Ramno (in English: adj.“flat”) is a village in the north-eastern part of Macedonia, with a total population of 21 inhabitants (as of 2012). It has been forgotten by the Macedonian authorities until recently, when a stone plate was found in the area with the engraved Latin phrase - Primus inter pares (“The first among equals”). This expression was popular during the Roman Empire, and was suppose to show that people are equal, but there is always one who is more important than the others, usually the Emperor, religious leader or anyone in power. Triggered by this event, we decided to develop a performance trough which we question horizontal organization/ division of roles and responsibilities, so much promoted and spoken of in the past years.
Elegy for Ramno tries to reflect on the relation between horizontal organization proposed as a theoretical concept and its practical manifestations, trough participants’ personal histories on this topic. Trough this piece is noted that this relation might be quite fictional and inapplicable, because the theory is often idealized in its form, and the factual situations are far from ideal. The discrepancy between theoretical and practical equality we decided to name “horizontal monarchy”. And while criticizing the “world” for promoting inequality, us, participants in the contemporary artistic and cultural scene are quietly living our “horizontal monarchy”, possibly even sensing that there might be something wrong with the way we practice horizontality.
Elegy for Ramno explores performing relations of equality, which afterwards fail and go “unhappy” (as J.L. Austin would say).
We are wondering if performing art these days mines it’s own fundament by not practicing what it preaches?
Does Flat really exist?
Co-authors: Rebecca Chentinell (Sweden), Dragana Zarevska (Macedonia), Jasna Dimitrovska (Macedonia), Darko Aleksovski (Macedonia)
Creation period: March - April, 2013
Premiere: April 27, 2013 at MKC- Mladinski kulturen centar (Youth Cultural Center), Skopje (MK)
Rebecca Chentinell (1986, Sweden) is a choreographer, dancer and curator based and mostly working in Stockholm, Sweden. Educated at The Royal Swedish Ballet School in Stockholm and have worked professionally as a dancer and choreographer since 2002. As a choreographer she is producing her own works as well as collaborating with other choreographers and artists; making, doing, performing and curating art and performative events. Rebecca is one of the founders of the performance group Diggapony Collaborations and the art project institution Koreografiska Konstitutet; two different but important incentives in the Swedish field of dance and choreography. Koreografiska Konstitutet operates thru new and challenging projects with and for the expanded choreographic field and runs, among other projects, the biannual festival:display. Autumn 2010 Rebecca began a continues collaboration with visual artist Dragana Zarevska [Macedonia], and are currently working in different projects together with choreographer Marie Fahlin, Malin Elgán and light designer Jens Sethzman. She is also part of the Balkan/Swedish laboratory program Fast Forward (evolved into The Order of Things) and BaNd, a Baltic/Nordic platform and network for contemporary performing arts.
Dragana Zarevska (1985, Macedonia) is a visual artist working interdisciplinary between visual, performing arts and theory. Her education is BA in Film, and MSc in Communications and Media at the Institute for Sociological, Political and Juridical Researches (Ss. Cyril and Methodius University) in Skopje. She is a researcher and practitioner in the interdisciplinary fields that open between contemporary philosophy, visual and performing arts. With a strong background in film, she developed her master thesis within the frames of visual culture/film and gender theory. She has authored and co-authored projects conducted at the experimental platforms for process-based projects and production of knowledge, such as: Weld (Stockholm), Intercult (Stockholm), SITE- Production Centre for Performing Arts (Stockholm), Ausland (Berlin), PACT Zollverein (Essen), Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers (Paris), Walking Theory (Belgrade), and others. Performed at the Moderna Museet (Stockholm), Dansens Hus (Stockholm), Norrlands Operan (Umeå), MU Theatre (Budapest), etc. Has been awarded a three-month scholarship by AIR Krems (Austria) at the EuropeanMediterranean Biennial for Young Artists (BJCEM) in 2009. She is also a scholarship recipient for short-term artistic research and production by the Swedish Institute in December 2010, and by Jardin d’Europe (Cullberg Ballet Stockholm) in June-July, 2011. Contributed to theory-related publications for visual arts, performing arts and new media. Works for long-term platforms such as Listening to the Audience (initiated by Dr. Suzana Milevska/ MK) and Gangplank (initiated by Bruno Pocheron, FR/DE). Together with visual and performing artist Jasna Dimitrovska (MK) in 2011 have established the collective (duo) Ephemerki.
Darko Aleksovski (1989, Macedonia) graduated at the Faculty of Fine Arts (Ss. Cyril and Methodius University) - BFA in Painting and Graphic Design in Skopje, Macedonia. He is currently collaborating on interdisciplinary, research-based art projects such as Pixelversity (Helsinki) and Listening to the Audience (initiated by Dr. Suzana Milevska/ Bitola). Started working as Program Coordinator at AKTO- Festival for Contemporary Arts (Bitola) and as reviewer and interviewer for Furtherfield (furtherfield.org/ London). His artistic interests include ongoing collaborative and participatory projects, experimental video and performance. Other interests include art theory and art practices in social context. He had five solo exhibitions in Macedonia, so far. His works were shown in a number of group exhibitions and video festivals in Macedonia and Europe.
Jasna Dimitrovska (1983, Skopje, Macedonia) visual artist, designer, activist. BA in General and Comparative Literature in Skopje, first year MA Digital Media at HFK, Bremen. working as a graphic designer since 2008; 2009-2010 worked at Loesje International in Berlin; Creative director of Mašta- international magazine for creative activism, part of the art duo Ephemerki togeter with Dragana Zarevska.