Elena Marcevska


I am a practitioner, academic and researcher interested in creating work that can help us to think through new historical discontinuities that have emerged in post-capitalist and post-socialist transition. This is ever more relevant at a time when the Eurozone is fragmenting, and right wing populisms are on the rise. In addition, I do research and write extensively on the issues of belonging, female body and the border and intergenerational trauma. My artistic work explores borders and stories that emerge from living in transition. Ultimately, I am interested in creating and researching work that provides means by which people can meet, human to human, in all their differences, in the most sensitive and sincere way possible.



Marchevska, E. and. Nichol, C. Dia.

Performed at:
Circuit Festival De Montfort University, Leicester, 02-03 June 2011. Performers: Nichol, C. and Marchevska, E.
Somatics and Technology conference. University of Chichester, 22-23 June, 2012. Performers: Nichol, C and Marchevska, E.

This performative installation is part of an on-going research through practice collaboration to explore process as performance. This piece is developed through Authentic Movement practice - a somatic practice developed by Mary Starks-Whitehouse, used as a devising tool by dance and performance practitioners (Jane Bacon 2010, Eila Goldhahn 2007). The piece emerged through three years (2008-2011) of rigorous, intense process under the supervision of Prof Jane Bacon, at University of Northampton. This process lead to new insights on how somatic practice can be reflected and mediated through digital screens. This piece contributes to an investigation into the relations between digital technologies and the moving/feeling body. It follows Kate Mondloch use of the term ‘screen-reliant’ art as opposed to the term ‘screen-based’ art to signal that the screen is a performative category (2010:xii). The artist in Mondloch’s opinion considers every aspect of the screen, not just as an object, but also as how it can serve as a subject. When creating the work, the artist considers what physical, conceptual and political points can be made with the use of the screen.

To focus the research, only two stories were chosen as reflection points. The story of the Wanderer (foreigner) and mOther. The M(O)ther and Wanderer are embodied through movement, image making and voice. The separated explorations were captured via live feed and projected on screen as one image. The aesthetic is a layered processual fragmented story over a 2 hour duration. The piece was commissioned for East Midlands Live Art Platform “Circuit” in 2011 and received a positive feedback from both the audience and the peers. The year after, the piece was selected as a practice output example during the International conference “Somatics and Technology” that gathered international pool of academics and practitioners.

valid until ...

‘Valid until…’

Marchevska, E.

This project is an in-depth research on the theme of borders and motherhood. It consisted of a series of autobiographical writing, performative photographs and videos taken during a period of 140 days. The period was symbolic, equal to one hundred and forty questions that I had to answer about myself, my children and my family in the visa application. This is a challenge that repeatedly occurs in my life. Coming from South East Europe (the ex-Yugoslavia region), my validity and legal status is constantly re-evaluated and subject to the scrutiny of the Western European authorities. The period of one hundred and forty days was a period of confirming the validity of my legal status in United Kingdom. Borders can be built from outside, they can be physical and tangible, difficult to cross, but passable. I felt compelled as an artist to talk about the experience of motherhood as a highly political state, where the body is split and carries not only the child into this world, but also the cultural responsibility and intergenerational take on the borders that youngsters have to cross. In my research and performative interventions, I looked at the ways in which artist-mothers negotiate and translate their experiences with/on the border. This project is included in the Live Art Development Agency Study Room Guide on Live Art and Motherhood and is also held as part of the Study Room in Exile at The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home.

The Place we...

The place where we were last together

Marchevska, E.

In this piece I looked at the state in which the boundaries of inside and outside, self and other, dissolve. I took the maternal as a starting point, since the maternal body points to the impossibility of closure, to a liminal state where the boundaries of the body are fluid.

I explored the maternal through the screen as an object that protects on one hand, and obscures on the other. The screen is a curtain, a window, a digital representation. I was inspired by the long tradition of how women interact with screen as shape, object and signifier.

The academic article.