Saturday, May 13, 2006


Hollywood films do not need introductions. They are self-explanatory, and any necessary context is given by the film. This is facilitated by the fact that a Hollywood film aims at universality, in the most pragmatic of terms. The vast majority of the "Western world" should get it.
I Wish I was Born in a Hollywood Movie, the newest work of Sarajevo-born artist Maja Bajevic, is quite the opposite. I simply wouldn't get it without an introduction. A simple flash presentation, with pictures in windows that split, blend, blur. Pictures of anonymous places, sounds that resemble Oscar Guzman's latest work... And little more.
Still, even experiencing it now, you already have a crucial piece of information: Sarajevo-born. Maybe it could have been meaningless; but it couldn't. Maja Bajevic was supposed to spend 8 months in Paris, waiting for the war in her land to be over. Instead, she spent 8 years there. And when she came back, well, nothing was meaningless, I suppose. In the curatorial introduction, we read about her past works, performances and photos and installations-cum-performances (like the wonderful Chambre avec vue (Room With a View) , where "she commissioned immigrant shop owners [in the French town of Aussillon ] to have ornamental motifs of their homelands engraved in the glass windows of their store fronts" (the 15-minute film that documents it has been shown on many festivals, so be on the watch-out).
But this time, it's different. Through the digital means, Bajevic explores a darker side of things. Not only do the pictures have a great amount of melancholy, but they all lead to dead ends, heavy with the burden of sound, dramatic in their absolute, concrete finish. So we go back, clicking on the x to erase the windows, to go back, and start again, chosing another path, seeing other fragments of things, other remains of events. Until we're stuck again.
This scares me. It scares me, because I read the introduction. And I know Rooms With a View exist. And this view suddently seems a part of them.

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