18 June 2024
DocTalks x MoMA
Session 5

Unfolding Spaces: Avant-Garde Environments, Experimental Choreography, and Politics of Space in Milana Broš and Dubravko Detoni's 'La voix du silence' at the 1973 Music Biennale Zagreb

Ohio State University

Respondent: Stelios Giamarelos, The Bartlett UCL

Music Biennale Zagreb 1977, "Carrousel," Vinko Globokar.

This paper investigates the intersection of the politics of space, experimental music, and improvisational choreography in Milana Broš and Dubravko Detoni's "La voix du silence," a site-specific performance created for the 1973 Music Biennale Zagreb. The paper examines "La voix du silence" as a specific environment of the avant-garde in Yugoslavia that activated public spaces through experiments in art, contributing to the development of the public sphere. As there are no archival recordings of it, the work is being reconstructed from fragments, peripheries, and memories, highlighting the relevance of choreographic traces as witnesses of spatial and political histories. "La voix du silence" was staged in 1973 as part of the experimental happening titled "Carrousel II," which brought together a large number of music ensembles, along with its first part, "Carrousel I." In 1977, the Biennale programmed a similar project titled "Carrousel," a large-scale composition by Vinko Globokar, and in 1979, "Urbofest," a program of site-specific happenings in experimental music across the city of Zagreb, curated by Nikša Gligo. By considering the relationship between public space and the avant-garde, this paper explores how the thinking space mobilized through experimental music and experiments in choreography expanded the possibilities of public spaces and their complex social encounters. Tracing the work's contribution to the archives of experimental choreography and contemporary music in Yugoslavia, this paper examines "La voix du silence" as an example of avant-garde experiments that have the potential to inquire into current social and political issues, particularly those related to public spaces and their archival, architectural, and social ecologies.

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