Dying for Non-Corporeal Art

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Dragan Zivadinov doesn't have great hopes for his actors' longevity; he's confident that by 2045, the 16 performers in 'One versus One' will have all died and been replaced by robotic models, which will utter digital melodies in place of dialogue. First presented on April 20th, 1995, the performance will be repeated every ten years on the same day until 2045, by which point the cast should have transformed into mechanical ghosts. Zivadinov's own death is scheduled for May 1st, 2045, when he will fly into the geostatic orbit and place the robots at 16 points around the earth, before realising his dream to become 'empty-bodied in the absolute nothing with my instinctive physicality' (the fate of his collaborator, Dunja Zupancic, is not stated). This 50-year action is intended to finally abolish mimetic theatre and establish the rule of non-corporeal art. A founder of the Neue Slovenische Kunst (NSK: New Slovenian Art) experimental art movement, Zivadinov's work comprises a series of 'farewell rituals' exploring faith, death and the end of the world through performance art. This decade's performance takes place on April 20th, 2005 in Moscow, where he has previously staged a performance in zero gravity. - Helen Varley Jamieson