Fictive Actions (Sandra Frimmel, Tomáš Glanc)

practice 3 680 920

This subproject will be dedicated to actions, which were fictive in different senses. Some of them were never carried out, although it was the intention of the author(s) to perform them. They could not be enacted due to some external reason: censorship or self-censorship, bans or other hindrances. Other actions were intended as a thought-based work from the very beginning, existing only as a plan or as an idea of an action. The latter includes, for example, Milan Knížák’s ‘Processes in my Head’ or Wanda Gołkowska’s text action ‘Endless Multiplication of Artworks’, which involved a fanciful narrative about the duplication of artworks. The performative components of Ilya Kabakov’s conceptual installations (like ‘Thy Fly with Wings’) could also be understood as a fictive action with regard to their intended fictiveness. At the same time, many of his performances have never been realized for reasons which were a relevant, but fully external part of their semantics — for example his “Corridor of two fears” for the Berlin Wall Park.

At least two aspects of fictive actions are obvious. First, they emphasize the question of how this kind of action can be narrated, reproduced, recorded, fixed, articulated. What lays the foundations of its evidence and remembrance? In what way can the narrative replace the action? What is the fictive’s own mode of documentation? The second obvious point is the end; the termination of a performance as a specific artistic activity. Why do performers stop doing actions and what does this stoppage mean?

The planned volume will contain interviews conducted with artists who could not bring their actions to life or who conceptualized their actions as a fictive implementation.