marin blazevic – to whom it may concern
I am recommending the Timbuktu project, which is being led by the performance group Montažstroj, and whose realization is foreseen for the fall of 2008. Even though this project continues with the recognizable performance paradigm of Montažstroj, it also represents an important next step in its evolution, once again proving the ability of Montažstroj to react to crucial problems of an era, both on the wider social, and on the specific, theatrical plan. The engagement of this project is reflected not only in dealing with the issue of social rejection/exclusion, but also in the specific mode of the issue’s activation on the scene. The Timbuktu project provokes the classical performance cannons, questioning some of their basic aspects – the sanctimony of the stage and the presence of performers on it, while also dealing with the position of theatrical narration, that is, the form of monologue in the contemporary theatre. Having before it not an easy task of adapting a non-theatrical text, a novel, Montažstroj dilutes the fictional framework it is based on, examining the mechanisms of its functioning in the context of a specifically devised performance. Avoiding almost completely the physical appearance of performers on the scene, Montažstroj deconstructs not only the determined representative patterns, but also the existing modalities of the receptive/perceptive experience of the viewers, thus justifying the often attributed experimental label. It is the said investigation of new possibilities of basic theatrical qualities that I believe to be the greatest value of this project, which is why I support its further realization.
With this project Montažstroj focuses its attention on the crisis of representation in the theater, on the one hand, and the instance of creating a social crisis, on the other. This focus on marginal cultural and social phenomena reflects the risk and responsibility of Montažstroj’s actions, which once again confirms the need for an affirmation of this project.
Marin Blažević, Ph. D.
assistant professor at the Department of Dramaturgy and associate researcher in the research project Theatre Directing in Croatia at the Academy of Drama Arts (University of Zagreb, Croatia)