Critical Writing and Performance Studies: The Case of the Slovenian Journal Maska
It is merely a coincidence that I am writing the present text at a time when the Slovenia-based magazine for contemporary performance, Maska, is preparing to celebrate its 100th issue.1 Bearing in mind that Maska attempts to theorize contemporary art practices, this jubilee may seem a little suspicious, especially if we read it as a confirmation of a certain temporal continuity. But the journal’s editorial board understands the publication of the hundredth issue and the accompanying celebrations principally as an opportunity for staging a strategic gesture of visibility that has little to do with continuity, but everything to do with developing a parallel theoretic and artistic practice. Behind this jubilee thus lie interesting narratives about the strategic ways in which a field of theorizing and of practicing contemporary art is constituted. The first will be a story about mounting a different platform for critical reflection on art and culture, where the journal not only represents certain artistic practices but also participates actively in them. The second is a story about the relation between the ‘local’ and the ‘global,’ which needs to be complemented here with the category of the ‘national,’ due to the specific post-socialist and transitional circumstances of Slovenia. The context of Maska should also be considered in relation to similar initiatives in the area of what was Yugoslavia, the country of which Slovenia was once a part.2 The third will tell of the construction of a place for knowledge that is located outside academic institutions; and although it has adopted certain characteristics of academic practice, Maska has always been in close connection with the live practice of art.
KeywordsPerformance Study Joint Issue Cultural Space Material Practice Artistic Practice
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