Maska Institute


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Contact info
Maska, zavod za založniško, kulturno in producentsko dejavnost
Metelkova 6/II, SI-1000 Ljubljana
Phone386 (0) 1 431 5348, 386 (0) 1 431 3122
Fax386 (0) 1 431 3122
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Janez Janša, Director
Phone386 (0) 51 321 188
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Tina Dobnik, Production
Phone386 (0) 41 589 300
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Ana Ivanek, Secretary
Phone386 (0) 31 649 140
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Urška Comino, Public Relations
Phone386 (0) 31 357 965
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Past Events

Glej Theatre - 08.jpg

Registered in 1993, Maska Institute is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation for publishing, production, education, and research. It is divided into three departments: Maska Productions (performances, interdisciplinary and visual artworks), Maska Publishing (Maska, Performing Arts Journal as well as books and other publications on contemporary performance and society), and Maska Symposium (an ongoing seminar about contemporary stage arts). Its activities engage in contemporary art and theory, research, experimental performing practices, interdisciplinary art, and critical theory all with a strong emphasis on international cooperation, especially throughout the entire space of Europe.


Maska productions

Maska Productions produces performances and other interdisciplinary, visual, and new media events by innovative, exploring artists as well as first projects of the youngest generation. The performances range from engaged interdisciplinary performances tackling issues such as identity, intimacy, (Slovene) political reality, and mass entertainment to more genre dance works. Maska's latest productions have toured in numerous European countries, the USA, Asia and Africa.

Since 2009 Maska also runs the rehearsal space in the former elementary school in the Šentjakob suburb of Ljubljana. The space offers two small rooms for rehearsals, meetings, and lectures.


Janez Janša has made reconstructions of the founding performances of experimental Slovene theatre from the 1960s (Pupilia Papa Pupilo and the Pupilčeks [Pupilija papa pupilo in pupilčki] (2006), awarded at the 41st Bitef in Belgrade, and Monument G [Spomenik G] (2009)). His Slovene National Theatre [Slovensko narodno gledališče] (2008) won the award for innovation and aesthetic breakthrough at the 43rd Borštnik Theatre Festival (2008). Irena Tomažin received the Golden Bird Award 2006 for her performance Caprice [Kaprica], co-produced by the City of Women festival. Maska has also produced work by Ivan Peternelj, Magdalena Reiter, Mare Bulc, Neda R. Bric, Teja Reba, Jelena Rusjan, etc.. Jelena Rusjan's Škrip Inc. (2013) and Mare Bulc' All Together Now!, both theatre-music projects with musicians as performers, (2013) have been included in the off programme at the 2014 Week of Slovenian Drama. Maska's productions regularly appear in the Gibanica (Moving Cake) Festival of Slovene Dance.

Monument G [Spomenik G] trailer

International coproductions

We Are All Marlene Dietrich FOR (2005) was a Maska co-production with Iceland Dance Company, in collaboration with Reykjavik Arts Festival. The project was funded through the Trans Danse Europe 2003–2004 which received support from the Culture 2000 programme of the European Commission. Yasmine Hugonnet's Of Other [O drugem] (2007) was co-produced by Synalephe (France), the French Cultural Institute Charles Nodier, Ljubljana, and City Museum of Ljubljana.

In 2008 Maska organised the East Dance Academy, a project aimed at interdisciplinarity and a strong social contextualisation of artistic production. The event included reconstructed performances, screenings of dance and performances from the 1960s and 1970s, live archiving, debates, and lectures. With the project, Maska introduced the platform ARTCHIVE – Contaminated with History, a one-year programme intended to examine the historicisation of contemporary performing arts in Eastern Europe. East Dance Academy is part of the international project What to Affirm What to Perform?, a cooperation between Allianz Kulturstiftung, Centre for Drama Art Zagreb, The National Center of Dance Bucharest, and Tanzquartier Wien.

The 2009 event Shocking Gala Show, marking the 40th anniversary of the emergence of the experimental theatre group Pupilija Ferkeverk, included performances, exhibitions, a conference, and lectures (among others by Hans-Thies Lehmann and Ramsey Burt). The events were financed also through Erste Stiftung, Allianz Kulturstiftung, and the European Cultural Foundation (ECF).

Visual and intermedia production includes co-productions with Cona Institute and Intima Virtual Base, whose project Oppera Internettikka Bollywooddikka, co-produced by Maska, was performed live in New Delhi, India, in the frame of the CeC & CaC - The Carnival of e-Creativity & Change-Agents Conclave, presented by The Academy of Electronic Arts and The India International Centre in 2006.

Maska publishing

Maska is engaged in publishing books related to the broadest area of contemporary performing arts, from theatre, opera, contemporary dance and new ballet to performance, multimedia and new-media art, as well as critical writing on media and society.

Book series

The TRANSformations book series [TRANSformacije] covers contemporary performing arts theory, introducing some new terminology and conceptual frameworks by Slovene or foreign authors, including titles such as Hans-Thies Lehmann's Postdramatic Theatre, Amelia Jones's Body Art: Performing the Subject, co-published by Študentska založba Publishing House, Nicolas Bourriaud's Relational Aesthetics and Postproduction, Bojana Kunst's Dangerous Connections and Artist At Work. The Proximity of Art and Capitalism, Alexei Monroe's Plural Monolith: Laibach and NSK, Jacques Attali's Noise, and Aldo Milohnić's Theories of Contemporary Theatre and Performance Art, etc.

The Mediactions book series [Mediakcije] introduces critical writing on media and society. The series brought translations of Aisthesis: Scenes From the Aesthetic Regime of Art by Jacques Ranciere, Chantal Mouffe's Agonistics: Thinking the World Politically, New Watchdogs by Serge Halimi, Naomi Klein’s No Logo, and Monopoly by Sandra B. Hrvatin and Lenart J. Kučič, dealing with the issue of ownership in Slovene media. The series also includes A Hacker Manifesto by McKenzie Wark, Mike Davis's Buda's Wagon: A Brief History of the Car Bomb, Ariel Dorfmann's and Armand Mattelart's How to Read Donald Duck.

Special issues include books related to performance practice and its reflection, such as Janez Janša – Life [in Progress], containing 55 instructions from the performance and exhibition of the same title and is accompanied with critical writing; No one should have seen this, a chronological review (in English) of ten-year creative endeavours of Via Negativa, one of the most astute Slovenian projects of contemporary performing art of the last decade; a scientific monograph Dynamics of Change in the 20th Century Slovenian Theatre; Marcel Stefančič's Janez Janša: Biography (in Slovenian), and two joint issues of Maska journal with the Croatian journal for performing arts Frakcija and Performance Research.

For a detailed list of titles see

Maska, Performing Arts Journal

The performing arts journal Maska (The Mask) is a successor to the modernist magazine of the same name launched in 1920 (for more on the journal's history see Janez Janša's text below). In 1993 the publication of the journal was taken over by Maska Institute, bringing critical reflection on current productions (domestic and international), texts about the key reformers of the 20th-century scene, and translations of contemporary theoretical texts. Since 2002, the bilingual (English and Slovenian) journal appears three times a year and is mostly topic-related. For a detailed overview see Maska Journal.

Maska symposium

Maska symposium's basic project is the Seminar of Contemporary Performing Arts, co-organised by Cankarjev dom Culture and Congress Centre. The seminar is an all-year programme featuring internationally acclaimed scholars, artists, dramaturgs, and writers. The seminar aims at enhancing analytical and critical thinking about performing arts and facilitating the reading of historical, aesthetic, and cultural contexts to create new forms of reflection on and fulfill the potential of contemporary stage arts. The seminars have discussed topics such as the historicisation of contemporary performing arts, dance dramaturgy procedures, parallel practices of contemporary art, artistic and social assemblage of bodies, animated forms, etc. The participants of the seminar are taking part in The Audience Council, organised by Bunker Institute, Via Negativa, and Contemporary Dance Association Slovenia, which aims to form the space for reflection, discussion, and dialogue and to propel a vibrant exchange of exclusively spectator’s experience, opinions, reflections and expectations.

The Symposium has thus far hosted some prominent names in the fields of philosophy and theory as well as makers themselves, such as Amelia Jones, Bojana Cvejić, Chantall Mouffe, Bojana Kunst, Tim Etchells, Rabih Mroué, Svetlana Mintcheva etc. In 2015, upon the Slovenian translation of Rancière's Aisthesis: Scenes from the Aesthetic Regime of Art, Maska co-organised with the Slovene Society of Aesthetics an international conference The Aesthetic Regime of Art: Dimensions of Rancière’s theory, which hosted a number of panelists as well as the author himself. In 2013, upon the publication Maurizio Lazzarato's book The Making of the Indebted Man in Slovenian by Maska Publications, the symposium organised a lecture and a round-table, in cooperation with Tribuna Magazine.

In June 2009, Maska's Symposium organised the panel Difficulties With Contemporaneity. On Historicization Processes in Contemporary Performing Arts in the frame of the 15th Performance Studies International Conference, held in Zagreb, Croatia, the purpose of which was to reflect on the processes of historicisation in contemporary performing arts which were analysed through theoretical reflections, presentations of working methods, and artistic research. The panel was part of Maska's one-year programme East Dance Academy and the project ARTCHIVE - Contaminated with History.

See also

External links


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