearly reflected in the city’s architecture; it intertwines the Italian and German Baroque, the Austrian Biedermeier, and the Slavic variant of the Jugendstil and the Secession. In the 1920s and 30s, this natural openness was transformed due to the rise of Nazism in Germany and Austria, and that of Italian Fascism. Bordering Italy and Austria, Slovenia was fiercely exposed to this problem, and took to the process naturally initiated after the Spring of Nations: it leaned upon its Slavic neighbours in the Balkan south, and spiritually upon the Slavic world in general.

As one of the most important centres of the Noricum province, Emona (the Roman name for Ljubljana) probably had its own amphitheatre. The history of Slovenian theatre is closely linked to that of Slovenian literature and drama. The beginnings of Slovenian literature go back to the end of the 10th century - to the Freising Manuscripts, the oldest preserved writings in the Slovenian language. From the Middle Ages till the start of the Baroque period, four different languages were used on the territory of today's Slovenia - Slovenian, Latin, Italian and German. At the end of the Baroque, Latin ceased to be used as a public language, with the other three remaining till the end of World War One when Italian and German were replaced by Serbo-Croatian, only to return in World War Two. Slovenian thus acquired the status of exclusive official (and theatrical) language as late as after World War Two. The earliest elements of stage expression on Slovenian territory can be found in Christian liturgy - in Latin liturgical dramas of the 15th century. Performance in Slovenian, however, began at a much earlier date - in various forms of folk farce. The 17th century saw the emergence of the first German and Italian troupes (both travelling and residential), especially those of Italian opera singers. The Slovenian language first appeared on stage in Jesuit plays of the 17th century, which already combined secular and religious themes; the role of the devil, for instance, was often incorporated in the vernacular Pavliha character - the Slovenian equivalent of Scaramouche, Harlequin, or Hanswurst. In the same period, the Capuchin fraternity Redemptoris mundi was founded; boasting magnificent direction, acting, scenery and costumes, their performances - or rather processions ‑ depicted the Way of the Cross and other Biblical subjects. The third essential religious genre of the Slovenian Baroque theatre was the passion play. The most important are the Carinthian passions, and The Slovenian Passion (1721) by Friar Romuald (+ 1748), also known as The Škofja Loka Passion, after the town of Škofja Loka where it was staged. It required more than 300 performers, with the text comprising 1,000 Slovenian verses, several German passages, and instructions for direction. The theatre world of the Baroque was also marked by folk improvisation, traditional medieval religious plays, Jesuit school theatre, Italian opera, and the beginnings of German bürgerliches Trauerspiel (domestic tragedy). Jesuit plays and Capuchin processions, including The Škofja Loka Passion, were performed until 1773, when Empress Maria Theresa officially forbade their staging, allegedly because they caused too much disturbance among the population.

The course of Slovenian drama takes a historic turn at the end of the 18th century, when the spirit of the time was inspired by a circle of cosmopolitan intellectuals, advocates of Enlightenment thought and the French Revolution. They gathered around the famous historical figure, Baron Žiga Zois (1747 - 1819), the richest Slovenian of that period as well as a great mentor and patron of explorers and literati, including the playwright Anton Tomaž Linhart (1756 - 1795). Under Zois's progressive influence, A.T. Linhart wrote This Happy Day or Matiček is Getting Married (1790), modelled after La folle journée ou le Mariage de Figaro by Beaumarchais. Censorship prevented the work from being publicly staged, and the comedy saw its premiere as late as after the March Revolution in 1849. As opposed to most Slovenian dramatic texts that followed, Matiček excels in the delightful wittiness of the elegant, elaborate utterances of its protagonists, who also represent a wide range of social strata, from high nobility to simple farmers. As a cosmopolitan and an advocate of Enlightenment ideas, A.T. Linhart was highly-familiar with a variety of theatre praxes. Influenced by the Sturm und Drang, he also wrote Miss Jenny Love (1780) - a bizarre Shakespearean tragedy in the German language, and another comedy, The Mayor’s Daughter (1789).

In the early 19th century, Romance gaiety was smothered by Germanic oppression. Strict censorship was introduced by Metternich's absolutism, and Slovenian became a language less welcome in public life than it had ever been before. The oppressive atmosphere could not even be lightened by the brief enthusiasm over the Illyrian Provinces (1809 - 1813) and the French authorities that supported the wish for Slovenian autonomy. Such conditions gave rise to subtle, introverted Romantic poetry, especially that of Dr. France Prešeren (1800 - 1849). Despite continuously promising a great tragedy, the greatest Slovenian poet never wrote one. The Romantic theatrical scene generally consisted of German troupes offering a classic repertoire (Lessing, Schiller, Goethe, Shakespeare, Molière, Goldoni). In addition to the cessation of Italian influence, the French retreat was also followed by the disappearance of Slovenian theatrical creativity. Theatrical activities became somewhat more lively after the March Revolution, but were again suppressed by Bach's absolutism. In fact, the Slovenian theatre began to rise again as late as after the introduction of the constitutional monarchy - more precisely, with the foundation of the Ljubljana Drama Society in 1867. Also of considerable importance was the Slovenian Drama Society in Trieste, which performed in a number of Trieste theatre houses. The Fenice Theatre, for instance, recorded almost 2,000 Slovenian visitors to their productions during the 1889 season.

Slovenian theatre and drama returned in full bloom after 1892, when the Ljubljana Drama Society acquired a new building - the Regional Theatre, and the dramatist Ivan Cankar (1876 - 1918) appeared. Until the erection of Kaiser Franz Joseph Jubilaums Theater (Emperor Franz Joseph’s Jubilee Theatre) in 1911, the stage of the Regional Theatre was shared by both Slovenian and German ensembles. Lasting until the end of World War One, the time of Cankar's artistic creativity is also referred to as the Cankar Period. Cankar was the first to overcome the theatrical passivity of the 19th century, generated by fear for the Slovenian nation and its language in the captivity of the Hapsburg Monarchy, the "dungeon of nations". Like his novels, short stories and sketches, his dramas are superb literary works, dealing with the problems of art and its maker at the turn of the century; at the thought of the world being abandoned by God, the artist is filled by a mixture of delight and horror, interpreting the outbreak of World War One as a dark omen ‑ Minerva’s owl setting out at twilight. His dramatic work marks the beginning of a proper, integrated theatrical art after the void of the 19th century. The significance of Cankar also lies in the fact that he initiated the search for different staging concepts; from their premieres onwards, his dramas imposed great directional challenges.

After the end of World War One, which saw the founding of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croatians and Slovenians, professional Slovenian theatre houses were named Slovenian national theatres and also started their own theatre schools. The most important Slovenian theatre centres were Trieste, Ljubljana and Maribor. In the first half of the 20th century, the development of Slovenian acting was primarily influenced by two leading actresses of the stage - the Slovenian Marija Vera (1881 - 1954) and the Russian Marija Nablocka (1890 - 1969). The former was a professor of artistic speech at the Ljubljana acting academy, AGRFT, and the first Slovenian theatre directress. Having received her education in the German school of acting, she co-operated with Max Reinhard and performed on all the eminent European stages with renowned actors of that time (e. g. Joseph Kainz, and Alexander Moissi in St. Petersburg). The latter came from the Soviet Union in the early twenties, and brought the experience of Russian and Soviet theatres, as well as the acting style of the MHAT. The most notable directors of that time were Osip Šest (1893 - 1962), Bratko Kreft (1905 - 1996), Ferdinand Delak (1906 - 1968), and Bojan Stupica (1910 - 1970). They were initiators of director’s theatre, and authors of prominent theoretical texts on theatre art and direction. The most important was Ferdinand Delak. His directional approach was based on elaborate auto-poetics reflecting the historical avant-gardes of Constructivism, Futurism and Bauhaus. Having travelled in Europe (Vienna, Berlin, Paris, Prague) from 1927 till 1933, he created his most important works in the 1930s as artistic director of The Worker's Stage in Ljubljana, an independent theatre company, which also produced notable performances of modern dance theatre - a genre which influenced the stratification of Slovenian stage arts.

2. New Times - New Systems[uredi]

After the Second World War, the aesthetics of the Slovenian theatre soon split into those of the national theatres and of their antipodes - small theatres devoted to theatrical experimentation. The latter dealt with new variants of dramatic theatre generated by the young generation of playwrights or with modern stage expression without words - as influenced by Brecht, Grotowski, Living Theatre, Brook, non-European theatre, new readings of Artaud, Craig, Meyerhold, Appia, and Stanislavsky.

The most stirring periods were the 1960s and 1970s, with experimental aesthetics entering national theatres as enforced by the new generation of directors. This movement’s most important member was Mile Korun (1928 -), who embodied a clearly modernist theatre conceptualism. He was the first Slovenian to face the challenge of contemporary Anglo-American as well as European dramatic texts, and also sought to reinterpret the classical and Slovenian authors. One of his most important stagings was that of Cankar's The Scandal in St. Florian's Valley (1965), with its influence reaching far into the 1980s.

In the meantime, small independent stages continued to explore the latest trends –theatre happenings, ritual theatre, theatre of cruelty, theatre of panic, physical theatre. Perhaps due to its strong connection to contemporary drama, the most significant experimental theatre company was the Stage 57 (1957 - 1964), which during the seven years of its existence staged as many as 13 premieres of works by young Slovenian dramatists, the most prominent being Gregor Strniša (1930 - 1987), Dane Zajc (1929 -), Dominik Smole (1929 - 1992), Primož Kozak (1929 - 1981) and Vitomil Zupan (1914 - 1987). They were soon joined by the members of the youngest generation active on other small stages - Dušan Jovanović (1939 -), Ivo Svetina (1948 -), Milan Jesih (1950 -), Emil Filipčič (1951 -) - most of them renowned poets as well. Influenced by Sartre, Beckett, Anouilh, Ionesco and Anglo-American playwrights of the 1960s and 1970s, they produced important dramas intertwining nihilism, existentialism, the absurd, and ludism. The most characteristic dramatic form of that time was poetical drama – a specific product of Slovenian literary modernism.

The end of the 1960s saw the rise of another powerful generation of theatre directors; having begun their creative work unrecognized by established institutions, they soon entered them and introduced radical changes. The most important were Ljubiša Ristić (1947 -), Meta Hočevar (1942 -), Janez Pipan (1956 -), and the director and playwright Dušan Jovanović (1939 -); active in the Mladinsko Theatre at the end of the 1970s, they established the foundation for the experimental polygon of new theatrical forms. Based on the fatal encounter of politics and art, their performances as well as their concept of organization focussed on the relationship between polis and theatre.

In the second half of the 1980s, theatre institutions were stormed by the brilliant works of three young directors: Dragan Živadinov’s The Baptism under Triglav (1986), Vito Taufer’s Alice in Wonderland (1986), and Tomaž Pandur’s Sheherezade (1989). Following the modernist school of Mile Korun, the praxis of political theatre as enforced by the Mladinsko Theatre, and their own singular interpretations of the basic dramatic works of the 20th century, the theatrical individualism of the three directors exerted a decisive influence throughout the nineties.

In the 1980s, Ljubljana was deafened by a cultural explosion. "The last Moscow metro station", as defined by some, changed from a small provincial town into a capital of alternative and subcultures, giving shelter to the marginal, the wronged, the ostracised. The eternal spirit of revolution sparked a confrontation with the state – a fight for one’s own rights and, romantically, for those of the nameless and demeaned. By committed actions for the installment of civil society, Slovenian punk, gay[3], and other "outraging" movements forcibly obtained their own space in the drowsy province traditionally intimidated by everything unusual, eccentric, or connected with unofficial interpretations of art and culture.[4]

In the whirlpool of creative passion, the theatre acted like a grand conqueror of grand stages, and even ceased to consider itself theatre. Directors proclaimed themselves constructors of a united art - innovators with their stages shifting from theatre halls to the state itself. How should the state be conquered, and transmuted into an artistic one? they ask. By evoking great utopians like Meyerhold, Tairov, Craig, Appia, and Artaud, the theatre declared itself a utopia capable of changing the world and the state -- a concept powerful enough to place Slovenia onto the map of Europe, and make Ljubljana a capital of culture; one able to fascinate, seduce, and conquer. The new art was created by the generation born in the early sixties, as the art of the seventies had been made by the fifties generation. The buzz-words of the day included provocation, demolition of the established order, of the institution and the state; manifestos, concepts, new Slovenian art, new Acropolis, new Europe, and new Slovenia. The year 1990 indeed saw the transformation of the state.

Ljubljana became an important cultural centre, with the euphoria of the eighties continuing into the next decade. In the theatre, the explosion of aesthetics, strategies and artistic tactics was in full sway. There were great themes, and great stories: Dr. Faustus, Divina commedia, prayer machines, and confrontations of the artist with the state. Searching for new possibilities were Tomaž Pandur, Dragan Živadinov, Vito Taufer, Marko Peljhan, Emil Hrvatin, Vlado Repnik, Bojan Jablanovec, Matjaž Berger, Matjaž Pograjc - all students of the Academy for Theatre, Radio, Film and Television (AGRFT),[5] the only Slovenian institution of this kind. In less than a decade, the eighties generation radically transformed the Slovenian theatre system and tackled the established conventions of that time, offering new interpretations, forms and models. Theatre art opened to explore its borders, internal laws, and connections with philosophy and high technology. It focussed on the body as well as on the new principles of dramaturgy, direction, and montage that emerged at the end of the century, culminating in zero gravity theatre - in the real cosmos.

Despite its aesthetic diversity, the art of that period did not gain support in terms of organization and finance. Despite the scarcity of financial aid, magnificent, technically demanding projects were realised, with their authors compelled to seek international recognition and battle with the state. The superhuman efforts, however, took their toll. The mid-nineties saw the collapse, or rather, the destruction of the titanic era, which could also be viewed as a general symptom of the global prevalence of a neo-liberal capitalist mentality. Political scheming[6] and selfish interests hampered those heading state institutions; independent production, however, retired into intimacy after wasting too much of its creative energy in bureaucratic strongholds, fighting for recognition and financial means.

Since the early 1980s, Ljubljana has been considering building a Centre for Contemporary Art to fill the gap in the cultural infrastructure and provide highly professional work to all artists uninterested in or hindered from entering the theatrical institutions of the state and developing individualist aesthetics, strategies and praxes.

The Slovenian system of theatre organization was inherited from Austria-Hungary with regional theatres (Landstheater). Since 1945, when they began to be almost exclusively financed by the state and confirmed the aesthetic principles and art theatre of Stanislavsky, Slovenian theatres have seen no major changes, except a growth in number. After 1945, two professional repertoire dramatic theatres with permanent ensembles and staff (in Ljubljana and Maribor) were joined by others, for a total of ten nationwide, and one in Trieste sponsored by the Italian government; two of them are dedicated to puppets, concentrating almost exclusively on young audiences; and two operas and ballets. As state institutions, all these theatres are part of a firmly established and quite obsolete system governing the so-called public “cultural institutions”. Their theatre programmes consist exclusively of their own productions, reaching an average of six premieres per season - the quantity necessary to guarantee the support of the Ministry of Culture.

An exception is the Mladinsko Theatre, one of the aforementioned ten state theatres, which managed to achieve the unofficial status of non-repertory theatre (and not exclusively for drama), following its own specific artistic course from the end of the 1970s. Within a chaotic system, it attempts to chart its own artistic path, seeking to enable unconventional directors to carry out their research with the aid of an acting ensemble ready to face a variety of challenges. Thus, by the mid-nineties, the Mladinsko Theatre realized several productions that would not have been possible anywhere else. In the creative space of the Mladinsko, the aforementioned directors have recently been joined by younger colleagues who, by means of individualistic artistic methods, explore the as yet undiscovered theatrical horizon reaching from pure drama to total abstraction. For the last twenty years, Cankarjev dom, a Cultural and Congress Centre - a vast public institution chiefly of the distributional type - has helped to fill the lack of a suitable production structure for contemporary stage art by producing research projects that venture beyond classic theatre into new technologies and territories of hybrid, non-mimetic scene events. In the thirty years of its existence, a small private theatrical structure, the Glej Theatre, established itself as a nexus for the most unconventional, non-theatrical young authors. In the 1990s, it was transformed into a space for theatrical research taken over by individualist members of the seventies generation without artistic restraints. Fascinated by pop-culture, they create performances, sometimes verging on amateurism, that reflect the spirit of new urban anthropological phenomena. Sociologically speaking, their work may best depict the atmosphere of "fin de siecle". Taking a slight distance, they play with the image of a new "lost generation".

The new legal regulation of culture enforced in 1994 provides an opportunity for state and private cultural structures acting in the public interest to gain equal status, but the law remains ignored by the cultural politics enforced by the Ministry of Culture. Thus, the status of private theatrical institutions has seen virtually no changes since their emergence in the early 1980s. The state and local communities still favour the institutions they themselves founded, and are unable to initiate suitable action for a reform that would also dispense with the very outdated cultural politics of the state itself, which assigns independent artists marginal positions, and perceives new independent structures as suspicious. At the same time, it threatens a reckless reform of state theatre institutions by dispensing with regularly employed administration staff - thus offering an alternative of Scylla and Charybdis.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, Slovenian theatre has been split into two parallel worlds: the official, legitimate plane of the theatrical institution, and that of rebellious iconoclasts demanding new forms and systems. It generally takes about 20 years for the latter to force their way into the institution - to be themselves targeted as they mature.

We could also not talk of a national distribution network in Slovenia. With non-drama theatre forms virtually non-existent, or at least extremely rare till the nineteen eighties, the old distribution network of national theatres which (at least superficially) met all demands so far, proved entirely inappropriate when experimentation become the predominant theatrical expression of the next decade. Moreover, the Yugoslavian festival network, along with its openness that helped cover the drawbacks of local distribution, no longer existed.

The 1990s gave rise to a generation of young directors (Janežič, Horvat, Novakovič) relying on tactics different than those of their forerunners in the 1980s. It is likely that the fate of their older colleagues who, inspired by the idea of eternal revolution, wished to change the world, but remained stuck in the rigidity of the system, led them to make use of intimate strategies. Their work appears more secretive, slow-paced and distant, and their art introverted and fairly shy. We thus witness the co-existence of two strikingly different generations - those of the 1980s and the 1990s - who share the same marginal position with regard to the privileged institution, a state of affairs generating tension and conflict. The situation is forever on the brink of crisis. The pathological narcissism of the new governing structures in power alienates them from art with content. The prevailing neoliberal strains result in garish images without content - cosmetics covering the actual situation. The danger for art does not arise from the omnipresence of populist trends, but from the absence of cultural politics, and from the refusal of public officials to take responsibility and interfere, intimidated as they are by the negative experience of one-party monotheism, which totally abused its right to exert influence upon any sphere.

The consequences are not entirely tragic, as yet, but there is a sense of foreboding in the air. There must be some kind of short circuit present between the author and the user or agent. Similarly, the high concentration and quality of new, non-dramatic forms of stage art, haunting Slovenian culture as a kind of unwelcome phantasm, is not very far from the symptom sensed by Ivan Cankar at the beginning of the 20th century: searching for affirmation in his home ground, the Slovenian artist will tragically slip under, suffocated by alienation trauma. In theatre, the most ephemeral of arts, this outcome becomes even more probable, as posthumous recognition is not to be expected.

Translated by Urška Zajec

II. Boris Pintar: Castration Machines[uredi]

0. Medea[7][uredi]


The following text analyzes the pretension of some contemporary theatre events to function as symbolic castration machines. The dispute regarding symbolic castration - the Oedipus complex - reached its culmination in the 1970s. One side claimed that pathological narcissism and pan-sexuality were a consequence of the permissiveness of the consumer society, since genital sexuality is a result of the consequence of the solved Oedipus complex in the process of socialization (Lacan, Lasch). The other side defended the position that the desire to create is not merely oedipal and that normality is a variable notion of the social contract, where truth is still bound to power (Deleuze, Guattari, Foucault). Institutions of power empirically confirmed the oedipal hypothesis, although the real experimental proof of the notion that regressive sexuality is in fact a consequence of a disavowed castration in childhood would be the symbolic castration of an adult. Using three theatre events, we will demonstrate how theatre can function as a castration machine, the logic of which is connected to the logic of the chair for torturing witches to confess to witchcraft.

The Science of Sexus

With Freud's 1899 study The Interpretation of Dreams (Traumdeutung), sexuality steps into the center of scientific interest in the 20th century – the aim is to verbalize, explain and analyze pleasure people have been indulging in for millennia, without really knowing why. Before the Second World War, psychoanalysis went in many different directions. Reich, for example, who with his program of sexual liberation of the working class later influenced the sexual revolution in the sixties, spoke in favor of sexual liberation. He designed the accumulator of orgone energy - the cosmological sexual energy, a huge metal box into which a patient was put. Energy transmitted into the patient reestablished capability for orgasms, lost due to neurosis. Fear of Nazism brought him to the United States where his production of orgone accumulators and therapy landed him in prison in 1957. He died in prison soon afterwards and his orgone accumulators were destroyed. Others, Lacan among them, established that sexual fulfillment is imaginary since the reproductive function denies pleasure to the subject. Reich inspired mass movements, whereas Lacan inspired exclusive organizations.

One of the more enigmatic problems of sexuality is homosexuality, which before becoming a subject of scientific research was tolerated in more or less covert forms and social roles. Scientific treatment pushed it into pathology where, if nothing else, it had to at least be explained. The search for a solution to the enigma of the origin of sexual inclination puts psychology and genetics into competition, the two fields meeting in combined theories until a final solution is reached. Freudian psychoanalysis considers homosexuality a consequence of the unsolved Oedipus complex, the disavowing of symbolic castration, which is, with permissiveness, becoming the prevalent model of socialization in post-industrial society. Our aim is to show how the theatre boxes into which the spectators or the actors are put function as castration machines.

On the Ambivalence of the Elites

The stigmatizing of a certain behavior stimulates its conspiratorial organization, the perversity of which may become linearly proportional to public indignation, and covert homosexuality to patriarchal machismo.[8] Homosexuals organize themselves as a threatened group, thus enabling the establishment of an invisible homosexual elite with considerable influence upon life in society. In European metropolises, homosexual sub-culture emerged during the two world wars, first in artistic and entertainment circles where acquisition of the behavior of the opposite sex was tolerated for the production of comical effects. But the Second World War put an end to the socialization of homosexuals as a social group, and Nazism placed homosexuals at the bottom of the scale of social degenerates, despite the fact that homosexuality was present among the highest Nazi leaders. "That was why they [the Nazi elite] cherished everything that could protect them from relating to women and sensuality: "German nation, fatherland, native soil, home village, home town; the jacket (uniform); other men (comrades, superiors, lower ranks); military unit, community, blood-ties; arms, hunting, combat; animals (especially horses)."[9]

After the war, homosexuals did not receive the same rehabilitation as the rest of the oppressed. At the end of the 20th century, however, the homosexual way of living is increasingly gaining the status of an acceptable form of Western family life. Anthropologists discovered the same phenomenon in some primitive societies and among American Indians, where a male homosexual could assume the female role in society and live with another man. In Ancient Greece, socially distinguished homosexuality was not a form of family life, but an erotic bond between an older male teacher and a boy-student. Such relations were prescribed; relationships between boys were prohibited, as was female homosexuality, since the social role of women was to take care of the family.

The relationship of the homosexual elite towards homosexuality is ambivalent: on one hand, it uses its influence to support the tolerance of homosexuality and homosexuals (visible, semi-visible and invisible) in society, which is typical of all communities of interest; but on the other hand, such free choice would undermine the reason for its organizing and its privileges.[10] Heterosexual socialization provides invisibility for the homosexual elite and for that reason the homosexual elite cooperates in the heterosexual socialization of homosexuals. Cases of violence against homosexuals are not just restricted to violence inflicted by the heterosexual majority upon the homosexual minority, but also include the violence of homosexuals, who are – visible or invisible - present at all the levels of social stratification. Let us illustrate this relationship with an allegory: if AIDS was an invented word, homosexuals would have invented it.

The modern elite is becoming more and more sophisticated and highly educated, which is the reason for their feeling of superiority over a population with only an average education. The latter are becoming an object of the modern elite's consumption, leisure and study. But at the same time, the elite is becoming more and more unfit for social action, expressing its helplessness in a formula of spontaneity that, it suggests, will resolve today's social problems. Solving problems is a matter of individual environments; the most drastic example is the production of generations that are going to die out, which is how the environments that produced the world's elite gained their prosperity. Universal acquisitions may seem spontaneous to the members of the elite, who never had to take a risk in order to occupy their positions, but the rise of cowards without compassion within the modern elite could ruin the culture. We expect the elite to be capable of brave action, not just of risking the lives of those who are nothing more to the elite than objects of their experiments.

Theory of Pathological Narcissism

American historian and sociologist Christopher Lasch claims that pathological narcissism is the nature of postindustrial society. Lasch enumerates the following chief characteristics of a pathological narcissus: addiction to the unselfish warmth of others, together with fear of that addiction; manipulation with impressions he makes on people he despises; calculated seductiveness; inability to live without an audience that admires him; hunger for self-cognition; nervousness; self-deprecating humor; lack of interest in worldly matters; feelings of emptiness and suppressed rage; and fear of competition. Also typical are an inability to mourn; a possibly unsatisfied oral desire; promiscuity and pansexuality; fear of the castrating mother; dread of old age and death; hypochondria; changed perception of time; obsession with celebrities; loss of spirit of playfulness; and a somewhat poor relationship with the opposite sex.[11]

In his analysis of pathological narcissism, Slavoj Žižek follows the path of Lasch and Lacan: "The basic element of pathological narcissism is a failed integration of Law, represented by the Name-of-the-Father, the fatherly Ego-Ideal, a failed symbolic identification with the Ego-Ideal (which is a result of a "normally" solved Oedipus complex), the replacement of the paternal Ego-Ideal with a pre-Oedipal "sado-masochistic", "anal", "maternal" superego."[12]

A few pages later, Žižek writes: "Lasch's greatest merit is in showing that the cult of "authenticity", the cult of free development of the "great Ego", free of "masks" and "repressive" rules is nothing but a form of its opposite, the pre-Oedipal addiction, and that the only way out of this addiction is through identification with a certain de-center, foreign, to the Ego external instance of the symbolic Law."[13]

Heading Towards the Oedipus Complex – "For those who believe in the Oedipus complex only"[14]

According to Freud, homosexuality and fetishism are a consequence of the unvanquished threat of castration.[15] For Lacan, symbolic castration – Oedipus ‑ is the signifier-master that bars the subject, introduces sexual difference within the symbolic, separates the normal from the pathologic, good from evil.[16] "What analytic experience shows is that, in any case, it is castration that governs desire, whether in the normal or the abnormal."[17] Genitality as a result of the development of child's sexual stadia – oral, anal, phallic, Oedipus complex and latent – does not exist in itself; there are only approximations of Genitality as a consequence of the authoritative Oedipus, totaling the pre-Oedipus polymorph perversity, submitting it to the reproductive function. "Psychoanalysis makes the whole achievement of happiness turn on the genital act."[18] The disavowal of symbolic castration means being cut off from reality. The symptoms of a disavowed castration are correlative to a pathological narcissus: not renouncing one’s own penis as the central organ of narcissistic satisfaction; fear of castration expressed in the obsessive repetition of actions that symbolize castration; accumulation of castrating objects; fetishism of substitutes for the phallus, gaze, voice, movements, sounds, light. "The subject is trying to preserve the phallus of the mother."[19]

In the seventies, the fundamentalism of the psychoanalytical Oedipus was juxtaposed with Deleuze and Guattari's schizo-analysis. "The problem of the socius has always been to encode the fluxes of desire, to inscribe them, to register them, to make sure that no unblocked, unchanneled and unregulated fluxes are flowing."[20]

And they continue: "It is certain that partial objects contain a charge sufficient to blow Oedipus apart and rid it of the stupid pretension that it represents the unconscious, that it triangularly frames the unconscious, that it subordinates the entire desiring production. The question that we may ask in this regard is not the one about the relative importance of what we could call the pre-Oedipus in relation to Oedipus (since the "pre-Oedipus" is still in evolutionary or structural reference to Oedipus). We are talking about a question of the absolute non-Oedipus character of the desiring production."[21]

And conclude with: "The evil has been done, therapy chose to follow the path of Oedipization ‑ all clogged with waste ‑ against schizophrenization that has to heal us from therapy."[22]

Operation of Castration Machines

Symbolic castration is an unconscious operation, whereas associations are the instrument for managing the unconscious. The theatre, with its archaic and vivid relationship between actors and spectators creates more suggestive pictures with a deeper range of memory than film where the flux of events is not interactive. Theatre boxes are machines that with different effects produce the flux of energies evoking in the subject unconscious states, events, and perceptions, while the subject's conscious attention is directed in fascination towards the performance.

"The question to be or not to be phallus, and to have to be phallus without having one - that is how I define the feminine position."[23]

The Course of Falsification of the Analysis

In the first stage, the subject supposedly needing castration (SSC) is brought to the state of love by means of subjects that conform to the Ideal-Ego of the SSC. The object of love acquires the function of the analyst and enables transference, the materialization of the reality of the unconscious - sexual reality. While transference is a means of closing the unconscious, paradoxically, the analyst has to wait for the transference before beginning interpretation.[24] In the second stage, the SSC, who can be a spectator, a performer, a director etc., is put within an environment which engenders castration associations on multiple levels, from direct to transmitted. In this stage, the SSC is subjected to childhood memories, memories of situations possibly responsible for the disavowal of castration and with the symptoms of concealment. By gradually increasing the load, we enfeeble the SSC's defense mechanisms. In the third stage, we stimulate the SSC to analyze himself by means of artificially triggered paranoia, which are enhanced by revealing the objective. The SSC is trapped within a state of narcissistic paranoia, which is the last stage before passage (la passe) – castration. In this stage, the object of the SSC's love rejects the SSC and triggers the destruction of his imaginary world. Projection is followed by introjection and the rise of the symbolic. If not, the fiasco is turned into a joke, made a consequence of the nature of the world. We face the SSC with our limitless superiority and passion for repetition. We give him back a part of his narcissism by incorporating him into the analysis of others. The operation is repeated until success is achieved. Such interruptions of the natural state disturb the perpetuation of the network psychology despite highly developed technology.

"Probably the most interesting and for the Slovene space most specific inhabiting of the space is the creation of parallel "theatre" worlds. "Conceptual constructs" deciding for the "topical" or "optical" principle (Emil Hrvatin) are on one hand a result of Messianism, and on the other hand a utopian project of the post-avant-garde artists for whom their work is not only a mission, but also a test field where the belief of those performing and the perceptive (un)adjustment of the audience are tested."[25]

Architectural constructs and playing with the spectator's view in Dragan Živadinov's theatre events can be understood as a castration machine. In his Drama Observatory Zenit (Ljubljana, 1988), performed inside a railway wagon with a rocket installed in place of the ceiling, the spectators stood at the sides of the wagon. Along the performing space in the middle of the wagon, at the height of their heads, an altar of St. Mary moved on the tracks - a castrating mother associated with decapitation. In this performance, the mimetically luxurious set decoration[26] was based on the homely kitsch that created the space of the cathedral (it was a performance of Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral) in a Slovene kitchen and cowshed. More illustrative symbols of castration can also be found in other Živadinov's performances playing with the spectator's view; in Marija Nablocka (Ljubljana, 1985), the heads of the spectators were caught into the performing surface of the stage upon which the actors moved and put their hands over spectators' eyes. When performing in Edinburgh they used hoods. In Capital (Ljubljana, 1991), the spectators were put into a moving box that with each 90 degree turn hid the previous territory and revealed a new one; in the Prayer Machine Noordung (Ljubljana, 1993), the spectators were seated in a comb on stage while the dancers moved among their heads; in the 1:1 (Ljubljana, 1995 – 2045) performance, he introduced an imaginary, wholesome, divine perspective from above.

Ladomir-Φaktypa: Fourth Surface - The Surface Of Contact! (Ljubljana, 1996), a performance by Marko Peljhan in an Italian box, cut into three screens, is in itself a castration machine.

  1. The directness pictures the Utopia of the poem Ladomir (1917 - 1922) written by Russian poet Velimir Hlebnikov: archaism and ruralism based upon Russian, Ancient Slavic and Asian folklore, the golden age marked by a symbiosis of man and nature, tools and arms, people and animals. At this level, castration symbols are also direct (sickle, scythe, rake, spear, cabbage, cutting, harvesting, threatening animals).
  2. The mediation is represented by TV screens with an unbearable repetition of castrating "un-montaged" satellite feeds.
  3. Mediated directness is achieved by means of kinetic diaphragms upon which ads for the military aviation industry and shots of the untouched underwater world are projected. Simultaneously, slides from six projectors are projected upon the movable diaphragms, which with their metaphorical and metonymical mixing and composition of images imitate the structure of dreams – the "royal way to the unconscious."[27] The projection mixes two principles: the self-sufficiency of the underwater life sends the spectator back to the pre-natal safety of the womb, whereas bombers flying over him reinvoke the fatherly threat of castration upon which the introjection of the law of the Name-of-the-Father follows.

In his Four Scenes In A Harsh Life (Santa Monica, 1994) and Deliverance (London, 1995), American artist Ron Athey explores the origins of pain and pleasure using his own body as artistic object. He connects Christian spiritualism with gay and AIDS activism and bears all the stigmata related to the body in the Christian tradition: sexuality, homosexuality, sex change, illness, piercing, tattoos, masquerade. He presents the body as the basic means of exchange in Western culture, driving it towards infinite progress and mutual destruction. In this case, the castration machine does not operate with associations but with a demonstration of castration hidden in excess frankness. Travesty, piercing of the head with needles and blood running out of wounds in the shape of a crown of thorns, piercing of the body, cutting the skin off the back, sewing of the lips, sewing of the skin over male genitalia in the shape of a vagina are all a presentation of a pre-Oedipal polymorphic body which is no longer a body of pleasure but a body of work, oedipized by the remains of symbolization, which are the real itself: castrate yourselves.

Emil Hrvatin's Male Fantasies (Ljubljana, 1997) performance explores the relationship between a patient and a doctor who is in no way hindered by experimenting with a formally non-existent patient. The performance does not produce the cathartic narcissism that would confirm the actor or the spectator in his faith – the trap is his own hidden perverse pleasure: do the most abominable perversions imaginable sexually arouse me? Is the fact that I feel disgust at what is considered sexually attractive somewhere far beyond the moral norms? The performance was - expectedly? - received extremely negatively, especially by the theatre people.

More Analysis of Truth

Lacan's psychoanalysis is not therapeutic in the Freudian sense ‑ it is not about helping the patient enjoy, it is about finding the truth. It is a truth of philosophy, an insight that there is no sexual relation, and that he who has never stepped into the binding symbolic order of absence is not a subject (sujet), a serf.[28]

On the objectives of psychoanalysis, Mladen Dolar writes: "In the sense of such radical distrust towards any kind of new births, psychoanalysis follows historical materialism. Many, among them Theweleit, implicitly hold the fact that psychoanalysis does not offer new paradises (finite unalloyed pleasure, finite liberation from under the burden of bondages and prohibitions), but only a revolutionary alteration of the concrete existing relations, against it."[29]

And on the symbolic, Slavoj Žižek writes: "The deceit implied by the symbolic ‑ which is also one of the classical Lacan's topoi - is more complex, it is deceit by the truth itself: the deceit of telling the truth by counting on it being understood as a lie; such deceit is no longer possible at the level of the imaginary."[30]

Aspiring to the Ever-returning Same

The clinic of a pathological narcissus and of disavowed symbolic castration is based upon the notion of the master, stimulating an analogy with trials for witchcraft in Europe and later in America from the 15th to the 18th centuries, enacted by a papal bull of Pope Innocent VIII.[31] At first, a number of male heretics were convicted, but soon the majority of victims were women of the beggarly, peasant or middle classes. After precisely prescribed torture consisting of atrocities, almost everyone that did not die confessed. Burning at the stake was a punishment for both the repentant and the stubborn, except that the first were burnt dead and the latter alive. The most important device for exerting confessions was a specially devised chair with nails onto which the suspect was screwed. The main conviction concerning female witches was having experienced sexual enjoyment with the devil, having murdered children and used them for the production of an ointment that helped them fly around and meet with the Devil while their husbands were sleeping. Jews were subject to the same conviction – enjoying sex and murdering Christian children. The guilt of homosexuals corresponds to the same crime – enjoying the Devil's sexuality.[32] The incredible pleasure that can only be illustrated by slaughtering innocent children is a common denominator of the intolerant ideologies that we are trying to push away into tales. Witches around the world confessed to the same thing, which was a proof enough of the existence of witchcraft – and they confessed to what was written in the most notorious work on witchcraft of that time, Malleus maleficarum, maleficas et earum[33] written by Institoris and Sprenger in 1486 and reprinted 28 times by the year 1669. Similarly, anybody, anywhere, any time can correspond to the clinic of a pathological narcissus and disavowed symbolic castration. In this case, the machines for symbolic castration have the same role as the chairs used for torturing witches.

In Slovenia, confessions to witchcraft looked like this:

The Process at Poljane, 22nd April 1693

"Question: Do you have a house or a castle at the Klek[34] and how is it there?

Margareta Šmalc: There is a huge rock on the hill, very smooth on the top and very wide. The evil spirit built a large, beautiful castle there with many rooms, beds, windows, kitchens and cellars, where they eat, drink, dance and jump around. After rejoicing, everyone goes to bed with his favorite. If a witch calls Jesus' name or makes the sign of the Cross, everything disappears in an instant.

Question: At the beginning, you mentioned that you needed an ointment to fly, a "masilu". Where and how is this ointment produced or where do you get it?

Margareta Šmalc: We make it at the Klek in the evening on Good Friday. We take butter made of breast milk and the hearts and fat of young children. But the most important ingredient is the host, brought by the women named Rode and Ficl. I also brought the host three times, threw it on the floor among other hosts and stomped on it, beat it with hazel birches so that they shone like the sun. After that revilement this key ingredient was added to the heart and the fat of a young child to produce the ointment. The ointment was later distributed among us."[35]

Self-analysis, Upbringing, Domination Desire for truth or fear of the species' extinction are not the only elements that run castration machines, which sacrifice people so that the subject - due to feelings of guilt - internalizes the symbolic law by which the subject abides only on the surface of social role playing. Castration machines are also driven on money although with an asserted alibi of scientific research, social benefit, natural truth and benevolence. And, last but not least, castration machines are run by the remains of the real ‑ pleasure and death.

Translated by Mojca Krevel

Dragan Živadinov / Red Pilot, Drama Observatory Zenit, set design by DeLuxe, Railway station Ljubljana, 1988, photo Franci Virant

Marko Peljhan / Project Atol, Ladomir-Φaktypa: Fourth Surface - The Surface Of Contact!, Cankarjev Dom, Ljubljana, 1996, photo Miha Fras

Ron Athey, Four Scenes in a Harsh Life, photography from the performance at Kapelica in Ljubljana,1997, photo Leonora Jakovljevič

2. The Rise of the Utopia[uredi]

2.2 Mistake[uredi]

2.2.3 Men’s World[36][uredi]

DV8 Physical Theatre: Enter Achilles, choreography by Lloyd Newson[37]

"DV8 Physical Theatre is about taking risks, aesthetically and physically, about breaking down the barriers between dance, theatre and personal politics, and above all, about communicating ideas and feelings with clarity and unpretentiousness. It is determined to be radical yet simultaneously accessible and to take its work to as wide an audience as possible. DV8’s approach aims to reinvest meaning in dance, particularly where it has been lost through formalised techniques. Its work inherently questions the traditional aesthetics and forms which pervade both modern and classical dance, and attempts to push beyond the values they reflect to enable a discussion of wider and more complex issues." (Lloyd Newson)

Among other things, the name DV8 alludes to socially deviant behaviour and to the camera format 8, which its members use in their work that also involves film. DV8 Physical Theatre transfigures movement from its everyday dimension into a choreography of feelings as subtle as the butterfly effect, yet strong enough to disrupt unity, and emotionally kill a relationship between two, three, four … human beings. These are, however, not feelings of great passion, love or hate, but rather, their everyday variations. The cycle between the viewed and the viewer, the slave and the master, reveals itself as a personal relationship. DV8 narrates linear and chaotic stories, conjuring up and analysing human relationships and relations between the sexes with speech, song, symbols, stage set design, costumes and music. It is body language, however, that dominates the aesthetic and cognitive experience. Through the physical dimension, which can be both brutal and sensitive, DV8 touches on the ritual origins of theatre and on its symbolic impact on the crucial prohibitions within a culture. The group voices ordinary and essential questions concerning the relationship between the masculine and the feminine, that bone of contention of contemporary social theory. With Achilles, Newson further radicalises the issues of man's world.

Enter Achilles combines a physical and a theoretical plan. A down-sized pub, which makes the male actors seem taller, is a world of machismo and stories of everyday life. A black-and-white cube placed above the pub represents the world of yearning to transcend everyday life, or even trying to live up to it. The pub is a sanctuary of male playfulness, openness, camaraderie, drinking, fighting, bragging, seduction and vulnerability, which are all attempts to suppress anxieties, fears and tenderness. The medium of communication is the beer mug. Superman, who comes from some other, faraway world, has feminine qualities and unmanly attributes which are the object of mockery. As are the intimate feelings of one of the guys, namely his attachment to Sandy, a plastic sex doll, which is being abused by his friends. The dominant culture covers up its own fetishisms by overtly marginalising fetishist subcultures. Sandy's friend climbs to the top of a three-headed[38] mountain, at the foot of which is an aquarium containing Sandy, the human fish,[39] while a patriotic song floods the entire scene. Individuals try to live with their alienation; they suppress it and become attached to any subject/object they can.

In a male-dominated world, so characteristic of the patriarchal society, women are pushed aside either openly or in more subtle ways. Yet even the most radically oriented of these societies cannot do without them. Women are the essential counter-principle of male domination and universality, in terms of particularity, domesticity and reproduction. The world of men ‑ i.e., a world without women, as opposed to a world of male domination ‑ ceases to be a world of heroes, warriors and victors, and becomes a world of sensibility, much closer to the feminine side; one that is closer to the world of emotions, love, seduction, sacrifice, disappointment; closer to the capacity for self-sacrifice. It assimilates the feminine side through its ability to openly combine opposing qualities, grouped by cultural stereotypes into two polarities of gender: the passionate and the rational, the soft and the hard, the wet and the dry, the unacceptable and the permissible, the gentle and the violent. A world of men without women, as a public world, is bereft of its dominant male position, and turns into a subjugated, vulnerable, marginal world ruled by women.

Virile male bodies come to symbolise weakness and emotional vulnerability, and the world of men now also becomes a world of love between men ‑ the love that can be exactly the same as the love between a man and a woman, unbinding or totally devoted. With such a different world of men, DV8 Physical Theatre problematises the self-evident social structure - the gender difference as the basic common denominator. Disregard for gender difference brings on the trauma of original identity, the envy of non-yearning which equates identity with the psychotic exclusion of the difference to which the technologically oriented society aspires anyway. The world of men without women - which women find even harder to accept because they are neither part of nor excluded from it - feels this unbearable sensation of blurred differences. The more the world of male dominance remains insensitive to the world of men without women, the more it is being taken over by women who are irritated by this lack of interest and who make their lives meaningful by converting such men. The world of men without women has the social function of providing an outlet by not responding to the issue of the masculine and the feminine.

DV8 Physical Theatre: Enter Achilles, choreography by Lloyd Newson, photo Max Jourdan

Translated by Judita. M. Dintinjana

2.3 Rise of the Salvational[uredi]

2.3.3 Laughter of the Tragic[40][uredi]

The innovativeness of Vito Taufer springs from his curiosity and a delightful playfulness that allows one's imagination to wander freely enough to essentially contribute to the creation of the stage event. By tackling traditional theatre forms and styles, Taufer creates a language marked by originality and modernity - the qualities that will often shine through upon reflection. Dealing with various aspects of high culture and entertainment, and popularising theatre in the age of virtuality, he remains loyal to the ethic principle. He also excels in his attentiveness towards the actor. On the 370th anniversary of Molière's birth in 1992, Taufer’s initiative brought about the creation of Tartif by Andrej A. Rozman, and that of Psyche[41] by Emil Filipčič. The drama-ballet about the power of love and hate[42] was rendered into the modern world of financial moguls, cynicism and black humour. Taufer blends tragedy with comedy, opera with sport, and the world of gods with that of village entertainers. The lacking qualities become obvious through the conspicuous presence of other traits – the lack of trust through vulgarity, and insufficient emotional intelligence through embellished, Baroque manners. Rozman and Filipčič both depict comedy and tragedy amid the sublime and the vulgar; the most profane of jokes thus reflect the deepest individual tragedy, the inability to control one’s situation. Both deal with the fixation of Slovenian high culture on the art of tragedy, and with the double standards of burgeois culture. Enabling high art, the latter is characterised by the etiquette of freethinking on the one side, and the hidden automated obedience to the ruling institutions on the other.

Andrej Anabaptist Rozman: Tartif, directed by Vito Taufer[43]

In Rozman's Tartif, written in verse, the philosophical mind watches the immediate naivety from behind the scene. The front of obscenities veils tragic traits similar to those of other Slovenian tragedies (e.g. The Baptism at Savica by Dominik Smole[44]).

Orgon is in love with Tartif. This passion drives the mechanisms of domination, upbringing and psychoanalysis. Only the beliefs generated in the state of infatuation can establish the relationship of superiority and inferiority, the transfer of knowledge, and the analytical process. An allegory of the analysant, Orgon is an infatuated paranoid no longer able to differentiate between business and privacy, with his obsession with hygiene reflecting guilty feelings. Tartif, on the other hand, symbolizes a wild analyst who enters relationships – or rather, business deals with others, by appealing to their unfulfilling sexuality and promising delight.

Molière still makes use of the instance of warning - Cleante, albeit with no practical effect. The hypocrisy in Rozman’s drama, however, is only evident to the spectator detached from the love relationship with Tartif. Tartif wins Orgon's trust by enhancing his paranoia - by physically producing its imaginary cause in the form of shit. Ruling the world calls for eternal youth, with the degraded man of the future reflecting the present state. Orgon becomes a trader with the labour force, and hereto pertains Tartif’s witty comment:

"I’d buy and sell them all by parts (…)

Behold the world’s true face:

Those who always seek their gains

Win the survival race."[45]

This is the highest ethic principle. The call for human rights is uttered by a child; the child's right to play, however, signifies that of smearing and maltreating his environment. The antipode of the child, to whom everything is to be allowed, is the sportsman, subjected to constant limitations and analyses. The spirit is in need of the body; it therefore makes it a profitable business to drain the spirit from the sportsman’s body in order to replace it with one’s own. Tartif conceals the truth about himself by openly advocating it. Orgon accepts him as a sexless being, and the transfer becomes immune in its mutations. The omnipresent hypocrisy stands for bourgeois norms carried to extremes by people who pretend not to know things widely known.

Tartuffe is a play about the unconscious, written long before the notion was invented. The situation staged by Molière is an analytical one, a narcissistic confession perverted by realisation. Rozman, however, presents the mechanical manageability of the unconscious as a tragicomic outcome of bringing to life the idea of man-machine, the ideal of the Enlightenment. The wiles of Molière's Elmire unmask Tartuffe; the Elmire of Rozman is hampered by the inability to talk about female pleasure. With Molière's woman having contributed to the end of the psychoanalytical situation, female aid is no longer present in Rozman’s text, enabling the psychoanalysis to turn into an unending process.

A stronghold of democracy, the police protects the democratic order from the totalitarianism of know-it-alls who constantly come up with new disguises. Deus ex machina takes on the form of a police inspector who gasses the building to shield the family from cannibalism and terrorism. In the name of truth, he saves Orgon from ruin, and produces a happy ending. Taufer, however, suppresses Orgon's regained vision; the inspector is Tartif himself, who returns in the form of a hologram. Virtuality, which can be exactly the same as reality, except for the fact that one can never really know, triumphs supreme in the tragic happy ending. In Hitchcock-like manner, the director appears on the TV-phone, showing that the plot can be viewed as a crime story. Funny crime stories, however, are serious business.

Vito Taufer: Silence Silence Silence[46]

The creative team is intrigued by the unconscious hidden behind emotions, thoughts, behaviour and stage acting. Each of the six actors chose their particular mask and their medium of expression. Silence Silence Silence is a Freudian performance. The theatre director - an analyst - enables the actors to articulate their unconscious truth and render it into artistic expression. The visualisation medium is that of body language, entailing the dimensions of both wholeness and separateness. The physical difference between the sexes - the fact that woman is "castrated" – is perceived by the eye before the mind, but during the socialisation process, both sexes are symbolically castrated, as they are both incomplete.[47]

Based on six individual renderings, Silence Silence Silence is a mythological narration about the creation of the world. The unconscious is governed by laws as methodical as those of mathematical axioms. Aluminium, polyester, styropore and makeup are used as the building blocks of the world: earth, fire, water and air, completed by the combining and dividing force. Offered the basic theatrical glossary, the spectator contemplates illusion and reality.

The mask of Janja Majzelj are the eyes, bulging, but with limited vision. Wrapped into the shimmer of aluminium foil, she attracts the gaze which in itself symbolises an object of desire. The missing object is replaced by voice, making her complete within mythology. She becomes Gaia, the Earth, created out of chaos, out of the dark and indistinct abyss, the one who brings forth from her own wholeness Uranus, the Sky, and thus generates the Cosmos which sets all the differences in order.

The shrouded head of Janez Škof, the Sky, symbolises creation. With articulate movements, he descends on the Earth, with whom he unites. Born of this union - for incest is not forbidden to the gods - are Titans. Four brothers marry their sisters; among them are Chronos and Rea, the fore-parents of Olympic gods.

Ravil and Nataša Sultanov, a male-female couple, are doomed to longing and fear. The female, confined in a ballet box, is a mask of the male. The chest contains hope at its bottom, but it closes up before hope has the chance to escape to where people exist, and where all the troubles, ailments and pains have already fled. Chronos has castrated his father Uranus with a sickle, saved his brothers and seized power. Fearing the same fate, he devours all of his children, but Rea replaces Zeus with a pebble. Zeus defeats Chronos and saves his brothers. He keeps the sky for himself, and gives Hades the underground.

Uroš Maček, Hades, wears his own death-mask. He builds the wall of time, separating eternity from events. The underworld is the time of silence, and that of the staged gaze.

The mask of Robert Prebil is the letter A, drawn onto his face. With the force of his entire body, he tries to articulate a phoneme, engendering screams, thunder and lightning that crush the stone. The creation of the new world destroys the former. Zeus is the avenger to his Ancestor and, at the same time, the ancestor of a new line of gods. The crisis of the language reflects that of the sexes.

Afterwards, Prometheus made man out of clay, gave him the gift of reason and led him into the struggle against god. "The danger is this salvational, inasmuch as danger, by its stealthily transmuting essence, generates this salvational."[48]

Translated by Urška Zajec
The section on Silence Silence Silence was translated in collaboration with Judita M. Dintinjana
All English texts were proof-read by Laird Hunt

Vito Taufer, Silence Silence Silence, 1996, photo Goran Bertok

III. Jana Pavlič: The Nineties Transformers[uredi]

The Cadastre of the Creators of the Contemporary[uredi]

The cadastre of the creators of the contemporary Slovenian theatrical territory of the nineties

A cadastre (< nLat. catastrum Lat.capitastrum) is a register of a country’s land property, the basic list where all its land is to be recorded. The creators of the contemporary Slovenian theatrical territory thus symbolize the composing parts of the land, autonomous plots that do not form a uniform theatrical system, but a wide front of theatrical artistic forms.

The nineteen nineties have given rise to numerous types of small autonomous units dedicated to modern creation, caught in the whirl of production and distribution battles. This cadastre is a humble attempt to record the searchers for the new - the transformers (< Lat. transformare = to make a through or dramatic change in the form, outward appearance, character, etc.) of theatre, who have made the last ten years a bit less boring.

Matjaž Berger[uredi]

Born 1964. He graduated from dramaturgy, and theatre and radio direction (AGRFT, Ljubljana). In 1991, he founded the »School for Theatre Critique«, which later became known as the »Department of Spectacular Arts«. In the scope of this artistic society, Berger created unusual spectacles that contain elements of demanding sports disciplines (alpinism) and thus settle the real topos, transmuting it into the space of the sublime. Defining theatre as »spectacular arts«, Berger approaches it through theoretical analysis connected with sports, anthropology, and the state. He perceives theatre as a phenomenon, advancing it further by means of his individualist stage praxis – the interpretation of classic texts and theoretical discourse, transforming his outgoing bases into entirely different texts.

Major works:

  • Directions in the scope of the “School of Theatre Critique” and the “Department of Spectacular Arts”:


  • Paris – Amsterdam – Berlin – Novo mesto, celebration of 95th birthday of Olympic champion Leon Štukelj, 1993
  • Nomads of Beauty, opening ceremony of Giro d'Italia, 1994
  • The Three Final Problems of the Spirit, opening ceremony of European Triathlon Championship, 1994
  • Mass 116, opening ceremony of Slovenian Sport Parachute Competition, 1994


  • Norge, 250th anniversary of the old Novo mesto high school, 1993
  • Volunteers on Mt. Eiger, the climbing wall and the iron bridge in Novo mesto, 1993
  • Spirit is Bone I, Pleterje monastery, 1994
  • The Three Final Problems of the Body, Cerov log quarry, 1994

After the abolition of the two institutions, the following directions have taken place:


  • Triumph, 50th anniversary of victory over fascism, 1995
  • Kons 5, 5th anniversary of independence of the Republic of Slovenia, 1995


  • Spirit is Bone, 250th anniversary of Novo mesto high school, 1994
  • Rotation of the Cosmos 100 - opening ceremony of restored Ljubljana Power Station, 1997
  • Guardian of Interpretation, hommage to constructions, Novo mesto, 1997
  • Around the Forbidden Book, artistic action at the opening of Nova Gorica Library


  • Ave, triumphator! – centenary of Olympic champion Leon Štukelj, Novo mesto, 1995
  • Farewell to Evald Rusjan, old stone bridge in Solkan


  • Bertolt Brecht: Galileo Galilei, Mladinsko Theatre and National University Library, Ljubljana, 1996
  • W. Shakespeare, F. Nietzche, J. Lacan: You Never See Me Where I See You,
  • Mladinsko Theatre, the riding hall of the agricultural school Grm, Novo mesto, 1997
  • W. Shakespeare: The Voice (Richard II, Henry V, Richard III), Mladinsko Theatre, 1999
  • S. Freud: Die Traumdeutung, co-produced by Mladinsko Theatre, Postojnska jama, turizem d.d., Slovenian Television, 2000

Niko Goršič[uredi]

Born 1943. He graduated in dramatic acting (AGRFT, Ljubljana). As an actor, he has co-operated with numerous directors and theatres. He began his theatre direction research in the mid-nineties under the pseudonym of Nick Upper. He defines himself as “situated within postmodernist aesthetics, and enforcing global theatre of touch – the artistic form comprising all elements of theatrical art: the dramatic text, movement, music, visuality, dramaturgical and acting puzzle techniques, direction and the audience”. In acting pairs, Goršič has been challenged by marginal themes - twisted eroticism arising from the classic form of marriage between man and woman, the travesty of body and soul, and man-woman and woman-man captured by the civilisational determinism of a person’s sex.

Major works:

  • E. Filipčič: The Puzzle Home, Mladinsko Theatre (Open Mladinsko), 1996
  • B. - M. Koltes: In the Loneliness of the Cotton Fields, Mladinsko Theatre (Open Mladinsko), 1998
  • G. Polajnar, N. Upper: Kill! I Don’t Love You, 1999
  • L. Djurković: The Puppet House/Tobelija, Ex ponto, Ljubljana, Montenegrin National Theatre Podgorica, Montenegro, 2000

Sebastijan Horvat[uredi]

Born 1971 in Maribor. He studied theatre and radio direction (AGRFT, Ljubljana). He founded the independent structure E.P.I. Centre, which enables him to produce his research projects. He is especially interested in verbal and drama theatres, regarding the text as a privileged element of the actor’s manipulation and the instrument of his virtuosity – especially that of his voice. The voice establishes the dualism of the body – tangible material bound to reality and the field of gravity, and the non-material, pure vibration, generated by the body in the form of the voice. Horvat’s performances employ the actor as the body listening to its non-material voice and interact with it, giving rise to vocal atmospheres – the new garments into which the text is clad.

Major works:

  • F. M. Dostoevsky: The Karamazov Brothers (theatrical adaptation of the novel), a drama and music project, AGRFT studio and Slovenian National Theatre Drama Ljubljana, 1993
  • Aeschylos: The Libation Bearers (the second part of the Oresteia trilogy), Ohrid Summer Festival, Macedonia, 1993
  • Elsinor (based on Hamlet by William Shakespeare), graduation performance, AGRFT, 1994
  • F. Wedekind: Spring Awakening, Municipal Theatre Ljubljana, 1994
  • E. Ionesco: The Lesson
  • Glass – Echo, 1995
  • Elizabeth, Ptuj Theatre, 1997
  • S. Belbel: Caresses, Slovenian National Theatre Drama Ljubljana, 1997
  • Camus: Caligula, Municipal Theatre Ljubljana, 1997
  • G. Stefanovski: Bacchanalia, Primorsko Drama Theatre Nova Gorica and AGRFT, 1998
  • ION, E.P.I.Centre and Slovenian National Theatre Drama Ljubljana, 1998
  • B. - M. Koltès: Roberto Zucco, Sliven teater, Bulgaria, 1998
  • E. Ionesco: Makbet, Slovenian National Theatre Drama Maribor, 1998
  • M. de Sade: Juliette Justine, E.P.I. Centre and Mladinsko Theatre (Open Mladinsko), 2000
  • SS/Sharpen Your Senses, Glej Theatre, 2000
  • A. de Musset: Lorenzaccio, Slovenian National Theatre Drama Ljubljana

Emil Hrvatin[uredi]

Born 1964. He studied sociology, and theatre and radio direction (AGRFT, Ljubljana). He approaches the theatrical front through that of theory. He explores theatre as a phenomenon, together with its relation to reality, the role of the spectator in the theatrical process, and the fatal parameters of modern art which reflects its own self. He places particular importance on the body as the generator of a theatrical event and the focus of the spectator's attention, belonging either to a theatre actor, a classical ballet dancer, a contemporary dancers or even the spectator himself. Hrvatin's research scope is fairly wide – reaching from the front of verbal theatre to which he contributes as a playwright (Male Fantasies, The Woman Who Ceaselessly Speaks, Camillo – Memo 1.0) and a director of texts by other dramatists (Heiner Müller), the conceptual form of installation (The Cabinet of Memories, The Cell), and physical and dance theatre (Drive in Camillo). He has published numerous essays on contemporary art and theatre, including the book on the Belgian artist and theatre maker Jan Fabre.

Major works:

  • Canon, B-51, 1990
  • The Woman Who Ceaselessly Speaks, Cankarjev Dom, 1993
  • New Organon, Cankarjev Dom, 1994
  • The Cell, Mladinsko Theatre, 1995
  • Male Fantasies, Mladinsko Theatre, 1997
  • The Banquet, B-51, Primorsko Drama Theatre Nova Gorica, 1997
  • CAMILLO – Memo 1.0: The Construction of Theatre, Piccolo Teatro, Milan, 1998
  • CAMILLO - Memo 4.0: The Cabinet of Memories, tear donation, B - 51 in the Slovenian Theatre Museum, 1998
  • Drive in Camillo, open air performance, Maska, Cankarjev Dom, Slovenian Television, Ljubljana 2000
  • Ferdo Delak: The Serpent in the Vault of the Sky, CFPR DELAK, Ljubljana, Provincia di Gorizia, Italy, 2000

Bojan Jablanovec[uredi]

Born 1961. After finishing his theatre and radio direction studies (AGRFT, Ljubljana), Jablanovec joined the director Vlado Repnik and the architect Aljoša Kolenc to found the manifestative research front GLEDALIŠČE (Theatre). They directed the performance HELIOS based on Brecht’s Galileo Galilei, employing students of the acting studies at the AGRFT. Jablanovec then staged his own text, The Triumph of Death, undertitled “A Theatrical Script”. He has also written two other dramas, Europe and Lenore. Together with The Triumph of Death, they form the trilogy The Archaeology of Traumas. The research of the GLEDALIŠČE group reached beyond the Brechtian front into new forms of spectacle, searching for new theatre space. Jablanovec’s later works still display his initial restless search for things differently expressed and seen. His directions on eminent national stages focus upon the text and its relation to stage space as the space of spectacle, and on the relationship between the text and geometry – rendering the visible as an illusion in the invisible.

Major works:

  • B. Jablanovec, A. Kolenc, V. Repnik: HELIOS, co-produced by Cankarjev Dom and AGRFT, 1988
  • B. Jablanovec: The Triumph of Death, Slovenian National Theatre Drama Maribor, 1989
  • P. Corneille: The Theatrical Illusion, Slovenian People’s Theatre Celje, 1993
  • H. Barker: Unpredictable Consequences, Slovenian People’s Theatre Celje/Inart Ljubljana, 1994
  • F.G. Lorca: The Home of Bernarda Alba, Prešeren Theatre Kranj, 1994
  • H. Barker: The Love of a Good Man, Primorsko Drama Theatre Nova Gorica, 1995
  • A. Jarry: King Ubu, Municipal Theatre Ljubljana, 1996
  • P. Ridley: Pitchfork Disney, Slovenian National Theatre Drama Ljubljana, 1996
  • I.E. Babelj: The Downfall, Slovenian National Theatre Drama Ljubljana, 1997
  • W. Schwab: The Presidents, Slovenian National Theatre Drama Ljubljana
  • F. Dürrenmatt: Romulus the Great, Municipal Theatre Ljubljana, 1998
  • H. Ibsen: Hedda Gabler, Slovenian National Minority Theatre Trieste, 1998
  • A. Artaud: A Spurt of Blood, Cankarjev Dom, 1998
  • B. Brecht: Mr. Puntilla and His Man Matti, Primorsko Drama Theatre Nova Gorica, 1999
  • E. Ionesco: The Chairs, Primorska Summer Festival, Koper/Capodistria, 1999

Tomi Janežič[uredi]

Born in 1972. He graduated from theatre and radio direction (AGRFT, Ljubljana). He is the founder of the »Studio for the Research of Acting Art«, in the scope of which he also works as a director. Studying Strassberg's acting method under the mentorship of Andrej and Janez Vajevec, and techniques of Jiri Grotowsky and Thomas Richards in Pontedera (Italy), he dedicates himself to in-depth research of acting art, the approach of the actor towards the text, the so-called theatre role and all the psychological processes that arise during its study. His research in the »Studio for the Research of Acting Art« has resulted in a specific type of acting, or the relationship between the actor and his part. Janežič's subtle acting creations, extraordinary character renderings, and the development of the actor's abilities of interpretation abilities to the almost perfect, effortless co-existence with his part, place him among superb interpreters of Stanislavsky's method, with his theatrical stagings never seeming like clichés seen before.

Major works:

  • J.Genet: The Maids, AGRFT, Ljubljana, 1994 P. Shaffer: Equus, Municipal Theatre Ljubljana; 1996 Emptiness, The Old Story from my Town, Ptuj Theatre and Emptiness No.2,  Studio for the Research of Acting Art, 1996 Sophocles: King Oedipus, Mladinsko Theatre, Ljubljana, 1997 G. Büchner: Woyzeck, Primorsko Drama Theatre Nova Gorica, 1998 A. P. Chekhov: The Seagull, Mladinsko Theatre, Ljubljana, 1999 A. Tarkowsky: Stalker, Primorska Summer Festival, 2000

Aleksander Jurc[uredi]

Born 1962. After finishing his theatre and radio direction studies (AGRFT, Ljubljana), he founded the research studio Umetniško gledališče (Art Theatre). Its first project was 1900, and dealt with early 20th century texts, especially with those by Strindberg and Chekhov, attempting to re-create their original way of staging. Jurc’s next works focussed upon the front of connections between theatrical art and phenomena of digital technology. He has also conceived several performance art works that emphasize the visual aspect of stage space, and its relation to the performer or the actor. Besides granting the presence of a living body, the basic function of Jurc’s performer is the creation of vocal components on which the staging is based.

Major works:

Umetniško gledališče (Art Theatre):

  • The 1900 trilogy:
    • August Strindberg: Dream Play, 1991
    • A.P. Chekhov: Three Sisters 1901-1991, 1991
    • August Strindberg: To Damascus, 1993

Original projects:

  • Correspondences ANGEL/us novus, 1992
  • Time Avenues (Drevoredi časa), 1995
  • Lift the Flower (Dvigni rožo), 1998
  • Dream Your Dream Now (Sanjaj svoje sanje zdaj), 1999

Marko Košnik[uredi]

Born in 1961. In 1986, he founded the Egon March Institute, a creative unit for theory, research and production in the field of new media. For the last decade, he has been engaged in interdisciplinary total art productions, performance art and installations; he combines direction, programming of interactive systems, synchronisation and internet transmission. Košnik additionally explores the relations between living bodies of classical ballerinas or theatre actors in intermedial systems,and the rendition of their actions by different media and the synchronisation of the latter. At the same time, he combines his stage langauges with the conceptually operated structural improvisation, and dynamic dramatugical construtions. He thus creates a codified paramedia language, the objective of which is to transfer the event from the stage to the threshold of the spectator's perception.

Major works:

  • The Thing, Hamburg, Ljubljana, 1991
  • Membrane, Dessau, 1993
  • Figure in Space, Man in the Case, ŠKUC, 1993
  • Cukrarna, Leipzig, 1994, Ljubljana 1995
  • A.B. sence, Ljubljana, 1996, Glasgow, 1997
  • Parahouse, Dessau, 1997
  • Paparapapa, Kapelica, 1998
  • Hannibal Crosses the Alps, Cankarjev Dom, 1998
  • Pa-ra, CD, 1998
  • Five Synesthesias for the Sound and Moving Pictures (Pet sinestezij za zvok in gibljive slike), Slovenian Cinematheque, 2000Desktop Cinema, Reitschule Kino Bern, Slovenian Cinematheque, 2000

Marko A. Kovačič[uredi]

Born in 1956. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana (sculpture studies). He was a member of the Ana Monro Theatre from 1981 till 1991. As a freelance artist, he is interested in performance art, theatre, sculpture, video, film, and street theatre. His projects excel in elaborate visuality and a special type of humour verging on grotesque and the absurd. He also ventures to parode multimedia, playfully employ science fiction, and ludistically depict socialism and other regimes specific for this part of the world. His scenic events often nostalgically imitate Slovenian ambients of the 1950s, the golden era of socialism, with the author entering and playfully interpreting them by the absurdist, ludist spirit of his performers.


  • Casus belli, Ljubljana, ŠKUC Gallery, Cankarjev Dom, 1983
  • 1492, Ljubljana, 1983
  • Strike, Ljubljana, 1984
  • Mirror Knows the Secret, Cankarjev Dom, Glej Theatre, 1985
  • The Sacrifice of Jupiter, Split, 1987
  • Requiem, Modern Gallery Ljubljana, 1989
  • The Unreal Awakens Us Out of the Sleep of Reality (with Marko Košnik, Galerija Prešernova hiša, Kranj), 1990
  • Bellum contra solem, Nova Gorica, 1991
  • No more heroes any more I, K4, KUD France Prešeren, Ljubljana, 1991 No more heroes any more II, Mladinsko Theatre, 1992
  • Forth Into the Past, Metelkova, Ljubljana, 1993
  • The drug of the natyon, Ljubljana Puppet Theatre, 1996
  • For your eyes only, Warsaw, 1996
  • Look a Star?, Metelkova, Ljubljana, 1998
  • The City that Survived, Kapelica Gallery, Forum, Ljubljana, 1999

Ema Kugler[uredi]

Born 1955. She graduated from the Faculty of Economics in Ljubljana. As a freelance artist, she combines performance art, installation and video. She creates extraordinary worlds of alienated affection, anxiety and restless individuums subjected to the incomprehensible manipulations of undefinable forces – fate, history, the state, religion – with a brief moment sufficing to turn victims into exectuioners and vice versa. Her performances are characterised by dark, vast, almost monumental scenography she herself conceives, and somewhat priestly costumes enabling the transformation of the performers (classical ballerinas, contemporary dancers, theatre actors), the formations of which result in various stage configurations of the human body within a single project, suggesting veiled archetypal situations.

Major works:

  • Nostalgic Cut, Cankarjev Dom, produced by Galerija Škuc, Ljubljana, 1985
  • Party, Ljubljana, Festivalna dvorana, 1987
  • Black Cave, Postojna Cave, 1988
  • Replicants, Ljubljana, Nebotičnik, 1990
  • Uneasiness in front of the Mirror, Nova Gorica, Bunker, 1990
  • Mankurt 1, Ljubljana, Stara elektrarna, 1991
  • Mankurt 2, Ljubljana, Stara elektrarna, 1992
  • Taiga, Ljubljana, storage house in Vižmarje, 1995
  • Station 25, Ljubljana, storage house in Vižmarje, 1996
  • Menhir, Ljubljana, storage house in Vižmarje, produced by Cankarjev Dom, 1998

Eduard Miler[uredi]

Born in 1950. He studied theatre arts in Stuttgart, Germany, and acted in a number of German and Austrian theatres from 1973 to 1979. From 1990 to 1994, he was artistic director of the Mladinsko Theatre in Ljubljana. Focussing upon the specific stage expression of contemporary drama theatre, his work of the nineties highlighted the most important German playwrights of the 20th century. His direction results in an individualist atmosphere – decadent, expressionist, and socially engaged at the same time – giving shelter to Miler's fallen angels, crumbled subjectivities annihilated by Western Europe. His approach to theatrical material generates powerful visions of darkness, gloom and downfall, concentrates upon the actor and his ability of transformation and seduction, and at the same time, gives rise to subtlety, irony and comedy.

Major works:

  • H. Achternbusch: Ela, 1983 (Glej Theatre), Susn, 1993 (Mladinsko Theatre)
  • H. Müller: Quartet, 1984 (Slovenian National Theatre Drama Ljubljana), The Explosion of Memory I, 1997 (People's Theatre Celje), The Mission, 1998 (Mladinsko Theatre), The Explosion of Memory III, 1999 (Prešeren Theatre Kranj), Philoctetes, 2000 (Primorska Summer Festival)
  • B. Brecht: A Respectable Wedding, 1985 (Slovenian National Theatre Drama Ljubljana), 1986 (Vereinigte Bühnen, Graz, Austria), 1998 (Kerempuh Theatre, Zagreb, Croatia); Baal, 1988 (Yugoslav Drama Theatre), 1999 (Slovenian National Theatre Drama Ljubljana)
  • E. Corman: Credo, Vereinigte Bühnen, Graz, Austria, 1985
  • A. Boal: The Fist against Fire, Schauspielhaus, Cologne, Germany, 1986
  • C.Goldoni: The Holiday Trilogy, Croatian National Theatre Split, Croatia, 1988
  • F. Wedekind: Lulu, Slovenian National Theatre Drama Maribor, 1990 F. Bruckner: Magic and Loss, Zagreb Youth Theatre, Zagreb, Croatia, 1992
  • A. Strindberg: Miss Julie, Mladinsko Theatre, 1994
  • G. Büchner: Leonce and Lena, Mladinsko Theatre, 1995
  • Wächter - Dekleva: The Clowns, Mladinsko Theatre,1995
  • Moliere: Tartuffe, Croatian National Theatre Split, Croatia, 1996
  • W. Shakespeare: As you Like It, Croatian National Theatre Split, Croatia, 1999
  • E. Toller: Hinkemann, Mladinsko Theatre, 1999
  • B.-M. Koltes: Roberto Zucco, Primorsko Drama Theatre Nova Gorica, 2000

Barbara Novakovič Kolenc[uredi]

Born in 1963. After finishing her acting studies (AGRFT, Ljubljana), she founded the Museum Theatre in 1993 – a small production unit and a studio devoted to the exploration of theatrical art. She presents intimate themes, chiefly concentrating on female characters based on the visual aspects rather than the verbal segments of the performance. All her performances are nostalgic revivals of individual and collective memories, staged with a great amount of tact for the stage image. The centre of the stage action - an etheric female figure embodied by a theatre actress and a classic ballerina - is surrounded by a sound facade occasionally inspired by pop culture, and counterpoised by a fragmented verbal structure.

Major works:

Museum Theatre:

  • A Cricket in the Fist, 1994
  • Lo Scrittore, 1995
  • Emilija, co-produced by Slovenian National Theatre Drama Ljubljana, 1996
  • The Girl and the Doublebass, co-produced by Mladinsko Theatre, 1998
  • Paracelsus and Frankenstein, co-produced by Cankarjev Dom, 1999
  • Happy Birthday, 2000

Tomaž Pandur[uredi]

Born in 1963. He studied theatre and radio direction (AGRFT, Ljubljana). As early as in high school, he founded his own theatre group, The Thespian Carriage – Slovenian New Theatre Company. From 1989 to 1996, he was artistic director of the Slovenian National Theatre Drama Maribor. With his controversial stagings of eminent world literature, he has gone down in Slovenian theatrical history as a relentless searcher for a sublime, grandiose stage spectacle. His direction is characterised by the research of the relations between the text and the hypertext as arising from the actor's interpretation, palimpsest technique, the apocrifal, melodramatic emotions, and the fragmental character of textual and visual material. The essential element of his performances is film-like stage imagery striving to create perfect illiusion, a total artwork consisting of bodies, imagery, voice, music, movement, addressing the audience through luxurious visualisation.

Major works:

  • H. Müller: The Death Raft, AGRFT, Cankarjev Dom, Ljubljana, 1987
  • I. Svetina: Sheherezade, Mladinsko Theatre, Ljubljana, 1989
  • J. W. Goethe: Faust I., II., Slovenian National Theatre Drama Maribor, 1990
  • W. Shakespeare: Hamlet, Slovenian National Theatre Drama Maribor, 1990
  • Carmen – An Afternoon at the Brink of European History, Slovenian National Theatre Drama Maribor, 1992
  • Dante, N. Prokić, T. Pandur: La divina commedia: Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso, Slovenian National Theatre Drama Maribor, 1993
  • F. Dostoevsky, N. Prokić, T. Pandur: Russian Mission, Slovenian National Theatre Drama Maribor and Festival Steirischer Herbst Graz, 1994
  • I. Svetina: Babylon, Slovenian National Theatre Drama Maribor, Artbureau München and Festival Theater der Welt, 1996

Marko Peljhan[uredi]

Born 1969. He studied theatre and radio direction (AGRFT, Ljubljana). In 1992, he founded Projekt Atol, in the scope of which he deals with interdisciplinary projects, lectures, events and situations. He is interested in the borders between theatre, art, science and technology. Peljhan's initial scenic events, situations, and performance art works, evolved into rhythmical-scenic structures in which, as the author of the concept, direction, modelling and animation, Peljhan combines acting, the radio medium, satellite communication, computer animation, and graphics. He is inspired by the ideas and realizations of the first abstract scenic works from the beginning of the 20th century – especially those by Vassiliy Kandinsky and Vladimir Hlebnikov. Peljhan's project Ladomir-Фaktyra has been defined as »a modular artistic activity composed of small units (surfaces)«. It is precisely this artistic activity in the coexistence with high technology and modern science that he considers to be the most essential.

Major works:

  • A. Lentulov: Nebesni svod 1915-1989, AGRFT, Ljubljana, 1989
  • The light from the grave, in co-operation with the group Veš slikar svoj dolg, 1989
  • Mendini-cigareti 1945, 1990, AGRFT, Ljubljana, 1989
  • Tristosedemnajst a tišina ka (based on V. Hlebnikov), AGRFT, Ljubljana Puppet Theatre, 1992
  • Egorhythms I., II., III., Modern Gallery Ljubljana, 1992
  • Atol, Modern Gallery Ljubljana, 1993
  • Egorhythm IV, Giessen, 1993
  • Egorhythm VI, Helsinki, 1993
  • LADOMIR-Φaktyra: Frst surface - MIKROLAB, Cankarjev Dom, 1994
  • Egorhythm IX, Lisbone, 1994
  • Teritorij MIR-a, Kapelica Gallery, Ljubljana, 1995
  • LADOMIR-ΦAKTYRA: Second surface – We were expecting you!, Fribourg, 1996
  • LADOMIR-ΦAKTYRA: Fourth Surface – the Surface of contact!, Cankarjev Dom, 1996
  • TERMINAL, Modern Gallery Ljubljana, 1996
  • Makrolab, Kassel, Dokumenta,1997
  • Wardenclyffe Situation N.1, Lutterberg, 1997
  • Wardenclyffe Situation N.2, Dessau, Bauhaus, 1997
  • 178 EAST Another Ocean Region, Sidney, 1997
  • SECOM 1 – Southern Communicator, Johannesburg, 1997
  • SUNDOWN, Luxemburg, Manifesta, 1998
  • Wardenclyffe Situation N.4, Rotterdam, 1998
  • SISTEM-7, Mala galerija, Ljubljana, 1998
  • SOLAR, ars electronica, Linz, 1998
  • RAYLAB I, ars electronica, Linz, 1998
  • Method of Utilizing Radiant Energy, Amsterdam, 1998

Matjaž Pograjc[uredi]

Born in 1967. He studied theatre and radio direction (AGRFT, Ljubljana). In 1990, he founded the Betontanc group, with which he develops and researches choreographical and physical forms of stage expression, employing ideologically oriented themes - especially from the world of urban adolescence. Another important part of his research is oriented towards verbal theatrical structure; with the aid of the Mladinsko Theatre ensemble, Pograjc explores a directional concept based on original interpretations of contemporary dramatic texts or the contributions of the acting team. His method of interpretation also involves different genres of pop culture, under which he discovers modern archetypal models of a lost civilization, chaos, violence, and cruelty.

Major works:


  • Chronicles of a Dreamy Youth, 1989 Poets without Pockets, 1990 Romeo and Juliet, 1991 Every Word a Gold Coin Worth, 1992 Wet Hanky Thieves, 1993 Know Your Enemy!, co-produced by Cankarjev Dom, 1995 On Three Sides of Heaven, 1997 The Secret Sunshine Schedule, 1999
  • Mladinsko Theatre: B. M. Koltes: Roberto Zucco, 1994 Butterendfly (based on M. Butterfly by David Hwang), co-produced by Mladinsko Theatre and Glej Theatre, 1995 A Place I've Never Been, 1996 D. Z.- Frey: Tirza, 1997 Who's Afraid of Tennessee Williams?, 1999 The House of Bernarda Alba (based on F.G. Lorca and original contributions of the performers), 2000

Vlado Repnik[uredi]

Born in 1962. He graduated from theatre and radio direction studies (AGRFT, Ljubljana) and the Slovenian Academy of Fine Arts. Together with the director Bojan Jablanovec and the architect Aljoša Kolenc, he founded GLEDALIŠČE (Theatre) – a manifestative research front that first produced Helios, based on Brecht's Galileo Galilei. The HELIOS theatre, founded by Repnik himself, continues conceptual digressions into new structures with new names, which enable a realization of his original research projects on the very border between visual arts and theatre. He is mainly concerned with the problem of time and its duration, the relation between the theatrical and real times, and the visualisation of this duration in time and space.

Major works:

GLEDALIŠČE (to 1988)

  • Helios, co-produced by Theatre and Cankarjev Dom, Ljubljana, 1988

HELIOS theatre (1989 – 1990)

  • Brigades of Beauty, co-produced by Helios Theatre and Cankarjev Dom, Ljubljana, 1990

VDOR REALNEGA (1991 – 1993)

  • Walter Wolf, co-produced by GVR and Festival Ljubljana, 1993

Gledališče VR (1994)

  • Gertrude Stein, co-produced by GVR and Istria National Theatre, 1994

GVR (1995 – 1997)

  • Lightly Tiny Bird on Tiny Branch, co-produced by GVR and Exodos, Ljubljana, 1996 Apolonija, land art installation; River Border, Bad Radskerburg, Austria, 1996

G.V.R. (1998 - )

  • I tempi passati, co-produced by GVR and Mladinsko Theatre, 1999 To bee or not to bee, 2000

Andrej Rozman Roza[uredi]

Born 1955. He is the initiator of street theatre in Slovenia. In 1978, he founded the theatre group Pocestno gledališče Predrazpadom, and in 1981, the first street theatre collective in Slovenia, the Ana Monro Theatre. In its scope, Roza was active as an actor, director and author of texts, dedicating himself to a special genre – a mixture of street theatre, circus and variety theatre. Since his departure from Ana Monro in 1994, he has been performing independently, and writing original dramas and theatrical adaptations (Molière: Tartuffe, A. Lindgren: Pippi Longstocking, W. Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream). As one of the rarest playrights, actors and directors in one person, and a modern bard at the end of the century, he creates humorous situations on the verge of the absurd: Boasting superb linguistic inventiveness as to verse and rhyme, his performances strike us as nostalgic parodies of pop culture – featuring detective Marlow, Tarzan, and Kekec, a famous character from Slovenian children’s literature.

Major works:

Ana Monró Theatre:

  • 1492 or Has a Pre-war Stripper Anything Left to Show? (1492 ali Ali lahko predvojna striptizeta danes še sploh kaj pokaže), 1982
  • The Red Ray (Rdeči žarek), 1984
  • George Dandin, 1986
  • The Baptism at Savica, 1988
  • Sanremo, 1990
  • Tarzan in “The Great Scavenger Adventure” (Tarzan v epizodi Veliki Mrhovinar), 1992
  • The Red-headed League (Zveza rdečelascev), 1993

Independent projects:

  • Rupert Marovt, KUD France Prešeren, 1995
  • A Desert Island (Pusti otok), Sentjakob Theatre, 1996
  • Deep Throat (Globoko grlo), KUD France Prešeren, 1997
  • Kekec vs. Rožle’s Gang (Kekec kontra Rožletova banda), KUD France Prešeren, 2000

Igor Štromajer[uredi]

Born 1967. He studied theatre and radio direction (AGRFT, Ljubljana). He is an internet artist and action performer, involved with performance art, intermedia arts and radiophony since 1996. He is one of the directors who, at the turn of the century, dedicated their work to the research of new media, creating their own virtual stages on which almost anything is possible. Štromajer’s research ventures into the depths of the fatal systems generated by the eros:ars relation, in which both are total and all-conditioning. He artistically employs utilitary everyday technology which gives rise to gsm.art or even wap-art in the form of wap.sonnets. With his INTIMA Virtual Base, Igor Štromajer is an artist in residence in the Media Department of Ars Electronica Future Lab in Linz, Austria.


  • Homo Theatralis, AGRFT Studio, Ljubljana, 1989
  • Eros Ars Sistem, Glej Theatre, 1990
  • Amibeta – Genesis, ŠOU Ljubljana and Plesni studio Intakt, 1991
  • A.S. Pushkin: Mozart & Salieri - Cosmology of Art, Municipal Theatre Ljubljana, 1991
  • La La Slina - zgodba spiralastega rajanja, Cankarjev Dom and ŠOU Ljubljana, 1993
  • Prsi, okitene z venci vrtnic, INTIMA Theatre in Kapelica Gallery, Ljubljana, 1995
  • 0.HTML, web art project (internet), INTIMA Ljubljana, 1996
  • RE/FRESH, international web art project (internet) INTIMA Ljubljana, 1996
  • INTERNO/INFERNO, life time web art project (internet) INTIMA Ljubljana, 1996-0000-9999
  • BE.YOND EX SECTOR EXE.CUTOR LAB.ORATORIUM, intimate performance / theatre installation INTIMA Ljubljana, 1997
  • RE:DI/VISION, web art project (internet) INTIMA Ljubljana, 1997
  • RE:LIGION, web art project (internet) INTIMA Ljubljana, 1997
  • E/MOTION HELP - IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE?, web art project (internet) INTIMA Ljubljana, 1997
  • RE:VOLUTION, web art project (internet) INTIMA Ljubljana, 1997
  • b.ALT.ica, web art project (internet) INTIMA Ljubljana, 1998
  • MICRO/BE,web art project (internet) INTIMA Ljubljana, 1998
  • Oppera Teorettikka Internettikka (performance), INTIMA Ljubljana, 1999
  • zvrst3 (internet), INTIMA Ljubljana, 1999
  • Drama.Body.Machine (internet), INTIMA Ljubljana, 1999
  • 13 (internet9, INTIMA Ljubljana, 1999
  • gsm.art (internet), INTIMA Ljubljana, 1999
  • sm.N, net.art, INTIMA Ljubljana, 2000
  • gps.art, net.art, INTIMA Ljubljana, 2000
  • "she raped me!", net.art INTIMA Ljubljana, 2000
  • wap.sonet - microbe., wap.art - WAP based artistic project for GSM WAP mobile phones INTIMA Ljubljana, 2000
  • every time i B14 return from moscow - i cry, [micro emo.net.art impression] INTIMA Ljubljana, 2000
  • what was he thinking about? berlin? praha? ljubljana? skopje? (emotional virtual environment - intimate multimedia spectacle), INTIMA Ljubljana, 2000

Tomaž Štrucl[uredi]

Born 1965. He studied architecture. As a dancer, scenographer, designer, costumographer, dramaturg, organizer, producer or director, he co-operated in a number of independent theatre productions of the 1980s and the 1990s. Since 1998, his creative team has been known as »Geng«. Štrucl is interested in the theatre of heroic characters – the most famous protagonists of classic literature, which he transforms and modernizes by means of his naive theatre “design”, inspired by rock and pop cultures and their most notorious phenomena (MTV). The pop cover, however, reveals a deeper ideological level and a social message. As the author of the texts for his latest performances, Štrucl tackles current social issues and the world of lost urban adolescents, confronted with countless forms of cruelty and the meaninglessness of their existence. He has also directed several music videos.

Major works:

All produced by the Glej Theatre:

  • Lancôme, 1990
  • Hamlett Packard, 1992, co-produced by Cankarjev Dom
  • Hamlets’n’Roses, 1993
  • Cliopatra, 1994
  • Xanax, 1996
  • Jezus F, 1997
  • Neoskin, 1998
  • Su e Sid, 1999, co-produced by Cankarjev Dom

Vito Taufer[uredi]

Born in 1959. He graduated from theatre and radio direction (AGRFT, Ljubljana). He excels in a refined interpretation of dramatic texts which he approaches with a variety of direction methods. He is interested in theatre as a sum total of the components of stage expression. His performances range from strict verbal theatre and classic dramatic texts to purely visual, operatic spectacles; he also seeks new novel approaches in his original performances based on the themes conceived in co-operation with the Mladinsko Theatre ensemble (I am not I, Silence Silence Silence). His performances boast exact stage rhythm, meticulous dramaturgy, subtle humour, breathtaking stage imagery, and precise interpretation calling for a profound intellectual involvement on the part of the actors.

Major works:

  • E. Ionesco: The Lesson, AGRFT, Ljubljana, 1982; The Bald Soprano, Frenzy for Two, or More, Primorsko Drama Theatre Nova Gorica, 1995
  • N. Williams – V. Taufer: Class Enemy, Mladinsko Theatre, Ljubljana, 1982
  • V. Taufer: I am not I 1, Mladinsko Theatre, Ljubljana, 1983
  • V. Taufer - D. Jovanović: I am not I 2, Mladinsko Theatre, Ljubljana, 1983
  • E. Filipčič: Altamira, Slovenian National Drama Theatre Ljubljana, 1984; Atlantis, Mladinsko Theatre, 1988; The Divine Tragedy, Prešeren Theatre Kranj, 1989; Psyche, Mladinsko Theatre, 1993
  • P. Weiss: Night with Guests, Glej Theatre, Ljubljana, 1985, Mladinsko Theatre, 1991W. Shakespeare: Hamlet, National Theatre Subotica, Serbia, 1986, Primorsko Drama Theatre Nova Gorica, 2000; King Lear, Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc, Rijeka, Croatia, 1989; Timon of Athens, Slovenian National Theatre Drama Ljubljana, 1992
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream (translated and adapted by Andrej Rozman Roza), Mladinsko Theatre, 1999
  • L. Carroll – V. Taufer: Alice in Wonderland, Mladinsko Theatre, Ljubljana, 1986
  • A. P. Chekhov: Three Sisters, Slovenian National Drama Theatre Maribor, 1987
  • Lope de Vega: La Discreta Enamorada, Municipal Theatre of Ljubljana, 1988
  • N. V. Gogol: Inspector General, Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc, Rijeka, Croatia, 1988
  • W. Gombrowitz: Ivonne, Princess of Burgundy, Croatian National Theatre Split, Croatia, 1989
  • Dane Zajc: Medeia, Drama Theatre Skopje, Macedonia, 1989
  • G. Rossini: The Barber of Seville, Slovenian National Theatre Opera and Ballet Ljubljana, 1990
  • Veno Taufer: Odisseus and Son or The World and Home, Mladinsko Theatre, Ljubljana, Zagreb Youth Theatre, Zagreb, Croatia, 1990
  • W. A. Mozart: Cosi Fan Tutte, Slovenian National Theatre Opera and Ballet Ljubljana, 1991
  • M. Krleža: Kraljevo, Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc, Rijeka, Croatia, 1991
  • A. Rozman: Tartif, Mladinsko Theatre, Ljubljana, 1993
  • A. T. Linhart: Matiček is Getting Married, Slovenian People's Theatre Celje, 1994, Slovenian National Theatre Drama Ljubljana, 1999
  • Silence Silence Silence, Mladinsko Theatre, Ljubljana, 1996
  • E. M. Labiche: The Italian Straw Hat, Slovenian People's Theatre Celje, 1996
  • G. Feydeau: A Flea in Her Ear, Slovenian National Theatre Drama Ljubljana, 1997
  • P. Marivaux: The Dispute, Primorsko Drama Theatre Nova Gorica, 1997
  • A. Lindgren - A. Rozman-Doukštumf: Pippi, Mladinsko Theatre, Ljubljana, 1998
  • T. Macnally: Master class, Slovenian National Minority in Italy Theatre, Trieste, Italy, 1998
  • S. Beckett: Endgame, Primorsko Drama Theatre Nova Gorica, 1999
  • Moliere: The Miser, Prešeren Theatre Kranj, 1999
  • The Farce about Dr. Cock, Primorska Summer Festival, 2000

Damir Zlatar Frey[uredi]

He began his career as a dancer and choreographer in the 1970s in Zagreb, Croatia. Active in the Dance Studio in Celje and the Dance Theatre Ljubljana, which he both co-founded, he conceived important all-evening choreographies of contemporary dance, and helped raise new generations of dancers and choreographers. In 1987, he founded the research studio Koreodrama Theatre with the actresses Alja Tkačeva and Berta Bojetu. The Koreodrama Theatre explores the relations between verbal theatre and the dance/physical variants based on the European traditions of contemporary dance and the European expressionism. Frey is primarily interested in the dramatic and his choreodramatic interpretations of classic dramas inspired by traumatic moments of 20th century Central Europe. He is also the author of several dramas.

Major works:


  • Laibach Metasthasis, Dance Theatre Ljubljana, 1986
  • The celebration of the Youth Day (Tito’s birthday), Belgrade, Serbia, 1988

Theatre projects:

  • P. Božič: Agata Schwarzkobler, Koreodrama Theatre, 1986
  • O. Wilde: Salome, Koreodrama Theatre, 1987
  • S. Grum: De Profundis, Koreodrama Theatre, 1987
  • J. Genet: The Maids, Koreodrama Theatre, 1988
  • M. de Sade: Philosophy in the Bedroom, Koreodrama Theatre, 1989
  • Jean Genet: Haute Surveillance, Koreodrama Theatre, 1990
  • D.Z. Frey: Blood and Hinds, Slovenian National Theatre Drama Maribor, 1990
  • S. Grum: An Event in the City of Goga, Slovenian National Theatre Drama Maribor and Koreodrama Theatre, 1992
  • They’re Coming (original project based on The Chairs by Ionesco), Koreodrama Theatre, 1992
  • G. Strniša - D.Z. Frey: The Frogs, Koreodrama Theatre and Cankarjev Dom, 1994
  • The Rite of Spring of D.Z. Frey, Koreodrama Theatre and Cankarjev Dom, 1994
  • D.Z. Frey: Fair Vida (based on Ivan Cankar), Koreodrama Theatre and Mladinsko Theatre, 1995
  • The Escape from Hell (based on the hymnic tragedy by Ivan Mrak), Koreodrama Theatre, 1996
  • J. Genet: The Balcony, Koreodrama Theatre, 1996
  • E. Ionesco: The Lesson, Koreodrama Theatre, 1997
  • D.Z. Frey: Shizophrenia, Koreodrama Theatre, Ljubljana, Mittelfest, Cividale, Italy, 1997
  • The Beckett Matter (Materija Beckett), Koreodrama Theatre and Slovenian National Theatre Drama Ljubljana, 1998
  • S. Grum: An Event in the City of Goga, Zagreb Youth Theatre, 1998
  • To Act (based on a sketch by Gertruda Stein), Koreodrama Theatre, Ljubljana
  • U. Betti: The Crime on the Goat Island, Koreodrama Theatre and Primorska Summer Festival, Koper/Capodistria, 1999
  • B. Bojetu: Filio is not at Home, Koreodrama Theatre and Slovenian National Theatre Drama Maribor, 2000

Dragan Živadinov[uredi]

Born in 1960. He studied theatre and radio direction (AGRFT, Ljubljana). In 1983, he founded the Theatre of the Sisters of Scipio Nasica – named after the arsonist of Roman theatres. After abolishing it in 1987, he founded the Red Pilot Cosmokinetic Theatre, and the Cosmokinetic Cabinet NOORDUNG named after Herman Potočnik Noordung, the inventor of geostationary satellites. Fascinated by the romantic enthusiasm of historical avant-gardes, he tries to realize the first real abstract theatrical work in the cosmos - the real place of theatrical art. He is primarily interested in theatrical beauty – a total theatre that fuses its means of expression to generate a spectacle distinguished by refined pathos. He is also a candidate cosmonaut.


  • Theatre of the Sisters of Scipio Nasica - 1983-1987: Illegal phase:  Retrogardist Event Hinkeman, 1983 Exorcist phase: Retrogardist Event Marija Nablocka, 1985 Retroclassic phase: Retrogardist Event The Baptism under Triglav, Cankarjev Dom, Ljubljana, 1986
  • Self-destruction - 1987
  • Red Pilot Cosmokinetic Theatre - 1987-1999: Stage Observatory Fiat, 1987
  • Ballet Observatory Fiat, 1987 Ballet Observatory Zenith, 1988
  • Stage Observatory Zenith, Mladinsko Theatre, Ljubljana, 1989 Stage Observatory Capital, 1990
  • Cosmokinetic Cabinet Noordung - 1990-2045: Inhabited Sculpture Prayer Machine Noordung, Cankarjev Dom and Slovenian National Theatre Opera and Ballet Ljubljana, 1992 Inhabited Sculpture 50-year Project Noordung, Mladinsko Theatre, Ljubljana, 1995 Farewell Ritual Likvidatura Atraktor, Mladinsko Theatre, Ljubljana,1998 Farewell Ritual A Thousand Years of Film, Mladinsko Theatre, Ljubljana,1999 Farewell Ritual Gravitation Zero/Biomechanics Noordung, Cosmonaut training centre
  • Iuriy Gagarin, Moscow, 1999 Farewell Ritual Three Products Noordung, Slovenian National Theatre Drama

Directory of Theatres[uredi]

  • AGRFT – Academy for Theatre, Radio, Film and Television
  • B–51 – B-51Association
  • CD – Cankarjev Dom, Cultural and Congress Centre
  • CNP Podgorica – Serbian National Theatre Podgorica
  • CRSU DELAK – DELAK – Centre for Performance Research
  • HNK Ivan Zajc Reka – Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc Rijeka – Croatian National Theatre Rijeka
  • HNK Split - Croatian National Theatre Split
  • KUD France Prešeren – Association for culture and art Framce Prešeren
  • MGL – Municipal Theatre Ljubljana
  • NUK – National and University Library
  • PDG Nova Gorica – Primorsko Drama Theatre Nova Gorica
  • PG Kranj – Prešeren Theatre Kranj
  • PTL Ljubljana - Dance Theatre Ljubljana
  • SLG Celje – Slovenian People's Theatre Celje
  • SMG – Mladinsko Theatre
  • SNG Drama Ljubljana – Slovenian National Theatre Drama Ljubljana
  • SNG Drama Maribor – Slovenian National Theatre Drama Maribor
  • SNG Opera in balet Ljubljana – Slovenian National Theatre Opera and Ballet Ljubljana
  • SNG Opera in balet Maribor – Slovenian National Theatre Opera and Ballet Maribor
  • SSG Trst – Teatro Stabile Sloveno / Slovenian Repertory Theatre Triest
  • ŠKUC – Student's Cultural Centre
  • ŠOU Ljubljana - Student's organization Ljubljana
  • ZKM Zagreb – Zagreb Youth Theatre


  1. First published in Bosnian in Album nb. 10, Sarajevo, 2000.
  2. The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia did not have a federal Ministry of Culture. Cultural politics were left to the culture committees of its republics.
  3. Ljubljana had the first gay discotheque in Eastern Europe.
  4. This anxiety was excellently put into words by the Slovenian playwright Ivan Cankar in his farce A Scandal in St. Florian's Valley: "God did not make St. Florian's Valley to feed and shelter artists, thieves and other good-for-nothings! St. Florian's Valley has lived without artists so far, and it will henceforth! We know what we know: that art is a ragged coat of unchestity and other mischief!" The attitude of the officials in St. Florian's Valley (Slovenia) remains the same today.
  5. Slovenia has two million inhabitants. There is only one academy for theatre, radio, film and television.
  6. Tomaž Pandur, artistic director of the Slovenian National Theatre Drama Maribor, was practically expelled from his post on account of a financial loss that hasn't been explained up to the present day.
  7. Written for Contemporary Theatre Review, London. Special thanks to Emil Hrvatin for his editorial advice.
  8. The abolition of the Templar order in 1312 due to accusations of blasphemy and sodomy, which French king Phillip IV the Fair demanded of Clement V, the then pope caused a pogrom against homosexuality in the Middle Ages. Templars presented a direct threat to Phillip's power. The order was founded in the time of the crusades in the 12th century and it consisted of Knights of the Cross and their squires. The order was named after Salomon's temple in Jerusalem. In the second half of the 12th century, one of the Templar's posts was supposedly in Ljubljana at the location of the today's Križanke open theatre. The abolition of a wealthy order of soldiers and the burning at the stake of their Grand Master Jacques de Molay in March 18th 1314 has started speculation on their going undercover, which also inspired the Enlightenment Masonic lodges supposedly still control events in society today.
  9. Mladen Dolar, Struktura fašističnega gospostva (Ljubljana: DDU Univerzum, 1982), 107.
  10. "It is the vigorous male world that causes the most problems to activism. We are talking about those, who represent an image reeking of mothballs – politicians, institutions, sometimes the media (especially the more conservative ones). The image of a Slovene peasant and soldier, the fighter for his Fatherland, or a more contemporary image of a successful businessman, do not allow gentle or passionate sighs for anyone, let alone for someone of the same gender; their image renders it impossible for them to "submissively" spread the legs in acceptance of a male organ. It is improper, which explains why the president of the Slovene Doctor's Association described homosexuals as dead branches on the tree of life (the view-point of the profession!) and why a representative of Ljubljana notability wrote them off as children whose fathers do not allow them to do everything they want (the view-point of the politics!)." Brane Mozetič, Kratka zgodovina za začetnike, in: Časopis za kritiko znanosti nb. 177: Gejevske in lezbične študije (Ljubljana, 1995), 10-11.
  11. Christopher Lasch, The Culture of Narcissism (London: Sphere Books, 1980).
  12. Slavoj Žižek, Jezik, ideologija, Slovenci (Ljubljana: Delavska enotnost, 1987), 126.
  13. Ibid., 136.
  14. International Psychoanalytical Society; after Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, L’Anti-Œdipe, Capitalisme et schizophrénie (Paris: Les Éditions de Minuit, 1972), 53.
  15. "Dread of castration, caused by looking at female sexual organs, is probably shared by all men. At this point it is impossible for us to explain, why some fight this impression by becoming homosexual, why others fight it by creating a fetish and why the great majority manage to control it. (…) It is reasonable to expect that the missing female phallus will be replaced by organs or objects that can symbolically represent a penis." Sigmund Freud, Fetišizem, in: Metapsihološki spisi (Ljubljana: ŠKUC, FF, 1987), 421-22.
  16. "This loss, this "sacrifice", is what Lacan's notion of "symbolic castration" points to: it is certainly more than a mere pun when the thing, the loss of which God demands from Abraham, is his "willy"." Slavoj Žižek, Hegel in označevalec (Ljubljana: DDU Univerzum, 1980), 153.
  17. Jacques Lacan, The subversion of the subject and the dialectic of desire in the Freudian unconscious, in: Écrit: A selection (London: Routledge, 1989), 323.
  18. Jacques Lacan, Le séminaire, livre VII: L’éthique de la psychanalyse (Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1986), 347.
  19. Jacques Lacan, Hamlet (Ljubljana: Društvo za teoretsko psihoanalizo, 1988), 5. Translation of: Desire and Interpretation, 1958-59, Ornicar 24/1981, 25/1982, 26-27/1983.
  20. Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, L’Anti-Œdipe, Capitalisme et schizophrénie (Paris: Les Éditions de Minuit, 1972), 40: "Le problème du socius a toujours été celui-ci: coder les flux du désir, les inscrire, les enregistrer, faire qu’aucun flux ne coule qui ne soit tamponné, canalisé, réglé."
  21. Ibid., 53: "Il est certain que les objets partiels ont en eux-mêmes une charge suffisante pour faire sauter Œdipe, et le destituer de sa sotte prétention à représenter l’inconscient, à trianguler l’inconscient, à capter toute la production désirante. La question qui se pose ici n’est nullement celle d’une importance relative de ce qu’on peut appeler pré-œdipien par rapport à Œdipe (car “pré-œdipien” est encore en référence évolutive ou structurale avec Œdipe). La question est celle du caractère absolument anœdipien de la production drésirante."
  22. Ibid., 80: "Mais de toute façon le mal est fait, la cure a choisi le chemin de l’ œdipianisation, tout jonché de déchets, contre la schizophrénisation qui doit nous guérir de la cure."
  23. Lacan, 5.
  24. Jacques Lacan, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psycho-analysis (London: Vintage, 1998), 129-130 and 149-150.
  25. Simon Kardum, Prostori prostora, Maska nb. 1-3 (Ljubljana, 1995), 50.
  26. Set design was created by DeLuxe group, the members of which were at that time Matej Mihelčič and Samo Lapajne.
  27. Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams (New York: Gramercy Books, 1996).
  28. "Justification of Lacan's therapeutic guideline that the analyzed must never be "deculpalized", relieved of their sense of guilt – such "help" would only serve their narcissism." Slavoj Žižek, Jezik, ideologija, Slovenci (Ljubljana: Delavska enotnost, 1987), 159.
  29. Mladen Dolar, Struktura fašističnega gospostva (Ljubljana: DDU Univerzum, 1982), 121.
  30. Žižek, 149.
  31. Innocent VIII., Summis desiderantes affectibus (Roma, 5th December, 1484).
  32. Templars were accused of spitting on the Cross and kissing their superior's ass in the ritual of initiation. According to Mikuž, in the Middle Ages "the Europeans believed that the devil had no ass and although he could put on features of any kind, even human, he could not pretend to have a behind. Whenever he is among the saints or with his followers on the Sabbath, he usually wore a face where his behind should be, with the mouth in the area of the anus." Jure Mikuž, Nema zgovornost podobe (Ljubljana: Domus, 1995), 17-18. Šavli claims that the face represented the entire person and his soul. Jožko Šavli, Slovenska znamenja (Gorica; Bilje: Humar, 1994), 98. Furthermore, Mikuž says: "Similar to a number of other religions, ritual kissing represents the highest form of praise in Christianity as well, therefore kissing of devil's behind in blasphemous rituals was an expression of the worst anti-praise. (…) Such kissing is namely connected with rituals practised by certain other sects, the Cathars, the Masons and the Templars, for example. (…) The origins of the habit presumably go back to times when, on their crusades, the Templars encountered cabalistic interpretations, according to which the last spinal bone on the rump is called luz, which means almond. That was supposedly the only part of the human body that never rotted or decayed in any way. As such, it was the basis of resurrection; since it was eternally unchanged, the ancestors and the successors met in it and it was therefore an important object of worship." Mikuž, 18-19.
  33. Henry Institoris and Jacob Sprenger, Malleus maleficarum, maleficas et earum (Strasbourg: Jean Prüss, 1486).
  34. Name of a hill, supposedly the meeting point of Slovene witches.
  35. Marjeta Tratnik Volasko and Matevž Košir, Čarovnice (Ljubljana: Znanstveno in publicistično središče, 1995), 245-246.
  36. First published in the catalogue of Exodos festival (Ljubljana, 1995) and in Mentor nb. 4-6 (Ljubljana, 1995).
  37. The performance Enter Achilles by the British company was first performed at the Exodos festival in Cankarjev Dom, Ljubljana, on May 31st, 1995 with the support of British Council and Adria Airways.
  38. In the Slovenian language, the name of Slovenia's highest mountain, Triglav, means 'three-headed'. It is symbolicly represented in the coat-of-arms of the Republic of Slovenia.
  39. In the Slovenian language, proteus anguineus is called a 'human fish' because the colour of its skin resembles human skin. The proteus is a blind aquatic salamander discovered in the deep caves of the Slovenian karst region.
  40. Published in Mentor nb. 5-6 (Ljubljana, 1994) and in Razgledi (Ljubljana, March 20th, 1996).
  41. = Mladinsko Theatre, Ljubljana, premiere November 27th, 1993, direction Vito Taufer. = Taras Kermauner writes: "Employing codes – synthems, ludism has replaced their serious and even tragic essence, but not in a one-sided, simple manner. Taking the leading part, the absence of the essence and the absolute (divine) becomes even better hidden; the codes rely upon this hide-and-seek. In fact, ludism can be defined as playing hide-and-seek with the absent, all-conditioning absolute, given and perceived mainly as devouring emptiness, but nevertheless terrifying." Psyche: Program (Mladinsko Theatre: Ljubljana, 1993), 17.
  42. Corneille-Molière, Psyche, 1671.
  43. Mladinsko Theatre, Ljubljana, premiere January 29th, 1993.
  44. Dominik Smole, The Baptism at Savica; written in 1961, the tragedy was published in 1969 (Maribor: Založba Obzorja).
  45. Translated from: Andrej A. Rozman, Tartif, in: Mentor nb. 3-4 [part 2 in nb.5-6], (Ljubljana, 1993), 16-17.
  46. Mladinsko Theatre, Ljubljana, premiere February 28th, 1996.
  47. "The phallus becomes the "signifiant" when one has grasped the fact that its "positive" presence (by a "man") but positivises and incorporates void, emptiness, and absence; speculatively, it is exactly as a positive category, as something present, that it comes to incorporate, confirm, and signify "castration", its own absence, the lack of itself (...) "Having a phallus" means subjecting oneself to symbolic castration. A phallus signifies that there isn't one. As a "signifiant of desire", the phallus means that the register of desire can only be entered on the basis of irreducible loss and renunciation – by symbolic castration. Slavoj Žižek (and Riha Rado), Problemi teorije fetišizma (Ljubljana: DDU Univerzum, 1985), 128.
  48. Martin Heidegger, Die Technik und die Kehre (Pfulingen: Günther Neske Verlag, 1962).