May 11, 2014 21:00
This performance of Oliver Frljic, one of the leading and at the same time one of the most controversial representatives of the younger generation of Croatian directors, attempts, through the inflation of death, through the incessant repetition of the unrepeatable, to emphasize a theatre mechanism that always remains a representation of a certain outside reality.
With its compulsive attempts to stage collective death, this performance challenges the theatrical representation of death, as well as the idea of theatre representation itself. The repetitions of death that appear on stage in almost regular intervals and after which the protagonists ‘come back to life’ expose the standstill of theatre mechanisms of representation. It is these very mechanisms for the production of fiction – that most often remain concealed – that push out any thematic-content frame and thus remain the only visible thing.
Let’s return to the corpses we’ve mentioned at the beginning. Just like the soil of the former Yugoslavia, where it is impossible to thread the ground without wading into bones, this performance is also overflowing with corpses. And just like those non-theatre corpses have a certain value on the political market, these corpses we hyper-produce and resurrect have a certain value as well. In fact, they strive to reduce the value of a certain model of representation. If such devaluation has occurred in theatre representation of death, what is the value of real death?
To figure that out, one only needs to watch the news on Haiti or ask what Srebrenica means to us today.
Little, less, nothing?