in·gres·sion (ĭn-grěsh’ən) A going in or entering.
Right or permission to enter.
During the residency at The Glasshouse-Tel Aviv , Branko Miliskovic  worked on a video performance entitled Ingression, composed of interviews with 24 people over 24 hours. Each interview was of an hour length, and they were held consecutively over 3 days, testing the mental borders of both himself and his interviewees. Each single participant has signed a contract in which he/she fully agree to give Branko Miliskovic permission to publish any material from this performance.
“In the performance INGRESSION, I dig into selected bodies, therefore digging into a certain territory, striving to capture the essence of the problem and justify my presence in the chosen territory”.
 Participants in order of appearance:
Lior Frenkel
Maria Rapoport
Neta Shabat
Emma- Louise Fairlie
Karin Mendelovici
Tal Stern
Lirun Rabinowitz
Pnina Man
Brian Hendler
Amit Herman
Isar Margulis
Bosmat Issahay- Goldshtein
Dana Biran
Goni Ketain- Meiri
Idan Haim
Rei Dishon
Lital Dotan
Hadas Reshef
Nati Baratz
Noga Nezer
Ohad Ben-Shimon
Meirav Heiman
Ari Fruchter
Ingression – living installation
3 days, 24 hours
The Glasshouse
Tel Aviv, Israel
November 15-30
Copyright © 2009 Branko Miliskovic
An interview by Eitan Buganim : E.Buganim-B.Miliskovic-an interview
Hyperlink for Branko Miliskovic’s page in The Glasshouse:
Photo by The Glasshouse
”Hard Conversations”
Photo by Amit Herman

‘ I, only a question ‘

by Eitan Buganim  20/11/2009

I had an interview with Branko Miliskovic to find out his real reason for coming to Israel:

EB :   So, whats the plan?

BM:  I have submitted my proposal to The Glasshouse to Interview 24 Israelis in 24 hours, but as it seems to be impossible to conduct, I decided to divide my performance in three parts, eight people per day, each interview of an our in length. Before I arrived in Tel Aviv, Lital Dotan, who is the owner of The Glasshouse, told me that my plan would be very difficult to manage because Israelis would only come at an appointed time if they must come, if there is somebody famous or someone important to them.

EB :  You can offer them payment !?

BM:  True, but the project is not about money. I wasn’t payed, also.

EB:   What’s the purpose?

BM: I will try to execute this project in several countries, Israel is actually my pioneer! The idea is to see how people from different regions engage within a dialogue. The title is ‘’Ingression’’ and that is a term for psychological penetration- drilling to the bottom of the things, to the stomach of the interviewee.

EB:   So that means you are basically testing your own limits?

BM:  The main premise of this performance is to examine the mental capabilities of listening to the people. Most of the time we can see two monologues instead of dialogue, in which, one is talking and the other is not listening but thinking about what next to say. I was born in Yugoslavia and I can admit certainly that our temperament and way of engaging into a dialogue is almost identical as here in Israel. Unlike the Netherlands , for instance, where I have my residence for the past 3 years, many people there are much more ready to take participation, but generally thinking, they also hardly listen to each other. Here I want to prove it, to see how this principle can be materialised.

EB: It’s basically a brief description of the situation here, in the Middle East ?!

BM: Yes, the idea of cooperation between two countries is based on two monologues. Each country separately talks about itself , without listening to the other side. This is perhaps the main reason for any war.

EB:  Can something extreme happen during the interview? violence, sex?

BM:  No, possibly not. Maybe someone will get angry or a little bit problematic if I ask some sensitive questions, but from my past experience, violence or sex will not happen.

EB:  The result will be a 24 hours film?

BM:   Perhaps only for my own archive or for a multi-screen video installation in the future; but here in Tel Aviv I am going to select the most essential parts of the dialogues and it will be about seven minutes in length.

EB:  And you are still looking for volunteers?

BM: Absolutely, all the time. Anyone who enters the Glasshouse we simply attack by asking them to participate.

EB:  Are you looking for people with specific characteristics?

BM:  Israeli of any kind. Do you want?

EB:   I would have loved to, but I’m quite busy lately, which questions do you ask?

BM:  I never know in advance. First of all I ask who you are, what’s your name, then you begin explaining to me and during that time I find something else,then I dig deeper and deeper until finally I can ask you something very sensitive. You can refuse to respond if you find yourself being offended. People usually respond. We sit at the table, facing each other with nothing on the table but two glasses and one water pot. Without computers, pencils, papers… I’ll try to find a way to remember everything that happened at the time of the interview without recording or writing. However, all will be filmed by the main camera. Also,when two persons sit and talk, I am curious myself what will happen.

EB:  Do you have any special skills or instincts for that?

BM:  You see, working as an artist in the fields of performance has taught me I can take all the professions and turn it to my advantage. I can be a psychologist, a scientist, an artist, musician etc. Spoken language in performance can also be a non-existing language or some dead language.  I  am interested to find out what will happen after ‘’penetrating’’ into each single person in front of me.

EB:  To loosen up?

BM:  Well, at least to try. It is very difficult to sit in front of a stranger and talk. After a while you get to know him/her much better, you become friends. It happens all the time, because every stranger , after all, can become your partner.

EB:  I assume that your aim for a dialogue is connected to your biographical-political background?

BM:  When I was 7, Yugoslavia broke up. All borders were closed and we could hardly leave the state. I may say, that for 20 years I was kind of ‘’political detainee’’ in Serbia. So yes, you must develop your own defensives otherwise you may get sick. I also do believe that your childhood must be screwed up to be able to work on radical projects. If I was born in Holland or Norway, I wouldn’t be able to do what I am doing now, because these people haven’t had any problems since the Vikings’ invasion.(laughing)

EB:  Wouldn’t you rather be alone?

BM:   I’d rather be alone and isolated, but just sometimes; when you live within the community  you have to learn how to respect others not matter what race or ethnicity. We, in Serbia, didn’t have a multi ethnic society , so no strangers at all. But once I went to Amsterdam I found myself surrounded by all types of people. You, being completely isolated over the years, get scared, feeling uncomfortable, everybody seems to look like potential murderers, but when you live together you are searching for the correct methods to be less selfish and more human.

Time Out Magazine- Tel Aviv, Interviewed by Eitan Buganim,
Nov 26, 2009, Issue 369  p.76
This interview took place in The Glasshouse, TLV, Israel
Thanks to Emma Fairlie for text correction
To download this interview in PDF : An interview by E.Buganim


4 thoughts on “Ingression

  1. I WANT MORE!! This trailer is screaming out for the full length version! The images and the lighting are very esthetic, really beautiful and also neutral, meditative even. Very appropriate for the film and the concept. But, this trailer is a film about the film, it’s metacommunication. Now I would like to see the real Ingression. Because your participants give some very interesting insights that I’m curious about. And I would like to see the interviewer react to his colorful guests.

  2. You are Jochem absolutely right. Trailer is meant to be just a short powerful highlight to poke your curiosity and imagination and your natural appetite for some further information which full length video brings itself.
    I have explained you via email when and where you may see a full length version. Hopefully we ll have some opportunity to be shown here in NL, I ll do my best.

    Tot later.
    Dank u well
    Branko Miliskovic

  3. Yes, I want more too!!
    It would be interesting to see the most fascinating bits out of the whole session. Wish you good luck with editing and selecting. Sitting on a chair for more than 90 minutes would be intolerable (for me), so I hope for a movie with the most interesting parts only. I am just wondering whether I would like to see a movie with a kind of political statement, emotions only or a theme like freedom. All is there already. I like the emotion side best. And the fact that I cannot see the faces of the interviewees up front makes it more intriguing. “Everybody has a story, and some of them are excellent” (free translation of: nobody is perfect, but parts of me are excellent). Good luck.

    • Dear Mariette

      You and Jochem are like a twins you think together. I am kidding but however you are completely right concerning your desire to see more from this performance but you know trailer is meant to be short and intriguing in order to poke the audience to see a full length release.
      I worked on that release since I cam here in NL and yesterday I finished ,video as well as DVD cover page.
      Full length is 24 minutes without credits, so around 25 minutes in total. I already released one version for my screening in Tel Aviv but when I cam back in The Hague I continue editing, cutting, saturating, lighting….ah in the end I was out of my mind.
      Now everything is fine.
      I agree with your comments about profile scene and I think that frame is the most suitable for this kind of performances because both of sides, interviewer and interviewed are visible and you can follow both of reactions. Shooting some other additional angles like close up was to complicated and no necessary and finally extremely difficult to be synchronized together with this profile frame.
      I have changed my intentions a bit during the performance and finally , I was most interested to take their personal attitude about their position in Israel today, also questioning myself and justifying my position there and here. But with some participants it was very difficult talking about politic so we talked about their personal traumas and desires.
      Finally I believe that with this performance I reached something which is not a documentary film nor sociological show nor psycho seance nor even video performance.
      I think I am on my way to get to something new.

      We must see each other soon, if you are in The Hague.
      I have to talk to you about one photography from BATTLEFIELDS series.

      Sincere regards
      Branko Miliskovic

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