Nataša Govedić

Indoš continues to be the criteria for the national performance stage: even when he repeats himself or when he is preaching; his testimony is passionate that it even hurts passionately in a Barth's passionate manner - and not only intermediary declarative title of the performance but in a way of communicating with the audience, he is trying to establish the closeness with the audience, friendly "brutality" of plainness between the audience and the performer.

The radical performances of Damir Bartol Indoš has not been unabating, the latest performance On Pain and Chess has so many recognisable elements, which from the historic perspective could be proclaimed as Indoš's evergreen elements, composed from the constant/permanent elements of teaching non violence plus a trauma confession elements. It should not be understood as a "criticism" of Indoš's poetical performance. It actually conveys the detailed elaboration and consistency in the most elevated sense of the professionalism on the stage and dedication to work. The music played on old and discarded equipment and old pans sounds really fascinating, and I absolutely agree with the thesis that children are constantly passing through all kinds of stages of neglect and maltreatment (even when such a statement is read in an indifferent voice of the Indoš's self-denying wife, Mrs. Dubravka Šikić, somewhere in the back of the stage, and the text she reads is written in a manner of an educational leaflet.)
Furthermore, I was fascinated by the frantic choreography of Indoš's "resistance performed through dance", in its self a particularly expressive micro-performance, and on the stage strikingly and with special effects contrasted to the flatly recorded statement on maltreatment of children. What strikes me particularly strong is the Indoš's understanding of chess as the functional metaphor for any competitive relations we consent to, a type of relation we can not be without, even when our opponent is in the form of the chess software.

The subject of performance

Indoš is mostly the subject of pain, articulated pain physically, visually, verbally and acoustically with or without an ironic distance, and communicative sharpness, dislocatedness, and at the same time pain which transforms into cry for understanding, contact with other persons and acceptance. Here is the case of (often and literally) loud call of other person, not craving for death, disintegration or personal negation. As he succeeds to create the instrument of the unique resonance, thrown together from corroded old pipes, Indoš in the same way succeeds to articulate his personal language of movements and communication with the audience, requesting identification and recognising the proclaimed differences.

The distinctive dramaturgy

The way of remaining original? Indoš's answer is in the accelerated rhythm of personal experiences, relations between the parents and their children. On the stage are the sunglasses, father's shoes, and old chess board, once used for playing chess with his father, all elements dating back to the performer's childhood. By touching it, wearing and naming this objects, which once belonged to his father, acquires particular value as if Indoš's father was on the stage with him, but it also symbolises the absence of the father from son's life: all the objects are worn out, and bear almost magical weight, the objects are almost "deposited matter", remains of the age of the great flood, some expired time still present, as close as it is appalling, and its bearer, evoked father's subject, equally irreplaceable, made real but out of reach. The dramaturgy of the performance On pain and chess is like a fairy tale, since it traces the narrative backbone of human lives (in the classic way of the beginning, middle and the final stage), encircling three generations, in which the middle generation, neither children nor old men, tells us stories of growing up, as well as about traumas of parting with our own parents.

Questions about the Others

Indoš's performance, let me make comparison to Barthes, as the process of falling in love is "an event of hierarchical order", which means that it demands consent of all the participants in the performance to recognise the sanctity of performance. In the abandoned chapel of the factory Jedinstvo, in the "sepulchral" chamber of a small boiler room as the stage of performance On pain and chess, the sanctity is not only palpable but also almost obtrusive/blatant.