Interview: Martina Vakarelova and Marco Nektan
The performers Martina and Marco talks with Luca Curci about their experience in Venice, during MORPHOS II.
Marco Nektan (born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia) is a visual artist, photographer, performance artist, dancer, choreographer, art manager, author and shamanic priest (Dancing Shaman). Martina Vakarelova was born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, and currently lives and works in Verona, where she is completing her PhD thesis.
Luca Curci – Your work has just been exhibited during MORPHOS festival in Venice: can you talk about your personal experience in Venice with International ArtExpo?
Martina – I really enjoyed my performance in Venice, especially the reception of the audience. The palace was beautiful and it gave even more taste to the performance – since the choreography itself was prepared in Belgrade from Marco, it was amazing to see how it changed regarding the specific architecture and atmosphere of Venice.
L. C. – Can you talk about the artwork you presented in Venice? How is it linked with the festival’s theme?
Martina – My good friend and choreographer Marco Nektan and I did a contemporary/butoh piece based on a legend that tells the story of how Venice was build. The legend says that all the trees that were later placed in the lagoon were taken from the forests of the Balkans and since we are both born there, we decided that it’s something quite inspiring to work on. With our performance we wanted to represent the spirits that crossed the lands from Eastern Europe to Italy and also to experiment on the influence of the environment on dancing. The choreography was prepared by Marco in Serbia and performed by me in Venice. So it was interesting to observe how the circumstances, architecture, spirit of the city influences our piece.
Marco – The name of the performance was “Lost on the edge” and it is inspired by idea of code of information that every space have. In the spirit of Nektan Art, we can call this idea of channeling of the spirits of city. For quite long time we wanted to create a project together as dancers and artists, and this festival was like an omen, like a sign from the Gods to break this and start. Our main inspiration to create this performance was the story of underwater wooden pillars that are holding the old Venice. The performance can be described as the experience of listening to the voices of the walls, and channeling the pain of the underwater wood, stories that they speak. At this point we are connected to the festival’s theme – in order to make themselves a point in one place, a person needs to be accepted by the spirits of that place. Architecture can be created from the inspiration of an artist and at that point it is starting to make stories. The one who is going to use this masterpiece can listen to the stories, not just look! Every city, every land is person for them self – we cannot be owners of one person; we can just be keepers, guardians and listen what they have to say. This level of thinking gives one place not third dimension but a fifth one. The style of the performance combines contemporary dance and performance art, and that way it is able not just to listen to the place, but to channel it word trough the body and to tell the story for many to see.
L. C. – What are you currently working on?
Martina – We are currently preparing for some festivals and working on new ideas that came into our heads after the performance in Venice. The good thing about performing is that once you start the images, choreography, ideas never stop and one leads to another. So at the end is like you are telling your personal story to the world through your art.
Marco – Together, we are working on project that will be the series of performances in cooperation between me and Martina and some other artists, creating unique choreographies and performances, inspired by contemporary dance, Butoh and neoconceptual performance art. We will be mainly focused on the place we perform at. Next piece in this order will be the second part of “Lost on the edge” which will be called “Together at the edge”, and it will be performed by me and Martina together.
L. C. – What is art for you?
Martina – Everything. Because everything that surrounds us can be turned into art by the artist and can be an inspiration.
Marco – It is difficult to define this, but as the heart of a poet, I will say Art is the object of my life. Art is the biggest mystery of human society. Art is the deepest darkest part of human heart. Art is the magic of the shaman (artist) who is channeling the will of the Gods. Art is a true freedom of the soul. Art is the world that exists at a separate plane where there is just love and peace. Art is the stairway to the gods!
L. C. – What do you think about International ArtExpo organization?
Martina – I think it is a really nice platform for artists and it offers a great way of communication and working together with others.
L. C. – Do you think International ArtExpo organization can represent an opportunity for artists?
Martina – Of course it can. The greatest problem that artists face these days is with finance though. Opportunities are not rare but the lack of funds for artist stop us from doing a lot of things.