Via Negativa, Slovenia

Produced by
Via Negativa (Slovenia)
Csiky Gergely State Hungarian Theatre / TESZT Festival (Romania)
MASZK Association / THEALTER Festival (Hungary)
Kosztolányi Dezső Theatre / DESIRÉ Festival (Serbia)
INFANT Festival (Serbia)

Conceived, devised and performed by Borisz Kucsov, Csaba Formanek, Esztella Levko,
Etelka Magyari, Kriszta Szorcsik, Zsolt Imre Mátyás, Gábor Mészáros
Concept, Direction & Set: Bojan Jablanovec
Stage Manager: András Molnos

Running time: 75 minutes

Asking someone to kill his own son is a horrible game to play just to test his faith. Abraham was ready to pay the price, he trusted the will of God, and he was richly rewarded. Today we sacrifice entire national economies, which must pay absurdly high prices in order to regain the trust of imaginary financial markets. It’s the same game. Capitalism is a religion, capital demands trust and obedience. And we hope to be rewarded. After the former Hungarian prime minister publicly admitted that his government “fucked it up, not a little but a lot”, he again succeeded to gain the trust of the Hungarian people at the following elections.
We all trade in trust, we all negotiate for trust, we all manipulate with trust. In this game, there are no innocent victims - we all know what it is about. Trust is a weapon to fight the fear, insecurity and uncertainty of the future. Trust is the fuel of power. And this is where manipulations begin. If there is no trust, there is no trading, no bankers, no politicians, no democracy, no love, no God. Nothing. Trust is not a question of choice. It is a matter of necessity.

Via Negativa is a platform for research, development and production of contemporary performing arts. The platform is based on working methods developed by theater director, Via Negativa’s founder and artistic director Bojan Jablanovec.
Via Negativa is an open type project. That means they are not bound by the set-ensemble logic of a fixed number of constant members. With each new project, they organize as a group of individuals connected by an interest in research of contemporary performing arts and development of performing strategies.
Their core activities are the production of contemporary performing arts, the organization of workshops based on the VN working method and their education program, which takes place every year in the form of the VN Lab – the Via Negativa laboratory for contemporary performing arts. Via Negativa is based in Ljubljana and operates internationally.
In the first 10 years (2002–2012), they produced 48 projects (12 large format performances, 23 small format performances, and 13 collective presentations). These projects involved more than 80 performers from Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Belgium, Spain, Ireland, Poland and Denmark. During this time, they gave more than 200 performances on tours and at festivals in 21 European countries and the USA.

“The greatest success of the play ‘Manipulations’ is the fact that as an international project it does not thematise a phobia, ‘-ism’, ecological or economic problem. It thematises us as people, civilisation, it thematises the theatre and establishes a dialogue between those who practice it and those who come to see it.”'
Igor Burić, Dnevnik, 25.05.2015

“The audience assists to the nude displaying of the human vulnerability. Assists with cruelty to a couple’s violent battle for a common chewing gum. From the meeting point of the masochism of the performer and the sadism of the audience, occurred such a tension that after a while one of the spectators got up and left shouting to the performers to stop it already.  But the rest of us stood still with the unnamed desire to see what’s coming next. (...) Jablanovec's theatre is not conceptional. If anything, it is totally anti-conceptional. We don't get answers at the end, it doesn't solve the problems and issues related to trust. It’s a theatre of searching and questioning and not a theatre of answers and repetition.”
Simona Donici, 24.05.2015