21 December 2020 – 1 February 2021
The Cause of Death revisits the Black Wave avant-garde cinema movement in former Yugoslavia during the1960s and 70s. A prolific group of filmmakers used humour, ambiguity and sexual expression to counter the prevailing Social Realism narrative of the ideal citizen overcoming adversity in the service of nation building. Bojan Fajfrić re-appropriates dialogue and actions from five important films including W.R.: “Mysteries of Organisms” (1971) by Dušan Makavejev, Early Works (1969) by Želimir Žilnik, and The Ambush (1969) by Živojin Pavlović, made during the Black Wave, and re-enacts their final violent scenes with a minimal cast and low-budget locations related to his own personal experience.
The artist sees the violent cause of death of each of the protagonists of these films as being united by the same ‘bullet’ which represents the failure of revolutionary and political ideals and the dark side of socialism in Yugoslavia. In revisiting this moment of European cinema history, Fajfrić looks at the legacy of the Black Wave filmmakers who used the language of art to comment on society’s failings and to stimulate potential change.
Bojan Fajfrić (b.1976, Belgrade) left Yugoslavia in 1995 to study visual arts in the Netherlands. He graduated from the Royal Academy in The Hague and was a resident of the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. His work has been included in recent exhibitions at La Triennale, Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Baltic Center for Contemporary Art, Gateshead; De Appel, Amsterdam; Kunstlerhaus Graz; MOCA, Belgrade and MUHKA, Antwerp . Recent screenings include International Short Festival Oberhausen; WORM Rotterdam; Doc Leipzig; Moderna Museet , Stockholm and Centre Pompidou – Rencontres Internationales Paris/ Berlin/Madrid
The Cultural Centre of Belgrade was founded in 1957 as a multidisciplinary cultural institution, whose role as an informative and educational institution was crucial during the development of Yugoslavia’s new society in the post-war years. Today the Centre is a creator, organizer and partner to many national and international projects and institutions that significantly mark the contemporary scene of Belgrade and Serbia.
The Artists Film International 2020 programme responds to the theme of language. Local sounds, rituals and political realities feature, from the rhythms and images of a Bahamian Junkanoo to the contested ancestral lands on the desert border between Mexico and the USA.