Red-iness, series of video performances is conceived as an attempt to re-introduce socialist or Marxist ideals into today society. Prlja has selected a number of motivational speeches from the past. Work Red-iness: Robespierre quotes Stevo Žigon re-apropriation of Maximilien de Robespierre’s famous speech, while addressing students in Belgrade during protests in 1968. Video work Red-iness: Gestalt reintroduces famous scene, a speech acted by Milena Dravić in the film W.R. Mysteries of the Organism (1971), directed by Dušan Makavejev.
Prlja has invited artists Briony Clarke, Sarah Cockings and Kai-Oi Jay Yung, to collaboratively re-examine and question how far these re-enacted speeches might applicable and become a driving force for change in our time.
What did they say about the project:
‘…Nada Prija’s work is part of a ten-year-plan that proposes to “revive the notion of idealism in contemporary society as an alternative form of motivation”, and she is equally concerned with the principle of “reactivating” – in this case good concepts from the ‘old’ socialist forms of organisation. She explores these through the art institution, a platform she finds open to revising its internal working methods. She has curated a public event, the Red Discussion, where five thinkers discussed Marxist theories and leftists ideas in the aim to deconstruct former models and flesh out aspects that may be applicable today. The resulting ideas were written over the surface of a pentagonal table, and for the duration of the exhibition visitors are welcome to disscuss or relate to those thoughts.
Prija’s video performances under the title Red-iness further probe these issues by exploring the concept of “time collapse” (the ways in which past ideas can be transposed into the present), and she re-enacts excerpts of speeches by Robespierre during the French Revolution, and later Stevo Zigon during the Belgrade student protests of 1968. The outcome, however, is a somewhat cryptic piece that is perhaps a little too ‘foxy’ as far as its institutional critique goes, especially given the extraordinarily well-educated profile of its Red Discussion participants, but art is also for a public, too…’