Performances for Change the World or Only for Make up the Dead Body

Call for Submissions

Call for Submissions

II Symposium

Political Performance

Performances for Change the World


Performances for Apply Make-up on the Dead Body

24. –  27. 3.  2012

Belgrade, Serbia

The Second Symposium Political Performance is dedicated to the theory and current practice of political performance art and performance art in politics.  Political Performance is a convergence of desire and necessity; the desire to question how performance art today might approach the subject of politics, and the necessarily to respond to the imperative, in these crisis times: to put performance art at the forefront of political collective conscience and individual thought and practice. In one sense, it has already done so: politicians (not artists) have moved performance art from the margins of art history to the centre of a broader political discourse. The performance artists now stay in closed gallery circle, making performances with bureaucratically determined goals, in order to be enjoyed by the few.

And during these turbulent times, many of the most radical behaviours and skills from performance art migrate to politics, and politicians have given the most attractive, and, unfortunately, the most influential performances. Why do they use one of the most expressive, most emotionally powerful, most radical of art forms; one synonymous with political resistance? Why do today’s politicians have to be performance artists as much as possible? Because, there is no longer enough bread – only circuses! Politicians-as –“circus” were a global phenomena until yesterday.

Today’s performance stars are angry protesters! A new global phenomenon has occurred in real political life and performance: the politicians, who have been using   performance very successfully, and political protesters, have exchanged places! Iconic performance sites such as streets and squares have already been occupied by real political performers – for instance protesters in Tunis’s November 7 Square, Tahrir square, Cairo, Green Square, Tripoli

However, let us not assume political use of performance art is reserved only for the Third World, for this is a situation where globalization brightly shows its real face: everything, everywhere is disintegrating. There is no place on the Earth where you are safe with politicians and politics, their exploitation and opposite: there is no place for calmly sleeping: there are protesters in Madrid, London, Wall street, Roma, Moscow, in every major city. Protesters in revolt give not only the most powerful and radical performances but performances in which they risk life and limb (as in Syria and South of Serbia)!

However, now in the world of global capitalism, we wonder: are these performances really progressive? We have no peace because we feel the words of Walter Benjamin from 1936, which are very apt for the times: “Fascism attempts to organize the newly created proletarian masses without affecting the property structure which the masses strive to eliminate. Fascism sees its salvation in giving these masses not their right, but instead a chance to express themselves. Fascism seeks to give them an expression while preserving property… War and war only can set a goal for mass movements on the largest scale while respecting the traditional property system.”

Now more than ever, performance artists must help their societies win in this curative fight with global Fascism, so they must perfect in the subtle ways to use performance art to advertise itself.

The Second Symposium Political Performance opens up  the questions:

– Performance art to change the world or performance art only to apply make-up on the dead body. Every now and then, performances really  question  and try to radically change the society, or do they slave only to beautify  the dead body? Does this mean performance has lost its radical edge? Has performance become a safe artistic commodity, or does it still épater la bourgeoisie and demand a better tomorrow?     

– The performance art in the age of “Calculated Stirring”. Leading or supporting role of the performance art in the Eve of Destruction? What is the nature and  function of political performance art in the second “dark” middle ages of art and life, riddled with unimaginable exploitation and torture, sadism, totalitarian systems, and unprecedented mass destruction; riddled with sick needs to endlessly devise even more perfected ways of man’s degradation until total ruin and destruction engulf him… In the age when The True, the Beautiful, and the Good, the Holy Trinity of Art, are banished from all realms artistic and existential.

– “To the Left, to the Right, the freshness is nowhere!” Left Wing and Right Wing performances; Fascistic and Antifascism performances?

– “Money in the Hands” of “You, People without Mercy.” Anti capitalism  and anti globalization  performances have been implicated in a process of inoculation  to protect  capitalism? Must  the performance art be influenced by capital or must they be fully integreted with capitalism? Has political  performance been co-opted   into signs and  commodities and thus becoming subservient to Capital?

Ana Milovanović

The Second Symposium Political Performance examines the complexities underlying our current perceptions of political performance, not only in Serbia, but worldwide. It aims to discover the mechanisms of political propaganda and manipulation of the masses across performance art   and to try to offer a new approach to the study of political performance. It aims to encourage performers, artists, academics, theoreticians and, not least, the audience to make differences between performance within the political setting of everyday life, and performance art with a political content.

The symposium will be a gathering of some of the most exciting and radical performance artists and thinkers from across the world and will showcase some of the most interesting examples of performance in the political life of Serbia. It will be a four-day program of events and activities, taking place at well-known public and historical sites in contemporary Belgrade on historical dates (24th March and 27th March) and at an important historical time – just before the “pro or contra EU” referendum in Serbia.

We are seeking submissions only from artists, activists, academics and theoreticians working within live performance art and political performance.

For artists:

Please submit as much as possible about the work you wish to show (visually and textually), alongside details and information about your previous political performances. Please also enclose a CV and links to online media about the work you wish to show and any other previous works. All must be sent as a file attachment to:

For academics and theoreticians:

Please submit as much as possible of   the text you wish to participate at theoretical platforms. Also, enclose a CV. Abstracts should be no more than 250 words in length and must be sent as a file attachment to

The deadline: 25. 2. 2012.


For more detailed information about, please write to:


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