/ Red-iness: Robespierre

Red-iness: Robespierre is a part of the exhibition Subversion to Red which represents The Republic of North Macedonia at 58th La Biennale di Venezia

Images from the presentation at Venice

LR_North_Macedonia_Nada_Prlja_VB2019_3_Redi-ness II 01_photo Andrea Avezzù
Nada Prlja, Red-iness: Robespierre
2019
Video (as represented in La Biennale di Venezia 2019)
Video, single screen, 5 min., loop.
Courtesy of Calvert 22 Foundation and Nada Prlja Photo © Andrea Avezzù / La Biennale di Venezia
LR_North_Macedonia_Nada_Prlja_VB2019_3_Redi-ness II 03_photo Robert Jankuloski
Nada Prlja, Red-iness: Robespierre
2019
Video (as represented in La Biennale di Venezia 2019)
Video, single screen, 5 min., loop.
Courtesy of Calvert 22 Foundation and Nada Prlja Photo © Robert Jankuloski
Screen Shot 2019-10-04 at 13.59.37.png
Nada Prlja, Red-iness: Robespierre
2019
Video (as represented in La Biennale di Venezia 2019)
Video, single screen, 5 min., loop.
Courtesy of Calvert 22 Foundation and Nada Prlja Photo © Raul Betti
LR_North_Macedonia_Nada_Prlja_VB2019_3_Redi-ness II 02_photo Raul Betti
Nada Prlja, Red-iness: Robespierre
2019
Video (as represented in La Biennale di Venezia 2019)
Video, single screen, 5 min., loop.
Courtesy of Calvert 22 Foundation and Nada Prlja Photo © Raul Betti

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 from Dušan Makavejev’s W.R. Mysteries of the Organism (1971) film.

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.

Red-iness is a series of video performances that explore the idea of ‘time collapse’ and the applicability of past concepts in the present.

In the film Early Works (1969) directed by Želimir Žilnik, excerpts from a letter written by Karl Marx to his friend and fellow political philosopher Arnold Ruge are read aloud:

…In the eyes of the despot, men are always debased. They drown before his eyes and on his behalf, in the mire of common life, from which they always rise up again. Muta pecora, prona et ventri oboedientia. [“The herd is silent, docile and obeys its stomach.”]

For our part, it is our task to drag the old world into the full light of day and to give positive shape to a new one…

Early Works was conceived as an attempt to re-introduce Marxist ideals to the demoralised, devalued and unsophisticated form of Socialism that existed in former Yugoslavia in the 1960s. Similar re-appropriations of certain motivational speeches were carried out in public life at the time. For example, Žilnik filmed actor Stevo Žigon addressing students in Belgrade during protests in 1968, capturing him re-reading Maximilien de Robespierre’s famous speech from the French Revolution.

In Žilnik’s film and Žigon’s speech we witness how certain concepts can be applicable and become a driving force for change in different times and conditions. A new video work presented at Calvert 22 embodies this process, whilst raising the question of how far these re-enacted speeches might still be relevant today.

Screen shot 2014-05-16 at 19.20.32

Screen shot 2014-05-16 at 19.20.40

Screen shot 2014-05-16 at 19.20.49
Early Works Film (1969) Directed by Želimir Žilnik Original speech acted by Stevo Žigon

Images from the video

r_north_macedonia_nada-prlja_5
Nada Prlja, Red-iness: Robespierre
2013
Video
Video, single screen, 5 min., loop.
Courtesy of Calvert 22 Foundation and Nada Prlja
r_north_macedonia_nada-prlja_2 (1)
Nada Prlja, Red-iness: Robespierre
2013
Video
Video, single screen, 5 min., loop.
Courtesy of Calvert 22 Foundation and Nada Prlja
Screen Shot 2019-10-04 at 13.57.09.png
Nada Prlja, Red-iness: Robespierre
2013
Video
Video, single screen, 5 min., loop.
Courtesy of Calvert 22 Foundation and Nada Prlja

Images from the exhibition at Calvert 22

Red-iness: Robespierre Part of the project ‘Subversion to Red’ Installation view 2013 18 min, colour, loop. Commissioned by Calvert 22, London.
Red-iness: Robespierre
Part of the project ‘Subversion to Red’
Installation view
2013
18 min, colour, loop.
Commissioned by Calvert 22, London.
Play insert from the video Red-iness: Robespierre Part of the project ‘Subversion to Red’ 2013 18 min, colour, loop. Commissioned by Calvert 22, London.
Play insert from the video
Red-iness: Robespierre
Part of the project ‘Subversion to Red’
2013
18 min, colour, loop.
Commissioned by Calvert 22, London.
Red-iness: Robespierre Part of the project ‘Subversion to Red’ 2013 18 min, colour, loop. Commissioned by Calvert 22, London.
Red-iness: Robespierre
Part of the project ‘Subversion to Red’
2013
18 min, colour, loop.
Commissioned by Calvert 22, London.
Red-iness: Robespierre Part of the project ‘Subversion to Red’ 2013 18 min, colour, loop. Commissioned by Calvert 22, London.
Red-iness: Robespierre
Part of the project ‘Subversion to Red’
2013
18 min, colour, loop.
Commissioned by Calvert 22, London.
Red-iness: Robespierre Part of the project ‘Subversion to Red’ 2013 18 min, colour, loop. Commissioned by Calvert 22, London.
Red-iness: Robespierre
Part of the project ‘Subversion to Red’
2013
18 min, colour, loop.
Commissioned by Calvert 22, London.
Red-iness: Robespierre Part of the project ‘Subversion to Red’ 2013 18 min, colour, loop. Commissioned by Calvert 22, London.
Red-iness: Robespierre
Part of the project ‘Subversion to Red’
2013
18 min, colour, loop.
Commissioned by Calvert 22, London.

Related works:

/ Red-iness: Gestalt (video, documentation of a performance)

/ Red Discussion 1 (live art 2013)

/ Red Discussion 2 (live art 2019)

Humane Communism (photographs, documentation of a workshop)

Exhibition history:

/ La Biennale di Venezia 2019 – Venice, 2019

/ ‘.how is it towards the east?’ – Calvert22, London

/ Double Feature # 4 Nikolin Bujari & Nada Prlja – Tirana Art Lab, Tirana

/ Imaginarium: contemporary video art from Macedonia – Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen, Scotland

Press coverage:

e-flux announcement

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