BIO / PROFILE
SCENATORIA Association perseveres in Mission built heritage as a stage, through creation of attractive cultural, artistic and educational activities on locations of officially protected, but neglected and invisible heritage. Through continuous emphasising of qualities and values of heritage, Scenatoria contributes to its affirmation and protection.
Miljena Vučković is Spatial Designer and Observer, Art Director & Location Scout, Stage & Production Designer. Her main interest and common topic of her work is Space and its performative qualities, which she explores through various activities, approaches and methods.
During previous years, she gained significant professional experience working on projects various in style and scale: theatre plays, performances, movies, music videos, but also theoretical studies, spatial interventions and installations, exhibition design, commercial events organisation and sets, etc.
Miljena serves as vice-president in “Scenatoria”, Organisation that promotes (performative) arts through their “staging” in abandoned and neglected built heritage, and education about these fields – walks, talks, publications, workshops.
She held lessons and workshops about space, ambiente theatre, cultural and built heritage as stage, activation and protection of heritage & old urban fabric, urban events on various professional occasions, including conferences, seminars and other. Miljena is also co- and author of different texts and publications about site-specific theatre, architectural & cultural heritage. She participated in Berlinale Talents, Prague Quadrennial 2015 and 2019, and is one researcher in “Case Petrovaradin – Managing Historic Urban Landscapes” for Europa Nostra Serbia.
She considers continuous education exciting and crucial for any development.
Creative experience – scenic space and atmosphere – architectural structure as a tool
White box and other architectural elements as tools of atmosphere creation
This presentation will discuss how the architectural background of white (photo) studio / white box, with very few other elements, creates adequate stage design that holds potential to be basic for the story to unfold, and how it supplements the narrative. It challenges, offers another angle, shows how information about something so important as human lives endangered by war conflict can be manipulated, misunderstood, framed, adjusted, selectively approached and partially tansmissed.
The Play “Creation of a Man” deals with the tragic topic of migrations over the Mediterranean Sea. Sequences of monologues in a postdramatic form, exploring different perspectives – survivor who swam but whose brother drowned, news reporter, smuggler, European scientist and artist, random man and a boy. Attempt was to present these events through personal stories and to challenge official European – often inhuman – responses. It is a story about the Syrian war, or rather its determining influence on the (one and only) lives of a young man that survived, a boy that narrates the story, and consequences on other characters’ lives to a certain amount. But, as with any war, it can be a story, image or a mirror of another war conflict.
Space of a Play was envisioned as a studio – white box. Idea was to offer an easily changeable framework that serves both as a precise place of particular situation, but also as symbolic space of wider narrative. From the open sea at night, to different shores, mentioned Damascus and an undisclosed European state, borders, camps, beaches, exhibition gallery, etc. Studio is a basic setting, to remind us that we – as an audience and/or as Europeans – can only see constructed narrative, and that no one can escape images, media or social networks. It was also important to create a simple and open stage that offers space for story, without imposing itself. Thus, there are only a few building elements of the set space. They are pretty much architectural and tactile – from big white surfaces – floor and wall that define space, to wire frame, monument postament, lights, black bags and “sand”. Strong symbolic but also very direct element and image is wire, through which the main character escapes, but still doesn’t find freedom and salvation.
Some of elements used were studio and ring lights, used also as nautic equipment; black bags, some filled with clothes, used as props but also creating backdrop and creating multiple associations – bags with essentials for fleeing, corpses, graves, pollution, etc.; semolina was used as a beach and sand, but also as smoke and debris from explosion; Light and darkness were equally important for this play and scene design, so enlightened gloves formed the final image, like hands asking for help.