May 3, 2015

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anniversaire #7 - Festival Reims Scènes d'Europe

Production FRAC Champagne-Ardenne
Photography: Martin Argyroglo

WW3_Lilly_Marlène_07587ènes_d%27Europe cropped photo by Martin Argyroglo

Camera by Clément Chevelt / Edited by Branko Milisković

La Première Guerre mondiale fut aussi l’objet de plusieurs performances plus intimistes et personnelles comme The Song of a soldier on watch (ww3 Lili Marlene) une performance sensible de Branko Miliskovic sur l’attente et la souffrance des familles pendant et après le champ de bataille.

Christophe Candoni for TLC – Toute la Culture 23.02.2015

With The Song of a Soldier on Watch, the Serbian artist Branko Milisković mystified and enchanted the audience of Reims Scènes d’Europe in a performance about the wait and suffering of families during and after WWI, a war which is at the heart of the current edition of the festival with for example the shows of Luk Perceval or Bob Wilson. Accustomed to hours-long performances, Branko Milisković offers in Reims a more traditional format of 62 minutes. In the overcrowded Studio of La Comédie where the last arrived spectators could not enter, the Serbian performer awaits his audience, standing like a White Lady, half-hidden at the back of the stage. This time, he chose to incarnate a widow. With his blood red lipstick, smoky eyes and ultra thin eyebrows, he reminds us Marlene Dietrich, the one who made Lili Marleen go down in history. Between a couple of songs, she waits for a soldier that will never come back. The slightly shifted clock runs, trains go by, one last letter reaches her. And he sings, Lili Marleen. He is both the soldier who is about to die of asphyxiation, and his lover who is mourning him in the stunning final of the opera Erwartung by Schönberg. If the succession of scenes tends to dilute the strength of the statement, there is no doubt that the supernatural performer Branko Milisković owns the power to embody his characters and create images that will remain etched in the memory of his audience, like the surreal scene where he stands and sings while smoke is invading the stage and the whole room.

Fanny Amblard

The Song of a Soldier on Watch ( WW3 Lili Marlene ) photo by Tina Marić 3 copyPhoto by Tina Marić


Reims Scenes d’Europe @ La Comédie de Reims 

Sunday, 8 February 2015 @ 16:00 / Duration: 62 min 


Branko Milisković a toujours été intéressé par le contact direct avec le public, jouant de sa présence charismatique pour tenter de « fusionner » avec lui. Afin d’entrer ainsi en relation avec son auditoire, que ce soit directement ou de manière plus subtile, il utilise son corps et son identité comme médium principal. Branko Milisković proposera à Reims une performance inédite, inspirée du célèbre opéra Erwartung d’Arnold Schönberg. Intitulée One Man Opera, il s’agit d’une variation sur la souffrance de milliers de familles pendant et après la première guerre mondiale, dans l’attente du retour de leurs proches partis au front.

In Reims, Branko Milisković proposes a novel performance, inspired by Arnold Schönberg’s famous opera Erwartung. Involved here is a variation on the suffering of thousands of families during and after the First World War, awaiting the return of their loved ones from the front. The origins of this performance lie, moreover, in a work created earlier by the artist, titled The Song of a Soldier on Watch, and inspired by one of the most popular German songs of recent decades, as well as one of the most controversial, Lili Marlene, regarded as one of the first songs encouraging fraternization between enemy soldiers.


Branko Milisković has always been interested in direct contact with the public, playing with his charismatic presence to try and blend with the audience and take it under his wing. In order to thus relate with people, be it directly or more subtly, he uses his body and his identity as his main medium. Playing characters who echo his own origins, he sees his work as “a progressing linear system of situations pinpointed and controlled, through which he evolves, trying to leave a trace by summoning his own norms.” In his recent works, he is concerned with “social and individual choreography”, and their relations within a specific political context. Lastly, his main intention is to make his body an independent territory, with its own rules and its own gravitation.

Autorka: Milica Lapčević
Razgovor sa mnom: 11:05 – 32:10



Prva samostalna izložba Branka Miliskovića u Beogradu je održana u galeriji G12Hub od 18. novembra do 2. decembra. Pored postavke u galeriji Branko je izveo tri performansa tokom trajanja izložbe. Njegovi performansi su visoko estetizovani i često na granici teatra, opere i performansa. Za Branka je sve važno: kostim, šminka, kretanje, svetlo, interakcija sa publikom, sadržaj, izvedba i zato on za sebe kaže da nije samo performer, već da je “direktor celog koncepta i izvođenja”. Razgovaramo o performansima koje je izveo, o reakciji beogradske publike u odnosu na publiku iz Brisela, Hamburga i Marseja, o stanjima u koje performer dugotrajnih performansa ulazi i o novim planovima.

Razgovor vodio i transkribovao Žolt Kovač

Camera by Tina Marić


In the piece “The Song of Soldier on Watch (WW3 Lili Marlene)” he seems to incarnate both, the figure of the mythical heroine from the song as well as the figure of the soldier who wrote it. In 1915 Hans Leip, a German poet and playwright called to join the army and fight on Eastern front during World War I, wrote lyrics for the song than entitled “The Girl Under the Lantern” which later on, especially during the World War II, became extremely popular by the name Lili Marlene. During the Nazi occupation of Yugoslavia in 1941, Radio Belgrade became Soldatensender Belgrad and broadcasted programs to entertain the German armed forces. This song was played frequently and was also very popular on both sides of the front line. “Lili Marlene’’ was presumably one of the first songs of which one thought it could lead to an individual and collective resistance of the soldiers on the front.

Part of a text written by Dobrila Denegri for an exhibition Theatre of Life, CSW/CoCA, Torun, Poland 2012. p. 89

Concept & performance by Branko Milisković
Performed on the 02nd of December 2014 , 19:00 – 21:00 / Duration: 2 hours
Song: “Lili Marlene”(Lili Marleen), written by Hans Leip (1915), set to the music by Norbert Schultze (1938), firstly recorded by Lale Andersen (1938)
Instrumental composed by Anton Karas.
Thanks to Radio Belgrade and Dejan Ivanović for rare audio materials.
Thanks to G12 HUB, Milica Pekić, Jelena Piljić, Ivan Bulbuk, thanks to Branislav Pećaranin
Special thanks to Anđela Grabež, Jelena Bokić, Helen Schröder and to my parents for various organizational as well as financial supports.

Past performances:
October 2011 at Bains Connective, Brussels, Belgium
November 2011 at Les Petit Bain, Paris, France
May 2012 at CSW/CoCA, Center for Contemporary Arts, Torun, Poland
June 2012 at Kampnagel, Hamburg, Germany
July 2013 at Zeitraumexit, Mannheim, Germany
June 2014 at Gallery Metropolis, Paris, France

Upcoming performance:
8th February 2015, FRAC #6, Comedie de Reims-Centre dramatique national, Reims, France

Camera by Senja Vild

Video edited by Branko Milisković

In this scene, Helen Schröder and Branko Miliskovic, representing two distinctive bodies of fictional persona HERR MILISKOVIC, are approaching each other with a bottle of champaign and two glasses, opening a bottle, purring champaign into champaign glasses and very gently asking each other a question Have You committed Genocide !? They are repeating the same question over and over again, getting faster and faster, producing a very bizarre ‘’singing dialogue’’, which by an intensive repetition and serialism at certain point, can become a surreal mantra. This repetitive dialogue is getting louder as time progresses, eventually reaching a culmination half an hour later. For Branko Miliskovic, this performance is one of the most significant performances in his carrier, since the simplicity of an image and yet hardcore work are getting together, questioning this incredibly notorious question for both nations, German and Serbs, problematizing the absurdity of an individual as well a collective responsibility and guilt.

Performance by Branko Milisković
with Helen Schröder and Branko Milisković
Original scene from theatre production HERR MILISKOVIC ( Life of an Intruder )
coproduced by Kampnagel, Hamburg
Saturday 29th November 2014 , at 20:00
Duration / 30 minutes
G12 HUB, Belgrade, Serbia
Original costumes by Jules Hepp
Original stage design and props by Swen Erik Scheuerling
Adapted for G12 HUB by Branko Milisković

The Song of a Soldier on Watch ( WW3 Lili Marlene ) photo by Tina Marić

Photo by Tina Marić

photo by Senja Vild 1

photo by Senja Vild








Photos by Tina Marić




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