Iva Kontic

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There Far Away
2009
2-channel video
16:9, color - sound
6’ 30” (loop)



far-away

watch extract from video

      There Far Away starts with the projection depicting a group of elder people in a nursing home in Zagreb, Croatia, while singing the songs of their childhood during one of their weekly singing meetings.

After the last notes of "There Far Away", an old patriotic Serbian song originating from WWI, then the group decides to sing "Let the Wind Blow from Neretva", a traditional Bosnian love song from the area of the city of Mostar. Encountering their physical strength and memory resistance, and some even the proper consciousness of the present moment – they all sing little interested in different origins or political connotations of their repertory, especially in relation to the recently past events in this geographical area. As if all that remains is the pure joy of being still capable to remember and sing together the lyrics of the songs.

There Far Away then develops in a second video, a sort of epilogue, in which the author herself speaks in front of camera, this time in her residence in London. Throughout a series of brief, fragmented facts and details that introduce the viewer to the geo-historical background of the previously viewed scene, she tries to create a deeper and emotionally more complex access for the audience to the work’s less obvious, conceived but still present context.

There Far Away explores the formal potentialities of the art video as a crossover between performance, music video and documentary, while displacing their common ground of practice and range of themes in the contemporary cultural production to bring the viewer into a reality, distant and mostly concealed in today’s mass-media, consumerist society where the ideas of a ‘perpetual present’ and the ‘eternal youth’ rule over our everyday experience.