Collapsible Rock Stage made out Reinforced Concrete
[Design Workshop. Belgrade]
The Stage is dismountable structure made out of reinforced concrete (RC) in shape of monumental, archetypal portal of unimaginably big edifice which construction started and never ended sometimes during the time of socialism. RC Stage is a partially defined part of a bigger structure that was never defined and which never existed in any way, except in the form of falsified announcement. It represents imaginary totalitarian regime from the past and enables the contemporary performer to use it as a context for his show. Performer uses the recognizable glossary of symbols as a background to which he can react: by using it as social or political support, or as a symbol which he defies, or just as unusual space for entertainment.
Performance for 30,000 people is possible only (?) with the help of mass media How can one motivate so many people to get out of their homes to personally attend the performance today, when any information (including the performance that you’ re trying to sell) is available online?
With the help of tools of mass media, one should motivate a number of people who would feel the need to come to the performance in order confirm their affiliation to improvised ephemeral group of fans, like-minded people, consumers or people who share their political views. So, the media must form a target group of people that will buy what is sold and it must conditions for them to feel good while they consume it. Production of these groups is based upon production of information that could be absorbed and processed by the widest possible audience. The personality of performer around whom the masses are gathering is for this purpose idealized and reduced to controlled esthetical statement (information) which is simple enough to be accepted by anyone. A performer is reduced to a set of features that create an imaginary person that we can identify with, a person that does things we would – but we don’t, an idol which is in the same time a real person we wish to meet somewhere. Persona of the performer that can gather 30.000 people for any reason or type of performance must be falsified or imaginary. ***** The words we use to name and describe the age of socialism in the countries of Eastern Europe were under the influence of drastic cultural and political changes in the period (periods) of transition – reduced to banal stereotype which could be described with the universal spatial and temporal term: “the times of communism”
The abstraction of time-space context which is implied by these two words is falsification of historical facts. However, if we consider that the cultural and political systems in historical socialism of these countries are based upon numerous* forgeries and arbitrary abstractions – we can ask ourselves: what does todays abstract use of this folklore mean? What is the forgery of the forgery, which to a certain extent, due to passing of time and accumulation of history – is not a forgery any more? What is the lowest common factor of all these layers of manipulation with historical “facts”? Any use of RC Stage could be interpreted as a work on creating the answers to these questions. The stage is an artifact traveling around the cities of Eastern Europe, staying (because of its mass and inertia) in each of them for longer period of time.
* Political and social system based upon propaganda (ideology?) and falsified heroic, worker – superman. “In times of communism” we had hopelessly rigid and unilateral interpretation of history (and entire realm of reality) within the steel frame of terms and notions created by an totalitarian regime.
2008. Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade