The Cause Of Death, 2015



The 'Black Wave' was a prolific phase in the Yugoslav cinema in the mid 60s and early 70s that introduced the failure of the protagonist as the means of critical examination of the society. They expressed a human size failure and despair in ordinary manner; their lives often ended abruptly and violently, for instance while sitting on the toilet or falling face down into a small pond. The authors of the Black Wave rejected the norms and ideals of an optimistic official culture, and openly exposed the dark side of socialist society caused by the implementation of market economy and its harmful social consequences. With The Cause of Death I have decided to take over the roles of 5 major BW characters and re-enact their culminating scenes. As the protagonist of this story, I embody two modes of existence, appropriating texts and actions from Yugoslav film history and inserting them into the settings and conditions of my life in the Netherlands. The "bullet" that kills all 5 characters comes from the same "gun" that represents failure on different political and cultural levels. It signifies questions regarding revolutionary ideas that transgress that particular historic period and challenges the belief in art as an agency of change in the social reality. It marks the critical point when Yugoslav society has undergone the neo-liberal turn. In that matter, Žilnik 's famous film "Early Works" (1969) ends with the quote of Saint-Just: "Those who make revolution half way only dig their own graves". Music for the film was made in collaboration with composer Jasna Veličković. Her experimental score achieves the effect of communication signal and evokes traveling back and forth through time by using the original film dialogues and songs.