On the evening of its third opening, “Yes, but is it Performable? Investigations on the Performative Paradox” approaches completion with the contribution from the Slovakian artist Alex Mlynárčik, “Tag der Freude” (Day of joy). It’s about a film by the director Dušan Hanák, documenting a Happening titled “Wenn alle Züge der Welt” (When all the trains of the world). This Happening itself is in line with Mlynárčik’s other experiments in expanding reality through fusions of art and life. It’s a playful, filmed depiction of the ceremonies observed when a local railway in a region of northern Slovakia closed. It mixes collage-like photography, live action, interviews, old engravings, and archival material of historical train trips, all revolving around a sympathetic and humorous portrait of a romantic, old steam train. The happening and its documentation are based on the artist’s wish to show the train to the region’s inhabitants in a farewell illuminated by imagination and solemnity.
In addition, this evening also marks the inclusion of Katalin Ladik’s work in the show. Ladik is a radical pioneer who belonged to the former Yugoslavian and now Hungarian artistic-feminist avant-garde. Her oeuvre encompasses poetry, performance art, experimental music, and audio plays. In it the artist uses movement and gesture to explore language and its potential for expression, as well as its limitations. References to feminist themes in Eastern Europe and the personal, social, and existential difficulties artists must face are also important cornerstones of her work. Among other things, Ladik’s major video work, “Poemim” (1980) and her series of photographs “Poemim” (1978) and “Pseudopresence” (1972) will be on display.
The live performance of the evening is Nezaket Ekici’s contribution. In her piece “Gaia – Mother Earth” (2016) Ekici addresses the spiraling violence in the world today. In front of the backdrop of “Thou shalt not kill”—a major tenet of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism—the artist questions the reasons behind today’s inflationary violence. According to her line of argument, the natural cycle of life and death is also disrupted by violence. In “Gaia – Mother Earth” she undertakes an impressive, powerful act in an attempt to restore this cycle.