Tanja Ostojic
Tanja Ostojic. Personal Space, 1996–98.
Personal Space has been first
performed at Biennale of
Young Yugoslavian artists in
Vrsac in 1996. It is the static
performance incorporating
sound and video material.  
Performed  on  the occasion of
Manifesta 2 European Biennial
of Contemporary Art, inside
the Elevator of the Musee d’
Histoire de la Ville de
Luxembourg (City Museum of
Luxemburg), June 26- 28, 1998,
for one hour on each day.
In the large elevator, I had placed a square of non-affixed white marble
powder in which I stood, with  my head  and body  shaved and covered
in  marble  dust. The  audience was able to  use  the elevator as usual
(pressing  the  buttons on  the control  board, entering  and  exiting at
the  desired level), or to remain  in  it for as long as they wished, given
my  performance. Thus,  the  audience  could see  me  only in  a static
position in the chosen space.
After  the  performance,  the  elevator  went  back  into  regular use,
carrying  the sound  that marked the space. Composer, V. Radonjic,
created for me  sound  that describes  silence. This gentle, anxious
sound-landscape was able to reflect my perturbed soul. The viewing  
of the performance
Personal Space was possible for the duration of
MANIFESTA 2  with  the  use  of  existing   museum  equipment  for
transmission of documentary video: liquid crystal display monitors on
each floor of the museum, next to the elevator.
The dynamic of this work is  interior, above all. Communication  with a
viewer  who  then  automatically  becomes a participant  carries along
with it an  unbelievably strong and  deep exchange  of energy. As  for
me,  this  moment  is  followed  by  a gentle  return  to  focus,  with my  
mental concentration allowing me to open up once again.
The presence of  a huge  number of  people  interrupts  the intimacy of a
one-to-one relationship, bringing in more tension. This, in fact, heightens
the level of the concentration of energy in the space, which is why I chose
the glass elevator in Luxembourg. Thus, in  creating this particular work, I
value  above  all my own inner experience, as well as that of my audience.
Tanja Ostojic, "Personal Space", 60 minutes performance / video, 1998
Copyright © Tanja Ostojic 1996-2009