Montazstroj

Montazstroj is a performance group founded in 1989 in Zagreb, Croatia, under the artistic direction of Borut Separovic. During the 1990’s Montazstroj has received international recognition, high critical acclaims, and awards as the most successful Croatian Company of dance and physical theater. Subsequently, the Company performed at a number of international festivals and venues in more than 20 European countries and the USA. Widely differing in their content, style and format, Montazstroj art pieces were usually described as political and engaged, commonly exploring uncharted artistic and often interdisciplinary areas. Creating a different, but communicative theater, Montazstroj has been extremely attractive to the wider public from the very beginning. Its projects are mostly intended for younger generations and all those who never made a habit out of going to the theater.
The initial seven years of the Company were dedicated to the ‘Theatrical representation of football and pop culture’. The aim was to explore the mental and physical limits of the performers, as well as the total artwork, including all domains of contemporary art. In addition, the Company realized several performances, installations, award winning video clips, and choreographic works. After the successful introduction with the plays “VATROTEHNA”, and “RAP OPERA 101” (adaptations of antic myths in the context of global satellite programs and local war surrounding), Montazstroj first came into worldview in 1991, with the success of their music video clip “Croatia in flame”. The artistic research was continued with an actualization of post-communist transitional myths (the triviality of late-capitalist mythologies in “EVERYBODY GOES 2 DISCO FROM MOSCOW TO SAN FRANCISCO” and the biblical conversion in “FRAGILE”), when Montazstroj was even labeled as the theatre of transition.
In 1997, Montazstroj relocated its activity and initiated its artistic plan entitled “Performing mission”, with a long-term objective of building an international company with a strong artistic identity, unbound by a particular culture. Operating in a nomad manner, but predominantly in the Netherlands (under the name Performingunit), the group focuses on the “human state”, that is, the position of the individual, and identity problems, attempting to avoid spectacular theatrical elements and highlighting the very presence of performers as the main ingredient of the production. In this period more intimate performances, such as “TERRIBLE FISH” (emerging from Sylvia Plath’s poetry), “WHO IS WOYZECK?” (based on Büchner’s canonic text of Western Theater) and “THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE DEAD“ (after the equally entitled story by Danilo Kiš) were realized.
Montazstroj’s last projects “T-FORMANCE”, “T-FAKTOR” and “THE THEATER YOU DESERVE” belong to a series of innovative interdisciplinary projects. These are multimedia interactive games/events, which explore the phenomenon of terrorism and its cultural performability, that is, contemporaneity in relation to the “3T” – terror, TV and theater. By amalgamating the traditions of theatrical performance and contemporary interactive trends, the audience is in a position to determine the final form and content of the performance, by a number of decisions it is faced with making. Special emphasis is put on the use of new media (the internet and mobile phones), which is why such projects step out of the theater into the sphere of digital art.

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About

Not all stories have happy endings. There are comedies but there are also tragedies. This is not either one. This is just one quite unusual love story, about the love of a homeless and his dog. And whereas the story itself may not end happily, the show offers a possibility of a completely new happy end – the possibility of adopting a dog.

Paul Auster wrote the novel Timbuktu in 1999. in America. Nine years later Montažstroj performance group is staging it in Croatia, transforming it thus from novel to monologue… a monologue for a dog on stage, spoken by an actor from the audience. Because dogs, at least in this world, can’t speak… yet. Nor in America nor in Croatia. Although maybe they’d like to. The main character of Auster’s novel Mr. Bones would certainly like to do so. That’s his wish #2 (you can only try and guess his wish #1… and, no, it’s not dog biscuits). So, although in the novel his wish stays unfulfilled, in this staging he does speak – indeed in this staging he becomes the main storyteller. Cause, although in Croatia and in America not everything is possible, in theater it most certainly is. Even that the dog speaks…
Mr. Bones speaks to us of his and his masters’ faith. Since his master is not in contact with any human beings, after he leaves this world Mr. Bones remains the only one that can tell us their story.


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