RESUME – ALDINA TOPCAGIC
Aldina Topčagić is a performing artist - contemporary dance, producer and founder of the cultural association Art Alive Kulturverein. She was born in Bosanski Novi, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since 2007 she lives in Austria and works throughout Europe. Aldina cooperated with numerous institutions, among others created for and performed in the following art houses: "Guggenheim Museum Bilbao" (2019), Spain; "Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium" (2017, 2018, 2019), "BOZAR" (2018), and "Balthasar Brussels" (2021) Belgium, "Artlemo Galerie Berlin" (2016) Germany, "Musiikkitalo - Helsinki Music Center" (2016) Finland, "Fabrica de Arte Cubano" (2017) Havana, Cuba; "Novi Hram" gallery (2018) Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; "Bajor Gizi Musem" (2018) Budapest, Hungary; "Universalmuseum Joanneum Joanneumsviertel", "Kunsthaus Graz" (2016) and "Papierfabrik" (2018) as well as for "Zimmerman-Kratochwill Galerie" (2019) Austria.
She participated in the productions of the Opera House in Graz in the seasons 2011/2012, 2016/2017 and 2018/2019. As part of her contemporary dance training, she learned from and worked with renowned choreographers such as David Zambrano – founder of Flying Low and Passing Through techniques; Jennifer Monson, Kirstie Simson, Yoshiko Chuma, Liz King, Valentina Moar, Allen Yu, and others. In his trans- and multidisciplinary projects, she combines contemporary dance, music, sound installation, film, photography, psychology, architecture, literature and education. They are realized in the form of installations, interventions and performance. Her work deals with topics such as self-reflection, consciousness, identity, the origin of the individual, the place of the individual in society and his interpersonal relationships. In May 2017, she was declared "Artist of the Month" by the Austrian Cultural Forum / Austrian Embassy in Brussels. In December 2021, she received the Austrian citizenship for extraordinary achievements in art and culture. In 2020/2021, Aldina co-directed two short dance films: "couch me!" - in which she was the main role, and "What-a-Mel-on" - in which she was the director and choreographer. With numerous nominations on international film festivals, she won eight awards for "Best Experimental Film" and "Best Director" in the USA, South America, Europe and Asia. In 2022 she co-created the short documentaray „Live and Let Live – Focus on BiH“, which won the Silver Award for best Short Documentary at New York Movie Awards
Philosophy, concept, approach of ART ALIVE // Strategies for Museums and art houses
"Becoming human is an art." (Novalis)
Art Alive offers a unique performance concept for art mediation developed by Aldina M. Topcagic: "Performative dialogue as danced meeting".
The Bosnian dance performance artist,, choreographer, producer and artistic director of Art Alive combines various art forms with the ultimate art of being human. (a deep sense of humanity) . Together with artists selected by her, she creates unique performances in galleries and other renowned art houses. The result is a dialogue between space and time that focuses on the human being. Each performance by Art Alive is unique and unrepeatable. The artists refer to the visitors present as well as to the surrounding works of art and architecture. This leads to unique improvisations and real-time compositions., because these involve the viewer just as much as the art itself.
The artists finally become the extension of the environment through living art - dance, performance, music, voices and other art forms. They compose in real time while being inspired by everything that surrounds them. They also relate to and invole the audience.
Through this extension, the audience can perceive not only artworks, space and time much more intensely - in addition, an interpersonal dimension is created that deepens both the self-perception and the perception of others.
"Watching you being your true self, makes me be more myself." (Oprah Winfrey)
The artistic concept of Art Alive is based on a comprehensive anthropological idea: Man as a whole of body and soul, but also as part of space and time, of history and stories, as well as part of the whole of humanity. All this is hidden in all art forms. And Art Alive wants to dance all this and reflect it back to the audience.
"It is important to us that our work - the concept, the theme, the artworks and the artistic staging - brings us closer to the people. And that they are more interconnected. Through culture and philosophy, we strive to bridge distances between people in society. It is also about the ambivalence in the individual person, the distance of the individual to himself." Because art is supposed to breathe life into people and enlighten areas in their nature that may have been darkened until then. But people often lack a personal approach. And it is precisely this approach that Art Alive forms with the concept "Art becomes human - danced interaction". The key to this is joy, the joy of art.
ART ALIVE is a cultural association based in Austria, under the artistic direction of dancer, choreographer and Art Alive founder, Aldina Michelle Topcagic.
Art Alive works with dancers, choreographers, musicians, singers, photographers, filmmakers and other creative people from all over the world. They animate projects with a cultural and social focus through dance performances, installations and educational programs. Through this platform they want to reach people all over the world. First, the artists reach people in museums and other art houses. But in a next step Art Alive will also reach socially isolated people.
As a team, Art Alive strives to make the societies that the team of artists encounters a better place. This is achieved through an encounter with art that always eliminates everything artificial. The focus is on the human being, the connection to oneself and interpersonal perception and communication. Art Alive, like every art form, does not tolerate artificial masks. This is how we create interaction that reaches people in their fullness.
The contacts to different companies and art houses are cultivated in order to develop a high-quality and deepened cooperation. Art Alive´s Multi- and transdisciplinary work is carried out in different art houses and places, which are a source of inspiration for the artists. They relate to people, architecture, works of art, time and space.
The motive of their art is directed towards humanity and its further development.
Each creation is marked by work which includes the spirit of vulnerability, sensitivity, strenght, awareness of the consciousness, awaking the subconsciousness, persistence, courage and willingness to challange a further transcendence of artistic work and of human personal being. The developement of the being is in a continuous relation to the creative process and work of the artist - whether it is about the movement, expression, creativity or any other work.
Registered cultural association "Art Alive Kulturverein" in Graz, Austria
Aldina Michelle founded "Art Alive" in August 2016. Art Alive is developing and supporting international inter- and multidisciplinary contemporary dance art projects.
The principles according to which Art Alive´s work is brought to life are ordinary and as such concern every individual regardless of profession, origin, age, gender, political inclination, religion or other differences.
For the artists it is important that the work - concept, theme, project selection and the artistic realization itself - brings them closer to the people and connects them - by helping art to discover and communicate "our true self" - and in return to discover the "true self" of others. The goal is to experience self-perception that is free of prejudices and other thought patterns that create barriers. The goal of Art Alive is to bridge the distance between people. All this through the joy of art. The recognition and acceptance should be supported so that the person becomes aware that he/she is enough, exactly as he/she is now and here. With this conviction no one has to seek confirmation or the meaning of life in an ideology.
Art Alive is supposed to stimulate that the individual is not a passive observer, but an active listener of past and present experiences as well as of the environment. In the spirit of Casper's thought "each of us is a work of art, marked by life. With this self-conception everyone can take responsibility for the future. By discovering impulses and signs in ourselves and in daily life, we are no longer victims of our restrictive patterns. Patterns that may have been set by society, culture, our education, or another side. We are of the opinion that conscious perception, honesty and an objective vision of reality can change many things positively.
Our path is not fixed and we shape our own future. In the short and long term, the change of an individual leads to a whole community changing.
Besides performing arts, Art Alive also develops educational programs. Within this framework, workshops and master classes are offered by renowned contemporary dancers and other artists. Art Alive is not linked to a fixed location and is internationally positioned.
Art Alive is a platform on which it should be possible to learn through art worldwide. The artists are firmly convinced that sincere education leads to visible changes in the world. It is a tool to make society a better place. Education raises awareness.
A conscious person is able to lead a fulfilled life and to maintain his interpersonal relationships better.
"The more I think about it, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than loving humanity." (Vincent van Gogh)
The social aspect is at the core of all our projects and activities. Art Alive´s projects are not there to fascinate, but to inspire and move. This is not an emotional performance, which is supposed to lead into a certain state of mind. But it is about the fact that each viewer can "take" for himself what he/she needs in the here and now.
Strategies for Museums and art houses
On top: "Timeless in Space" at The Museum of Modern Art "Kunsthaus" Graz, Austria, March 2016. Performer Aldina Michelle Topcagic. Photography: Andrea Copony
At end: "Crossing Mediuns-The Beginning" at the Goethe Institute in Helsinki, Finland, October 2016, Producer: Rigulio Graak, Performer: Aldina Michelle Topcagic