Aldina Topčagić is a performance artist - contemporary dancer, producer, and choreographer. She is the founder and artistic director of the Art Alive cultural association. Aldina 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 her 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 Brussels. In December 2021, she received the Austrian citizenship for extraordinary achievements in art and culture. Aldina has created following multidisciplinary artistic projects: "Voice of the Silence"; "Timeless in Space", "Space Series", "Living Sculpture", "Inroots"; "Transition", "Crossing Arts", "What-a-Mel-on a Performative Dialog". 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.  It premiered at the European Parliament in Brussels as part of „EU – Together for BiH“ project, initiated and curated by Aldina, produced by Art Alive.

 

Philosophy, concept, approach

 

About us

"Becoming human is an art." (Novalis)

 

Art Alive creates a unique performative dialog, which relates to the existing artwork in the museum. It is a transformation of material art (paints, sculptures, visual installations, etc.) into living art, through performance, dance, sound scape, and live music. It is highly important for the team to remain open and ever listening to what the space, the existing artwork inside and every layer of reality in the room are giving as a form of inspiration and creativity, instead of pursuing preconceived ideas on what is creative and original to them. 

The artists are a channel between the material artwork and each visitor. With their performance, they are increasing the perception of the visitors, while stimulating their senses of vision, hearing, smell, touch, balance, thermoception, sensuality and internal senses. Those are reaching out to the subconsciousness and the consciousness of each individual so that the visitor of the museum experiences artwork in a new dimension. The understanding and the impression of the artwork reaches a new level - this is achieved by activating the exteroceptive and interoceptive senses at the same time. The people in the space are not anymore only outstanding viewers, but they become an interactive part of the exhibited space and the artwork.

 

Art Alive presents a distinctive approach to art mediation, crafted by Aldina Topcagic. The Bosnian dance performance artist, choreographer, producer, and artistic director of Art Alive seamlessly blends various art forms with the profound art of human existence. Collaborating with selected artists, she curates exceptional performances held in galleries and art venues. These performances initiate a dialogue between space and time, centered around the human experience and consciousness-raising. Each Art Alive performance is a singular and dynamic experience. The artists engage with both the audience and the surrounding artworks and architecture, leading to real-time compositions. Viewers become an integral part of the unfolding art, shaping the experience alongside the artists.

 

In this live art extension, the artists transcend their roles, becoming a living embodiment of the environment—expressing through dance, performance, music, voices, and various art forms. They compose in real-time, drawing inspiration from their surroundings. Through this extension, the audience not only perceives artworks, space, and time more intensely but also encounters a deepened interpersonal dimension. This immersive experience enriches both self-perception and the understanding of others.

 

Artistic concept:

"Watching you being your true self, makes me be more myself." (Oprah Winfrey)

 

The artistic foundation of Art Alive is rooted in a holistic anthropological concept: viewing individuals not only as a synthesis of body, mind, and soul but also as integral parts of space, time, history, stories, and the broader human experience. Our emphasis lies in ensuring that every aspect of our work—the conceptualization, thematic elements, artworks, and artistic presentation—brings us closer to people, fostering interconnectedness. Through cultural initiatives and personal development programs, we actively seek to diminish societal distances between individuals. Additionally, we explore the ambivalence within each person, addressing the individual's distance from themselves. Art Alive strives to breathe life into people, illuminating aspects of their nature that may have been obscured. Often, individuals lack a personal connection, and it is precisely this connection that Art Alive strives to create.

 

Art Alive collaborates with dancers, choreographers, musicians, singers, photographers, filmmakers, and diverse creative talents worldwide. They breathe life into projects with cultural and social significance through dance performances, installations, and educational programs. 

 

As a cohesive team, Art Alive is dedicated to contributing positively to the societies where their artists engage. This is realized through an authentic encounter with art that eliminates all pretense. The primary focus is on the individual, fostering self-connection, interpersonal awareness, and communication. Art Alive, much like any genuine art form, rejects artificial masks, enabling interactions that resonate with people in their entirety. Strategic connections with various companies and art institutions are nurtured to foster high-quality and deepened collaborations. Art Alive's multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary work unfolds in diverse art venues and locations, serving as wellsprings of inspiration for the artists. They draw inspiration from people, architecture, artworks, time, and space.

 

The motivation behind their art is directed towards humanity, society, and the continual evolution of both.

 

Manifesto

Art Alive operates on principles that are universal and relevant to every individual, transcending differences in profession, origin, age, gender, or any other distinctions. For artists involved, it is crucial that their work— encompassing concept, theme, project selection, and artistic execution—draws them closer to people, fostering connections by facilitating the discovery and communication of "our true selves." In return, this process encourages an understanding of the "true selves" of others. The overarching aim is to cultivate a self-perception devoid of prejudices and other thought patterns that create barriers. Art Alive strives to bridge the emotional distance between individuals, achieved through the joy of art. Recognition and acceptance are pivotal, guiding individuals to realize that they are enough just as they are, in the present moment. With this conviction, there is no need to seek confirmation or the meaning of life in an ideology.

 

Art Alive is designed to inspire individuals to be active participants rather than passive observers of their past, present experiences, and surroundings. This self-concept empowers everyone to take responsibility for the future. By recognizing impulses and signals within ourselves and daily life, we liberate ourselves from restrictive patterns—patterns imposed by society, culture, education, or other influences. We believe that conscious perception, honesty, and an objective view of reality have the power to positively impact many aspects of life.

 

Our journey is dynamic, and we actively shape our own future. The transformation of an individual, both in the short and long term, contributes to the broader change within a community.

 

Education

Besides performing arts, Art Alive also develops educational programs. Within this framework, workshops and master classes are offered by renowned contemporary dancers and masters in field of personal development. 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, to maintain his interpersonal relationships better, and to contribute to society. 

 

Social aspect

"The more I think about it, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than loving humanity." (Vincent van Gogh)

“Try and leave this world a little better than you found it.” Robert Baden-Powell  

Images

On top: "Timeless in Space" at The Museum of Modern Art "Kunsthaus" Graz, Austria, March 2016. Performer Aldina Topcagic. Photography: Andrea Copony

Botton: "Crossing Mediuns-The Beginning" at Goethe Institute in Helsinki, Finland, October 2016, Producer: Rigulio Graak, Performer: Aldina Topcagic