immersive documentary installation with narration
Neja Tomšič is a visual artist who made a name for herself both in national and international arena with Opium Clippers – a performance she describes as a visual essay – as a performing artist who builds her work on meticulous and in-depth research. She is also an exceptional storyteller who can develop a narrative from a cup of tea, starting from a small sip of the precious liquid to colonial and mercantilist shifts in the world order.
Neja Tomšič is part of the Nonument Group collective, a group of interdisciplinary artists, architects, and theorists who derive their artistic actions from research, mostly in public space. Nonument is defined as architecture, monuments, public spaces and infrastructure, the meaning of which has changed as a result of social or political changes.Circle was created as part of the Stronger Peripheries: A Southern Coalition project, based on the themes of work and happiness. During artist residencies in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, and Mondaino, Italy, Neja Tomšič and her group explored public parks as neuralgic points of public life.
The starting and focal point of the theme is a specific park, the park of railroad workers in Cluj-Napoca, which has undergone many transformations. Using various recording and research methods, Neja Tomšič explored its history and current state, and particularly the remnants of the past that are layered in the earth – material relics, and are also stored in the imagination and memories of people and other living beings.
Premiere: August 23th 2022, Cukrarna, as part of Mladi levi festival
- September 15th 2022, Stara mestna elektrarna
- September 14th 2022, Stara mestna elektrarna
- August 26th 2022, Cukrarna, as part of Mladi levi festival
- August 25th 2022, Cukrarna, as part of Mladi levi festival
- Authors: Nonument Group (Neja Tomšič, Martin Bricelj Baraga, Nika Grabar, Miloš Kosec)
- Script: Neja Tomšič
- Performing: Neja Tomšič, Nika Grabar, Miloš Kosec
- Sculptures: Martin Bricelj Baraga
- Sound design: Simina Oprescu
- Recordings: Neja Tomšič and Martin Bricelj Baraga
- Cluj Assistant researchers: Istvan Szakats,Flaviu Petean
- Documentary off-voice: Flaviu Petean
- Help with research in Alexandria: Mohamed Adel Dessouki, Sarah Baghat
- Statements: Viorica Zsiga, Adrian Dohotaru,Vlad Rusu, Istvan Szakats
- Voice of Viorica: Jadranka Gnezda
- Sound technician: Luka Seliškar
- Light design: Martin Lovšin
- Kostumografija: Dajana Ljubičič
- Technical director: Igor Remeta
- Technical coordinator: Martin Lovšin
- Technical crew: Luka Bernetič, Andrej Petrovčič, Duško Pušica, Manca Vukelič, Vid Starman
- Producers: Alma R. Selimović, Klara Drnovšek Solina, Ajda Koloini
- Thanks to: Barbara Poček, Barbara Tomšič, Maks Bricelj
- Public relations: Tamara Bračič Vidmar
- Produced by: Bunker, Ljubljana
- Co-produced by: Centrul Cultural Clujean, L’Arboreto – Teatro Dimora di Mondaino, MoTA – Museum of Transitory Art
The production was created in the frame of the international project Srtonger Peripheries: A Southern Coalition.
Supported by: Evropska unija – program Ustvarjalna Evropa: Kultura, Stronger Peripheries: A Southern Coalition, Ministrstvo za kulturo RS, Mestna občina Ljubljana, Cukrarna / Muzej in galerije mesta Ljubljana
Photo by: Nada Žgank
Neja Tomšič (1982) is a visual artist, poet, and writer whose interdisciplinary practice merges drawing, photography, poetry and performance. By uncovering overlooked and often hidden stories from history, her passion is to rethink dominant historical narratives, researching into particularities, and creating situations where new understandings of the present can be formed. She approaches histories as maps of starting points and links. Performative elements in her projects explore possible projections of history into the subjective present of individual visitors.
Her project Tea for Five: Opium Clippers, a performative essay in the form of a Chinese tea ceremony, has toured 11 countries and was performed more than 55 times. Her artist book Opium Clippers was awarded Best Slovenian artist book in 2017/2018 and Best book design in the category Book as Object at the Slovenian Book Fair.
She is a member a Nonument Group, an art collective that maps, archives and intervenes in forgotten, abandoned or demolished 20th century monuments, public spaces and buildings, that have undergone a change in meaning.
Neja also works as a curator and producer and is a co-founder of MoTA (Museum of Transitory Art), a Ljubljana-based research and production platform devoted to transitory art. She lives and works in Ljubljana, Slovenia.