In 2005, the authors’ duo Jaka Šimenc (light designer and, at the time, also the mind behind the project) and Aleš Mustar (a poet and a literary translator), together with Samo, Jure Vlahovič and Nejc Saje, staged a performance of a rather peculiar appearance, 16 Turns. Indeed, the audience did not see – in the habitual manner – actors, but watched instead as the authors, along with selected other artists, “gave life to” all sorts of objects onstage, in a cynical critique of contemporary consumer society. And they hit the jackpot – winning excellent reviews and bringing a breeze of freshness to the Slovenian performing arts.
In the creation of their new production, entitled FENG ŠUS in a theatre without an actor, they have also invited Barbara Bulatović, one of the most prominent artists in contemporary puppetry. This time, the authors portray human life in the 21st century, the era of lightning-fast technological developments, when man has no other alternative than to resort to either Far Eastern philosophies or the virtual world, to social networks and other such similar forms of communication provided by contemporary information society. In particular, they focused on ‘en passant’ family relationships and what happens when that equilibrium is disturbed.
Flirting with the practices of object theatre, the tectonics of FENG ŠUS in a theatre without an actor dictates the omission of the actor’s presence and explores the possibilities of expression of the so-called ‘support elements’ in the theatre. Thus the performance has the strong and indispensable trace of the participating artists: sound designer Johanna Herr, videast Luka Umek and set designer Matej Turnšek.
The performance is the authors’ response to a bustling development in the theatre art of the late 20th century that has become ever more visual, a genuinely delightful sight, pushing the principal roles of the actor and the word to the background.
Authors: Barbara Bulatović, Aleš Mustar, Jaka Šimenc
Co-authors: Johanna Herr, Matej Turnšek, Luka Umek
Voices: Brane Grubar, Radio Študent staff
Songs: Osmar Ismail, Gal Škrjanec Skaberne
Technicians: Leon Curk, Hotimir Knific, Gal Škrjanec Skaberne, Miha Zupan
Production: Maska Ljubljana
Co-production: Španski borci, EN-KNAP, Društvo Rož
Executive producer: Tina Dobnik
Public relations: Urška Comino