WE CELEBRATE A FAREWELL TO THE ROMANTIC IDEA OF THE ARTIST PRODUCER AND WELCOME THE ARTIST CONSUMER.
The artist as embodiment of “true, authentic, genuine human production” nowadays does no longer exist. Today we are faced with an artist – innovator of consumption, maker of various artistic forms of consumption. As Boris Groys says: “Nowadays art no longer stands at the source of artistic work but at its end. The signature of an artist no longer means that the artist has produced a specific object, but that he has made use of this object – and done so in a particularly interesting manner.” (The Artist as Consumer, 2008) The artist does not compete anymore with production of the new and otherness but produces different protocols of consumption of the media in which creates.
Hundred Toasts is celebration. We are here to raise our glasses and toast a genuine artist, who knows how to bring people together. The artist, who knows how to make people think. The artist, who knows how to focus people’s attention on the most important issues. The artist, who knows what exactly is the most important issue. And we also toast to all of us, the present and absent ones, who need to be cheered up: deadly bored ones, badly confused ones, pretty disappointed ones and to all, for no reason, sad ones.
Hundred Toasts was first performed in Poland, where it was dedicated to the celebration of the birth of the Polish theater director and visual artist Tadeusz Kantor, while in Slovenia it was dedicated to the celebration of the death of Slovenian romantic poet France Prešeren, and the culture, which flourish on his grave.
Conceived and devised by Anita Wach and Bojan Jablanovec
Performed by Anita Wach
Concept and direction: Bojan Jablanovec
Music: Glenn Miller, Michael Nyman, The Stooges, Alfred Schnittke
Producer: Špela Trošt
Production: Via Negativa with the support of the City of Ljubljana
Co-production: Maat Festival Lublin, Ja Ja Ja Ne Ne Ne Association Warsaw
Premiere: 4 December 2015, Maat Festival Lublin / 8 February 2016, Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova Ljubljana
Duration: 50 min
Dancers cross borders and surprise
Gazeta Wyborcza / 14 May 2017 / Monika Żmijewska
Anita Wach from Via Negativa based her performance on interaction with the audience. In this piece she invites us to join a celebration and asks us to raise toasts, precisely one hundred toasts. Each viewer receives a plastic cup with wine and a card with written toast- all read at loud by each member of the audience. There is plenty of them mostly dedicated to a figure of an Artist: for eccentric life, for unique ideas, for extraordinary personality, and also for the artists which should be gone to make a room for new generations. Each toasts either makes the audience laugh either transforms laughter into silence. In the meantime the artist on the stage presents specific kind of inbred dance: she carefully walks among dozens of plastic cups displaced on the floor, repeatedly dressing up and undressing, making aerobatics with cups doing her best not to spill the wine or opposite, to spectacularly pour out the liquid on her body. By building contrast between her gestures and meaning of toasts she creates unusual performance, full of surprising twists. Performer acts-dances in the way which makes some viewers confused, some of them amused. She breaks generally accepted rules how performance “vernissage” party should look like, she is ironic about artistic ambitions and expectations, she pulls audience into a game in which she proves that an artist can put her*himself in various situations for the sake of creation.Its a very interesting performance, constantly shifting meanings and perspectives. And it puts all the guests in delicious mood.
100 Toasts for the Dead Artist
teatrmaat.pl, Poznan / Marta Seredyńska
At first glance, the title led me to think I was going to see a pompous, mythical and presumptuous piece. Nothing further from the truth. Anita Wach is way too creative to limit herself to extolling the virtues of the Master and grieving his loss (…) We raise the toast for the Master, for the artists, for ourselves. For the art we wish to embrace, engage in, soak in, allow to resonate, argue against. To one of the walls, Wach sticks a minuscule image of Tadeusz Kantor (later on she turns it backwards, leaving only a blank sheet of paper to be seen). This is dedicated to you Master, we raise the empty bottoms up, it is you we wish to pay tribute to.
Kantor as a ready-made?
taniecPOLSKA.pl / 30 Dec. 2015 / Alicja Müller
In one of the scenes she places empty cups over her exposed naked breasts. A clear reference to both renowned feminist performances and to Kantor’s assemblages. As opposed to Kantor, Wach is much more literal in her approach. She is searching for physics in metaphysics. 100 Toasts for the Dead Artist permeated with corporeality and sensuality to an extent where it seems like the whole performance is on the one hand an attempt to demystify the myth of the artist-metaphysic and on the other an ironic commentary on the authentic idea, the total presence.
Building good, yet socially responsible consumer
Slovenian premiere in +MSUM
MMC RTV SLO Ljubljana /10 Febr 2016 / Tadej Čater
A national holiday of culture is degenerating and becoming a political protest. The artist has transformed from the performer, dancer and choreographer into the consumer (in this case the consumer of wine and cakes). By consuming these stage elements and props only as an useful food, the art became attractive and acceptable (according to Boris Groys, philosopher and art critic, which Jablanovec and Wach also refers to). Similar as museums and galleries become attractive and acceptable if “exhibit” a patisserie and wine producers in addition to works of art. And all this just for the purpose of building up the identity of the dying out and the increasingly impoverished middle class as a good consumer, but still at least a little bit socially responsible.