(Jacques Derrida, “Signature Event Context” in Margins of Philosophy, tr. Alan Bass, pp. 307-330)
On January 27th, 2008, Janez Janša, Janez Janša, and Janez Janša performed Signature Event Context at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, a walking action in the corridors of the Memorial. Each one of them, equipped with a GPS device, covered a different path within the Memorial’s structure this way, together assembling a common signature visible only in a virtual space (the internet) . During the performance artists continuously repeated “Jaz sem Janez Janša, Jaz sem Janez Janša, Jaz sem Janez Janša…” (“My name is Janez Janša”).
Signature Event Context at the Holocaust Memorial puts together 3 concepts (signature, event and context) from Derrida’s essay in complex relation; signature itself is an event which re-contextualizes the site of signature. In his book At Memory's Edge: After-images of the Holocaust in Contemporary Art and Architecture (Yale University Press, 2000) the American scholar James E. Young writes that there is no intrinsic meaning in memorials. Instead, they derive their meaning from visitors' interactions: each visitor makes their own experience of memory at a memorial. The structure of the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, which invites a visitor for an individual experience – as has been stated by its architect Peter Eisenman –, points to the intention of the Signature Event Context project. Eisenman concludes his statement with the following explanation of the experience in the Memorial:
"In this monument there is no goal, no end, no working one's way in or out. The duration of an individual's experience of it grants no further understanding, since understanding is impossible. The time of the monument, its duration from top surface to ground, is disjoined from the time of experience. In this context, there is no nostalgia, no memory of the past, only the living memory of the individual experience. Here, we can only know the past through its manifestation in the present." (Eisenman Architects, Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin. Project text by Peter Eisenman)
In Derrida's words, walking and talking signatures by Janša, Janša and Janša are the physical manifestations of nowness via individual experience. The traces of the walking and talking signature are left only in virtual space. Memory is always already a performance of virtuality.
REASON FOR BANNING S.E.C. FROM TRANSMEDIALE.08
According to the new director of Transmediale Stephen Kovats and to the Guest Curator of the exhibition CONSPIRE… Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez, the great cause for banning this project from the festival 4 days before its opening has to be find in “judicial and legislative reasons” (Kovats) and “personal - curatorial and ethical convictions« (Petrešin-Bachelez).
Janez Janša, Janez Janša, Janez Janša understand the banning act as an ACT OF POWER perpetrated by the artistic director of the festival and its guest-curator to the detriment of the artists and as an ACT OF VIOLENCE towards freedom of artistic expression.
Artists hereby formally invite the director of Transmediale Stephen Kovats, the guest-curator of the exhibition CONSPIRE… Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez and all the subscribers of this mailing list to an open confrontation on issues disclosed by Signature Event Context.
"Signature Event Context" - images of the performance www.aksioma.org/sec/press.html
Janez Janša, Janez Janša, Janez Janša
Signature Event Context
Performance, SI, 2008
Production: Aksioma http://www.aksioma.org/
Co-production: Maska http://www.maska.si/,