The Mimart Theatre, Serbia

Authored and selected by Lidija Antonović

The Mimart Theatre was established in 1984 in Belgrade and is one of the first alternative exploratory theatres in former Yugoslavia, which has been operating for more than three decades. Its founder and director Nela Antonović has produced more than 60 plays and over 400 performance art pieces so far. The photo exhibition at the significant festival INFANT, driven by an innovative and alternative attitude in theatre, is closely related to Mimart’s work, which has taken part in the festival a number of times with its plays and performance art pieces, and contributed to the festival debates and conferences, while Nela Antonović served as the festival selector in 2007 and 2008.

The exhibition is authored by Lidija Antonović, who has selected, besides her own work, photographs from the Mimart’s archive. As an active member of this theatre for more than ten years, Lidija has documented the process and production of the Mimart theatre and archived the artefacts because she considers “the photographs to be a collection of images to remember.” The retrospective of the Mimart Theatre’s production through photographs offers a review of photos and artefacts of memories, but it is also a challenge for the viewers who have never seen the work of this, our country’s pioneering alternative theatre before.

By connecting theory and practice, Nela Antonović has invented the Mimart method which, starting from the opposing sides of the same reality, uses the procedure of “collision” at the point of juncture. The phenomena we explore start from the side of the mind and from the side of the body separately, and depend on their static-active relationship. She is the author of the concept where the potentials of physical theatre are explored through creative participation of artists from various fields, utilizing an interdisciplinary open process and resulting in the development of the original Mimart process of conceptual thinking and freedom of body language. The transfer of competences using this method is successful not only in artistic projects, but it can be used in non-theatrical fields such as work with the young, citizens, migrants and vulnerable groups, as a contribution of the contemporary European theatrical exploratory practice.

The award-winning Mimart Theatre has taken part in a number of national and international festivals and developed the creative potential of many of artists who are now accomplished in our country and in the world. The power of the Mimart Theatre is reflected in its 33-year-long sustainability, participation in intercultural projects marked by continuous joint learning and improvement through critical practices. Thus, the Mimart method is optimised, since, what is important is setting the mind and body into motion, where, without an emotional and intellectual development of the artist’s personality, there is no progress.