UNLISTED: TWICE IN A LIFETIME
CHRISTINA KRUISE, ANA LETUNIć & MONIKA PONJAVIć
“Unlisted: Twice in a Lifetime” collided the perspectives of locals and newcomers, forming a lens through which to (re)view Belgrade’s unused public spaces. Organized in collaboration with Serbian arts organization Eighty Ten, “Twice in a Lifetime” was performed in Belgrade, Serbia as part of the BITEF Festival side program, Belgrade at a Second Glance, in September 2012.
At the center of “Twice in a Lifetime” were three performances in three non-theatrical, public spaces. These site-specific performances were created collaboratively by separate teams, each team including Serbian and international artists. The first performance, “Wasted Youth” (curator: Ana Letunić ), which was performed on an abandoned terrace, explored the disillusionment and frustration felt by “20-somethings” in the Balkans. “Everywhere is a Home” (curator: Christina Kruise) explored perceptions of ownership and use in a desolate, disregarded courtyard. The final performance, “SingularPlural” (curator: Monika Ponjavić ), researched the relationship between space, body and culture via dance. Through the framework of unused public space, each performance simultaneously highlighted a place of neglect as well as a social issue affecting the local landscape.
“Twice in a Lifetime” was the first installment of “Unlisted,” a model of performance that travels from city to city, combining the gaze of newcomers with the experience of local artists in effort to awaken a new awareness of the city for local audiences. “Unlisted’s” thesis is that a small change in awareness or perception can create a ripple effect, nudging the aesthetic and emotional life of a city in a new direction.
According to architect Juhani Pallasmaa, “Buildings are extensions of our bodies and minds.” Lewis Mumford, Gaston Bachelard and Jonathan Raban argue that it’s space that generates society’s mental and emotional state. Chicken vs. egg argument aside, in an urban environment, there is some level on which space creates mind/body, and vice versa. “Unlisted” asks: How does a newcomer see a space differently than someone who has seen it every day for the last 20 years? Can awareness of a space affect awareness of its potential? Does the way one person interacts with a space change how others perceive that space?
The next iteration of “Unlisted” will take place in Pittsburgh, PA, in September 2013, under the title “Second Steel.”