Sex – Art – Communism

Tamara Antonijević, Bojan Djordjev, and Tanja Šljivar

March 3 – 5, 2021
Bitef Teatar, Belgrade, Serbia

This theatre project, co-written by Tamara Antonijević, Bojan Djordjev, and Tanja Šljivar, addresses the legacy of the 20th century from the perspective of three revolutions that left a mark on it and reshaped humanity. These are the revolution of the artistic avant-garde, the communist revolution, and the sexual revolution, which put an end to the erstwhile order and demanded a spiritual, material, and bodily emancipation of humanity. The question posed by this piece is how to treat the legacy of emancipation at a deeply reactionary time, when technological progress and the freedoms previously won and proclaimed are being used to promote conservative social forces or even, along with scientific breakthroughs, are negated, suppressed, archived, and removed from public discourse, where, on the so-called “free market of ideas”, one is allowed to say anything without risking any consequences at all.

These topics are articulated by the figures of three artists from the 20th century: Marguerite Duras, Oskar Davičo, and Pier Paolo Pasolini, who, like phantasms or spirits, inhabit our stage. Reflecting on their works, lives, and political engagements shapes the play’s visual, linguistic, and performing text. Davičo, a surrealist and communist using an eroticised language brimming with the inexorable power of rebellion; Duras, with her anorexic, devastating lines as the supreme kind of erotics of the text and body; and Pasolini, in his quest for the holy, the vernacular, and with his contempt for consumerism, in their capacity as witnesses, prophets, and critics of the 20th century, riddle our 21st century with images, questions, and assertions.
We began working on the project a week before the pandemic was declared, whereas the première was scheduled exactly a year later. Has the year behind us, which saw us not only as witnesses, but also as direct victims of the final collapse and disappearance of the ruins of our healthcare and social protection systems, pushed us further away from those three figures or, to the contrary, brought us closer to them than ever before? Between the forgotten revolutions of the 20th century and the “normality” we abandoned facing the pandemic, Duras, Davičo, and Pasolini revisit us not only as spectres from the past or prophets of what has already befallen us, but also as some of the many voices emerging from the cacophony of the domain of sociality – from text, film, and poetry, as well as from the streets, hallways, lifeboats, and social networks.

cast: Vladislava Đorđević, Slaven Došlo, Miloš Timotijević, Tamara Pjević, and Đorđe Galić.
The authorial team comprises Siniša Ilić (performance space), Maja Mirković (costumes), Luka Papić (music), Čarni Đerić (stage movement), Dijana Marojević (stage speech), Katarina Popović (graphic designer), Sanja Ljumović (executive producer), Dragana Jovović (co-producer), Katarina Vojnović (production assistant), Milana Matejić (director’s assistant), and Igor Milakov (production assistant).