Mihai Lukacs

artist in residence August 2013, Romania /

Artist's statement

How did I get here? What ways did I join and collaborate and what ways did I separate or withdraw within the flux of moves and worlds? Following my own experiences with travel, activism, madness, surveillance, detachment, alienation and expansion, I am producing ephemeral works for 2 partners (one being missed or just an embodiment of a split subject), using what Brian Massumi calls “twoness [as] a relay to a multiplicity”. My experiences separate and mingle in a chronological interaction based on the visual and written archives from the time I experimentally moved from one location to another. A mediatised experience crossing imaginary worlds occurs while simultaneously the nomadic move is made across physical borders. The disorientation and flexibility caused by neoliberal capitalism affect and excite the psychological processes that are crucial to countering a dominant discourse of “progress”, a “free market” and “borderless” space. By being at every step a relay away from fixed ideas into direct action and performance, my strategy is to analyse and reinvent a nomadic archive of political possibility and becoming.“Now/mad” is a migrant walk in the Sigmund Freud Park that focuses on a personal experience of nomadism, precarity and performative explorations of hysterical subjectivities.


2012 Central European University, Budapest, Hungary - PhD studies in Comparative Gender Studies, Gender Studies Department
2007 Central European University, Budapest, Hungary - M.A. in Gender Studies
2005 Babeş Bolyai University, Cluj Napoca, Romania, Department of International Relations and European Studies - M.A. in Gender Differences Inequalities
2007 Babeş Bolyai University, Theatre and Television Department, Cluj Napoca, Romania – B.A. in Stage Directing
2003 Babeş Bolyai University, Department of International Relations and European Studies, Cluj Napoca, Romania – B.A. in Political Sciences

Art interventions/performance arts (selection)
The Pleasure of Nibbling in the Case of Afterlife Emergency, National Centre for Dance Bucharest, 2013
The Queer Worker, Kvir_Feminist_Actziya Wien, 2013
The Other Us, Platforma Space Bucharest, 2012
Prolife Radio and Magazine, Salonul de Proiecte- Biroul de Cercetari Melodramatice Bucharest, 2012
Postspectacle Shelter at the House of the People, MNAC- Presidential Candidacy Bucharest, 2012
Invitation to War, MNAC – Common Space Collective Bucharest, 2012

Directed theatre performances (selection)
Jehanne Unscharf, June 2012, Lukacs Hamilton Productions Bucharest-Hannover
Queercore by J.Moon, December 2011, Club Season Bucharest
Silent as the Grave, November 2008, Exquisite Research & Performing Group/ Romanian Cultural Institute Budapest
Jehanne Complex, May 2008, Exquisite Research & Performing Group Budapest
Society for Cutting Up Me by F.A.Cerne, March 2006, Tranzit House Cluj
The Waste by A. Vakulovski, February 2005, Impossible Theatre Cluj

Selected conference papers
The specter of communist feminism: forgetting the struggle for women’s rights, 8th European Feminist Research Conference, Budapest, May 2012
If I Want to Harass, I Harass: the metaphor of gendered violence as solution to racial and class oppression, Violences and Silences: Shaming, Blaming and Intervening Conference, Linköping University, Sweden, October 2010
Deciphering the rebus: the hysterical discourse of modernist theatre theory, The Fifteenth Annual Performance Studies International Conference, Center for Drama Art, University of Zagreb, Croatia,
June 2009
Mad Men’s Motherhood: Imitation of Pregnancy and Male Hysteria, M(O)ther Trouble Conference, Birkbeck, University of London, UK, May 2009
”Sista Docta”: performance and feminist scholarship, Action Research and Feminism. International Conference, Centre for Gender Studies, Babes Bolyai University, Cluj Napoca, Romania, December 2008
Antonin Artaud: Towards presence of the performing body through sound, Music on Stage. International Conference, Rose Bruford College, Sidcup Kent, UK, October 2008
Cleansing Sarah Kane: Reactions to a Performance Directed by Andrei Serban in Romania, Representation of Gender Identities in the Literatures and Cultures of the Balkans and Southern-Eastern Europe, Institute for Literature and Art, Belgrade, Serbia, November 2007

Grants and fellowships
2013 August MQ Artist in Residence Grant – Tranzit, Vienna.
2010 March CEU Research Grant - Visiting Fellowship
2007 –2010 CEU Doctoral Fellowship in Comparative Gender Studies
2006 CEU fellowship for Master’s program in Gender Studies

Irreconcilable Bodies: Out of the Graves and into the Streets, Bezna #4 [The Netherworld], June 2013
The Theatrical Worker and Theatre as Labor, The Gazette for Political Art no.2, May 2013
The Specter of Communist Feminism: Dead Evil Women are Moving Tables!, Bezna #3, August 2012
The imaginary child and the queer vampire apocalypse, Bezna #2 (Apocalypse & Protests), March 2012
If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle: the metaphor of gendered violence as solution to racial and class oppression, in Violences and Silences: Shaming, Blaming – and Intervening, edited by Barbro Wijma,
Linkoping University, 2012
“This scream I’ve thrown out is a dream”: corporeal transformation through sound, an Artaudian experiment, in Studies in Musical Theatre, (Portsmouth, UK), 2010
Cleansing Sarah Kane: Reactions to a Performance Directed by Andrei Serban in Romania, Institute for Literature and Art (Belgrade, Serbia) 2008
Womanist Scholarship and Performance: an Operational Connection in Studia Dramatica (Cluj, Romania) year 1, nr. 1, 2007
Women and the Greek Catholic Church. An Anthropological Approach, in Multidimensional Research in Humanistic Sciences, collective volume, Lumen (Iasi, Romania) 2005

Public Humiliation #3
Mihai Lukacs and Jeanne Hamilton
location: MQ, main entrance
time: Wednesday, August 28, 17.00

The performance-orientated Viennese Volksgemeinschaft (people’s community) has no room for useless eaters, dead weights, social welfare recipients, beggars, "work-shy" individuals, alcoholics,vagabonds, nomads, refugees, asylum seekers, communists, criminal queers, mad people, poor foreigners, sex workers, antisocial youth. In order to economize on food, medicine, shelters and social assistance, crucial institutional decisions for reduction have to be taken. Social exclusion and annihilation-to-come, expulsion and deportation take the first performative steps through exposure: presenting the schleppers in tabloid media, "investigating" Roma crimes, and gathering audiences for public humiliations. Various kinds of deviant behavior pose a threat to the projected bourgeois normalcy as 'asocial' or gemeinschaftsfremd (alien to the community). To mark deviance, humiliation functions as a necessary personal burden for the public by seeing and recognizing the face of the enemy.

Like a bit of luggage
Mihai Lukacs and Jeanne Hamilton
location: MQ, Mariahilferstrasse entrance
time: Thursday, August 29, 15.00

What constitutes “cruelty”? Could it be the immobilization, constriction, or restriction of Omofuma’s body with adhesive tape? The crime: being an "illegal" resident in Austria. Punishment: death by partial or complete blockage of the respiratory tract and gagging by means of adhesive tape at the hands of three police officers during his deportation flight back to Lagos. Date: 1 May 1999.

Industrial Food Performance
Thursday, 22 August 2013, 8 p.m.
Rosa Lila Villa
Vienna, Linke Wienzeile 102

"We are all used to having our dreams crushed, our hopes smashed, our illusions shattered, but what comes after hope? What is the alternative, in other words, to cynical resignation on the one hand and naïve optimism on the other? Make no mistake, we are the losers of history."

“The Queer Worker” uses socialist stereotypes regarding the working class merged with queer theory and political utopias regarding a genderless and classless society. The class struggle of the proletariat intersectionally expands through the feminist, queer and anti-racist struggles. The exploitation of the working class goes hand in hand with the oppression of women and queers. Our struggles for sexual justice go hand in hand with those for social justice, the redistribution of goods goes hand in hand with changing the gendered/sexed/racialized instruments of culture. The queer worker will give critical concern to women’s and queer issues in their own right, while being part of a retro-future cooperative and classless society. Some of the questions that are addressed are related to the utopian movement that goes beyond the interests of its most privileged elements and to an existing commitment to socialism as politics with no queer or feminist bullet points at the end of the list. The queer worker embodies and gives voice to these concerns.