Datum izdaje/ Release date: september 2016
Založba / Label: Kamizdat
Album dostopen na / Album available at: https://kamizdat.bandcamp.com/album/parallellax
composed, recorded, produced by Nina Dragičević
liner notes by Nataša Velikonja
design & artwork by Tina Ivezić and Nina Dragičević
USB & booklet created by Maruša ‘Maruji’ Hren
printed by Janja Baznik, ‘Pri Tiskarskem Škratu’
product photo by Nada Žgank – www.menentoimage.com
About the composition Parallellax
“It is a structure. It is not noise. These are everyday sounds, their beauty and horror, the condensation of everyday life, of which we are not even aware of”, Nina Dragičević told me when creating Overheard fragments of sound. “Sounds surround us, but as we are not cultivated in listening, they go past us, but simultaneously those that should not be overheard, go past us as well”. At the same time, the musician says, “As regards sounds we don’t have a culture of stopping them as is the case with gestures or words, when they are unacceptable. As regards sounds, there is no way how to correct somebody. You want to escape, but you can’t. This sinusoid is infinite in its repetition”.
You cannot escape. That is why I am an attentive listener of her music. I understand it, it is in accordance with my view on the state of things, on the state of the world, without euphemisms and without palliatives. In this cognitive compatibility her music teaches me to hear and to comprehend yet other moments of reality, to which I had not paid sufficient attention. It is completely uninhibited. It is.
But I also understand those who claim they cannot listen to her compositions, who claim it is too hard on them, they simply can’t do it, it is too much. I understand, as I understand that cognitive direction is to people more of trouble and less of liberation. I understand they have their own reasons: maybe the curtain before cognition eases their life, which really is not user-friendly, to use this contemporary concoction that already long time ago jumped from its technicist origin into imperative of unquestionable, yes, technicist lightness of living. Perhaps people are so absorbed with positive thinking that the very living actually presents them mere operational platform, and exertion on it a compulsory self-sustainable effort, rather than extrusion of incomprehensible anxiety out of body and mind – anxiety, which is in some long forgotten, unrecognized and unacknowledged game of the very same body and mind the result of exactly that outrageous, vulgar combination of the words positive and thinking.
And no, we cannot escape, and desertion is just a denial. This usability, this friendliness, this positivity, this non-thinking, this ideological dream team, this authoritative methodology are ultimately consolidated as one-dimensional, direct perception constructing a one-dimensional, direct reality that disables any intellectual ability, the ability to comprehend the complexity, multiplicity, contrasts, contradictions, paradoxes, and, as the composition Parallellax proposes, parallels and parallaxes.
Nina Dragičević’s composition Parallellax is one of her masterpieces, all of which sonorously record the uninhibited meta-reality. What is happening as everything else is happening is the basis of her question dealt with throughout the composition, which – starting with the title – combines the words parallel and parallax. Parallellax is, she says, sonorously expressed dichotomy between the external, social world and the internal, intimate world. Parallel and parallax are explicitly indicated also on the cover, which is, not coincidentally, a stylized nude. In short, author’s perceptive proposal is: the reality is composed of parallel instances, which are being interfered with a parallax, deception of view, distortion of view.
But the parallelism between the two worlds is deceptive and it is in this fracture, in this blind corner where the sublime, repressed, unrecognized, socially undesirable reality is located. Let us recall: in her compositions Nina Dragičević methodically and systematically processes societal violence, which is nothing more and nothing less than wholeness, totality of society, yes, love too, as is recorded in HRTBRKS, yes, corporeality too, as it is in An Ode to My Butcher. In the mirror reflection of the renowned verse of Gertrude Stein “Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose” which in authoritarian manner strengthens the identity and meaning unity of things, depriving them of the metaphorical and the possibility of interpretive looseness, we find Nina’s point of view: love is violence is violence against women is body is shouting is speaking are people are social situations are slaughtering is tongue is cut is laughter is applause is collapse. Things just are, nothing more. “These are not horrible sounds”, she says. “They are just sounds.”. And they will not stop.
Nina Dragičević depicts all this persistent sociality, all this persistent exteriority through persistent stringing of sound sequences, sound elements. In her compositions she inserts these sound elements in the contexts that comprehensively present the integrated and at the same time fragmented sonority in a cognitive light, give it meaning, emphasize the reality which we do not attend to. This is a distinctive mark of her compositions. In Parallellax this sounded, damn social network, this whole sounded, inhibited, peaceful, murderous, loving, common-sense, applauding, babbling sociality is being repeated again and again, it is being returned again and again, it is being cast into inner world, into the world of isolated individual who is otherwise somewhere else, who in external reality is not participating, but nevertheless all this time she lives, she lives somewhere else, but nevertheless all this sociality interferes with her, overrules her, intertwines with her and affects her. But although between internal and external there is nothing in common, although there is no correlation, although there is only one-way relation, one-way dynamics, this isolated individual is not a passive receiver of the external, but the transformative agent. And although this new, transformed reality fails to affect the external world, as the external world is nonresponsive, Nina Dragičević nevertheless frees it, emancipates it, declares it, materializes it – she records it in the composition Parallellax. The power of art is a new reality, new cognition, which is actually its only essence. Everything else is just a party meant to bring about oblivion.
Nina Dragičević premiered a composition Parallellax on 25 July 2015 in Ljubljana’s Škuc Gallery in the form of performance in which she melted the sound representation of reality with a simple and elegant gesture into a physical, spatial, bodily one. Visitors were naturally bounded to chairs, blindfolded, and Nina, this time also the conceiver of performance, emphasized the reality of their prison position in the ubiquitous reality by positioning them away from the centre of space, thus isolating them, metaphorically preventing them the possibility of bringing themselves to the centre; she deprived them of possible points of base, support, integration, unity. And a note, not an unimportant one: at the very core of this decentralization, in the centre of this isolation and exclusion, in the heart of this solitude in an otherwise saturated atmosphere was she, an agent. And, of course, the visitors could untie themselves, they could go somewhere else, endlessly perpetuating the illusion of escape, illusion of departure, just as they can escape from sound, escape from the composition, which they cannot listen to because it is too hard on them. And, of course, many freed themselves and freely went out – and straight back into the environment and the atmosphere of Nina’s compositions: in fact, directly and precisely into very essence of the composition Parallellax.
That is why I am a listener of her music. I know escape is a distracting manoeuvre, I know freedom is an illusion, and I know there is a sociality and it is emerging everywhere, even in freedom. Let us not look away, let us listen to it, let us not abandon it so easily for deception. Nina Dragičević invites us to review, to reevaluate the fundamental Enlightenment concepts, concepts of freedom, existential liberty, community, subjectivity, she invites us to recompose enlightenment by decomposing it. She invites us to return to the basic Enlightenment premise: cognition. Parallellax is her invitation. Here she is.