I Don’t Know That Word… Yet! (2022/23)
video, opera, performance, music, research based, performative, sound, objects
the work is produced in two versions:
– I Don’t Know That Word… Yet – four-in-one (2022) one-channel video with sound
– I Don’t Know That Word… Yet (2022/23) Five-channel-video and five-channel-sound installation
53 minutes, HD video with sound
I Don’t Know That Word… Yet (2022/23)
Since 2013, Dejan Kaludjerović has been developing the ‘Conversations’ series, interviewing 49 children in 7 countries, resulting in a total of approximately 27 hours of raw material which has been edited to form 8 hours of audio Conversations with the children. The ‘Conversations’ are based on interviews with children aged 6-10 from different socioeconomic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Each time Kaludjerović stage an interview, he asks the children a broad set of around 50 simple but provocative questions. For now, the interviews were conducted in his “home countries” of Austria and Serbia as well as Russia, Azerbaijan, Israel, Iran, Slovenia and Ukraine. They have so far been exhibited as multi-channel-sound, video, site-specific installations (Weltmu- suem Wien, Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, YARAT, Baku, Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana, etc), where I place the children’s vastly different responses into a ‘conversation’ through editing their responses together. This process highlights different perspectives on political issues such as social exclusion and inclusion, foreigners, language, colonization, war, money, poverty, etc. Each ‘Conversation’ turns into a litmus test of the society where it was created at the time of creation.
The ensemble of conversation is a data-base of knowledge which has been used in Graz to create a new piece where witty, poignant and insight- ful answers of children are taken as material for a opera, realized for steirischer herbst 2021 festival together with the composer Marija Balubdžič, theater director Bojan Djordjev and librettist Tanja Šljivar.
Based on the opera performance Dejan Kaludjerović created a new iteration of ‘Conversations’ – a five-channel-video and five-channel-sound installation produced for gallery exhibition as a completely new form, exploring how the spatio-temporal experience of a live opera performance can be transformed into a gallery context and exploring completely new viewing experience, which is neither that of an opera nor that of a traditional video screen- ing. The aim is thus to spatialize the ‘Conversations’ in situ, experimenting with how the audio of voices can create a surround sound experience and interact with sculptural objects I will create in relation to the audio and video, namely oversized children’s toys, such as alphabet cubes and Mikado sticks, which act as allegories of the Stimmung that is conveyed by different interviews.
By juxtaposing two planes, the changing background video made of frames from the performance that I have shot especially for this work and a series of four screens with individual projections of the performers presented in the talking-head manner, an immersive environment is cre- ated.. The narrative structure of the installation – based on eight thematic songs (Fears, House, Freedom, Expressions, Hairdresser,, Enemies, They, Europe) derived from long research and scripts of selected statements of the interviewed children – enters into a direct dialogue with the viewer, stunned by the hybrid musical performance that combines electronic music with genres of hymns, lullabies, hip hop and opera.
Despite the obvious metaphors produced with the compiled statements of children, emphasising current socio-political phenomena and prob- lems, this setting corresponds to the present-day image order and screen culture. Similar to avatars, like some minimalist Power Rangers, the performers utter the text in a humorous, but also sometimes disturbing way so as to fully express the schizophrenia of the contemporary moment.
Artist also produced (four-in-one) one-channel-video with sound version.
*the video is based on the opera performance Conversations: I Don’t Know That Word… Yet (2021) that was done in collaboration with the com- poser Marija Balubdžić, theater director Bojan Đorđev and librettist Tanja Šljivar and commissioned by steirischer herbst 21
Fears-House-Freedom from the opera I Don’t Know That Word… Yet (four-in-one-channel) 2022, one-channel-HDvideo with sound
Europe from the opera I Don’t Know That Word… Yet (four-in-one-channel) 2022, one-channel-HDvideo with sound:
video of the installation view, Cultural Centre Belgrade (2023), excerpt from the song Fears from the opera I Don’t Know That Word…Yet – five-channel-HDvideo, five-channel-sound:
video of the installation view, Cultural Centre Belgrade (2023), excerpt from the song Freedom from the opera I Don’t Know That Word…Yet – five-channel-HDvideo, five-channel-sound:
video of the installation view, Cultural Centre Belgrade (2023), excerpt from the song Enemies from the opera I Don’t Know That Word…Yet – five-channel-HDvideo, five-channel-sound: