About the Production
An interactive guide through the virtual reality of (im)possible worlds
As if The End Were Not Quite Near is a performance inspired by the subtle shifting of the world, relations and human interactions into the digital reality, an attempt to ponder on some new forms of cohabitation and unity between man and machine in the most intense times that we have experienced to this date. An audience of five will have a chance to experience a virtual journey through potential new worlds within and around us. Through an interactive game of togetherness of the moment, which is established in the microstructure of a theatre act, by picking their vantage point, the audience is given an opportunity to be a performer, observer and participant all at the same time. By employing virtual reality, audiovisual installations and text, that is, a voice that invites to participation, this act becomes a call to at least a small, inconspicuous personal revolution.
Is all that is happening to us the beginning of an inevitable apocalypse, a symbolic asteroid heading for Earth to blow up the civilization as we know it, or is it a call to question everything that they have taught us so far?
Where do we start? What kind of communities do we build? What decisions should we make? How do we love? Is it possible to make new forms of togetherness, new families, today, more than ever, in solitude and isolation, in the distorted perceptions of reality? What if we are to joyfully make our new families with machines?
And will we have the courage to do it?
MAJA PELEVIĆ graduated from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade, Department of Dramaturgy, and earned a doctorate from the Department of Theory of Arts and Media at the University of Arts in Belgrade. Her plays have been translated into many languages, produced across Serbia and Europe and published in many foreign anthologies. Since 2012 she has also been involved in directing, she works on her own projects and performs her own pieces. She is a recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Borislav Mihajlović Mihiz Award for achievement in playwriting and the Sterija Award for the best contemporary play at the Sterijino Pozorje Festival for the play Orange Peel.
NIKOLA ZAVIŠIĆ is a theatre director and lighting designer. He was born in 1975. He got his master's degree from the Prague Academy (DAMU), Department of Alternative and Puppet Theatre, in 2003. In addition to his work in institutions, he is also involved in the experimental use of light with the art group Radio.Nica that he has founded. He has directed in many theatres in Serbia and abroad (Croatia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Russia) and has received numerous awards for his work at local and international festivals.
ANJA ĐORĐEVIĆ’s work comprises a wide range of works in terms of musical forms and music genres, from pop songs to operas, from symphonic music to music for children, from world music to electronic soundscapes. Anja is the author of music for over forty various theatre productions in Serbia and internationally. She is also very active as a vocal performer. Selection of works includes music theatre pieces: opera Narccisuss and Echo, stage cantata Atlas, music theatre piece Tesla - Total Reflection, children’s musical Strange Loves; Music pieces for orchestra: Abduction of Europa, The Joy of Meeting Anew, Nightscapes of Babylon, Summertime, contemplation under a sunny tree; Contemporary dance expression performances: Lift, Self Erase, Paranoia Chic, Sensescapes, Myriads of Worlds... https://anja-music.com/
FILIP MIKIĆ was born in 1984. He graduated in graphic design from the College of Fine and Applied Arts in Belgrade, Department of Applied Graphics and graduated from Megatrend University, Belgrade, New Media and Visual Communications Department. He has worked on many local and international projects in the field of new media as well as on art projects. He lives in Belgrade and works as a freelance (visual) artist.
MINA STRUGAR was born in 1994. She graduated in sound production from the SAE Institute. She has worked on performances at the Yugoslav Drama Theatre, Atelje 212 Theatre, and Šabac Theatre. She explores the field of spatial sound and virtual reality in sound images in radio dramas and multimedia forms.
JELENA PILJIĆ graduated from the Department of Management and Production in Theatre, Radio and Culture at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade. She obtained a master’s degree in Cultural Policy and Management from the University of Arts in Belgrade. For a number of years she worked in a Belgrade gallery. She has participated at international festivals and taken part in European projects in the field of visual and performing arts.
SANJIN ĆOROVIĆ was born in 1985. He holds a degree in graphic design and computer graphics from the Singidunum University, Belgrade. From his early student days he has been involved in production, technical realization and visual expression in the broadest sense. Light, sound, video technologies, set design and digital arts are just some of his interests. He has worked with some of the greatest world productions, such as: Roger Waters - The Wall, Top Gear Live Show, Jean-Michel Jarre, Muse, Sensation, etc. He is a guest lecturer at the SAE Institute in Belgrade, where he teaches on the subjects of video and lighting technologies in live productions.
From the Reviews
“The audience/performers are as alone as they are alone in front of their computers of mobile phones, and yet they adhere to theatre habits, and that gap between the given situation and the habit is the very place where possible meanings of this performance multiply.
Everything revolves around the notion that is opposite to theatre, and that is the feeling of solitude. The phenomenon of solitude is something everyone faced during the covid times, and the authors of this project keep taking us back to that feeling. Solitude is not necessarily something nice or something bad, happy, or sad… Solitude is the void asking to be filled, structured, explored, felt…”
Marina Milivojević Mađarev, Vreme
“The occasional voice speaks directly to us as individuals, inviting us to a dialogue, to a mental participation in an adventure of a lonesome journey through a fascinating world without borders. Viewers are led all the way through but are at the same time free to form their own associations. It is lovely, although at a certain point, nothing happens anymore. Only colourful images and pleasant sounds. Stripped of the burden of banality. At some point, I thought - this existence of ours is so wondrous, why do we keep spoiling it? ”
Aleksandra Glovacki, nova.rs
“The work, in this case an audio-visual mosaic, provokes emotions in the viewer-performer which lead to a limbal, transient state, a space that ends in catharsis.
The transient state, which is particularly well achieved by these displacing projects on stage, is the very essence of experience analysed by many theoreticians. Lessing, for example, propagated the importance of theatre for its very transformative power, “emotional infection” that conquers us, wins us over and purifies, moving us, symbolically, into the area of a new beginning. In other words, the limitations in which we nowadays live, do not have to be an inescapable area of constraint, but can, through art, turn into a space of change and a rediscovered freedom. ”
Anja Tasić, Politika