Performer: Dejana Sekulić
Historical Advisers: Vesna Meštrić, Vladimir Kulić
Directed by: Jasmina Cibic
First Assistant Director: Ana Cvitaš
Produced by: Waddington Studios London
Director of Photography: Mark Carey
Camera operator: Igor Stilković
Focus Puller: Tomislav Hećimović
Second Assistant Camera: Igor Blažić
Costume: Senka Kovačević
Art Director: Mateja Šetina
Art Department: Samo Kralj, Andrej Zavodnik
Stage Manager: Zdenko Zavić
Gaffer: Joško Milić
Make-up: Kasandra Draganić
Hair: Emina Psarić Copić
Editor: Vladimir Gojun
Sound Mix and design: Peregrine Andrews
Continuity: Karla Folnović
Location Manager: Jasna Jakšić
Spark: Matija Grkčević
Filmed in Gorgona Theatre, Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb.
Music: Béla Bartók’s Magnificient Mandarin arranged and performed by Dejana Sekulić
Research assistant: Jelica Jovanović
With thanks to: Pete Moss, Vladimir Kulić, Vesna Meštrić,Museum of TheatricalArtsof Serbia and Alessandro Vincentelli.
Production Runner: Jakša Baždar
Catering crew: Saralee’s Kitchen
Nada: Act 1 is supported by the Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb.
© Jasmina Cibic 2016
The first act of Jasmina Cibic’s new project “Nada” fans out from a biographical thread of architect and artist Vjenceslav Richter whose archive is part of the Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb’s collection.
As an architect, Richter was one of the key figures in charge of the artistic and visual representation of the Yugoslav pavilions at world expositions. He designed national pavilions for two world exhibitions in which Yugoslavia participated after the World War II. He was also the co-designer of the Zagorje villa in Zagreb, which was built for the former Yugoslav president Tito and is now the official residence of the Croatian President.
Cibic translates Richter’s architecture into a character within a rhizomatic narrative about the methodologies of the construction of Yugoslav identity and its relation to the idea of aesthetics as the gatekeeper of the presentation of a political system to the international community of spectators, headed by diplomacy and leading politicians. Heavily leaning on the ideaof the pleasure principle, Cibic focuses on the concurrent and parallel positions of female presence surrounding the architect, who had been chosen to invent an adequate frame to present the State’s spectacle. These female figures were primarily the State itself – his client, his wife Nada – an actress who followed him throughout his world travels, and his three anti-gravitational sculptures of the same name created as a response to the censorship of his core artistic thought, which was, according to archival sources, imposed on him by the leading state ideologue Edvard Kardelj.
The central element of project Nada is Richter’s first, but unrealized design for the Yugoslav Pavilion at the 1958 EXPO in Brussels. Cibic appropriates and recreates the pavilion as a sculpture, whichin turnfunctions as the skeleton of her new short film, around which the exhibition is centered.
In the single channel video installation, violinist Dejana Sekulić continually tunes the architecture according to the Miraculous Mandarin, a musical composition for ballet by Béla Bartók which was chosen to represent Yugoslavia at the most important dates of the pavilion – its National Days – whose role was to maximise the attention and the number of visitors. The fact that the Yugoslav state chose the Bartók ballet as its representative moment is in itself intriguing since the ballet had been repeatedly banned by numerous political systems due to its explicit subject matter – the conflict between a prostitute and her pimp and clients.
Alongside the single channel video installation, which will be shown in Richter Collection, Jasmina Cibic’s installation also presents a series of collages. They take the form of a study for costume design and scenography for the second act of Nada, which will present a recreation of the original 1958 Mandarin ballet performance in the Yugoslav Pavilion at the Brussels EXPO. The series presents portraits of a dancer wearing recreated costumes whilst re-enacting poses drawn from art-historical representations of various female Nation State allegories. Through these allegorical representations , the work alludes to the psychological mechanisms that power structures utilize throughout their conception and maintenance of their spectacle.