The short documentary called History of Dalmatia tests out the potentials for the publication of the book of the same name by Šandor Katalinić. History in the way Šandor sees it is entirely unfamiliar to official history. The film presents a family comedy sketch - a kind of debate about the various alternative possibilities for publishing the book – deriving from a conversation between Šandor (author of the book), Tamara (his wife) and Tatjana (their granddaughter). Exploring the cultural, social and or political possibilities or impossibilities of publishing the book, the film follows the conversation of the characters, their differing value systems and the likely fate of Šandor’s manuscript. Although the rhythm of the film is a bit slow, it was shot and edited in almost a single breath, and gradually forms a specific narrative, which turns into a spontaneous testimony of the misunderstandings, of mutual misunderstanding, which is shown in the film as the result of deafness (Šandor), dementia (Tamara) and the generation gap (Tatjana). However, the problem of the publication of the book might also be a kind of macguffin – as Hitchcock called a device that motivates a work but turns out to be insignificant. This motif stirs the figures to action, because around it the story in the film is built, and this creates a psychological thriller, although it is not itself essential for the viewer. Looked at in this manner, the film is in a kind of way social criticism of everyday life, for it focuses on family relations, memory and leisure; on the futility of conversing about the theme set which we become conscious of only at the end of the film, when the medium of book is completely dropped. Thus History of Dalmatia becomes a personal story, a history, a document of a family and their relationships (grandfather – grandchild – grandmother), shot through with subtle humour that can be read in the generation differentials in the characters.
Andrea Palašti (RS) History of Dalmatia
Single-channel video projection, 2007
Andrea Palašti (RS)
Andrea Palašti, a visual artist, was born in 1984 in Novi Sad. She did first and second degree courses in the Art Academy in Novi Sad, photography department. Since 2006 she has been exhibiting and working together with other artists, artistic collectives and initiatives. To date she has presented her works at several solo and collective shows at home and abroad. She deals with research from the domain of the (new) cultural geography, critical topography and history. She uses a symbolic language in the framework of “documentary practices” and sets up a conceptual framework for renewed understanding of aspects of contemporary life. Currently she is working on several artistic projects in which she uses curatorial strategies/practices, impulses and gestures that in a methodological way blur the boundaries between artist and curator. Since 2009 she has been attending an interdisciplinary doctoral course at the Art University in Belgrade, department for art theory and media. She has a scholarship from the Ministry of Science for young doctoral candidates. She deals with the theory of photography and culture.