“Scene Work Ahead” is a result of collective work – a spatial, architectural and textual object which is activated by performing interventions and interacting with the audience in the course of the Quadrennial. This open and performative installation is designed and structured as a collage of various elements. It is a complex system varying in definition and presentation – of collective work characteristic of performing arts, of stage performance ephemeral nature and of relations established between different artistic practices within the exhibition’s unique framework.
… The object in front of us, the audience, at the foot of which we stand and which we follow through this publication, is an abstract construction open to in – terpretation. The wooden supporting pillars rising from a base made of concrete and rubber carry a massive charred cuboid. At first sight, the relation between the base and its superstructure seems to be the one of risky stability. The lower part of the object is a zone of events. Pass – able and permeable, it is a staged square – public space that invites visitors to access, penetrate and occupy it; a place for rest or break, and a field of synthesis of key points and perspectives that the work articulates. The texts performed by an actor, in the form of either music numbers or guidance through the object, take the concept of labour as a thematic axis. They occupy the central area of the exhibition set-up – either by being occasionally per – formed live or heard through an audio recording available to the audience. The concept of labour is problematized in relation to the political and historical framework: start – ing from work in the field of culture and art, followed by work in the meaning of (self)development and advancement, work as slavery and exploitation, and finally, work in the manipulative field of contemporary precarity.
… The final mass – collage of text, sound, voices, actions and objects erases spatial boundaries, pulls us in and confronts us, the audience, with multi – plied images and forms of precarity which, being so com – plex, indicates the potential area of struggle of all of us, united in our uncertainty.
Bojan Djordjev, Siniša Ilić and Maja Mirković
Excerpts from the curatorial texts
“Scene Work Ahead” was commissioned for the presentation of Republic of Serbia at the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space 2019.
Production and organisation: Museum of Applied Art, Belgrade and Scen – Centre for Scene Design, Architecture and Technology (OISTAT Centre for Serbia), Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad