A performance about a performance destroying itself
“Not like me” presents envy as the dominating relationship among the performers we’re watching. The show closes on a knife-game, the point when only blood is important anymore. The workshop took part in city of Zadar as part of VN’s work on envy. The performance had been presented on August 13th 2007 at Zadar Snova Festival
“They ask the question, whether the battle to enter history is not always connected with blood and war, with a struggle for supremacy. Be it on the field of politics or performing arts.”
(VEČER MARIBOR, 23.11.07)
“Logical: isn’t politician’s envy that which leads into slaughter? And isn’t body-art politics literally written into a live body.”
(DNEVNIK LJUBLJANA, 19.11.07)
“Dokler bo obstajalo “živo telo”, se za učinek gledališča ni bati.”
(SODOBNOST LJUBLJANA, 2008)
“Unusual, unpredictable, painful.”
(DELO LJUBLJANA, 21.11.07)
Scenes conceived and devised by the group.
Text: Boris Kadin, Bojan Jablanovec
Performers: Boris Kadin, Kristian Al Droubi, Iva Burčul, Špela Trošt
Concept, direction, set: Bojan Jablanovec
Production manager: Špela Trošt
Production: Via Negativa, Zalet Zadar, festival Zadar Snova, 2007
Public presentation: 13 August 2007 at the Festival Zadar Snova, Zadar
Blaž Lukan: A cruel play with knives
Delo Ljubljana, 21. November 2007
The indirectness here is unavoidable (even though one could invite audience members to the game…) but no less “real”: the spectators encounter with the sight of blood and the performers wound or (suppressed) pain is, despite the lack of physical experience, just as traumatic and unbearable. The effect of this simple and absurd but actually most obliging game is in a simile – at least such is the undersigned’s experience – to the cathartic experience of perceiving a Greek tragedy. Unusual, unpredictable, painful.
Rok Vevar: Can love exist without trauma?
Via Negativa: Four deaths, Not like me, Večer Maribor, 23. November 2007
Not like me, a sort of gesticulatory series of the stereotypes of love, closes with a “romantic couple”: a Croat (Boris Kadin) and a Serb (Kristian Al Droubi) playing the knife game (Marina Abramović). With this they comment and parody the act of entering history: that of the Yugoslav wars and that of contemporary art. They ask the question, whether the battle to enter history is not always connected with blood and war, with a struggle for supremacy. Be it on the field of politics or performing arts. A question arises: doesn’t love’s ability to enter an intimate history always correspond with wounds dealt or – metaphorically speaking – ingrown when we aren’t ready to deal them.
Jaša Drnovšek: Live
Theatre diary, Sodobnost Ljubljana 2008
It does however re-actualize in a considered manner the genre of performance art itself, not only by incorporating irony but mostly by gradually shifting the focus from “representation” to “presence”. Not Like Me is living proof that a “live body” has the greatest effect on stage among all media. And while the “live body” exists, we need no fear for effect in theatre.
Ivica Nevešćanin: Horror in Zadar
Slobodna Dalmacija, Zadar, 16. August 2007
The bloody performance of the Via Negativa group horrified the audience in st. Dominik’s church. A Croat and a Serb cut each other up on stage. While Croat Boris and Serb Kristian cut each others fingers, the audience yelled “enough” and fainted. One fainted person, a deciliter of human blood, four surgical scalpels and dozens of shocked spectators – this is the sum of “Not like me”, which premiered at the 11th international festival of contemporary theater Zadar Snova. Spectators left the venue, st. Dominik’s church early while the final scene unraveled before them, in which “Boris the Croat and Kristian the Serb” played a ten minute “knife game” behind a wooden desk – they stabbed at each other’s palms. On the desk before each performer – a flag of his country and five kitchen knives.