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“Nothing Can Surprise Us” – Andrea Bozić

by Kaya Genç

How does one survive in a given world leading to catastrophe. Not as a question mind you, the sentence is written as an observation. And if one learns to survive how about a trio struggling for existence? We have seen Nothing Can Surprise Us this morning or was it night, impossible to tell. Of course it is perfectly clear that we were in the position of a fetus looking out to the world. In the dark auditorium the first image was that of a little screen partly blocked by a cameraman. The Holy Trinity appeared on the stage: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. On screen, images of Das Boot created the initial habitus for us. Supposedly it was under water and supposedly it was ‘in’ a submarine. How does one behave under water ‘in’ a submarine. Once again, not as a question but as an observation. Andrea Bozić had sent some shock waves to the stage –the Creator reminded us of an ‘out there’. Locked in the auditorium it is always problematic to name that ‘out there’. It is an Abstraktion: Remember Belgrade, remember Kusturica’s Underground, once one steps into an air-raid shelter, outside becomes pure abstraction until the moment one gets out. Here inside everything can surprise us… And now please can you remember Belgrade, remember the air-raid shelters, remember Nothing Can Surprise Us day when we used to act as if the catastrophe of ‘out there’ had just happened and once we acted the way we did then nothing could surprise us. All the shocks of the ‘out there’ transformed into ‘had been shocks’. All of them past as they were represented and acted out.

Kindly observe that the submarine of Das Boot is a phallic ‘inside’ surrounded by waters of consciousness. The sea of Solaris on the other hand is the sea of consciousness and waves à la Woolf shape, form and recreate in the smithy of the world-soul the uncreated conscience of our race. Locked into a scientific station and a scientist’s body, Kris is surrounded by an ‘out there’ physically recreating the ‘in there’. And this morning or was it night, Bozić placed Das Boot into to the ocean of Solaris as our position of fetus emerged once more. The horrible noise of the external gave meaning to the visible as if the meaning of the visible ‘in here’ was directly connected to the presence of ‘out there’. Locked in their bodies, Roy, Leon, Zhora and Pris faced a similar ambivalence. What was in them that made them unique? Was there an ‘in them’ or was the ‘in them’, that famous ghost in the machine, a fallacy? Deckerd feels that it is a fallacy but he is one of the highly developed models and perhaps believes still in a ghost in his machine. On stage the Holy Trinity move around representations and it was perfectly clear to us that those representations served a specific purpose. Hollywood always makes slaves of us. The aesthetics of an US film, of Blade Runner imposes the super-imposed images on the viewer as if the film itself is a British destroyer firing torpedoes to the viewer.

Hitchcock’s Birds imagines the ultimate rape-scene. As the phallic seagulls attack the peaceful ‘in here’ it becomes increasingly clear that ‘in here’ is not so peaceful at all. George Tomasini edited that film –he was also editor of Psycho. Now we are given the chance to remember the differences in film-styles. Two Hollywood films and a Soviet film and a German film all create man in the image of Survivor. World War II has ended; air raids and torpedoes are gone and yet gone only for the ‘inside’ of the First World. For US they are over but for us they are the ‘out there’ still. Remember Belgrade, remember Europe, remember how the bloodshed had been organised by the dominant political forces. In Iraq air-raids had been ‘out there’ for a long time as the US organised a plan of mass destruction for the rebels of the Middle East. In Istanbul one remembers the raids of military junta –backed once more by the US. People locked themselves into hidden rooms and then there was a knock on the door. One had to feel like Macbeth and yet theywere the killers…

Hollywood is the natural ally of the foregoing aesthetic-ethic imperialism. The ‘out there’ is increasingly a force for mass deportation. This morning or was it night, we were all forced into the auditorium and in the position of a fetus you and I and we once more experienced the ‘in here’- ‘out there’ dichotomy. How does one survive in a given world leading to catastrophe? This time with a question mark.

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