Lessons / School of Happiness / VIENNAFAIR Program

School Of Happiness Lesson 9: Neutralize Negative Feelings

Ana Prvacki will take part in VIENNA Live at VIENNAFAIR in October 2013. Her work deals with re-imagining and re-staging social situations.

Ana Prvacki’s interventions aim to transform the viewer’s perception and experience of daily life and routine, providing solutions to our daily problems, worries, and fears, transforming social anxiety and exploring the comedic potential of faux pas.

Neutralize Negative Feelings

Neutralize Negative Feelings

Ana: Annoyance and negative feelings may arise with disruptive force in social situations. Rather than acting impulsively it is our own responsibility to sublimate them. Antagonistic sentiments are neutralized by congeniality and a transformative process is always possible. It is more likely that a person will respond cooperatively if we show humor, restraint and even a little naïveté.
Keep in mind that the person provoking the negative feelings may not be aware they are doing so.


Photo © Kelly Poe

Raimundas Malasauskas on Ana Prvacki’s practice :

“Is she a paradox or a pharmakon*? Or an impure synthesis of the two infused with ginger acrobatics in her domestic laboratory? Was she a feminist the day when penises grew out of music scores? Whose music did she launder? Pardon, it was not music – she laundered economics. How did it sound? Amazing: she hunted for literal meaning in metaphors and found what literally matters: there is more than one hundred type of bacteria on dollar banknotes in New York including salmonella. The germs were killed with a detergent and a sponge in her hands. Your disbelief remained alive a second longer in front of Leap of Faith that requested you to wear a metal jacket and try the strength of magnet in the wall, “of which I heard a couple of times before” you thought, and then a second later, you are stuck to the magnetic power of an artwork. “Surprise surprise!” – it happened literally as it did announce.

A little book she had a few years ago contained a similar inventory of ideas and prototypes for creative explorations of body, appearances and imagination. It was a mix of Dada, Zen and Martha Stewart. A pool of blood is oozing in the corner of a living room, yet you can remove it as simply as you put it there – it was a piece of plastic actually, an edition, a part of that little book. “A piece of Freud or Lugosi” you thought.
Ana Prvacki never shied away from her desire to be a corporation-like lady. Being determined and goal oriented, yet totally driven by by-products and serendipity, she generously shared protocols and formulas of her creativity. You could hire her to be your intellectual concubine for 24 hours and learn everything about Ananatural world or why do you have to drop Sesame oil on the top of your head. When she wants you to feel with the whole body she takes your whole body a hostage; when she wants your pain to go away she plays flute. This play produces a by-product – saliva that drips and turns into another by-product – a vipe that kills pain together with the whole imperative of use because the quest for useful is so inflated here it makes it toxic. She enjoys providing those services that are seducing, awkward and protocol-based. Day and night she rehearses her disciplines: producing waves in form and spirit and searching for a perfect body position in sleep. Notions of power, performance, achievements and exercise have a big impact there.

Yet in doing that she never plays a role of a pure artist of an artworld who would be building a career in gallery world. She remains marvelously impure. She could successfully work for the department of Sanitation, a Bank or a Museum instead. Or she can successfully change your perception about things you think you know or things you think you don’t need to know. “Will your pain result into something? Or do you fear that by loosing your pain you will become less of an interesting person?” she asks one day. And then you think about whether you want to numb yourself with parts of her saliva or whether you want your pain to remain a pharmakon itself.”

* pharmakon is a substance of ambiguity that may act as beneficial drug or poison

Read Wallpaper review on her performance.

VIENNA Live ( booth H24)
Ana Prvacki and Magda Tothova
“Let’s meet for coffee and see if there is enough chemistry to collaborate”
curated by Katharina Schendl

Ana Prvacki and Magda Tothova first met in April 2013 in Los Angeles in the framework of the artist collaboration project make.a.match. They had three meetings, debating over coffee if there was enough chemistry between them to collaborate. The trailer of “Let’s meet for coffee and see if there is enough chemistry to collaborate” will be presented at the VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary.

Ana Prvacki, born in 1976 in Serbia, former Yugoslavia, is currently based in Los Angeles and Singapore. Her work has been included in many international exhibitions including dOCUMENTA 13, Sydney Biennial 2007, Singapore Biennial 2006, and the Turin Triennale 2005.
She has developed projects for venues and institutions such as the Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea (Turin), Smart Museum of Art (Chicago), Bloomberg HQ (NYC), Art in General (NYC), Artists Space (NYC), Umoca (Salt Lake City), and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston).

Magda Tothova, was born 1979 in Bratislava, Slovakia, lives and works in Vienna, Austria.

Tothova received a MA from the University of Applied Arts Vienna and previously studied at the School for Artistic Photography Vienna (F. Kubelka) and was a visiting student at Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam. Tothova made a solo exhibition at Federico Bianchi Contemporary Art, Milan (2010/2013), and her work has been presented in group exhibitions in the following galleries and non-profit institutions, among others: Adds Donna, Chicago (2013), HDLU Zagreb (2013), Europe House, Tbilisi (2012), Bytom, Poland (2012), Sculpturegarden, Strombad Kritzendorf, Klosterneuburg (2012), Project Artspace, New York (2012), and Sofia City Art Gallery, Sofia (2012). She has been an artist-in-residence in London, Copenhagen, and most recently in Chicago.
Since 2004 editorial member of the art fanzine: Chicago/Times/Plotter/Helvetica/DIN/ Techno/Löhfelm/RR_02/Univers/Tiffany/Circuit/Memphis/Gringo/Zeus/The Mix/Princess Lulu/Pigiarniq /Paper/Libertine/Trixie/Déjá vu/Auto/Rediviva2013

Tothova’s work revolves around modern utopias, constructed norms, social models and their failures, how to address personal and social issues in the private and the political field. Borrowing heavily from fairy tales and science fiction, she is interested in the formation of myths or the essentialism underlying the concept of chance.

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