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