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Weekender with Vlatka Horvat: Unstable Spaces

Vlatka Horvat, photo courtesy of the artist.

10.30am-5.30pm both days (£60)


Through a series of practical mini-projects, assignments, and discussions, this lab will investigate the complex spatial and social relations between objects, bodies, and elements of the built space. Working out performative solutions to a range of tasks dealing with the instability of spaces and the provisional nature of physical boundaries, we will explore how space is made and unmade, how it can be inhabited, transformed, and traversed, and how the relations between objects and bodies within a delineated spatial frame can be opened up, reconfigured, and re-imagined.

The lab will approach ‘delineated space’ from several perspectives, using as the playing area a range of differently scaled spaces and planes: the entire room, the surface of the tabletop, the interior of a box, the palm of the hand… Using gestures of mirroring, repetition, transformation, action and reaction, participants will investigate physical action, movement, and presence while probing questions related to boundaries and edges, containment, mobility and stuckness, inside and outside. Activities will include solo and duet tasks, collaborative assignments and rule-based game systems, collective improvisation structures, and discussion.


Vlatka Horvat’s work spans sculpture, installation, collage, drawing, video, and performance, often investigating the problematics of occupying space. Frequently involving gestures of rearranging and reconfiguring both the space itself and the spatial relations at play in it, her pieces tend to stage the precarious and contentious dynamics between bodies, physical objects, the built environment, and landscape.

Horvat’s performances – from the 8-hour durational piece of rearranging chairs, titled This Here and That There, to the micro-focused systematic choreography of hands in her tabletop piece Once Over – involve the manipulation of commonplace materials in the frame of a simple rule system. In these pieces, the seemingly endless and unresolved actions unfold as a series of attempts to circumvent restrictions at hand, creating a kind of a catalogue of examples or versions, a taxonomy of possibilities within a delineated spatial and conceptual framework. In Horvat’s performance works, as in her sculptural practice, the artist works to unpack complex ideas in playful ways, returning time and again to the question of frames and borders, as concrete structures that contain human action, and at the same time as delineators of both limitation and possibility.

Horvat’s work gets presented in various contexts – from gallery spaces through theatre and dance festivals to the public realm. More information at



Date and time

2–3 April 2016

Please note
This is now a past event.


Toynbee Studios
28 Commercial Street
London, E1 6AB
Tel: 020 7247 5102
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