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Performing Apricot Leaves

Apricot Leaves

Performing Apricot Leaves
Performing Apricot Leaves
Performing Apricot Leaves
Performing Apricot Leaves
Performing Apricot Leaves
Performing Apricot Leaves
Performing Apricot Leaves
Performing Apricot Leaves
Performing Apricot Leaves
Performing Apricot Leaves
Performing Apricot Leaves
Performing Apricot Leaves
Performing Apricot Leaves
Performing Apricot Leaves
Performing Apricot Leaves
Performing Apricot Leaves
Performing Apricot Leaves
Performing Apricot Leaves


Aleksandra Balmazovic, Matej Filipčič, Barbara Novakovič, Zoltan Pletl, Tomaž Gubenšek

concept and directing: Barbara Novakovič
dramaturgy and texts: Irena Štaudohar
stage and light design: Marko Peljhan, Jaka Šimenc
costume design: Bjanka Ursulov
music: Brane Zorman

texts inspired by, music:
Botho Strauss
Edna St.Vincet Millay

production: Muzeum, Ljubljana v sodelovanju z Mestnim gledališčem, Ljubljana

August 31th 2001, Cultural Centre Izola 2001
September 8th 2001, Municipal Theatre of Ljubljana



September 2001, Artus Studio Budapest
September 2001, UB Mongolia, World Contemporary Theatre Fest.
September 2001, Yerevan, Armenia, Nazenik International Mime Fest.
November 2001, Art Radionica Lazareti ARL, Dubrovnik, Croatia
November 28th 2001, Theater Exit, Zagreb, Croatia
December 2001, Skampa 3rd International Festival Elbasan, Albania


project 2 / apricot leaves

Excerpt from:
Love between desire and drive-Renata Salecl:
(Per)version of Love and Hate (London, 98).

What is the nature of desire in a love relationship? How is it possible for two subjects to desire each other and to form a couple? How, for example, does a loved person subjectivize himself or herself and develop desire for the loving one? When he deals with this questions in the seminar on transference, Lacan introduces the myth of the two hands: one hand extends itself and tries to attract the beautiful object in the tree, while suddenly another hand emerges from the site of the object in the tree and touches the first one. For Lacan, the fact that a second hand emerges in the place of the object, is a miracle and not mark the moment of unification or the formation of a pair. So what is the rapport of love?(...)

Agalma thus emerges at the point where the other is barred, where the other is a split subject. Lacan thus says: "Desire is not at root and in its essence the desire of the Other; and it is here, properly speaking, that one finds the impetus of the birth of love, if love is what is happening in that object towards whom, led by our own desire, we are extending our hand and who, at the moment when our desire bursts into fire, for a moment offers a response in the form of that other hand that extends towards us as its desire." But the problem is that reciprocity never exist between the two subjects. Even if the loved one returns his or her hand and thus becomes a desiring subject by subjectivizing himself or herself, this does not mean that we have reached the harmony of love, since the lovedone, although being now also the loving one, will also search in the other for the object, the agalma, that he or she does not posses. (...)

In non-analytic situations, the problem of love gets even more complicated, since we cannot say that the loved one does not return love because he or she wants to retain a presence of emptiness and thus claims thath there is nothing in him or her worty of love. This complication of love in everyday life concerns two things: first, the game of courtship is always marked by the allure of the inaccessibility of the object of love, which brings love close to the logic of the desire; and second, the lcogic of love goes beyond the logic of desire and touches on the logic of the drive. We can even say that love is placed between desire and drive as an impossible mediator between the two. (...)

In his seminar on anxiety, Lacan mysteriously claims that it is only love that allows jouissance to condescend to desire. If desire has to be understood as always being tied to the Other in the sense that "desire is t desire of the Other", one has to add to this point that what is behind the Others desire, what in the final instance keeps our desire in motion, is the unbearable joussance of the Other. What attracts us in the Other is thus not simply his or her desire but drive - which forces the other into some activity, regardless of how painful this activity could be for him or her. And the artists are so attractive as the objects of love because drive that masters them in their inner selves is able to incite their artistic genius.

Jacques Lacan, Le seminaire livre VIII: Le transfert, Paris, Suil, 1991, p67, 212
J.A.Miller, "Les deux metaphores de l amour", La Cause Freudiene 18, p 156

They sit at the tables with no hands for touches. His eyes are brown and her soles sticky from chocolate. The table cloth bares a silent pattern of tiny leaves and the tray is loaded with bitter-sweet food. Red wine is spilt all over the table cloth, like a map blurred by the rain falling from her hair. Still-life of glances. He chooses the orange melon as he looks at the woman with the green grapes in her hand.

She is looking elsewhere - toward the one breaking the bones of the grey cooked fish and putting them together into a sculpture of a house, in which some other woman lives. She will push it with her chocolate footprints, so that it will blend with the pattern on the white table-cloth in front of them. As she sat like that with her chocolate soles and glanced into his eyes, she always travelled. The woman with the green grapes now with a tea-spoon stirring the yellow liquid of honey closes her eyes.

Yes. The colours of the world exist only in our dreams and wishes, the real world and our attitude toward objects and people are manifested as light and reflection. Just like love-stricken glances, which are blazing with courage, but their intensity can lead to illumination - the same effect that a film has when exposed to fire. Time is then a blind wink of the eye. The shadows of our relations lengthen and shorten the same way the spiral of the seasons does. For eternity we bear in our bodies the sounds of the journeys (we make), of the various encounters (we have) with people and their light and shade falling on us like the time we sit in the train alone very close to the window.

When somebody is looking at us, we do not see ourselves, because we are all in him. One is truly with oneself only when he is alone. He then misses the emptiness he sometimes feels when he is with someone else. It is only then that we recognize this emptiness as beauty and a new organ. The heart is a flexible muscle. When we are alone, the soul becomes the tongue, tasting our body, which does not yet know of its shape but only speaks of it. Bashfully and wildly.

When in relations, we can never see our inner self. There are too many of us. We are all illuminated. Shot through from desire. Love is illuminated light. The reflection comes later. Within us dwells one whom we do not know. Just like the apricot tree, which knows not why it loses its leaves with the autumn shade and is all by itself until the spring light arrives. It knows not!

Irena Štaudohar, julij 2001


PROJECT 2 / light & movement / Apricot Leaves, Barbara Novakovič

On the border between comfort and pleasure
Jaša Drnovšek, Finance
Apricot leaves by Barbara Novakovič produced by Muzeum as a part of the project 2 Light and Movement, can undoubtedly be considered a means of instruction, which already in its origin consistently replaces the co-ordinates of time with categories odf space. The more the dramatic time is subordinated to the dramatic space, more intensively and the faster the notion of place emerges at the surface, which later on quite considerably influences the ability of playing various roles by the dramatic persons. The dynamic mechanism of constant emptying and filling in the space within the dramatic structure is what intentionally deprives the spectator of the experience of illusion, while this is compensated with him being allowed to observe the interior mechanism of the show. The latter is primarily constructed as a system, as a network of theoretical signs, in which the dramatic persons exsist only, if in accordance with the logic of the "sur-defining" structure they find themselves in an interrelationship./.../
Apricot leaves is a performance, which despite the radical openness of its form is convincing particularly in the fact that horizontally itis constantly on the borderline: between the desire and the instinct, between comfort and pleasure, between the baroque and the Realist. The thing that remains in between, and is the only thing that belongs to the spectator, is love.

Time is men's mercilees ruler
Ana Perne, Radio Student
As an introduction to later events, two men and two women are entangled in amorous nets they demonstrate to us unstoppable and uncontrollable passion and basic instinct. The possesion of bodies is lustful, forceful; with its presence it creates an immeasurable stage beauty. Although in cliche white, inquisitive innocence floats to the surface as if coming from the depth of the unconscious. Although the costumes later in the play assume more everyday colours, white still remains: as a sign of a accumultating it is present in the multi-purpuse shirts.
Naturally, colours are not the only sudden change. There is thorough change also in the action. In an instant we face commonplace activities and customs: washing, tidyng up, eating. As if the room did not allow the inclusion of non-permitted desires, and permitted only that which was acceptable to the public eye. It is only a question of how long such undercover yearnings can remain trapped in this prescribed moral-ethical framework.(...)

Slobodna Dalmacija, Jasen Boko
Several independent, small groups appeared in Mongolia, but the most interesting project presented at the festival was from our neighbour, Slovenia: Apricot Leaves, a production by Muzeum an independent group created by Barbara Novakovič. This conceptual project is a touching story about two couples, about their burning passion, love and the absence of love, failed attempts at escaping from oneself and the eternal need for emotional fulfilment. Thanks to its set, Apricot leaves is also a project of visual art which even in thr poor technical conditions of the festival created an extraordinary visual experience. This fascinating project is a part of the Mobile Theatre Network whose aim is the mobility of theatre projects and it is realistic to expect that project will one day also arrive in Croatia. Apricot leaves by Barbara Novakovič, who also acts and dances in the show (in addition to her, the performance features actors and dancers Matej Filipčič, Aleksandra Balmazović and Zoltan Pletl), is an inspiring and artistically provocative theatre project powerful inner drive.