Lie & Theft as Practice (2020)

Lie & Theft as Practice continues over the year of 2020 during which the processes will be split in four working phases.

Over the course of 2019 the group of 10 artistic collaborators was fabricated and certain practices were conducted within this construction. Overall idea was to build neutral space in which each of the participants coming from various artistic and/or not backgrounds, will be in position to get to know and connect with one another.

Creation of the online platform as an ongoing exchange served to share the outcomes of the individual and later on, the results of the collective tasks with the outside audiences. During the same year artistic collaborators had a possibility to work with some of the international artists working in the fields of performance, choreography, dance and visual arts. These collaborations were in the formats of three Workshops each resulting with the foreseen public showings bringing together the accumulated synergies from these stages.

In the year of 2020 focus is shifting on bringing the practices outside the studio space, on the streets of Belgrade, aligning try-outs, experiments and site-specific interventions with urban landscape. This way participants of the project under the creative direction of Darko Dragičević will bring in closer relation the co-existence of diverse social set-ups always in relation to their own researches under the umbrella of the overall topic. This way we will try to scrutinize how these structures affect one another and what kind of necessary, even urgent answers can be imlemented in order to acivate and resist the constructs of the neoliberal systems that all seem to be equally leading to the non-existence of the values relevant all of the living species to further sustain, and finally survive.

We want to make a mark questioning how can art be more activist, how it can be greater than the familiar spaces of comfort zones allowing both indivudual and micro-communities to have more voices paralelly opening up the spaces of emergencies and vulnerabilitis? We believe that actual socio-political constructs must be brought into question; they need to re-emerge in order to have a chance to adopt themselves to the new environments.

In the year 2020 Lie & Theft as Practice will be divided in two parts. First part will have its main focus on the site-specific interventions while the second part will shift onto selections from the archived materials which will finally be presented in the book catalogue under the same title Lie & Theft as Practice, second in the series of practices following the tracks of its first edition Failure as Practice published in 2019.

This new publication, as the previous one, will be followed by multi-disciplinary contents raging from performances, exhibitions and public talks in Serbia and abroad.

Concept: Darko Dragičević, Zorica Milisavljević Artistic Director: Darko Dragičević
Project Manager: Zorica Milisavljević
Project Director: Frank Baumann
Artistic Collaborators: Stevan Beljić, Miloš Janjić, Katarina Kostandinović, Lana Pavkov, Dušan Savić, Ana Vuković

Lie & Theft as Practice is a project of the Goethe-Institut Serbia within the Next Generation platform.

Darko Dragičević


Lie & Theft as Practice (2019)

Our society is continuously challenged with multiple turmoil. Planet is revolting, people are migrating, more and more animal species are closer to their extinction. Yet, we feel that the ways in which we are consuming the life of everyday, even producing any kind of labor, is highly informed and based on one owns truth. But what really lies beneath the post-capitalist machinery is the world entirely constructed on restrictions and manipulations of what could be called our collective knowledge. Role of individual is permanently lost in the pool of replicas and re-inventions within the context of neoliberal system. Belonging is the crucial point, we chose and merge with the others and this way we construct zones of comfort known as micro communities. In global terms all these communities, that all of us belong to!, imagine to rely on questions of truth, trust and beliefs. But what really constructs these beliefs is something beyond, sometimes ungraspable. Human is becoming more and more aware of the constructs of our own identities questioning their background, their values. We often understand that there is no way out from the system that’s been created and that is existing. We are faced with the facts that our reality is mostly based on Lies and Theft. These two terms have direct associations with something that is negative but we believe that what we trust is truth is also finding its roots in something that has been borrowed or said differently. That’s why, we want to examine the transformative powers of these two terms into the new modes of individual and collective thinking as we believe there is a lot to be recognized, questioned and placed in practice..

Lie & Theft as Practice will be one-year process stretching over the next year of 2019. This process will be continuously shared, as practice, with its participants but also within the various formats of presentations that will be shared with the audiences outside this group.

Our aim is to analytically approach the topic of Lie & Theft as Practice implementing them in various socio-political and cultural contexts.

Concept: Darko Dragičević, Zorica Milisavljević
Artistic Direction: Darko Dragičević
Project Manager: Zorica Milisavljević, Goethe-Institut
Responsible/Director of the Goethe-Institut: Frank Baumann

Artistic Collaborators: Stevan Beljić, Maja Bosnić, Miloš Janjić, Katarina Kostandinović, Darija Medić, Lana Pavkov, Dušan Savić, Ana Vuković

Lie & Theft as Practice is a project of the Goethe-Institut Serbia within the Next Generation platform.

Darko Dragičević

Phase I: February 25 – March 11, 2019

Next Generation: Lie & Theft as Practice
Goethe-Institut 50, Knez Mihailova Street Belgrade

It has been said that lying is moral. – Matthew Brannon, Interview with Rosa Vanina Pavone, Uovo (April 2006)

The first phase of work on the project titled Lie & Theft as Practice conducted by artist Darko Dragičević within Goethe-Institut’s Next Generation platform constitutes the formation of a team of ten local associates who represent various artistic disciplines. The selection and formation of the transdisciplinary group will be performed on the basis of the exchange of information through which we wish to shake the foundations of the widely known connotation that follows the terms lie and theft, as well as their powers of transformation into newly-devised formats of artistic creation. Our aim is to create a group the members of which are ready to continually take part in a two-year-long cooperation in the construction of materials that will serve as archival objects. Processes of cross-examining the individual body and the knowledge it incorporates, that same body with regards to a different body, and finally the society itself, will serve as materials for introductions, exchange and the creation of a community in which we further interpret the credibility of omnipresent system values through the implementation of a number of practices as potential parameters. From this stand on “cultural capital” we will bring into question the power of archiving itself, as well as the issue of copyrights. In addition to performing arts, the project participants will be given an opportunity to develop textual, digital, musical scores, etc. In the course of the last day of the March phase, the newly-selected participants of the Lie & Theft as Practice project will have a chance, for the first time, to jointly open and begin a dialogue on an assigned two-year topic within the formed group. What follows is a number of workshops in September, November and December of 2019, as well as an exchange of online tasks during the month of May of this current year.

Phase II: May 12-26, 2019

Next Generation: Lie & Theft as Practice

Following the formation of the ten-member group, in the first phase of work on the Lie & Theft as Practice project we will launch a number of performance processes through which we wish to contextualize practices that will be an integral part of the contents we will be working on in the course of 2019 and 2020.

The second phase is aimed at introductions, presenting each of the participants to the rest of the group, beginning an exchange of ideas with regards to the terms lie and theft, as well as their potential powers and influence on the devising, development and formation of directions within the framework of artistic creation.

Personal and collective approaches, as newly-found soulutions, will be available via an online platform which will serve as a kind of laboratory through which the processes that have been newly devised by the group will be presented to the public as well.

In the course of the second phase in the month of May, ten associates on the project will have an opportunity to reflect on already existing analytical and critical processes by using different forms of artistic practices, and then commence a two-year round of such processes through which they will open new chapters on the assigned topic by way of discourse.

Collectivism, as a priority, represents the basis of the newly-formed community, the aim of which is to create its own contents, solely by means of cooperation and exchange between its members. This way, we wish to initiate discussions or perhaps offer answers as solutions to certain situations from the grids of the everyday that result from the social-political apparatus.

Phase II, with a duration of two weeks, at the same time represents a platform in the course of which two tasks will be carried out.

Phase III: September 9 – 23, 2019

Next Generation: Lie & Theft as Practice
Magacin, Kraljevića Marka 4-6, Belgrade

The September workshop of the two-year project "Lie and Theft as Practice", led by Darko Dragičević, is a phase during which collaborators will work on developing movement and speech practices through methodologies derived from contemporary dance, performing and visual arts.

During this two-week phase, we aim to critically analyze the roles and responsibilities of contemporary artistic practices in the pervasive toxic states of society, as well as its effects on the irreversible consequences on the future of our planet. The role of the individual within the group, as well as questions of the authorship through artistic exchanges, are just some of the motives that will serve as materials for the long-term development of potentially embodied solutions.

The first week of the project aims to strengthen the neutral space, the foundations of which are based on mutual trust and support. Tasks and scores from contemporary performing practices will serve to further shape the emerging forms of exchange and collaboration.

During the second week, we will be working on the development of the choreographic materials that will be presented to the public individually, as well as the entire group as a whole, on Friday, September 20th from 8 pm to 10 pm at the premises of the Magacin Cultural Center in Belgrade. This event is also the first presentation of collaborators on the project to the public.

A production by Goethe-Institut Belgrade / Supported by Stanica, Service for contemporary dance Belgrade

Phase IV: November 22 – December 11, 2019

Next Generation: Lie & Theft as Practice
Magacin, Kraljevića Marka 4-6, Belgrade

Last, 4th phase of the project ‘Lie & Theft as Practice’ in the year 2019 starts with two Workshops by two German choreographers and dance artists Martin Sonderkamp and Christina Ciupke.

First Workshop which will be held from Friday, November 22nd until Sunday, November 24th is with Martin Sonderkamp currently teaching as Professor of Choreography at DOCH – Stockholm University of The Arts.

About the field of research within the overall topic of ‘Lie & Theft as Practice’, Martin Sonderkamp says the following:

The workshop serves as a platform to sample the ideas, methods and materials that the artists of Lie and Theft have realized since the beginning of the project. Stealing is translated into amicable lending and borrowing and lying into appropriating through embodying and becoming. Each artist explores, in a short time, methods of transmission and transposition, re-play and imitation and is challenged to develop the necessary skills to perform the work created.

Second workshop from November 29th to December 1st, 2019 is with Berlin based choreographer and performer Christina Ciupke. For the purposes of the Workshop Christina Ciupke writes the following:

Everything that is processed by memory is, to some extent, fiction and appropriation of various sources. We continuously mix our own stories and references with the stories of others. The process of memory is voluntary and involuntary, conscious and unconscious, an ongoing layering of collective memory.

When does reality blur? Where are the limits of fiction?

Do we walk a blurred line between fact and fiction, between appropriation and theft, when we tell the story of a story, when we write a poem inspired by another poem, when we write a line of text, when we improvise a movement that is always based on the memory of a movement, when we reinvent a song that we hardly remember?

In the workshop Lie & Theft as Practice I want to give an impulse to retrace how to think about the original, the real, the own and the alienated.

Furthermore, 10 days period after the second Workshop will serve to reflect, discuss and deepen the dialogue with the artistic collaborators of the project ‘Lie & Theft as Practice’ which will be used to deepen and further facilitate the upcoming collaboration in 2020 but also to start the processes of archival and selection of the materials for the book/catalogue under the same title.

Phase V: February 17 – March 1, 2020

Prior to the encounter in February in Belgrade the artistic collaborators on the project Lie & Theft as Practice will engage with two practical tasks over the course of five weeks. The purpose of these tasks are the implementations in urban landscape. Their aim is the engagement of the group in the upcoming site-specific formats that will further develop over this year during different phases.

The outcomes of the documented materials will be presented to the rest of the group in the first week of the Workshop in February.

With site-specific actions in public space we are aiming to try out and experiment with various practice based possibilities in which those that were already applied over the past year in the studio space, and during which the collective body between the group members was created, will be further applied on the streets of Belgrade. In this way, using different media as political strategies in which the bodies play the main tools of resistance, we want to observe, question and ulitmately implement parallel lines of actions. Visible, or maybe even invisible at first glance.

We believe in the necessities of the reconfigurations in deeply rooted and instrumentalized ‘facts’.

Staying within the frame of performative practices we are posing a question: How can art be more politically engaged in these times of extremely precarious political and economical turmoil? What is the role of individual during these shifts in relation with the others? How can we support each other in more meaningful ways in order to create the arguments that could, perhaps, reach out to the others? We want to increase the awareness that systems need to be questioned over and over again in order to create a discourse. Without discourses or alternative ways of being and functioning our own purposes are lost.

For us, the discourse as a critique needs to be applied in practice and always in relation to other bodies in the public space.

We do not want to associate the terms lie and theft with exclusively negative connotations. If these terms are used in more imaginary or even more original ways they could lead to the creations of more positive outcomes.

Furthermore, if they are erected on already existing constructs, they could provide alternative ways in which failure, empathy or different kinds of vulnerabilities, could provide the new tools of resisting the overall powers of consumption coming from political and economical machineries.

Concept: Darko Dragičević, Zorica Milisavljević

Artistic Director: Darko Dragičević

Project Manager: Zorica Milisavljević

Project Director: Frank Baumann

Artistic Collaborators (and Workshop participants): Stevan Beljić, Miloš Janjić, Katarina Kostandinović, Lana Pavkov, Dušan Savić, Ana Vuković

Lie & Theft as Practice is a project of the Goethe-Institut in Serbia within the Next Generation platform.