Marta Popivoda – Theory at Work
+49 17 44 09 43 17 —

Marta Popivoda’s (b. 1982 Belgrade) work explores concerns with the discursive power structure of the contemporary art world as well as with the Yugoslav cultural and political sphere, more about
through the production of films, try
video installations, stomach
photography and performance. Her work is strongly related to the TkH (Walking Theory), a theoretical-artistic platform and journal, where she is a member of the editorial collective. Her works have been part of exhibitions and programs at Tate Modern London, M HKA Antwerp, 21er HAUS Vienna, the Beirut Art Center, Musée de la danse Rennes, MSUM Ljubljana, Arsenal Berlin, Matadero and La Casa Encendida Madrid, Forum des Images and MK2 Beaubourg Paris, Beursschouwburg and Kaaitheater Brussels, Museum of Yugoslav History and Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade etc. Her latest feature documentary Yugoslavia, How Ideology Moved Our Collective Body premiered at the 63rd Berlinale within Forum Expanded, and was later screened at great number of film festivals worldwide, like Festival dei Popoli Florence, Sarajevo Film Festival, DZM Docs Seoul, Home Works Beirut, Beldocs Belgrade, Zagreb Dox, Mumbai International Film Festival, Watch Docs Warsaw, Make Dox Skopje, DOK Leipzig, etc.

Popivoda is initiator of illegal_cinema (Belgrade, Paris, Bilbao) and artistic director of REZ, contemporary experimental film festival in Belgrade. She studied philosophy, holds BA and an MA in film directing from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade and Meisterschülerin postgraduate degree in experimental film from the Universität der Künste Berlin. For her studies in Germany she received a DAAD scholarship. In 2014 she was selected for Berlinale Talents program by Berlin International Film Festival, and in 2015 she is a recipient of the Berlin Art Prize for the visual arts by Akademie der Künste.
BOXING MATCH — ready-made theatre
performance as final phase of research project

Premiere: February 17, overweight
2007, Centre for Cultural Decontamination, Belgrade

Authors team:
(devided into fictional disciplinary roles)

directing: Bojan Djordjev
dramaturgy: Ana Vujanović
sets: Siniša Ilić
video: Marta Popivoda
production: Jelena Knežević


boxer 1: Aleksandar Cigaranović
trainer 1: Marko Mirilović
boxer 2: Bojan Knežić
trainer 2: Milivoje Bašić
referee: Dobrivoje Radanović
timer: Jovica Jovanović
MC: Novo Keranović


medical crew: Zdravko Nerać & Ana Dondur
bookie: Slavica Vučković
technical realisation of the sets: Rade Mitić
supervisor: Ljubiša Ignjatović Čupa

Dramaturgy coaching: Ivana Ivković, Iskra Gešoska, Milan Marković(assistant)

TkH – Centre for Performing Arts Theory and Practice
CZKD – Centre for Cultural Decontamination

Saturday, February 17, 2007, 20.00h
CZKD, Birčaninova 21, Belgrade

Supported by:
Republic of Serbia, Ministry of Culture
Pro Helvetia Swiss Cultural Programme Serbia and Montenegro

45 minutes


Performance “Boxing Match” is a literal ready-made theatre. Ready-made is a well known 20th century avant-guarde artistic practice, developed mainly in visual arts. It consists of taking every-day, non-artistic objects or events, their transposition in the artistic context and declaring them for works of art. This practice is a critique and questioning of the art institutions done by Duchamp, through Fluxus, Warhol, minimalist dance, and the numerous contemporary, post-modern artists. However, in performing arts, ready-made appears sporadically and only as ‘partly ready-made’. Some of the artists using it are: Augusto Boal, Rimini Protokoll, Jérôme Bel, etc. We have decided to introduce this practice in the local theatre context and convey it consequently and literally till the final instance.

Performance “Boxing Match” is, in that way, a literal boxing match, realised according to all professional standards of boxing as a sport (from first league boxers, to first-class referee, to number and duration of the rounds, points, ring, bets, etc.). However, that boxing match is transplanted in the institution of theatre, and surrounded with literal theatre protocol: theatre venue, poster, tickets, authors team, theatre audience, premiere, cocktail afterwards, etc.

For this performance, the choice of boxing as a sport is not crucial, but it was chosen for the premiere for many reasons – from a long history of boxing in theatre, Brecht’s text of activating theatre audience, dramatic elements of boxing (clash, protagonist, antagonist, dramaturgical pyramid, defined stage, etc.). It is possible to change the sport form performance to performance, that is, from context to context.

This performance is a result of 6 months research (Boxing Match – Ready Made Theatre) in the field of contemporary theatre and institutional theory of theatre done by the team of authors/collaborators from TkH. During research, we had discussions on ontology of theatre, protocols of societal and/as artistic institutions, and on “weak histories of art” of the 20th century. We were also dealing with creation of theatre dispositifs, constitution of local doxa, and questions of contemporary theatre spectatorship. Special attention was paid to the problems of work-production-practice in theatre today, notions of virtuosity and event, as well as political aspects of the relation between poiesis and praxis. The research was continued with reflections on the public event itself – the performance. The results of the research and the documentation of the performance are published in the publication TkH vam predstavlja: BOKS MEČ, ready made teatar (TkH Presents: BOXING MATCH, Ready Made Theatre) in 2007.

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