Feeling down? Look up!


Feeling down? Look up!

“Feeling Down? Look Up!” is a performance project based on Smiljanić’s nine-month engagement with UFO-focused, spiritual society called Unarius. Founded by Ruth and Ernest Norman in 1954 in El Cajon (California), the focal point of this project lies in their practice of Past Life Therapy.

By embracing Past Life Therapy and accepting the cyclicality of time, Smiljanic is approaching this practice as “choreography of becoming”. She is using it as a device that, from one side, is prospectively interfering into the manifestation of the fixed identity, while at the same time, is supporting a perpetual change and redefinition of the concept the self.

Consequently Past Life Therapy practice in this project is used as a subtext to explore potentiality of trans-personal condition. Reading “trans” as state of beyond, the trans-personal is referring to an expanded view on the sense of identity that embraces wider aspects of life and Nature.

This new subjectivity is being practiced through the “Nomadic Motel of the Future City”, a sculptural element that Smiljanić uses in this performance as an interpretative tool of theoretical discourse that proposes a more de-fragmented, nomadic, tentacular way of thinking (i.e. Stengers, Haraway, Braidotti and Russ who are extensively writing about active desire to reinvent subjectivity as a set of mutant values).

Vanja Smiljanic

Vanja Smiljanić is a visual and performance artist living and working in Cologne. Smiljanić’s focus is in interdisciplinary projects and her research lies in cross methods within the fields of visual arts, video and performance. In her practice, she often utilizes the model of performance-lecture as a way to bridge fictitious and experiential universes, comprising technical apparatus, diagrams and sci-fi povera sculptures. Connecting otherwise unparalleled reality systems, Vanja’s work attests the founda- tion of ideologies as alienated regimes, recurring to her own body as a vessel for narration, often shifting between the position of oracle and storyteller.


Concept & Performance: Vanja SmiljanićDramaturgy: Pierre RubioCoproduction: KHM CologneSupported by: Kunststiftung NRW, wpZimmer Antwerp, Kunstencentrum Buda Kortrijk, Unarius Academy of Science, El Cajon