Vesna Mačković, awarded multidisciplinary artist and the director of artistic organization ARKTIK – The Institute for the Future, has uncovered what she’s taking in a wooden box on an artistic two-year journey.
What, where and when?
The portable artistic installation shaped like a human-size periscope, made for the Public Performance Periscope World Project, has started its journey from her hometown Sisak (Croatia), across Zagreb (Croatia), to USA, Scotland, Brazil and Italy – the route it will cover by the end of the year 2019. The plan for the year 2020 will be announced step by step. Between separate trips, the artist will be coming back to Croatia, where she’ll be creating her music, movie and theatrical work taking place in cities of Zagreb, Sisak and Zadar (Croatia).
Design and concept
The periscope-shaped installation was designed in cooperation with the design studio Armano Linta and built with the service donation by theatrical workshop of Zagreb Youth Theatre (ZKM). The premiere performances in the public locations of Zagreb and Sisak were enabled by the support of the Croatian Ministry of Culture and the Cultural Office of Zagreb and Sisak.
Vesna Mačković, the starter of the initiative “Art Available to Everyone”, after letting her audience decide upon the price of her theatrical performances and write it down on their tickets by themselves, depending on their self-assessed life standard and the satisfaction with the received theatrical content, uses this opportunity to bring a new component to this initiative. “Art Available to Everyone” will, from now on, bring art to public locations, directly in front of the recipients, without the need for the public to come to the art – the art comes to the public.
The artist comes with her periscope to open public spaces, enters interiors, directly comes to the public, wherever they are. The artist arrives, observes, questions, speaks. She’s also observed and listened to, but this time through physical limits set by herself. In the portable installation called PPP – Public Performance Periscope, the artist offers her content hidden from the eyes of those uninterested, not impeding them nor imposing it on them, still leaving it available to those interested, through different openings in the installation. The sound is not transmitted publicly (creating noise and impeding the passersby) but played through headphones for those interested. The body of the artist which, due to physical deformities, normally unavoidably creates images and messages, stays mostly hidden in this periscope-shaped installation, so its impact on the artistic content will be minimal or, at least, radically different.
PPP has an activist layer. The periscopic shape of the installation reminds of the ubiquitous hesitation or caution during observation of social phenomenons. It also brings the element of need for escape by hiding the observed social phenomenon. Still, the installation has wheels allowing the artist who’s protected and hidden in the periscope to decide to come to public places and talk about society.
The technical solution
In the outer layer of the periscope, interested observers of the art will find different openings through which they can observe the artist or the interior of the installation: different filters, mirrors, openings for one eye or the entire head or even an arm… On the outer side of the periscope hang headphones which allow listening to the audio part of the artistic performance which the artist performs using a microphone and a mixer; the sound is reproduced exclusively through the headphones available to the outer audience. Special openings allow the recipients of the art to reward the artist and thank or criticize her by (not) leaving her money, food, drinks, books or other things they judge as appropriate. The periscope is portable and the artist has the right to lose her will and become demotivated for artistic creation. She will, by her own guidance, without leaving the periscope but by using it as her outer body (which she can, thanks to wheels at the bottom of the installation) simply walk away and disappear from the public location; the artist will get lost or look for another place for herself and her art. The artist will always be looking for a better audience and a better location for creating or will at least be looking for a better definition of them. In this sense: the artist and the art will come and go and the public will stay.
The final result
During the public performances in this portable periscope, video and audio documentation of the project will be created and, after two years and six continents, integrated into a documentary. The collected audio and video materials that, besides the performance of the artist, also record messages of individuals and groups all over the world, will result in a movie depicting contemplation about the world, art and life on this planet from the angles of different cultures, localities, activists, artists, scientists, politicians, groups and individuals.
For video and audio reports from this journey around the world, the interested can subscribe here: www.arktik.eu/mail-lista-newsletter.