Pupilija, papa Pupilo and the Pupilceks – 2006

Reconstruction of the performance by Theatre Pupilija Ferkeverk

Stara elektrarna, Ljubljana
Premiere: September 20, 2006, at 8:00pm.
Re-runs: September 23 and 24, at 8:00pm.

Reconstructed and directed by: Emil Hrvatin
Created and performed by: Aleksandra Balmazović, Gregor Cvetko, Dražen Dragojevič, Lado Jakša, Alja Kapun, Boštjan Narat, Matjaž Pikalo, Dejan Srhoj, Ajda Toman, Irena Tomažin, Grega Zorc
Music: Gregor Cvetko, Lado Jakša, Boštjan Narat
Lead technician: Igor Remeta
Assistant director: Samo Gosarič
Projections: Samo Gosarič, Emil Hrvatin, Igor Štromajer
Camera operators: Gregor Lipičar, Iztok Sajdl
Montage: Gorazd Kernel
Makeup artist: Barbara Pavlin
Photography: Marcandrea Bragalini
Executive producer: Barbara Hribar
Production: Maska
Co-production: Festival EX PONTO, Bunker Productions
Co-producer of video: Videoprodukcija Kregar
Sponsor: Elle magazine

Thanks to: Center and Gallery P-74, Festival Ljubljana, RTV Slovenia.
Special thanks to all the members of the original cast of the performance Pupilija, papa Pupilo pa Pupilčki, especially to Dušan Jovanović, Ivo Svetina, Barbara Levstik and Goranka Kreačič.


The project is co-funded by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana.

Because the reconstruction of the performance Pupilija, papa Pupilo pa Pupilčki is not about the reawakening and reconstruction of a certain long past event, it brings not only the spirit of the end of the 1960s to today's viewer, but also examines the inscription of a historic event into the present time, when resistance and experiment are becoming torpid and forced out to the margin of the social and cultural milieu or, at best, allowed to briefly enter the wider public as a quickly digested media scandal. Pupilija has been much talked about, nevertheless, it is still a part of Slovene theatre history figuring only as a curiosity.

The reconstruction of the performance, which is impregnated with the spirit of experiment and resistance, is itself an experiment, since reconstructions of performances are not common in Slovenia. The emphasis is thus on theatrical speech as well as on its contextualization and recontextualization. The performance is furnished with conversations and interventions by the original cast and also with reproductions of the responses to it. It stresses the procedures used in the original performance, with the focus on openness and non-formality. The reconstructors put special interest in how to re-enact the following elements:

- commonness and unskilfulness
- non-spectacularity and extremity of execution
- open improvisation and folklore and military discipline
- collective mind and mindlessness
- open, non-aestheticized and non-linear language and political engagement.

Pupilija's politicality was primarily in its resistance to all forms of authority and not in the direct expression of political protest. Pupilija distances itself, mocks and subverts authorities, from external (state, nation, party, church, market) to internal (theatre and aesthetic). With incredibly suggestive, yet almost innocent speech, it easily attracts today's viewer. The reconstruction also accentuates certain issues, adopting a polemic stance toward the thus far attempted interpretations of the performance. Namely, the majority of interpretations emphasize the rituality of the performance, although from today's distance it is clear that the actors' performance displays a certain distance to expressivity, characteristic of the ’60s. Herein also lies the essential difference between Pupilija and, let us say, Living Theatre.

The next dimension that the performance attempts to lay open is the introduction of contemporary dance. Namely, it is typical of all the countries of socialism and communism to hinder the development of artistic dance. Dance therefore struggled through experimental performing formats. The reconstruction reactualizes also the question of collectives, circles and "the scene" in the societies of neoliberal capitalism.