An exceptional performance in honor of Tomaž Šalamun, directed by Ivica Buljan. A tribute to an artist who with his sensual and physical poetry and simplicity overgrew the environment in which he lives.
On August 30th, the thirteenth season of Mini Teater begins with a spectacular one-time-only theatre performance "I, after whom Ljubljana can be named - Poker" , based on the poetry of Tomaž Šalamun and directed by Ivica Buljan. The performance will take place on ten different locations: the Square of the French Revolution, St. Mary's church of Križanke, Hell's Courtyard of Križanke, Pod Skalco pub, the Photon Gallery, the Squot Gallery, the Shambala restaurant, the lobbies and courtyards of houses on Križevniška and inside Mini Teater itself.
With this event, the director of Mini Teater Robert Waltl and director Ivica Buljan celebrated the seventieth birthday of "the general of the Slovenian avant-garde" and one of the greatest living Slovenian poets - Tomaž Šalamun.
With his refined understanding of art, Šalamun transformed literary life in the former Yugoslavia and his approach to existential experience as something that should result in a unique lyrical vision; he has helped generations of artists on the path of personal and public emancipation.
The liberating power of his poetry can compare to the revolutionary eros of the sixties, which engulfed the entire world.
Treated as a destructor and provocateur, all that Šalamun did was build his personal cosmos wherein to celebrate intoxicating corporeality. His spaces are in equal measure Ljubljana's Šiška and the island of Hvar, the Manhattan of Woody Allen, a men's bar in Marais, a hotel for secret meetings in scorching Mexico. His loves, Maruška, Metka, Alejandro, are assimilated by the generations of youths who recognized in his poetry not only sublime aesthetics and supreme luddism, but the energy of freedom, shining like some kind of a rock star. The title of the performance "The self Ljubljana could be named after " pays homage to an artist-monster, who with his sensual and physical poetry, erudition and simplicity, outgrew the midst in which he lives. His word became body; his bestiary is home to the most beautiful wildlife known to the earth.
Ivica Buljan - a passionate fan of Šalamun - selected for this performance poems from different periods, starting with Poker, first published in 1966, up to more recent texts. As he has been translated to all major languages, Šalamun will be heard in Slovenian, Croatian, English, French, Spanish and German. The international cast of actors assembled in Mini Teater is led by doyens, diva Ana Karić, Radko Polič, Niko Goršič, Olga Kacjan and singer Ditka Haberl. Alongside them are Marko Mandić, Robert Waltl, Jernej Gašperin and Jose. They are joined by French actors Laurent Sauvage and Marine de Missol, Salvadorian actor Raoul Fernandez and Croatians Stipe Kostanić in Marko Cindrić. Also performing is Lukas Zuslag from the Ljubljana Ballet Company.
The author of the spatial installations is Petra Veber, with music composed by Mitja Vrhovnik, costumes designed by Ana Savić Gecan, dramaturgy consultation by Nika Leskovšek and music performed by Miha Petric, Andraž Polič, Nejc Kržič and Sergej Ranđelović.
The performance is a part of the Ljubljana World Book Capital project – MOL, Department of Culture and the post-dramatic theatre programme of Mini Teater.
The sponsor of season 2011 / 2012 is SES.
Slovenian poet Tomaž Šalamun is one of Europe’s most prominent poets and a leader of the Eastern European avant-garde. Early in his career he edited the literary magazine Perspektive and was briefly jailed on political charges. He studied art history at the University of Ljubljana, where he found poetry suddenly, as a revelation, describing its arrival in a 2004 interview as “stones from the sky.”
Šalamun is the author of more than 30 collections of poetry in Slovenian and English. He published his first collection, Poker (1966), at the age of 25. His poetry, using elements of surrealism and polyphony, is influenced by the work of Charles Simic and Charles Baudelaire.
He has won the Jenko Prize, Slovenia’s Prešeren and Mladost Prizes, and a Pushcart Prize. Šalamun and his German translator, Fabjan Hafner, were awarded the European Prize for Poetry by the German city of Muenster. His poetry has been widely anthologized and translated into more than 20 languages.