Photomorphization of a trauma

performance, 2007.






It was a performance piece, performed at Croatian national theater in Varaždin. Artists, Crtalić and Kordić, were physically detached from the audience, completely deprived of immediate contact with them. From the laptop in backstage, they projected a large slide show made of photos that they took from 2002-2007 and that were connected with their  relationship. There were elements of surprise in seeing them for both of the artists, because each brought her/his own photos without previous consultation, so that immediate response to them wouldn't be compromised.

Photos alone, as time cuts, evoked memories of some happenings, and performative conversation hopefully had a therapeutic impact on their relationship. Artists had microphones while audience was listening live to their dialogue.

Thus, the performance had twofold effect, primarily on two of them because they discussed private conflicts in front of unknown audience, like in front of some kind of jury, followed by artifacts and evidence materials that were supposed to resolve them; and secondarily it ’taught’ audience to watch the performance without the performers. It was an attempt of avoiding direct nudity (as mere presence of artist’s figure in his/her work is, or his/her nakedness) that is usually connected with performance art, and to give to that nakedness (that is actually immanent to every honest work of art) a more subtle form, exposing only the lovers discourse to immediacy of that media and depriving the audience of physical choreography.

Third side of the story was recording the performance with video camera, which documented the already documented, and thus closed those memories in a loop of ever repeating experience that is threatening to become a symbolic one.

Photos are paraphrasing the silent movie media, in which case it is not only silent but also move less, and who are later being brought to life by comments and by act of performance itself.

Oxymoron that inevitably occurs in this process, shows entropy that is happening when memories and feelings are pro-e-voked by dead pieces of present time (called past), pieces that are obviously modeling our current identities, relationships and behaviors, all of them as realistic as mere photographic facts are.