METAMORPHOSES 3º: RETORIKA PREMIERE PERFORMENS This is the third performance in the Metamorphoses 1º- 5º series, a multi-year modular project including not only performances but also other artistic and theoretical formats. Each of the five parts enters a broader context of Ovid’s Metamorphoses on the basis of particular current political or social events, connecting them
METAMORPHOSES 3º: RETORIKA
This is the third performance in the Metamorphoses 1º- 5º series, a multi-year modular project including not only performances but also other artistic and theoretical formats. Each of the five parts enters a broader context of Ovid’s Metamorphoses on the basis of particular current political or social events, connecting them to the universal topics of humanity and deep contradictions of contemporary human beings. Metamorphoses, also known as the “pagan Bible”, have inspired Western European culture since the age of Augustus precisely because of the lucid intertwinement of the small human personal traits and the big metaphysical questions that always place human actions in a broader ethical and cosmological context, but at the same time leave room for the particularity of human nature. In Bara Kolenc’s multiyear project, Ovid’s Metamorphoses serve as a basis for staging current political and ethical topics, which enable an insight into the fundamental oppositions of contemporary Western human being, especially in his/her relation to nature, social bonds and fellow human being. Central to the performance are particular human passions that, due to the contemporary feeling of political powerlessness, the disintegration of imagined communities, the impotence of language and the growing oppositions between nature and culture, assume a universal character and thus radically intervene in the modes of communal living.
Metamorphoses 3º: Retorika examines the field of language and communication and enters this field through an artistic articulation of rhetoric, a specific skill that already Aristotle named the art of persuasion. The artists are interested in disclosing rhetoric as a topical or acute reality of our time.
In consumer society and neoliberal democracy, rhetoric is one of the key means of manipulation. PR (Public Relations) is the most vibrant realization of post-structuralists and psychoanalytical discovery, that speech as such is not merely a dry linguistic structure: it is fleshy, it inhabits the speaker’s body and voice and influences the listener directly (at the level of associations, emotions, passions, subconscious psychic operations).
The presupposition of our collocutor’s truthfulness with which we usually enter a conversation gives way to the presupposition of their deceptiveness. It is precisely because in neoliberalism rhetoric became the art of concealing the actual interest and of preparing and delivering the best and most persuasive quasi-argumentation possible that it today connotes fabrication, falseness and verbal virtuosity, which serves as the armour of trickery, fraudulence and exploitation.
Insofar as neoliberalism, which is set on silencing and suppressing the demands for egalitarianism and social justice, almost pathetically stresses individual liberties, parading the freedom of speech, it kills two flies with one stone.
For not only does it forget social justice (changing it into humanitarianism, which is directly opposed to the idea of fraternity and equality), but with the freedom of speech, which is actually unrestricted (censorship exists only as a concealed mechanism, while the official line is that it remained behind the iron curtain a long time ago), it achieves a liberation from the burden of ideological single-mindedness and the weight of one truth. But it does so only to throw speech to the lions, into the arena of (free) economy and consumerism, forcing it to start fighting for its place, to become manipulative. Thus, it is paradoxically precisely (free) speech that enslaves.
Another paradox here is that within the flood of information in the sense of anything goes we do not witness the degradation of the value of truth – truth doesn’t dissipate in total devaluation. The situation is exactly the opposite: in the era of virtual capitalism, truth, structured as fiction, obtains its monetary value. Truth indeed is no more truthful, but it has acquired another quality: today the truth is real. It produces capital.
An extensive research on the topic is being conducted during the creative process through workshops, discussions, public interventions, in collaboration with different artists and critical thinkers.
Concept and realization: Bara Kolenc and Atej Tutta
Performers: Sanja Nešković Peršin, Bara Kolenc, Rebeka Radovan
Technicians Sister : Jošt Pengov-Taraniš, Matej Markovič
Sister A: Andraž Zlobec
Dramaturge: Pia Brezavšček
Sound design: Jernej Černalogar The Rumours Song: Matevž Kolenc
Make-up: Anja Cojhter
Technical support: Radovan Jaušovec
Executive producers: Bara Kolenc, Julia Danila, Matic Korošec
PR: Mojca Zupanič, Uroš Bonšek
Produced by: Kud Samosvoj
Co-produced by: Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture, Kud Pozitiv
In cooperation with: Plesna Izba Maribor, M.I.K.K. Murska Sobota, Zavod DrMr, Uferstudios Berlin, KC Mostovna
Supported by: Ministry of Culture, Republic of Slovenia, Mestna občina Ljubljana, Ljubljana – Zelena prestolnica Evrope