15th Extraordinary Congress, 2014/17
15th Extraordinary Congress is a durational performance featuring seven women, all born in different parts of the former Yugoslavia, and now resident in the city or the region where the work is being presented.
The seven women sit at a table, exchanging stories and anecdotes, facts and rumours, reflections and thoughts about a country in which all of them grew up, but which no longer exists. Taking turns at telling and re-telling narratives about Yugoslavia, the participants – through an improvised exchange over several hours – attempt to sift through their shared memories of the place, and try to “explain” the reasons surrounding the country’s dissolution. Recounting events large and small, excavating bits of history from realms both political and personal, the piece unfolds a complex narrative in which contradictions and inconsistencies sit side by side – decidedly unresolved and open – in a state of tension, dialogue and play. The performance explores the ways in which we make stories out of large, complex political and historical events and the inherent and irreconcilable tensions which exist between versions of stories as they are told and understood in different contexts, and reflected upon from both a physical and temporal distance.
There have been 12 different versions of the project, each realized with a new group of women living in the city where the piece is being presented:
London – LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre) at Battersea Arts Centre. June 2014.
With: Jasmina Cibic, Larisa Blazić, Nela Milić, Suzana Tamamović, Vanda Butković, Vesna Marić and Vlatka Horvat. Moderator: Claire Marshall.
Brussels – KAAI Studios. January 2015.
With: Aleksandra Janeva Imfeld, Ana Stegnar, Bojana Cvejić, Ivana Jozić, Maja Bekan, Vjosa Musliu and Vlatka Horvat. Moderator: Tine Van Aerschot.
Berlin – HAU Hebbel am Ufer. June 2015.
With: Hana Stojić, Paula Muhr, Tanja Ostojić, Vanja Bućan, Vedrana Madžar, Vernesa Berbo and Vlatka Horvat. Moderator: Nina Kronjåger.
Poznan – Malta Festival. June 2015.
With: Ana Svetozarov, Azra Junuzović, Gordana Đurđev-Małkiewicz, Roska Vrgova, Stanislava Kostić and Vlatka Horvat. Moderator: Wanda Wasilewska. Translator: Anna Jelec.
Lisbon – Teatro Maria Matos at Espaço Alkantara. October 2015.
With: Anamarija Marinović, Jelena Bakić, Jelena Savić, Lidija Kolovrat, Marija Pavlović, Mateja Rožman and Vlatka Horvat. Moderator: Cristina Perez.
Bergen – METEOR Festival at BIT Theatergarasjen. October 2015.
With: Ana Pavlović, Azra Halilović, Jelena Spasenić, Lejla Sokolović Indjić and Vlatka Horvat. Moderator: Hilde Sandvik.
Malmo – INKONST. September 2016.
With: Nina Bozić Yams, Merima Dizdarević, Sanda Rebac Jugo, Sanela Selimović, Slavica Agatonović and Vlatka Horvat. Moderator: Agneta Nordin.
Oslo – Black Box Teater. February 2017.
With: Ana Golub, Azra Halilović, Dragana Kovačevićević Bielicki, Iris Hadžiosmanović, Naida Sudić, Nataša Zednik and Vlatka Horvat. Moderator: Camilla Eeg-Tverbakk.
Toulouse – Theatre Garonne. March 2017.
With: Ana Veda, Jovana Milić, Marijana Marendić, Mirjana Lončar, Selma Polovina and Vanda Marijanović. Moderator: Lucie Combs.
Vienna – Tanzquartier Wien. March 2017.
With: Anamarija Batista, Jana Dolečki, Jelena Kaludjerović, Maja Damnjanović, Nataša Mačkuljak and Vlatka Horvat. Moderator: Nuit Banai.
Amsterdam – Frascati. March 2017.
With: Aleksandra Popovska, Armina Pilav, Bojana Mladenović, Maja Lovrenović, Nevena Bajalica and Vlatka Horvat. Moderator: Marijke Hoogenboom.
Paris – Fondation Cartier, in partnership with Theatre de la Ville. May 2017.
With: Barbara Matijevic, Bojana Bauer, Jelena Rajak, Kristina Aleksandrovska, Mila Turajlic, Milena Jaksic. Moderator: Zoé Varié.
15th Extraordinary Congress: London was co-commissioned by LIFT and 14-18 NOW, WW1 Centenary Art Commissions. A House on Fire Project, supported by the Cultural Programme of the European Union and the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England and presented with Battersea Arts Centre.
Press and media:
Vlatka Horvat 15e Congrès extraordinaire: Paris (link) – May 2017. Interview with me (with excerpts from the work) at Fondation Cartier, Paris.
Theaterkrant (link) – April 2017: Review by Moos van den Broek of Vlatka Horvat: 15th Extraordinary Congress: Amsterdam at Frascati (in Dutch).
Mouvement magazine (link) – March 2017: Interview with Lucie Combes about Vlatka Horvat: 15th Extraordinary Congress (in French).
Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung (link) – March 2015: Review by Stefan Lüddemann of Vlatka Horvat: Beginnings Marathon at Kunsthalle Osnabrück (in German).
Stedelijk Studies Journal (pdf / link) – Jan 2016: “Putting out the chairs: Performing the missing public.” Essay by Joe Kelleher on Vlatka Horvat: This Here and That There (Poznan) and 15th Extraordinary Congress: Poznan at Malta Festival.
Kultura u podstaw (link) – June 2015: Review by Kuba Wojtaszczyk of Vlatka Horvat: 15th Extraordinary Congress: Poznan at Malta Festival (in Polish).
Kaai Theatre publication (pdf): Vlatka Horvat and Tim Etchells in conversation about Vlatka Horvat: 15th Extraordinary Congress: Brussels at KAAI studios.