Bojana Cvejić [BE/RS]

Aesthetic individualism, or dancing solo in the 21st century


To round up TO AUTHENTICITY… AND BEYOND!, we invite performance theorist Bojana Cvejić for a final talk, followed by a conversation with Prof. Rudi Laermans. Laermans wrote the essay Be(come) yourself!, which marked the beginning of this season’s series on authenticity.

In search of how we perform ourselves in current capitalist society, we repeatedly stumble upon art. The experience of one’s individuality and autonomy in self-creation and self-expression points to the aesthetic authority that performing arts exert on the formation of the self today. Add to that the new venues of self-performance such as social media plus the new business of “artification”, and the prophecy from the 1960s-70s that “everyone is an artist” and that “in the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes” has been fulfilled. This talk will unfold the new truth games in which individuals seek their self-knowledge in embodiment and artistic-like intensity. How do aesthetic qualities of experience shape a predominantly individualized sense of the self? Alternatively, can one perform oneself transindividually, in a kind of collective individuation?

This talk derives from Bojana Cvejic’s research project and upcoming book Performing the Self in the 21st Century (co-written by Ana Vujanovic) – a sequel to Public Sphere by Performance which she presented at the Kaaistudios in 2013.