photo: Đorđe Tomić

Bitef and the Laboratory of performing arts, Faculty of Dramatic Arts, Belgrade

Conference Autobiography as a Performance: Between Bios and Its Performative Representation

Monday, 26thSeptember, Yugoslav Film Archive, Uzun Mirkova 1

To be one’s own, to be present

The conference Autobiography as a Performance addresses the themes of auto/biography and identity, the production and reception of autobiography as a performance and its link with the modern image of the world. It will examine theoretically and practically the complexity and significance of the autobiographical performance for the queer, post-colonial and post-modern discourse. Through practical performances, video documents and lectures we shall examine the experience and presentation of personal I: autobiographical performance as a powerful weapon of resistance for the performer and the spectator alike. Antonin Artaud says: “Theatre is a state, a place, a point in which one can understand man’s anatomy. Knowing man’s anatomy can cure and determine life (…) Sky can still fall on our heads and that is why theatre was created…”

Noh theatre productions have three basic elements: Skin, Flesh and Bone. It is hardly ever possible to find all three in one and the same actor. A performer of an autobiographical performance, however, finds Skin and Flesh and Bone and generously offers them to us. The ability to resist makes both the performers of solo performances and the spectators present. While analysing Kantor in the course of the conference, we shall also analyse the following: “I am on the stage. I will not be an actor. Nevertheless, parts of my life will become ready-made objects. The ritual and sacrifice will be performed here every evening.”

The lecturers, performers and audiences the conference will pay homage to thousands of performers who created both resistance and presence during Bitef’s fifty years. We feel honoured that owing to performances by Konstantin Bunuševac, Neša Paripović, Nenad Racković, Saša Marković Mikrob, Adam Pantić, Dijana Milošević, it will analyse and instruct researchers and theatre authors and theatre audiences how to examine their own ability to resist or, as the Chinese would say, kung fu, of as we would say, to be one’s own and to be present.

Ivana Vujić


10:00 – 10:15 Opening, Introductory speeches:

–          Konstantin Bunuševac, multimedial artist, Serbia

–          Prof. Ivana Vujić, FDU Belgrade, Serbia


I session The space of personal I between experience and representation

Chair: Aida Bukvić, MA and Jelena Bogavac

–          Nina Király, PhD, theatre scholar, Hungary: Tadeusz Kantor – director as a hybrid visual artist on stage

–          Tim White, PhD, University of Warwick, United Kingdom: I Have Measured Out My Life With Coffee Spoons

–          Neša Paripović, visual artist, Serbia: Film N.P. (1977), duration: 25’

–          Branislav Dimitrijević, PhD, Higher School for Fine and Applied Arts, Belgrade, Serbia– From the first to the undefined person


II session History and the time of confessions

Chair: Branislav Dimitrijević PhD and Milena Bogavac

–          Nina Živančević, PhD, poet, professor Paris 8 and Sorbonne, France/Serbia:North American avant-garde performance from Spalding Gray’s Swimming to Cambodia and Karen Finley’s Tales of Taboo to Penny Arcade’s Bad Reputation to Ethyl Eichelberger’s Medea

–          Stéphanette Vendeville, professor Paris 8, France: Living Theater and my role in the creation of artistic departments at the Experimental University at Vincennes

–          Adam Pantić, Art.D., professor Faculty of Fine Arts, Belgrade, Serbia: Installation Mira and Mile, duration 30’


III session Individual subversive performing practices – one’s own

Chair: Mirjana Ognjanović and Prof. Ivana Vujić

–          Darka Radosavljević Vasiljević, art historian, Remont, Serbia: Saša Marković Mikrob

–          Miroslav Karić, Saša Janjić, art historians, Remont, Serbia: Nenad Racković

–          Milica Tomić and Saša Marković, visual artists, Serbia: Film From socialism to capitalism and back, duration 30’

–          Discussion


IV session Between post-drama theatre and performance – women-writers on the stage

Chair: Nina Živančević, PhD and Nina Kiraly, PhD

–          Tamara Bijelić, dramaturgist, Serbia:Between post-drama theatre and performance women writers on stage

–          Milena Bogavac, dramaturgist, Serbia: I am fiction

–          Simona Semenič, dramaturgist , Slovenia, I, why?

–          Jelena Bogavac, director, Serbia: Acting biography

–          Snežana Golubović, dramaturgist, Serbia/ Germany: My personal alphabet


V session Personal I and building the presence

Chair: Adam Pantić, Art.D. and Dijana Milošević, Serbia

–          Katalin Ladik, poet, actress, performer, Serbia/Hungary: Feminism and autoperformance

–          Milan Mađarev, PhD, theatre scholar, Serbia: Autobiographical elements in Joseph Nagy’s theatre of movement

–          Mirjana Ognjanović, translator, writer, Serbia:Paolo Sorentino = Poni Sagoda = Toni Servilo

–          Prof. Aida Bukvić, MA, Academy of Dramatic Arts Zagreb, Croatia: Personal I and character building

–          Slavenka Milovanović, dramaturgist, Serbia: The life of Bitef as our performative biography

–          Konstantin Bunuševac, multimedia artist, Serbia: Autobiographical performance Kosta, duration: 30’

–          Discussion


VI session I/Truth/Experience/Identity

Chair: Miroslav Karić and Saša Janjić

–          Dijana Milošević, director, DAH Theatre, Serbia: Performance 25 Glasses of Wine, duration: 30’

19:00 – 19:15 Theses for the synthesis and closing of the conference, Prof. Ivana Vujić