RR Marki is a Roma activist, graphic designer, radio maker and performance artist. He was born 1960 in Skopje, Mazedonien were he also grew up. 1979 he was working at Radio Bran and 1980 he started his studies at the Technical university in Skopje. RR Mariki emigrated 1985 to Switzerland, were he started in the 1990-ties to work artisticaly. 2013 He took diverse classes in graphic design at the school of media and design F + F in Zurich. He worked in Radio Lora Romanes, an independent Roma program of Radio Lora, a local radio station in Zurich. Since the Millenium he exhibited in diverse galleries and off-spaces in Switzerland: Zentrum Karl der Grosse, Zigeuner Kulturtage, Shedhalle amongst others and in in the Gallery Kallio in Finland. RR Marki is a foundation and board member of RJSaK.
Milena Petrovic was born 1967 in Jalovik, Serbia. She is an Austrian citizen. From 1994 to 1997 she was studying acting in Zurich. Since then she has worked on diverse projects for film and theater stage, among others in the Schauspielhaus Zurich and Maxim Theater Zurich. She was also engaged in Swiss Television SF1 but also independent film projects. She collaborated amongst others with film director Reto Gmür, Peter Palitsch and the stage director of Maxim Theater Jasmine Hoch. From 2010 till 2014 she was an active member of the Maxim Theater company. With their socio critical pieces the theater was touring on the Swissgerman theater stages. Milena Petrovic was playing in the well received pieces Kreis Fear, Schweizerpass Superstar, KissKill KillKiss and Spielt Gott Fussball?. She is part of the Roma Jam Session art Kollektiv since their beginning in 2013.
Intervention and Discussion with the Kollektiv and invited guests of different perspectives: art historian Stefan Wagner, sociologist and activist Heinz Nigg and Angela Mattli, member of the NGO Gesellschaft für bedrohte Voelker were discussing the following question: What do the damned of the world do in the discursive space of art – what is their presence if not a permanent revolt against the western canon of art language and perception? Corner College 19th of December 2014, Zurich.
Intervention with a car and friends, Stadtgalerie, PROGR Hof, Berne 2p.m. 28th of March 2015. This performative Intervention was a collaboration of Roma Jam Session art Kollectiv and GLAM, an analytical tool for art and research as para – institutional practice. On this occasion Mo Diener developed a performance for the collective characterized by diverse fragments of body workout relaxation and sports. The choreography was performed by all masked performing participants with music. It was an act of self-empowerment, seeking for common ground and for multiplicity in artistic and political fields. The car was carrier of GLAM definitions of activities: from Gallery to Geography, from Librairy to Liberty, from Archive to Activism, and from Museum to Multiplicity. The performance claims for multiplicity instead of monotony on professional and other fields. It was part of the exhibition project ArtArchiveArt, which was on the same time in Galerie of the city of Berne.
The first performance of RJSaK in summer 2013 coincides with the forming of the collective on the occasion of the event “guess who’s coming to dinner” in the off space “The Proposal” in Zurich. Participating artist Mo Diener extended her invitation to several friends and performed with the newly constituted group on four evenings in this contemporary art space. Tableaux (très) vivants relates to the traditional bourgeois colonial eye of the portrait photographer of the 19th century. The concept of the performance consists of a détournement of the viewer by means of the camera lens, in which the performer’s self-determination is greatly enhanced while allowing the multiplicity of the audience to become part of any self-definition.
The setting is based on research in 19th century portrait photography in Switzerland. In 1852 – shortly after the foundation of the Swiss nation-state, portrait photographer and lithographer Carl Durheim accepted a mandate by the federal prosecutor to take mug shots of all prisoners made during a large-scale federal action in view of controlling travelers, homeless persons and carneys. Carl Durheim’s photographic records establishes a direct tie between the history of the Swiss state and the history of portrait photography in the service of prosecution of the poor and other undesired forms of existence in Switzerland. He goes down as the inventor of police photography in Europe.
RJSaK works with guests, friends, acomplices and organisations. We had the opportunity to work several times with Sophie Wanda Pagliai, artist, theoretician, activist and friend based in Geneva swell as with the Serbian radio journalist and writer Violeta Aleksic based in Switzerland. Since 2016 we performed and developed work with the great Desirée Gnaba, artistic researcher in performance and dance. 2018 we started to collaborate with Maricruz Penaloza, curator and performance artist based in Zurich who invited us for 9th Performancereihe Neu – Oerlikon and participated in the intervention in September. We currently work with Reinhard Schmiedt, our graphic designer who is engaged with our upcoming publication.
2017 we have been part of the OnCurating Programm (ZHdK) De-Colonizing Art Institutions, a Symposium held in Art Museum Basel (online publication ). 2018 we were part of the First Roma Biennale Berlin with CHROMA – Detox Switzerland – Detox Europe, performative Intervention in public spaces in the center of Berlin. In Mai and September 2018 we engaged into the intersectional project “die grosse um_ordnung”, again with public performances in the streets and in the Art Museum Helmhaus Zurich. The opening performance Nothing about us without us of the exhibition refaire le monde * Proposition involved 14 performative bodies and 2 compositions played live (concept Mo Diener).
In the last years we had great support of institutions: “INES” (Institute of New Switzerland), “Society for Threatened People Switzerland”, RomArchive Berlin, ERIAC Berlin.
We are supported by City Council of Zurich and Bundesamt für Kultur (BAK).
Thank you all for participating, inviting and supporting our work.
Rom som means in Romani: Rom I am. The performance will be staged at the traveler’s transit place in Schachen, Aargau. During the summer months, the site is used by travelers and their mobile homes as a temporary basis for living and working. RJSaK will perform collective gestures for self- and public activation and discuss their artistic and political work. The performance takes place in the context of public debates around Swiss minorities which have been going on for centuries, but are currently gaining new attraction due to intensifying political processes.