The performance Circle explores the public park as a neuralgic point of public life – a place of community formation, a place of social collaboration and the search for connections between people. The starting point is the concrete park of the railway workers in Cluj-Napoca, which has undergone many transformations. Neja Tomšič researched its history and current fate. The performance is accompanied by a narrative using sound and visual tools and sculptures made of materials from different construction sites. Both Neja and Nonument Group explore and narrate political and social ideas, movements and policies whose changes are reflected in material reality – in shared public spaces, buildings… Circle remains a topical work of art, as each time it re-contextualises the place where it is performed – be it the history of the Cukrarna (former sugar refinery), the former synagogue, Stara mestna elektrarna (Old Power Station) or the Judgement Tower.
“The project is a kind of reminder that there is no space – public or private – that does not exist in the place of something that no longer exists, but also that everything is constantly subject to change. In this sense, it is important not to take anything for granted.“
Anja Radaljac, Aplavz, 2023
Neja Tomšič is a member of the Nonument Group, a group of interdisciplinary artists, architects, theoreticians who derive artistic actions from research, mostly in public space. Architecture, monuments, public spaces and infrastructure whose significance has changed as a result of social or political change are: nonument.
Neja Tomšič is a visual artist, poet and writer whose interdisciplinary practice combines drawing, photography, poetry and performance. The performance Opium Clippers put her on the national and international map as a performance artist who develops her work from in-depth research. She is also an exceptional storyteller, and can turn a cup of tea into a narrative that stretches from a small sip of the precious liquid to the colonial and mercantilist shifts of the world order.
Idea and script: Neja Tomšič
Performed by: Neja Tomšič, Nika Grabar and Miloš Kosec
Sculptures: Martin Bricelj Baraga
Costume design: Dajana Ljubičič
Help with research: Istvan Szakats, Flaviu Petean, Mohamed Adel Dessouki and Sarah Baghat
Sound technician: Luka Seliškar
Sound design: Simina Oprescu
Voices: Flaviu Petean, Jadranka Gnezda, Viorica Zsiga, Adrian Dohotaru, Vlad Rusu and Istvan Szakats
Lighting design: Martin Lovšin
Producers: Alma R. Selimović, Klara Drnovšek Solina, Ajda Koloini
Coproduction: Centrul Cultural Clujean, L’Arboreto – Teatro Dimora di Mondaino, MoTA – Museum of Transitory Art (in the frame of the international project Stronger Peripheries: A Southern Coalition with the support of Creative Europe Programme, Ministry of Culture of Slovenia, City Municipality of Ljubljana, Cukrarna / Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana)
Thanks to: Barbara Poček, Barbara Tomšič and Maks Bricelj