HI-RES, again

13.09.2006 |



TITLE: HI-RES, again

The script for the video was written in 2006 by Marina Gržinić and Aina Šmid. The first version of the video will be realized already in 2006.

Script and direction: Marina Gržinić and Aina Šmid
Text in the video written by Marina Gržinić
Choreography: Maja Delak and Mala Kline
Dancers: Maja Delak and Mala Kline
Actor: Gregor Zorc
Music: Stefan Geissler and Jakob Ortis
Production: VPK, Ljubljana 2023


HI-RES by Maja Delak and Mala Kline is an exceptionally challenging dance performance. It brings up questions and offers several unexpected answers about what is to be done in today’s contemporary dance, where the limits of representation as the frame, affecting and stimulating contemporary dance, are, and to what extent is the dancing body capable of creating meaning for itself and for others.

The dance performance HI-RES was premiered in October 2004 at the Old Power Station in Ljubljana.

Location: Garden in Rožna dolina, Ljubljana

Image 1 / FRAME

Location: Garden. Basketball hoop
Gregor Zorc, dressed in jeans, white undershirt, boxer shorts.

Props: empty frame for canvas

A Fascicle binder with texts always in front of the actor.
Intervention with text. Interruption. We assist the actor, we hold the papers for him so he is able to continue with the text.

Text (Gregor): In this performance the frame has a crucial meaning, since it underlines the artificiality of the contemporary dance scene. The frame speaks about contemporary dance as a practice which surpasses life. It clearly conceptualizes the precipice, the rift, the distance between the body of life and the life of the dancing body on stage. Without the pipelines, without the channels of the outer world it is impossible to reconnect these two bodies.

HI-RES stresses that dance research cannot develop merely with persisting in dull repetition of normative elements of contemporary dance.

Sticks to his body a plaster with the name: Jérôme Bel?

Image 2 / BODY
Location: Garden. Swimming pool scene.
Appearance of Maja Delak and Mala Kline.
Props: black metal cane

Text (Gregor): The capacity of the body in HI-RES can be embraced with reference to Deleuze in the following way. One: it is worth introducing Deleuze's thesis in connection to Spinoza: Nobody knows what a body can do. And two: Let us ask with Deleuze: Is contemporary dance capable of representing the body?

The actor makes a spin with the cane; does a small pirouette. Speaks directly into the camera.

Text (Gregor): By the way. I got all this from other books. So, you can borrow it as well and freely refashion my thoughts.

Draws © on his body, crosses it out, and writes Creative Commons.

Image 3 / BOX
Location: Garden. Central part.
Appearance of Maja and Mala.
Props: the box from the performance

Text (Gregor): The box in HI-RES speaks about private property. In the dance performance it provokes violence. Maja Delak and Mala Kline conceived this Pandora's box within the sphere of repetitive compulsion, which keeps people on the wrong or on the right track.

Action: Maja and Mala perform the box sequence. In the end Maja Delak snatches the cane from Zorc's hands and “strikes” him on his head.

Location: Garden. On the grass. Filmed simultaneously from two opposites sides of the garden.

Text (Gregor): HI-RES refers to the history of dance, but also to the procedures, which disciplined the body through history. One of the figures creates a particularly strong impression: a hybrid between an Egyptian sphinx and a beggar.
Action: Maja and Mala perform the scene from the performance.

Text (Gregor): The performance effectively develops two states: boredom and captivation.
What Agamben finds in boredom, following Heidegger, is the relationship between boredom of man and captivation of the animal. In both cases both man and animal are being held in suspense. Man is simply an animal that has learned to become bored. If he has the time to be bored? – Haha – Who has the time to be bored today anyway?

Location: The path leading into the house. Lying on the sand.
(Interarchives p. 254, 289)
Actor naked in front of a (photographic) camera.

Text (Gregor): Giorgio Agamben discerns a state of exception in the articulation of man and his animality. The state of exception is the paradigm of the global world and neoliberal global capitalist countries.

Scene the arrival of the musicians.
Actor stands up, runs away, camera follows. Completes his text.

Text (Gregor): The state of exception is disclosed with the retreat from Auschwitz. Only to few is given the opportunity to be human, others need yet to fight for this trait. HI-RES is the state of exception in contemporary dance.

Location: Garden. Table in front of the windows.
Props: loaf of bread, chunk of butter, Radenska, a glass of jam, paper towels, wax tablecloth, glasses, plates, real and plastic knives.

All five performers sit at the table and eat. They are preparing their food in all seriousness, concentrated. This is not a domestic feast or a family get-together but a working meeting of a group, preparing for a joint project. Meanwhile they discuss politics.

Text (Gregor): Present-day art institutions and art projects in the capitalist First World function on the basis of unbearable abstraction. Artistic strategies and tactics capable of generating resistance are eliminated. Capitalism is a cannibal. In order to devour everything and everybody and if the circumstances will require this, it will transmute into inventive and social capital. We are not dealing with a utilitarian but with a cannibalistic matrix. The key moment of the reflection on the position of art is economic. In other words, the art market, which today, more than ever, exerts influence on which artistic projects will acquire visibility and which will be included in the circle of interpretation.

Text (Maja): The second key moment is property relations. Namely, the exhibitions and art projects are owned, they have actual owners. Economic and as well as symbolic. There are only a few chosen ones, while everybody else is excluded from the story.

Text (Stefan): Private property rules.

Text (Mala): The capitalist machine has an inherent need to possess new productions and expressions of creativity. The capitalist logic is based upon surplus value of goods and also of works of art. To put it differently: What contemporary art, criticism and official institutions rejoicingly share is creativity. But this is creativity without resistance.

Text (Jakob): Not a ghetto of art! What is needed is a contamination of arts and politics.

Image 7 / BOREDOM
Location: Old Power Station.
Dancers lying on the set, bored.
Gregor breaks onto the stage, jumps on the set, slides across the floor, says his lines.

Text (Gregor): Suely Rolnik described the process of fresh blood supply to the capitalist (cannibalistic and blood-sucking) system as “kidnapped inventions”. The role of the kidnapper is performed by different systems of theory, criticism, institutions and practices.

Text (Maja): Get lost! Although today many artistic performances and projects carefully cultivate the possibility of eliminating the dividing line between the stage and the viewers, this is not the case! This apparent circularity, where as in some magical trance, it seems that we can exchange places …

(Mala runs off the stage, sits in the audience, and starts laughing loudly, roars with laughter.)

(Maja continues with the text): denotes the end of the political subject in theatre and in the public space.

Image 8 / GHETTO
Location: Garden.
The actor stands at the entrance to the buiding, view from the garden. (repetition: actor stands on the window ledge.)

Text (Gregor): To remain in the artistic ghetto as a separate sphere of society means to keep art separate from the power of resistance. To restrict it to a mere source of (surplus) value representing an easy means of survival for the pimp – the capital.

We need to place ourselves in an area where politics and art are closely intertwined, where the resistant force of politics and the creative forces of art mutually affect each other, blurring the frontiers between them. This is an attempt to place us in a thoroughly contaminated area: “First on the side of politics contaminated by its proximity to art, and then on the side of art contaminated by its proximity to politics.” I propose a new vocabulary: “Kidnapped inventions”, “contamination of art and politics”, “contagious art practices” and “radicalized theory”.
To be more precise: alternative practices in Slovenia were not only evacuated and isolated, but were, literally “kidnapped,” twice. The first time it was in 1997, when Ljubljana was declared the “Cultural Capital of Europe” – precisely because of its reputation in the eighties and in the beginning of the nineties for its non-institutional strategies. The second “kidnapping” took place in 2000, when Manifesta 3 was held in Ljubljana. An intermediary point in this genealogy of the dissociation of art from resistance is represented by the case of Metelkova.


Location: In the garden. Neutral area.
(Interarchives p. 38)

Scene dialogue with Šugman from 1977: Gržinić and Šmid’s video: Retroavant-garde + IRWIN + Postsocialism
The actor repeats the scene ten years later.

Text (Gregor): PostFordist labour absorbed much of that which is understood as political action. Upon this another turn is important as well. A transition from the politics of memory to the memory of what used to be political. Instead of the political, what is at work is abstract formalization. Agamben establishes a genealogy of the human as an arrangement of figures: in the form of the beast, headless and thoughtless. These are not just metaphors, but political figures of the human moving in the direction of an increasing emptying, abstraction and formalization of the human.

Text: Mladen Stilinović from Zagreb succeeded in 1997 to trace the initial multiculturality as a matrix of global capitalism with the statement: An artist who cannot speak English is no artist! This sentence, a work of art of the nineties, epitomizes the capital’s “social sensitivity” to all those identities, which are to reveal themselves to the world. In English, no matter how broken it is. Yet today’s logic of the world, being in perfect harmony with the evacuation of global capitalism and its snobbish attitude, requires the correction of this sentence! An artist who cannot speak English well is no artist! This is the grand lesson of the capitalist First World we are yet to learn!

Image 10/ SNOB

Location: Garden
After lunch. The performers have their arms around each other’s shoulders and look at the camera. Grega is in his boxer shorts.

Text (Gregor): Language-wise, the emptied discourse is refined, self-indulgent to perfection. It connects the abstraction of money in capitalism with the procedures of abstraction and evacuation in the area of contemporary art, culture and theory.
This is a new turnover in sensuality. No longer can it be treated in the old way. As Adorno did in past in connection to alienation.

Grega turns to Mala, hugs her, and kisses her. Resumes his lines with seriousness: You recall the Frankfurt School, don’t you, alienation of the individual in the capitalist system? Today, it is just the opposite. The individual is marked with a complete sensualization or spiritualization of the capitalist emptiness.

Gregor steps out of the group and makes a handstand. Repeats his lines in this position.
(Interarchives p. 316)

Text continued: A good illustration are two movies which are not ordinary Hollywood blockbusters! One is Lost in Translation, year 2003, directed by Sofia Coppola, the other Broken Flowers, from 2005, by Jim Jarmusch. In both stories, the image of the capitalist emptiness, hollowness, disinterest in any kind of engagement, politics or action reaches a maximum. The capitalist First World ultimately deals only with a snobbish elevation of its own hollowness, presenting it as the ultimate aesthetic form.

Image 11 / THE SONG
Location: Garden
Stefan and Jakob play and sing “the song.” End.

Read more (Text Maska (pdf) with article written about the artist)