O quadrate, 2002

choreography: Mateja Bučar
stage: Vadim Fishkin
sound:Peter Cerone, Stefano Scarani,
dance, movement: Ana Mrak, Eva Pogačnik

“…Through her timeless performances Mateja Bucar introduces a new relation towards body and movement. This again unique poetic is here shown in a new and very focused aesthetic frame of 30 minutes long performance O QUADRAT that simply invites to be seen and also to be given a firm perhaps philosophical analysis of the authors concepts… “
Amelia Kraigher .Dnevnik 26.04.02

Renata Salecl. Eva and Ana – Sublimation2

Bodybuilder and dancer both master their own bodies with incredible discipline and dedication. But why do they submit their bodies to rigorous training? And do they have similar ideals in regard to what they want to achieve when transforming their bodies?
In the performance, Eva, the bodybuilder, proudly flexes her muscles and in different postures radically transforms the shape of her body. At some moments, her body appears like a superhuman, immensely powerful and almost horrifying figure, while at other moments she seems to be expressing a sublime beauty of a perfectly sculptured body. However, in this process of flexing her muscles, Eva is constantly wrapped in the skirt that, attached to the wall, does not allow Eva to move in the space. Is this skirt a feminine constraint that Eva cannot escape even though she has developed a masculine body? Or, does the fact that Eva cannot escape her skirt show that her body art does not allow her to go beyond the material constraints?
The dancer, Ana, is also caught into the constraints of her own materiality – the elastic square that she seems to be trying to escape. When Ana through her dance flexes her muscles, she tears apart the elastic square, slowly changing its shape and undermining its structure. But would Ana be able to obtain some kind of freedom were she finally to escape from the constrains of the square? When Ana looses the shelter of the square, she circulates in the space like an object that constantly moves around an empty space. Even without being tied with elastic, Ana seems to be tied by an inner constraint that drives her circulation.
Are Eva and Ana so different in the way they work with their bodies and try to sublimate its materiality? Psychoanalysis takes sublimation as a satisfaction of drives which does not involve repression. Sublimation elevates the empty object around which drive circulates to the level of the sublime Thing. With the help of sublimation, the subject might excel in an artistic creation and thus win the admiration of the others. However, in essence, sublimation does not call for admiration, since it is satisfaction that does not ask anything of anyone. This is why sublimation is a solitary circulation in which two subjects will not meet and form a unity.
Eva and Ana are both caught in their own circle of drive and thus seem to be ignorant of each other. But why do both remain tied to a materiality outside of the body, Eva by not being able to escape her skirt and Ana by being essentially determined by her square? Psychoanalysis rejects the fact that body might be governed by some natural instincts. With humans, instincts become drives which are always already marked by language. There is for the humans no way out of the constrains of the materiality of language, which is why complete sublimation of drives is never possible for the subject. At the end, Eva and Ana can only admire each other’s act from afar, never being able to fully detach each other from their own constrains or imitate each other’s art.