17:00 Doors open
17:30 Bargaining is a moment of temporary truce when we wonder: If only we could have done things differently, if only we had taken a different path, if only we had been more careful, if only we had been more thoughtful, if only, if only, if only… Maybe, just maybe, things would have turned out differently. We try to avoid this reality and the pain of loss by remaining in the past. The Bargaining ritual first took place in Gent and then Brussels, in September 2020. The ritual of lamenting was entrusted to 3 wailing women: Noy Despoina Grigoriadou, Prisca Agnes Nishimwe, and Renata Turkeš. Each of them interweaved her own personal loss, as well as her own lamenting approach into the ritual.
Bargaining is the second stage of the ongoing collaborative project The Last Straw by the Serbian artist Martina Petrovic.
The Last Straw is an ongoing participatory project and artistic research that investigates the interconnectedness of social and ecological problems of today, and their influence on everyday life and artistic practices, by focusing on the notion of environmental grief. We have already lost a lot and we are about to lose even more – our environments, technologies, and social habits that go along with them.
The Last Straw is investigating cultural identities, social engagement, everyday life and rituals through performative rituals and a series of ambients created from non-recyclable used plastic materials. The goal of these site-specific installations is to open up a space for a discussion about overconsumption and sustainability, but more importantly to create a space for grieving and dealing with loss.
It is common to experience grief in five stages, hence the five phases of The Last Straw project: Denial, Bargaining, Sadness, Anger and Acceptance. For these phases a traditional Serbian karpet (cilim or kilim) was hand woven out of single-use plastic straws and painted with traditional ‘magical’ symbols. This carpet is a nomadic space that tells the story of letting go. It travels to places and offers an opportunity to step into a moment of grief.
Performers: Noy Despoina Grigoriadou, Prisca Agnes Nishimwe and Renata Turkeš
Curator: Jana Vasiljevic
Artist: Martina Petrovic
Martina Petrovic is a Serbian artist based in Antwerp. In her work, she alternates between her independent practice, intimate works where she focuses on personal stories, and collaborative projects around socially engaged topics. Martina’s interests lie in the exploration of socially generated emotional conditions such as grief, but also precariousness, pressure, angst, animosity, etc. in relation to the loss of values, destruction of environments and notion of misplacement. Her artistic research revolves around the questions of how we treat our environment and society. How aware is our society of its actions, and how do we grapple with emerging problems. They explore the visual artist’s role in encountering social and ecological problems of today, with focus on the emotional states that occur as a consequence of these frightening rapid changes.