Deeper into dreams

‘But if all were well, no desire for a change would spring up instinctively and continually as it ever does in those who visit or ponder on the modern Theatre. It is because the Theatre is in this wretched state that it becomes necessary that some one shall speak as I do; and then I look around me for those to whom I can speak and for those who will listen and, listening, understand; and I see nothing but backs turned towards me...’ E. G. Craig On the Art of the Theatre

Considering the fact that we based our previous selection (2013) on the performances we regarded as representative in respect to leaving a trace of undoubted authorship in a post-apocalyptic moment, we think that the time has come to move on, to wade in deeper, to deal with that group of authors or groups of authors, artists, intellectuals, who are slashed by the death of art as an expression of degrading bourgeois culture. The avant-garde and neo-avant-garde advocate a cultural revolution and not only that – they cannot exist without it. Globalisation, extension of this and that market, the constant balancing of the fragile border between the East and the West and Spectacularism (with the capital S) have placed the modern man of the digital era into the chains of image-mediated relationships. Everyday lives interspersed with motion and still photographs, social networks, advertisements, leaflets, flyers, trailers, photomontage, selfies, statuses, scraps of moods underscored by Youtube tunes, resemble a kitschy nightmare where everyone is equal in their five-minute glory and file one after another as if on a conveyor belt. The world of interpersonal relations has become a meta-advertising space where, with a click on the computer, we can see, for example, a smiling face of the neighbour’s baby  taken “at its best” from the ninth attempt. The world of art has become like a tumorous tissue, self-reproducing, it churns out artists who merely scoop up from the pile of already churned up and life-expended objects. Intellectuals follow it all, circling from an event to an event, slipping like water through fingers in this self-sufficient artistic space of endless revolutionariness.    
Fulvia Carnevale and James Thornhill speak of the crisis of singularities, of subjectivities as products (products of power) and our bodies being crossed by relations of power where we either oppose this power or wed ourselves to its flux. Also speaking of these things is Aakash Odedra, an Indian from Great Britain of incredible corporal expressivity and flexibility, whose bodily organs will serve, in front of the audience, as a conduit of Nikola Tesla and Bengal tigers just freed from their cages, since crossed by forms of energy, ranging from animalistic to electric, in its ultimate shape, Aakash’s stage existence becomes kinetics and energy as such (it is powerful in defeating power). Fulvia Carnevale and James Thornhill go on to say: ‘The more the “I” spawned and multiplied in all the cultural products, the less one might encounter the consistency of the self in real life.’   Similarly, Mimart has been active for thirty years now, re-examining the “I”, the Serbian “I”, the artistic “I”, the avant-garde “I” and my multiple “I” in my thirty-year long continuance, only to pose the question: Do “I” have any sense?; the Spanish Hoogerman puts itself in this schizophrenia of alternating images, examining what the durable thing is behind all the lights of all the cities, while The Bald Soprano of the Theatre of the Blind and Visually Impaired from Croatia describes the world of today where people look at each other without really seeing, where people seek each other, but despite the fact that they stand right before each other’s eyes, multiplied in millions of photocopies, they fail to find each other.              
In the domain of the production of artists, a problem of (un)creativity is rarely considered. In the tacky artistic honeycomb made of the mass of producers and consumers who look alike, listen to the same kind of music and have the same theoretical references, the consequences of this beehive on subjectivity are rarely examined. It is exactly what Mala Kline from Slovenia in her performance entitled EDEN does by asking what distinctiveness is in the self-sufficient artistic paradise. Maša Kolar from Croatia in The Memory of Water uses the dancers’ bodies to symbolise the slippery, tacky consumerist honey of the contemporary intellectual, both the one on the stage and the one in the audience. Carnevale and Thornhill say: ‘Тhe “art world” has thus reached a stage where interrogating the term “creativity” no longer really makes any sense. Nothing “new,” in the most naïve sense of the word, can see the light in this space.’ We reproduce the reproduced because that is the market demand – this is what Opera Ultima of the Novi Sad Theatre speaks of. We reproduce no end, until reproduction loses all sense and becomes a char in the ashes of needless texts. Thus ‘this massive generation of uniformity will nevertheless generate genuine dysfunction in the social space that surrounds contemporary art,’ and a Rudolph Valentino will live in a small cardboard box in a dead-end street inhabited by the homeless, like in the play by Pat Kinevane from Ireland entitled Silent. Finally, ‘under the conditions of production of artistic subjectivity that we have just described, we are all ready-made artists and our only hope is to understand this as quickly as possible. We are all just as absurd and displaced as a vulgar object, deprived of its use and decreed an art object: whatever singularities, supposed to be artistic’ (Carnevale, Thornhill). We are all like Roses of the “Deszõ Kostolányi” Theatre from Subotica, nice and rosy, healthy and stuck into vases, left immobile on dining tables and deprived of the life utility value – we are all our own products.
 ‘In a light sleep, beneath the surface of the real, a spread of advertising slogans and a host of stupid tasks saturate time and space. Until an interruption, we will remain foreigners to ourselves and friends with things,’ (Carnevale, Thornhill), which the troupe of Maria Kong from Israel speaks of, showing how friendship with things turns us into bedbugs and woodworms. It is under such conditions - which obstinately continue, and in which everything always remains the same even though it moves as if on a conveyor belt (class differences, hidden hatreds, racism, misogyny, colonialism, etc.) - that the image of democracy is shaped, fluttering like a flag over certain nations. Standards – (in other words) last, like Standards of Pierre Rigal’s company from France, and in constant motion, they, essentially, remain unchanged.    
   In order to alienate ourselves from the tedious rhythm of the momentum of history, in order to get shocked, stirred up, stop the spinning force of tradition, to become strangers to the deeply rooted standards – we must be capable of noticing this self-absorption, the narcissism of intellectuals, the modern man’s confinement within his own limits. We must step out of our own selves, observe the situation. We must, therefore, separate from ourselves to reunite with our lucid selves – In the Solitude of Cotton Fields in which, like in those of the Parobrod Theatre from the Belgrade Circle of 2, we wonder what to do with our newly-discovered subjectivity (singularity). Perhaps we can laugh, and perhaps we can achieve much more if we start with laughter. Perhaps in their laughterhood, the laughers can move the foundations of great national houses for two millimetres, without caring if they return to their foundations right away, as it is not at all that important (“O laugh, laughers! O, laugh out laughers!” says Vladimir Khlebnikov in his poem).
    So, quickly and spontaneously, honesty, easily, simply and lovingly – like Tanz Europe Express from Berlin, let us wade in deeper, Deeper into Dreams, beyond the surface, beyond Facebook and Instagram, beyond the national and artistic greatnesses, beyond the spectacle, beyond the directors and national theatres and beyond their fans and connoisseurs, beyond our best photo editions – to try to see what we are really like.   

Welcome to Infant 2014.
Miloš Sofrenović and Milica Konstantinović

 “In a capitalist society, the construction of the frame and styles of life are enterprises restricted to isolated intellectuals. Which explains the long life of the dream… So as to howl at death, the guard dogs have come together.”

G. Debord “Dubok san i njegovi potrošači” [The Big Sleep and Its Clients], Potlač, No. 16

Clair Fontaine,Ready – made umetnici i ljudski štrajk: nekoliko objašnjenja [Ready-Made Artist  and Human Strike: A Few Clarifications] in Nadežda Petrović Memorial The Big Sleep, The Art Gallery of Nadežda Petrović, Čačak 2012.