The film presents a theatrical re-staging of the last pavilion of the defunct state of Yugoslavia at an international world exposition – the Montreal EXPO in 1967 – as an illusionist device. Set within an empty theatre, three dancers rebuild the pavilion’s modular structure and use it to create a set of illusions where the illusionist herself continuously disappears. The assistants and the tricks grow in violence with each of the subsequent six illusions, standing in for the six republics of former Yugoslavia, until the body of the illusionist completely vanishes as did the country.
The film’s conceptual play on nation states as illusions points toward the fragile nature of their conception and survival and pours accent to the stagecraft mechanisms of spectacle which surrounds their presentation to the international spectatorship – which remains hungry for the populism of the growing nationalist tendencies and their destructive force.
Commissioned by DHC/ART Fondation pour l’art contemporain Montreal; supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Kunstmuseum Ahlen, Northern Film School at Leeds Beckett University.
A film by Jasmina Cibic
The illusionist: Kristina Aleksova
Assistants: Josh Ben-Tovim, Dejan Kolarov, Alessandro Marzotto
Cinematographer: Mark Carey
Editor and colorist: Sue Giovanni
Produced by Waddington Studios London
Production manager: Manca Bajec
Location producer: Nataša Pavlović
DIT: Miodrag Popović
1st AC: Vladimir Stević
Camera trainee: Agnes Julia Vesterback
Key grip: Dobroslav Milenković – Pekoš
Grip: Ivan Arnautović
Gaffer: Dragoljub Erić
Gaffer assistants: Stefan Jovanović, Veljko Jovanović
Hair and Make-Up: Mirjana Rakić and Danijela Vidarić
Sound recordist: Goran Kulić
Art department supervision: Maša Milovac, Mateja Šetina
Art department assistants: Erika Vujić, Vladimir Topalov
Set magician: Igor Trifunov
Costumes: Jasmina Cibic
Seamstress: Snežana Ignjatović
Stills Photographer: Pete Moss
Stage technicians: Mile Kovačević, Miloš Smiljanoć, Dejan Vuković
Typography: ‘Jugoslavensko pismo’ by Olga Hocker, 1951
Composer: Chris Bemand
Violin: Orla O’Rourke
Clarinet: Bob Mc Kay
Trumpet: Tom Harrison
Voice Over: Caroline Crier
Research assistants: Tanha Gomes, Jelica Jovanović, Mike Wert
Filmed in Sombor National Theatre, Serbia.
Thanks to: Phoebe Greenberg, Cheryl Sim, Victoria Carrasco, Cordula Fink-Schürmann, Thomas Schriefers, Vladimir Kulić, Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb, Vesna Meštrić, Tihomir Milovac, Mihajlo Neštrović, Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, Una Popović, Radovan Cukić, Museum of Yugoslavia, Archive of Yugoslavia, The Rooms, Canadian Centre for Architecture.
Commissioned by DHC/ART Fondation pour l’art contemporain, Montreal, supported by the Graham Foundation for Advance Studies in Fine Art, Kunstmuseum Ahlen, MSU Zagreb and the Northern Film School – Leeds Beckett University.