Začasni slovenski plesni arhiv
Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Maistrova 3, SI-1000 Ljubljana
386 (0) 1 241 6825
Rok Vevar, Curator
Rok Vevar, born 1973, is a contemporary dance historian and archivist. He has dedicated a great deal of time and effort to create a historical overview of the development of dance in Slovenia, in the process of compiling his own documentary and audiovisual archive. In 2012, he opened his private collection, called the Temporary Slovene Dance Archive, to the public in his apartment in Ljubljana.
Over time, the TSDA has evolved into a platform for documenting and historicising contemporary dance and scenic arts in Slovenia, mainly practices that are closely linked to modernism, historical avant-gardes, neo-avant-gardes, retro-gardes and contemporary art. For the most part, these are scenic artistic practices transpiring outside the cultural institutions, and as a consequence, have been left by the wayside as far as public institutional archives and records departments are concerned.
The TSDA references artists and their practices that are not only present in Slovenia but are internationally extremely active and dynamic, despite the fact that, for the most part, they are institutionally under-represented. In this respect, the TDSA is an emancipatory, activist project aimed at making marginalised artistic practices more visible and providing study material for artists, theorists and historians.
The TSDA is comprised of a massive collection of materials which includes printed material, in-house process documentation, a register of Slovene dancers and choreographers, correspondence between artists and producers, photographic and audiovisual material, choreographers; and artists; files, dance festival catalogues, dance films, footage of performances, contemporary dance pedagogy programmes and a variety of other objects related to relevant artistic practices.
The TSDA consists of Vevar's private collection, the donations of the Maska and Exodos institutes and the materials collected by Neja Kos, the contemporary dance consultant at the Public Fund for Cultural Activities of the Republic of Slovenia between 1977 and 2006. Subsequently, the material has been gathered also from the legacy of the choreographer and contemporary dance activist Ksenija Hribar (1938–1999); dancer, pedagogue and critic Marija Vogelnik (1914–2008); and photographer Božidar Dolenc (1950–2008). Donations were given also by many cultural workers and organisations connected to contemporary dance, for example, by Eka Vogelnik, Aleksandra Rekar, Vlado Repnik, Mateja Bučar, Snježana Premuš, Tomaž Toporišič, Amelia Kraigher, the Contemporary Dance Association Slovenia, Bunker Institute, Mladinsko Theatre, Slovenian Theatre Institute, Slovene National Theatre Opera and Ballet Ljubljana, and many others.
In March 2018, the Temporary Slovene Dance Archive was transferred into the keeping of the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (MSUM) in Ljubljana. The invitation of the MSUM represents the first bona fide initiative on the part of a cultural institution in the Balkans to offer its capacities to this type of work, materials and use.
The archive is accessible on the first floor, where Vevar also performs a live archive-in-progress: the archiving procedure – from collecting and systematising to providing public accessibility – is all made visible. The TSDA has thus become a performative, time-specific and site-specific installation presenting the archive as a structure evolving over time and without end.
The TSDA is also linked to the group of dance archivists, theorists and historians who, since 2013, have been working on the project "Archiving Choreographic Practices in the Balkans", initiated by the Balkan dance network called the Nomad Dance Academy.