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Ivan Moudov’s performance "Traffic Control" works on the development of cultural modes of translation which assume visual recognition patterns that have been altered and transformed so as to become absurd. In one of his many unannounced actions, the artist—dressed in the authentic uniform of a Bulgarian policeman—entered an intersection in the Austrian city of Graz and proceeded to direct traffic. Drivers paid attention to and followed the artist’s skillful, well-trained gestures. It took more than 10 minutes for the real police to arrive and stop the action, after which negotiations ensued with Moudov’s lawyer (who helped to prevent the filing of any charges).
In Graz, his action was clearly illegal, even though the artist himself represented a figure of authoritative power. Playing with the aesthetics of camouflage and disguise, Moudov tested the fine line beyond which something may still be physically possible but at the same time legally objectionable. The action showed how easy it is to interfere in a seemingly controlled public space that defies artistic contestation.


  • Artist: Ivan Moudov
  • Original Title: Traffic Control
  • Year: 2001
  • Material: video, color, sound
  • Dimensions: Duration: 6min
  • Inventory no.: K356
  • Category: performance documentation
Parts of Work