MEDIA-MEDICI
premiere: February 2. / 3.  2001 , Moderna Galerija Ljubljana (Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana)
performances: February  5. / 6.  2001
 
in coproduction with
European Contemporary Dance Coproduction Fund 
selected by: Jacek Luminski
choreography: Mateja Bučar, stage: Vadim Fishkin, sound:Tomaľ Grom (tovarna sploh)
dance:  Mateja Rebolj, Marinka Ribič, Suzanne Judson, Rosana Hribar.
 sponsor: KONTA d.o.o.
Project is supported by: Ministry of Culture RS,European Codaco Fund, EU , MO Ljubljana, OSI - Slovenia, KulturKontakt,  Avstria

Renata Salecl

How far do the limits of the social structure extend, and what is hidden beneath them? Under this interwoven surface one can observe a movement that radically changes that surface. This movement stretches the surface, and sometimes for a moment even cuts through it, but then it calms down again. This interwoven surface is some kind of symbolic structure determining the subject's space. On the outside, the subject looks like nothing but a slight bump in the structure. But if, on the one side, the structure functions as something which molds the subject so that it grabs him and subordinates him, on the other side, the structure opens up the space in which the subject will tear up the structure and reveal it as lacking. The force that truly undermines the structure is drive. Drive came into being as a result of the impact of the structure on the body, but at the same time, drive is also something that radically disrupts the structure. Drive is a place of the enjoyment (jouissance) of the body. However, this enjoyment is not a passive, happy moment, but enjoyment in pain, in constant movement, a fanatical cutting through of the structure and then a return under it. Enjoyment which pushes the subject to the point of self-destruction and repeated return. As a continuously working force in the body, enjoyment also presents a point of immortality of the body.
 But does drive not remind us of mechanics? At the beginning of the performance, the captured bodies pulsate in an almost synchronous way, which gives the impression that these bodies together form some kind of a big living mass. Drive is a force which functions as something mechanical, as something not under the subject's control. But if drive is a force independent of the subject's consciousness, it is very much linked to the subject's unconsciousness.
 Lacanian psychoanalysis likes to stress that the unconscious is structured like language. But this is not a language which hopes to incite a response from its interlocutors and thus establish communication. The unconscious is a language which is unconcerned with the response of the other and which also does not search for interpretation. Lacan has thus linked the unconscious with what he calls llanguage (lalangue). As Jean-Claude Milner says: “Llanguage is made of a bit of everything, of what wallows in the gin-mills and of what we hear in the salons. On each side we encounter a misunderstanding, since, with a little good-will, it is possible to find a meaning in everything, at least an imaginary one. Did he say 'dide' or 'Dieu'? Is this 'croate' or 'cravate'? ... The llanguage is the storage, a collection of the traces which other 'subjects' have left, i.e. that with the help of which, let's say, each subject inscribed its desire into llanguage, since the speaking being has to have a signifier to be able to desire; and desire in what? In its fantasies, i.e. again in signifiers."
Lacan's main point is that communication is not the aim of llanguage and he thus makes the unconscious his prime example of llanguage. Communication implies reference, which the unconscious lacks; this is made clear by the fact that the effects of the unconscious disrupt the whole body, as well as the soul. The unconscious bears witness to a knowledge that escapes the speaking being. The subject can thus be said to understand jokes, slips of the tongue and so on, not because of language but because of llanguage.
Through the remainder what is spoken we find not only something more than an individual speaker’s intention, but something more than the sum of the speech acts of the members of a linguistic community. Llanguage thus represents the return within language of the contradictions and struggles that make up the social, the persistence within language of past contradictions and struggles, and the anticipation of new ones.
»Media Medici« try to show this phenomena of the excess of the structure in the form of dance. The movement of the bodies which undermines the structure, changes it and shows its lacks is llanguage – the reminder of language. This reminder took elements from the Medici's to the contemporary media. In this reminder we have an enjoyment at work which does not care about the frames of the structure and which also does not want to provoke communication or deliver a message. Although the enjoyment of the body constantly cuts through the borders of the structure, at the end it always returns into itself and then emerges again as some kind of »creatio ex nihilo«.
Throughout history, the Medici have been known for their indulgence in various passionate activities which official morals otherwise prohibited. The memory of the Medici is always linked to a perception of their excessiveness – from big culinary orgies to an insatiable sexuality. In this image of the enjoying Medici it looks as if they had access to enjoyment not accessible to others. But as we know from psychoanalysis, the subject always has a feeling that he is denied enjoyment when he has the perception that others have too much of it.