Stefan Sidovski’s R evolt is an ambiguous and beautiful film staged with five young men in an empty Skopje in August of 1977. The film follows the group’s attempts – some ridiculous, some tender, some angst-ridden – to give way to some sort of ‘revolt’ which may rekindle a political passion, an existential anguish, a languid malaise. After a number of ‘spectacular’ actions, the five try to hitch-hike their way out of the city, to no avail. Disappointed, they half- heartedly walk into the distance.
One of the interesting aspects of the film is the relationship between the film’s narrative, ironic stance, and visual codes and the film’s inherent masculinity. The film’s fundamental ‘prime material’, whether treated ironically or not, has something to do with masculinity: the action of ‘revolting’ pertain to a gestural / visual vocabulary which is typically masculine, a vocabulary furthered and rendered more complex (and perhaps ironised on by Sidovski) by the film’s circumstances in 1977 Yugoslavia. In continuously thinking about the many, strange, complex illuminations the film can offer today, we can ask ourselves: what would happen if revolt were a script for five young women rather than five young men? How would this anger, boredom, tenderness feel? Who would those woman be? How would we imagine their politics through their movement, their presence, their gaze? This performance is a staging of the film R evolt, made for five young Macedonian women in 2015 rather than with five young Macedonian men in 1977. As the film changes body, it changes state: from film to performance, from men to women, from then to now. #
As it changes medium and gender, R evolt will unavoidably also be transformed: some of the aspects of the film’s ideas become more present and prominent, other, different ideas form and linger in the background. This re:volt wonders what happens when the state, the time and the body of an artwork begin to talk about another state, another time, another body. And questions what this other state, time, body actually is. Who does it belong to, what does it want, where is it going?