Nomad Dance Institute POLIGON Ljubljana
From 10. to 18. 10. 2014, Nomad Dance Academy Slovenia in collaboration with Kino Šiška hosted one of the Nomad Dance Institutes’ project – Poligon. The selection was made based on the interest in exchange of tools, methodological approaches between artists from the region. The aim of this intensive process and laboratory was to trace local specificities and spread knowledge to the community. These are also the basic principles that are introduced and followed by the NDI project in general.
Poligon in Ljubljana was organized and prepared on the NDA principles of empty space and balance, the event was outlined by the NDA Slovenia team in collaboration with Poligon creators, but not finalized. The workshop/artistic process was a working session where final decisions, the dramaturgy of the event and the content of the project, as well as also responsibilities for each level were cleared and decided within the group.
The group of artists that have initiated the project (in Ljubljana only part of the group was present: Bojan Đorđev, Siniša Ilić, Jana Jevtović, Maja Mirković and Katarina Popović ) has engaged with the local artist (Jana Božič, Iva Tratnik, Simon Macuhom, Ines Šimunić and Jasmina Založnik) for 5 intensive days of working, building, exchanging and shifting the “original” Poligon.
A week long process, research and several runs of the performance took place at a space also named Poligon which is inside the old Tobacco factory in Ljubljana. The laboratory was divided in two parts: firstly, a preparatory phase and secondly, was the event / performances.
The preparatory phase lasted 4,5 days and gathered artists from Slovenia as well as creators and initiators of Poligon project. In the second part, which lasted 3 days, the installation / in-situ performance / event was open for the public.
The main concern for the project was to create a frame or rather a content that would situate and contextualize its locality (from historical point of view to the contemporaneity).
Listing some urgent question in order to share and approach them with a group of local artists, that consist not only from artists arriving from different fields, but also from various places in Slovenia and therefore also different backgrounds – in order to investigate them further from the very beginning to the very end of the process.
Some of the following question could be listed:
-how Poligon functions in various venues?
-what kind of Station should be invented, transformed in order to make it more locally specific?
-is there a possibility to connect and engage with non-performance audience, if the Poligon is transmitted in non-theatre venues?
-how to expand the strategies, tools and methodologies further?
-what strategies should be invented in order for the audience to become active, to shift, change and mainly question the stations of the Poligon?
-what is the politicallity of Poligon as such?
-how Poligon changes with introduction of new stations and directions for the audience?
-should and could Poligon be seen as an experimental platform, that is growing, expanding and shifting?
-where is the border between the process and product? How to differentiate these two modalities and on which of them the experimental forms (such as Poligon) should focus?
As it is mentioned in the long list of questions, the idea of making Poligon in Ljubljana was also about tracing a new space – non-theatrical venue and trace the possible effect on the project as such. Does shifting the venue bring any extra value to the project? Could the new audience be attracted by bringing the project closer to them? Who could be the actors with whom Poligon could identify the most?
With this kind of question, the organizers in Ljubljana (team of Nomad Dance Academy Slovenia) approached a co-working initiative entitled Poligon with the assumption that the critical mass gathered around a brand new space for co-working could not only engage, but also understand the main concerns and ideas standing behind the project. Moreover, that the organizers of the space, will not only help in promotion but also invest their creative potentials and make Poligon forced to shift its focus or shake its basic assumption. But what happened was rather the opposite. With juxtaposing the two projects we dug even more directly into the flesh of Poligon (various use of the term and for this reason also a bit variation of its meanings). Even more, from historical point of view, in facing and experiencing the reaction, it enabled us (at least the actors involved in the process) to trace the shifts and meaning of Poligon as such on different levels and experiment with the notion of freedom in different ways.