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
Tanja Ostojic,
"Personal Space",
60 minutes
performance /
video, 1998
Copyright © Tanja
Ostojic 1996-2009