The country was already on fire and falling apart. The evil spirits of the past have come to life and centuries of hatred have continued to spread.
I was 14 years old when I first saw Milica. She was beautiful. Tall, with thich black hair. Around her stood people with top hats, dressed in black and white uniforms, sprinkled with flour and powder.
They screamed magnificently. Loud voices. I couldn’t understand anything. That evening I felt a new self in me. The next day I read in the newspaper that it was Dada Symposium.
It was cold, before the New Year! It was in the Catholic yard. I decided to become an artist. I went to drawing and painting classes completely ready to enter the world of art. Milica was my first teacher. After a few months we founded performing troupe Ex Nihilo or out of nothing.
It was at the Jewish Cemetery. The life case of that troupe on art scene in the 1990s was not recognized by the national art society. The unchanging constant of performance were our bodies as organisms, as media, in agony, sexual, political, vulnerable, ecstatic, profane, sacred and mythical.
All performances in the first year took place at the Petrovaradin Fortress. We were Nihilists rejecting the authorities, defended the independence of individual.
We were Dadaists, anti-bourgeois, preferring the irrational, denied concept of art, placing it in context of anti-art. We put a new meaning in our expression, with roaring and musical noise.
It was a harmonious chaos!
We created International Journal for production of New Reality, called Very Weary. And so that was it, and it was beautiful. Audience were wondering, horrified, adoring us or spitting at us. Afterwards we parted.
Majority went to Israel, Netherlands, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Ireland and Bosnia. Few of us stayed here. The fortress is still there. God is still in and around us. We walked from the steps of the fortress into new identities.
We are still one body, something like a polyp or amoeba. Through us God flows even more and gives us the light that illuminates this world!
Author: Igor Stamenković, associate professor, Faculty of Sciences, Novi Sad
This digital story has been realised within the European project “Stories Behind the Cities”, founded by Creative Europe Programme, European Commission.