The (In)Credible Performance at St Mark´s Square
performers: Ana Kreitmeyer & Zrinka Užbinec
How should one move a particular space, especially one pregnant with historical and more recent inscriptions, by using one’s body?
From the history of political struggles, antagonisms, and direct conflicts that have taken place on St Mark’s Square, I have chosen an almost forgotten action by a group of women, one that has been erased from the dominant narrative, which happened there in spring 1903: ignoring the prohibition of gatherings, these women organized an antimonarchic protest. Various accounts of the event stem from a single author, Marija Jurić Zagorka, herself a participant. One of the sources directly linked to the protest is her dramatic text, a popular play in five acts titled “Evica Gubčeva”, which she wrote while in prison during that same year. Theoreticians have interpreted the play as a pamphlet on Zagorka’s socialist ideas and her specific understanding of feminism (N. Badurina, 2009). The link between “Evica Gubčeva” and the protest has been established by means of various interpretations and records, rather different and even contradictory in nature, which is why the question of (in)credibility of performance in the processes of recording, transcribing, and inscribing has been used here as a choreographic basis for collective action and enactment. The (in)credible performance on St Mark’s Square has started as an action of transcription. Since the play was never published in print and was performed only once in Zagreb owing to censorship, the only remaining copy is a manuscript preserved at the Institute for the History of Croatian Theatre. A group of women has transcribed the text together during their organized visits to the Institute, part by part. Their visits to Opatička Street were taking them over St Mark’s Square, which meant that each act of traversing the square was a small action of inscribing the female body into a space that has been almost dominantly marked as a site of male political history.
The performance, consisting of individual performing interventions and a collective action, featured: Selma Banich, Andreja Gregorina, Lana Hosni, Ana Kreitmeyer, Mila Pavićević, Ivana Rončević, Natalija Škalić, and Jasna Žmak.
On Tuesday, September 1, at 7:55 a.m., two members of the group (Ana Kreitmeyer and myself) engaged in an act of re-transcription – we repeated the individual inscriptions and constructed a collective choreography as an attempted (in)credible performance on St Mark’s Square.
Zrinka Užbinec is a dancer and performer with interest in choreography. She is a member of performance collective BADco. and has been, until 2013., one of the coordinators of Experimental Free Scene (ekscena), an independent organization established to promote contemporary dance and other forms of performing arts. She has finished School for Contemporary Dance “Ana Maletić” and has participated in many dance workshops in Croatia and abroad.
Her work experience includes collaborations with authors and groups like: Oliver Frljić, Llinkt!, Marmot / Irma Omerzo, OOUR, Rajko Pavlić, Matija Ferlin, Aleksandra Janeva Imfeld. She has coauthored several dance projects. Often giving classes in contemporary dance, she also holds workshops with other BADco. members in Croatia and abroad. She holds a degree from the Faculty of Economics, University of Zagreb.