Via Negativa (Slovenia): Shame

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Date(s) - 2012/07/26
20:00 - 21:30

Chamber Theatre

created and performed by: Anita Wach, Darko Japelj, Grega Zorc, Katarina Stegnar, Magdalena Tuka, Marie-Louise Stentebjerg
costumes: Via Negativa, Ajda Tomazin
stage technician, light design: Igor Remeta
producer: Špela Trošt
concept, direction: Bojan Jablanovec

“Be yourself, show yourself!
There’s nothing to be ashamed of!”

That’s one of the most notorious imperatives of contemporary society. It seems that today the world is completely open, ready to accept us as we are – no more restraints, no more shame. Contemporary media culture demands to be open, to share opinions, to express feelings, to be critical, to be entertaining… Shame seems to be something from the past century, something pre-modern. Shame simply doesn’t fit our contemporary identities.
But at the deeper level we can sense that shame does not disappear – we have just repressed its symbolic function. In spite of denial, shame remains a secret structure of each subjectivity, it persists as some stubborn surplus of humanity. In contemporary media culture, shame is ashamed of itself. Media reality has become a masquerade of insecure individuals hiding behind their public faces and defending their dignity – hiding their shame.
And so is our performance. Hiding behind characters, defending their dignity and denying their shame is our basic performing strategy. In Shame we have created numerous fictional, biographic, fairy, allegorical and absurd characters, and hide behind them. We use the stage as a space for a travesty of fake identities.

Via Negativa is an international performing arts project whose work is focused on the relationship between the performer and the audience in real space and time. This relationship is seen as a complex flow of points of view, expectations, judgements, conclusions, recognitions, stereotypes, fallacies, prejudices, tolerance or intolerance, knowledge or the lack of knowledge – all these trigger various emotional, rational or irrational responses. No matter what the subject or the story of the performance is, we always search for the situation that triggers this relationship. We are interested in live art that exists because of questions and not because of answers.
Via Negativa is also an open project, a loose community of artists, under the artistic direction of theatre director Bojan Jablanovec. Between 2002 and 2008, we produced 7 projects on the 7 deadly sins and organised numerous workshops where a lot of international performers joined us. In 2009 we began working on a new performance series called Via Nova. In the past years, we have toured at several prominent festivals and institutions around Europe.