COUVRE-FEU ( personal overview )

still 11

COUVRE-FEU ( Curfew ) is one of the most difficult performances I have ever dared to perform due to it´s high level of unpredictability and ephemerality. It depends on so many factors , such as the amount of the public , the venue´s nature , the current socio-political situation , how do you feel that very day and the most incredibly of all , the weather conditions. That night was the full Moon and clear sky , so it gave me an incredible power to deal with the entire public using them as a social sample. I must admit that I am extremely picky concerning the time and space in which I am setting my work. I usually think very far in advance ( if appropriate ) , so there is everything under the control , from my side. In COUVRE-FEU I was using my ‘’Military Body’’. In my artistic practice I usually have three sort of bodies : Political Body , Military Body and Social Body as well as several other branches. Usually I combine them in the majority of characters I am building up , but apart of all , those characters and bodies are actually the bodies I already posses. I am not acting any of those materialized characterizations, but rather more intending to get a certain body out of my physical body, regarding my personal history and ongoing situation I am dealing with. I have been working on COUVRE-FEU for more then six months in which there was no possibilities to combine different bodies. It´s an incredible strict military character which is following his main duty to establish certain rules during the specific time using current sample of the society ( the audience ). But I knew in advance , since I was performing similar piece at Kampnagel in Hamburg , that there are certain parts in this aggressive performance / social experiment, which would make the public laughing or protesting frenetically. The moment with security control and later The Divisions for instance, those are moments that , naturally , unprepared public find themselves in a very unpredictable situation , they don´t know what is my plan , so laughing is simply natural defensive system. For me frankly, those moments are some of the most precious moments  an artist can ever get while performing. One of the curators said there was a bit of mental violence making her feeling periodically  a bit uncomfortable . Well , you know, I depend on the entire energy of the public. It´s simply my fuel I have borrowed from the public  in order to make myself ´´super charged body ´´. As much as they are angry, frustrated , frenetically excited , I am getting 3 x more. So, when I was watching the entire video afterwards, I said to myself : It´s just ridiculously brutal from my side , but after all I don´t have such a feeling that the audience didn’t enjoy being there. As a contrary, I got several remarks the day after , saying that it was just incredible experience for them, and even they were fully conscious what they are doing, they simply couldn’t resist not to do it. I call it ´´mesmerization ´´. However, some of them left the performance in the very beginning , because they couldn’t cope being invited over and over again to go on stage. And I completely understand them. Some of them resisted to go on stage and remained on their seats collectively banging and shouting. Those are already predicted dissidents exploiting their rights for being socially disobedient. My action also provoked one guy to leave the space and then to return twenty minutes later to give me such a strong French kiss in front of everyone. I met him later and he complained I made him extremely angry and anxious, so he had to do it. One of curators even said I made him and the entire public looking pretty stupid , while being shaped and reshaped on stage. I believe everyone should conduct his/her social body in whichever circumstances it may occur.

As i already pointed out, COUVRE-FEU was one of the most demanding works of mine ,and when I got back to Hamburg I dropped in some sort of depression and anxiety which is still quite intensive. It´s just an enormous energy I got there , so I have to cope with that when I am alone and not socializing. However , I will continue working in this manner , as it is my nature. I must make the audience really get out of their everyday routine. Whatever it may cause and provoke It´s simply the concept I shall follow and there is no excuse.

Branko Miliskovic

video still by Christopher Hewitt

p.s / For native english speakers. If you find any mistakenly written phrases, words or grammar , please don’t hesitate to let me know. Thank You.

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