For an Idea – Against the Status Quo

Za ideju – Protiv stanja

For an Idea – Against the Status Quo - Analysis and Systematization of Želimir Žilnik's Artistic Practice is an attempt to create a research platform dedicated to the problematic relationship between Žilnik's artistic engagement and political and social environment of his work from the beginning of 1967 to present. The versatile material in front of you is a starting point for further analysis, valorisation and systematization of Žilnik's cinematographic work.

The backbone of this material is a series of essays of contemporary theoreticians of film and critics of art and the line of materials from Žilnik's personal archive collected during the years of his work. The "following comparative" activity of collecting press clipping about his film and activist work, video and photographic documentation on the methodology of his work and the rare archival material enabled him to monitor the "relations" of institutions, public opinion, political and cultural establishment against Žilnik's creativity (and wider) formation. Although incomplete, but collected and published at one place, this material enables multiple contextualization and reading of Žilnik's filmography today. The project gathers, structures and interprets the extensive documentary material about the contexts of reception and influence of the work of Želimir Žilnik in different periods and environments, from Novi Sad and Vojvodina to the environment in which his work subsequently had considerable professional and social effects.

More than a hundred photographs published within this collection provide insights into some of the most striking images from over the forty films that Žilnik has made to date. By limiting the selection to their representation of "points of departure and singular moments", many of these images denote "a very deliberate selection"... Apart from the stills from Žilnik’s films, there are also many set and location photographs, conveying interesting aspects of the production, various moods and external incidents. These photographs have been arranged according to the film's title and year of release and, as such, offer an intriguing impression of the development of Žilnik's cinema as a whole.

The video documentation of Žilnik’s work comprises excerpts from most of his films that entail a significant and functional illustration of his work. This section also includes three "making-of" documentations that bear witness to Žilnik's working methods on three films: Marble Ass (1995) loosely adhering to a screenplay, featuring a mixed cast of non-professional and professional actors and dialogue that was chiefly improvised in accordance with some of the interpreters' real life experiences; Wanderlust (1998) adhering to a screenplay, featuring a mixed cast of non-professional and professional actors; Kenedi is Getting Married (2007) loosely adhering to a script but bordering on documentary, featuring non-professional actors and totally improvised dialogue – the semi-documentary quality deriving from Žilnik's unassuming observations of his real-life characters. In all three examples, we first see Žilnik's work “behind the camera”, in which he is either setting up a particular scene or working with his actors, then we see the final edited version of the scene that was actually filmed and incorporated in the completed film, all of which gives us some insights into the whole process. We hope that these three documentations, which in also effectively conveying the general working atmosphere on their respective sets, ultimately pay tribute to the many members of Žilnik's film crews and close associates who have been so important to Žilnik's oeuvre in its entirety.

For an Idea – Against the Status Quo, there is an interfaith, one stage in trying to contextualize the film work of Želimir Žilnik and, in that sense, is also intended to call for future interpretations of his work. The project has created an educational platform whose contents are drawn from different layers of Yugoslav and European cultural and intellectual memory and contextualized in a new way.


Production: New Media and Playground produkcija, Novi Sad

Co-Production: Cultural Institute of Vojvodina

Publisher: Playground produkcija, Novi Sad
For the publisher: Sarita Matijević
ISBN 978-86-87011-01-4
Published in: 2009
Volume1: reader
Volume 2: DVD-ROM

Editorial board: Branka Ćurčić, Sarita Matijević, Zoran Pantelić, Želimir Žilnik

Essays written by: Branislav Dimitrijević, Marina Gržinić, Pavle Levi, Jurij Meden, Dominika Prejdová, Branka Ćurčić
Translation: Nebojša Pajić, Tijana Arsić
Proof-reading (texts in English language): Nora Hoppe, Vladica Rakić Van der Bergh
Proof-reading (texts in Serbian language): Branka Ćurčić, Sarita Matijević
Digital processing of material: Vuk Vukmirović, Marko Cvejić, Orfeas Skutelis

Visual layout: Ninja Boy Creations and
Programming by degree361: Damir Jakobac, Jelena Kovačić
Print of the book: Daniel print, Novi Sad
Print of the DVD: Pink Digital System, Zemun – Belgrade
Print run: 1000
Language: Serbian and English

Publication can be downloaded for free in pdf. format via the link at the bottom of this page.  

DVD-ROM contains research essays, information about complete filmography and material (press clipping, photographies and film excerpts) from the personal Želimir Žilnik's archive, who is the right holder of published photographies and clips. We would like to thank Bora Ćosić for the permission to digitalize and publish special issue No 3 of magazine ROK, dedicated to Žilnik's movie Early Works, as well as to all authors of published articles who are right holders of presented press material.

Publishing of this edition has exclusively educational purpose and it is dedicated to future use in personal, research and and non-commercial intent. For any further use of the material, it is advisable to contact authors.

DVD-ROM is compatible with Linux, Mac OS and Windows computer platforms. DVD-ROM (DL – Dual Layer Disc) contains 5.05 GB of data.

The project „For an Idea – Against the Status Quo, Analysis and Systematization of Želimir Žilnik's Artistic Work“ is part of two ongoing research processes: „The Continuous Arts Class“ of, which deals with the analysis of artistic practices of neoavantgarde movement in Novi Sad since 2005, and a regional project „Political Practices of (post-) Yugoslav Art“ where is participating in, together with partners: WHW from Zagreb, Prelom Collective from Belgrade and SCCA/ from Sarajevo.

Web site:
Izrada web sajta: Nenad Kesić


Centar za nove
Braće Mogin 2, PO BOX 22
21113 Novi Sad, Srbija
tel/fax: +381 (0)21 512227
e-mail: [email protected]

Playground produkcija
Njegoševa 16/17
21000 Novi Sad, Srbija
tel/fax: +381 (0)21 427703
tel: +381 (0)61 1619147
e-mail: [email protected]

Zavod za kulturu Vojvodine
Vojvode Putnika 2
21000 Novi Sad, Srbija
tel/faks: +381 (0)21 4754 128, 4754 148

Project is supported by:
Ministry of Culture of Province Vojvodina
European Cultural Foundation
Swiss Cultural Program Serbia – Pro Helvetia Belgrade
Ministry of Culture of Republic Serbia
Ministry of Culture of Novi Sad