Life in Bytom

Tero Nauha

This project, which takes place in a post-industrial mining town in Silesia, Poland, concludes with a performance, a video-performance, an exhibition and a publication. The project is curated by Stanisław Ruksza from CSW Kronika in Bytom, and the exhibition dates are 24.11.-30.12.2012.

I was working over half a year in periods in Bytom, and encountering heterogeneous people and their lives, material differences framing life activities and myself reflecting my own expectations and desires. What is the relationship, or rather what are the conflicts and frictions, that my practice meet in encountering the ‘real’? What is the quality of a artistic practice, and how does it differ from the ‘real’?

The performance is based on the encounters, meetings, interviews, workshops, images, reflections, recordings, archives, questionnaires from Bytom. It is a poetic interpretation of these narratives, leading to a scripted performance. Aside from that, this project is a reflection of artist’s projections and desires. How does life become interpreted and structured? Such a reflection is not disinterested and objective, but loaded. What is he, an artist looking for in such a place?

The concepts, which I am interested in, are ‘plasticity’ and ‘affect’ located in performance practice –  as well as in the artistic practices revolving around socio-political issues. The concept plasticity, ability to give form and to receive form – which in my research is related to a  “sponge subjectivity” – has been recently developed in relation with neurosciences, philosophy and psychoanalysis by Katherine Malabou. Plasticity is a concept, closely related to arts, since it carries on the idea of giving form and receiving form. Yet, Malabou wants to evoke another aspect of plasticity: the annihilation of form. Annihilation is a trauma, an accident or disaster which will change the subjectivity interminably. In a similar manner, I am investigating the forms of an affect giving, receiving or annihilating forms enfolding into emotions. How forms are exhausted and what kind of performance or practices entail or are built on that?

My attempt in my research is to investigate if and how one could use these concepts, in a way what I am calling a schizoanalytic practice: to find a rupture in a performance and if not find ways to produce potential subjectivities, then at least to record these becomings. To see, if virtually potential would take a form in the actual? Can virtually new take place in a performance practice, and in the ‘real’?


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The project is produced by Kronika Centre for Contemporary Art in BytomThe Theatre Academy in Helsinki, New Performance Festivalin Turku, Frame-Fund Finland and Performance Matters in London.

Schizoanalytic practices

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