35th / 14th International Festival of Alternative and New Theatre
35 / 14. интернационални фестивал алтернативног и новог театра

Novi Sad, 25th June - 3rd July 2008

Sat, 28th June
I AM 1984
c.o/combined operations, Zagreb (Croatia)
| 20:00, The Novi Sad Theatre

Direction and text: Giuseppe Chico and Barbara Matijević
Cast: Barbara Matijević

A co-production with ZeKaeM

The duration of the play is 50 minutes.

‘I am 1984’ is a pseudo-scientific journey through 1984, which from the points of view of different realities, i.e. different levels of fiction – from the events of national and world history through science fiction, films and 3D animations, to the virtual worlds of the Internet and video games – among other things poses the questions: what is the connection between Mona Lisa’s smile and Mickey Mouse’s giggle? And between Mickey Mouse’s giggling and the bloodthirsty face of Packman¹? And between Packman and… the Olympic circles?
‘I am 1984’ is the first public presentation of the work on the science fiction essay entitled The Theory of Performance Art of the Future or – the Only Way to Escape the Massacre is to Become Its Author.      
¹ Packman, a character of the popular video game from the 1980s.

c.o/combined operations is considered to be one of the leading Croatian collectives of the contemporary theatrical expression, present on the European dance and theatre market. c.o. develops non-institutional models of artistic work, having realised 10 independent and group dance and theatrical performances all together, cooperating on these productions with different individual artists as well as a number of independent organisations present on the international and Croatian art scene.
Saša Božić, Barbara Matijević and Željka Sančanin are the heart of the collective.
Their projects have been staged in Norway (Bergen-BIT Teatergarajsen, Oslo-Danses Nus), Sweden (Malmo Dance Centre), Germany (Mex Festival Dortmund, Trans-Europa Festival, Hildesheim, Podewill, Berlin), Italy, France, Greece, Slovenia and Serbia. Some of the plays have been done in co-production with EUROKAZ, the dance and theatre centre Podewill and DAAD, Berlin, Norwegian Wee Company, Belgrade Dance Centre Stanica, French Dance Centre in Montpellier, etc.

‘... While juxtaposing and networking the different layers of historical narrative, ranging from a private history through the national one (although the 1984 Yugoslav-communist history) to the world history, with a special emphasis placed on the history of the mass media, personal computers and telecommunications, the performance is structured as a public lecture supported by multi-coloured graphs and charts on a white board. In the stage space reduced in such a way, the audiences’ attention is absolutely focused on the vocal choreography, at moments transformed into drawings resembling financial and stock exchange graphs…
The overwhelming amount of lexical material and historical facts underscores the material accumulation as a basic principle of the capitalist rhetoric which seduces with an endless circulation of objects and images. The doubly articulated performing apparatus – speech and drawing, results in a complex stage creation in which B.M., following in the footsteps of Brecht’s paradigm of a distanced and engaged performer who never becomes absolutely the one with his role, articulates a series of questions of an utmost importance for the endangered survival of an individual in times which ever more aggressively annul his individuality, reducing him to a mere consumer of a certain brand or trademark. At moments very comical, B.M., on the other hand, points to the tragic-comical effect of a totalistic spectacle, which can be defied with laughter and the imaginary. B.M. firmly assures us that the contemporary man caught in a multitude of systems and structures and lost in a flood of relevant or irrelevant information is offered only two ways out of this panoptical embrace of Big Brother and his branded prostheses: humour and imagination.’

Andrej Mirčev, Vijenac        
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