Mestno gledališče Ptuj
05 September 2014

It is a disconnection from reality in order to enter a different time and space, where homo ludens (the man who plays) is the only and necessary paradigm. Something similar happens in eastern Slovenia during Lent. In Markovci, where I was born and raised, people stop their everyday life for a week and celebrate “Fašenk”. This is the period when the social valve opens with violent force, people change into masks, the boundaries of the legitimate disappear, anarchy, euphoria and cruelty come to the fore. At this time, it seems that virtually anything is possible. The most famous and popular mask is the Korant, which heralds the end of winter and the beginning of spring by jumping. Its origins are not clear, but similar wild men are appearing all over Europe. It is known that the colder climate, rural life and especially forested Europe from the fourth century onwards influenced the imagination of the people of that time. A wild man and rarely a wild woman is mentioned as a creature with unimaginable power, usually naked, hairy and solitary, coming from a dark forest. Today, the natural and political picture of Europe is quite different, the savage man being tamed in a carnival set by Christianity before Ash Wednesday. The limited number of days of anarchy also suited the ruling class, as it was able to exercise control over the people during the “non-Fašenk” period. The role of the Korant today is primarily ethnographic, it has acquired a national identity and became part of popular culture. If you come from Markovci, these stickers do not mean much, because through the layers you can still feel the devotion, sincerity and freedom of the people who live a new life every year. Spring begins to come and the ground begins to shake. In the play, Kukovec preserves Korant in the local environment and also move it to a different performative situation – on stage. The stage as a space of emotion will allow the Korant to go mad to the end, to be exposed, to confess, to die, and to be born again. Through it we will tell the story of playfulness, madness and the human drive to become someone / something else.


Barbara Kukovec: Fašenk!, 2014
multimedia theatre play

Author and director: Barbara Kukovec
Production: Zavod Projekt Atol
Co-production: Slovenian Youth Theater and Ptuj City Theater
Consulting: Marko Mlačnik
Percussion and Live Electronics: Rob Canning
Video script: Barbara Kukovec
Video directed and edited by: Ema Kugler
Video photography director: Lev Predan Kowarski
Video recorder: Boštjan Kačičnik
Sound post-production: Rob Canning
Video recording organizer: Janez Kukovec

Video assistance: Monika Golob
Pokač: Dušan Pavlinek
Korants: Bojan Bezjak, Marjan Bezjak, Janko Horvat, Slavko Janžekovič, Jernej Kukovec, Ivan Lesjak, Blaž Obran, Franc Princl, Dani Slana and Slavko Vrtačnik
Rusas: Nejc Jakomini, Jure Letnik, Nejc Letnik, Ana Vrtačnik, Gašper Vrtačnik, Sofija Vrtačnik, Špela Vrtačnik in Stanislav Vrtačnik
Texts: Hakim Bey, Calvin Johnson, Nina Simone
Songs: Dvigni se jezik moj, Terezija Maroh (Zabovske pevke), Feelings, Loulou Gasté
Customs: Vox Populi
Photography: Nada Žgank
Whip maker: Jožef Muhič
Hen maker: Jože Letnik
Korant costume: Marjan Bratec

Executive production: Barbara Hribar and Uroš Veber

The project was supported by the Ministry of Culture and the City of Ljubljana


Barbara Kukovec is a performer, actress and dancer who has recently been devoting herself to visual media and especially photography. She graduated from Ljubljana’s AGRFT and received her master’s degree in acting from the Goldsmith College in London (2006). Based on her holistic approach to the topic she is dealing with, we can expect (and also get) a completely unique performative expression every time. The ability to achieve surpluses and an in-depth analytical approach, both at the individual and collective level, distinguishes the work of Barbara Kukovec also in the projects of Via Negativa (Starting point: Anger, Still, Wouldn’t, Viva Verdi and Four Deaths), in which the presence almost always blurs the boundaries between the subject of the performance and the performance of the subject.