Tadem Kitch has been experimenting with performance and critique in an interdisciplinary manner since 1999. Keeping a strong theoretical and conceptual background, focusing now on performance, especially on the performative potential of kitsch and trash, attempting to directly check beliefs in possibilities of political emancipation and disidentification on stage during the in-depth work with bodies – our own and spectators’ ones. Challenged with the collective work of various generations, Kitch reduces theatre language to reach over boundaries of stage, genres and the spectator-performer relationship in a more effective way.
From its first performance Sale onwards, Kitch has been continuously realising more or less kitschy ideas, rebelling categorisations, working in-between performance, theory, and trash aesthetics.
The name Kitch is the trademark’s negative. We declared the water, the blood and the petrol as articles branded with Kitch (project Kitsch is Kitch), we put our trademark on the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana (Selling of the Faculty of Arts), but also on our own wedding (Kitch Wedding). Consumerism as the basic mechanism of reproducing of the existent–and its bioopolitical aestheticisation on the level of body–is the phenomenon exposed in our project (XXX Sale, Shop Till You Drop, Welcome to the Shopping Paradise). Kitch is a trademark that brands and valuates spaces, substances, and body parts, degrading the artwork to the level of a merchandise article.
We continuously raise attention to the repressive and exploitative role of the contemporary systems of domination (Streets are Battlefields, Life’s Not Work, No Politics Just Sex, Por.no Kitch). By putting the Living Room in a city park, by selling the Public Air in the street, by reflecting the erasure of boundaries between the public and the private (Publicisprivate), and by putting a cargo container on the square in Ljubljana city centre and installing the Permanent Waiting Room inside it, we were endeavouring to emphasize the importance of the public space as the space of freedom–continuously shrinking, being colonised and abused under pressure of vulgar capital.
On its way between Bologna, Vienna, London and Ljubljana, the project Living on a Border built a platform of art-research-activist exchange focused on the problem of borders and migration as the most visible symptoms of dividing people by categorizing. Later, we were rethinking the notions of omnipresence of borders, surveillance and repression (You are the Third in the Queue, Made in China and The Number Is Not Available at the Moment).
In video performance On Her Pleasure: Naked Reading of Lacan Kitch She on her own body, practically and theoretically, requestions the fluid issue of female joy. In performance XXX YU she exposes her breasts in order to requestion the phenomenon of war crimes in former Yugoslavia. In his video Back to Garage Kitch He was researching a social bottom of Belgrade in the 1990′s.
The Kitch tandem also deals with education in contemporary art. The educational project at the field of multimedia art Supernova resulted in the multimedia mobile performance Le petit prince. The project of education at the field of documentary film and video My Digital Story resulted in the seven engaged documentaries. Within the Multimedia Practicum for the Empowerment of the Minorities we developed education at the field of contemporary performing arts, which resulted with multimedia happening Phantom of Identity.
Background of our engagement is critical research, with focus on emancipatory practices and concepts, and political philosophy aiming at radical equality. Throughout the experiment, ad hoc actions, questioning and demystification of the role of art, we are trying to understand its (political) purpose and realise its emancipatory potential here and now.
Kitch is focused on performance (live art) and theoretical production, researching, publicist work, education, and video/film. Established in 2006, the institute merges longterm researches, backgrounded in political philosophy and critical theory, with artistic and theoretical engagement.
contact and legal information:
e: kitch (at) mail.ljudmila.org
Kitch, institute for art production and research
tax number: 10891463
registration number: 2194619
IBAN: SI56 6100 0000 5022 425
We hold the official status of the institute in the public interest in the field of culture in Slovenia.
web pages kitch.si:
background photography: Miha Fras, Nada Žgank, Kitch
technical realisation: Bosko
Lana Zdravković is researcher, publicist, political activist, producer and performer (not necessarily in that order). She has a PhD in philosophy from the Faculty of postgraduate studies, University of Nova Gorica (Comparative studies of ideas and cultures, philosophical module: the transformation of modern thought – philosophy, psychoanalysis, culture) with the thesis Politics of Emancipation: Thought-Practice of the Militant Subject. She graduated in comparative literature and sociology of culture at the Faculty of Philology of University of Belgrade, with the thesis Samuel Beckett, the Innovator of Romanesque Form.
In her work she nurtures synergies between theoretical, activist and artistic approach to research of: politics of emancipation, thought-practice of the militant subject, radical equality, political/engaged/critical art. She passionately faces rethinking of the issues such as: power of presentation and excess of representation, potential of subversive artwork, opening of the spaces of equality as processes of redistribution of the sensible, scandal of the embodiment, identity and belonging.
She has carried out numerous solo projects and as part of the artistic tandem Kitch (since 1999) and is also co-founder of institute for art production and research Kitch (2006). She actively cooperates with City of Women festival (since 2005) and is a member of The Association for the Promotion of Women in Culture – City of Women (since 2012). She takes part in the technoburlesque collective Image Snatchers as Rebellious KITCH Controversy (since 2014). She attended Laboratory for contemporary performing arts of Via Negativa (in 2015, 2016 and 2017).
Nenad Jelesijević is a theorist and researcher at the field of contemporary art and interdisciplinary artist in tandem Kitch. He focuses on phenomenon of critique in contemporary performance, aestheticisation of resistance, and potentials of disidentification.
In his texts he deals with contemporary performance arts, film, video, contemporary dance, multimedia and interdisciplinary events, public/common space, architecture, urbanism and design. He is currently publishing in these media and publications: Performans.si, MMC RTV Slovenija, Radio Študent, Maska (member of the editorial board), Kino!, Časopis za kritiko znanosti, Annales, Amfiteater. He has also been publishing in Dialogi, Tribuna, Media Watch Journal, Borec, Delo, Večer, Mladina etc. He is taking part in conferences and symposia in areas of philosophy, theatre, performance, aesthetics, sociology.
He graduated in Interior Architecture from the Faculty of Applied Arts in (Art University in Belgrade), took his MA in Video and New Media from the Academy of Fine Arts (University of Ljubljana) with the thesis Art Is a Merchandise Article, and his PhD in Philosophy and Theory of Visual Culture from the Faculty of Humanities (University of Primorska) with thesis Critical Artwork and Symbolic Capital.
He is a guest lecturer at the Department of Cultural Studies of Faculty of Social Sciences at University of Ljubljana. He has been a lecturer at Famul Stuart College for Applied Arts in Ljubljana.
He is also dealing with graphic and web design (e.g. books Multituda, The Scars of the Erasure, book series Dialogi, journal Dialogi, graphic/web designs, logos and prints - Human rights press point, Njetwork, Protect, Kitch, Multimedia practicum for empowerment of minorities …) and video production.
He is a co-founder of Kitch – Institute for art production and research, Ljubljana, where he co-organises project activities.