ALEKSANDRA DOMANOVIĆ

‘19:30’, 2010/11
HD video, colour, sound
11 mins
Edition of 5 + 2 AP
(DOMANOVIĆ-2011-0003)
Taking its title from the time slot of the evening television news programs in former Yugoslavia, Domanović’s project ‘19:30’ is an anthology of the newscasts’ titles and theme tunes and an emerging collection of their commissioned remixes, edits, and new versions. The work began in 2010 when Domanović traveled around the former republics of Yugoslavia, visiting the television networks and national archives of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Slovenia and Serbia. She invited the collaboration of techno DJs, who used the collected material as samples to mix with their music.

For the project, musical themes from the first televised Yugoslavian news broadcast in 1958 up to the present were taken from national state-owned television stations. As institutions, these public stations are of particular cultural and national importance and have managed to sustain their presence in the collective consciousness, even after the arrival of private television following the fall of the socialist regime. This is in part a result of the political situation and economic recession of the late 1980s, culminating in war in 1991, which led to a surge of interest in evening television news. Watching the evening news became a part of the daily routine, a must that determined the rhythm of life. The coded nature of the daily repeated music themes became deeply embedded in the national memory and part of the collective memory of several generations of viewers.
The project juxtaposes the musical, historical, and psychological values of two different collective experiences: watching the evening news, which drew masses of people of all nationalities in former Yugoslavia in front of their television sets at 7:30 pm every evening, and the power electronic dance music had in the same territory to bring people together, engendering a feeling of distance to the individual nationalistic views among the ravers in the 1990s and creating a platform for tolerance and coexistence.

The '19:30' project can take on various forms. In a gallery setting it is presented as a two-channel video installation of a chronological anthology and shots of rave parties, while on the Web it is presented as an ongoing archive of remixes, video and audio themes, various links, and other research material available at: nineteenthirty.net.

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“By a coincidence of history, widespread internet use came on the heels of socialism‘s collapse in Eastern Europe. Routes of global commerce multiplied in parallel with the speed of information. From today’s standpoint, a world where capitalism and socialism coexisted is associated with rhythms of life defined by slower forms of media. Aleksandra Domanović considers this condition through her own experience and the history of her native Yugoslavia in ‘19:30’ (2010). The title comes from the time slot of the Yugoslav nightly news, when the whole country would take time to view the broadcast. Watching the news became even more important to the daily routine as ethnic tensions mounted in the late 1980s, but that routine, like many other unifying social norms, dissolved along with Yugoslavia itself amid open conflict. Around 1995, electronic dance music became popular in the former Yugoslavia (a bit later than it did in the rest of the world, due in part to the international isolation of the warring republics) and young people crossed the new borders to attend parties and dance to wordless, repetitive techno — a musical genre free of national associations. When information can be accessed at any time, the nightly news loses the power to create a simultaneous, shared experience for a multitude of people. But a live event like a rave, Domanović points out, still holds that power.

‘19:30’ is her attempt to reconcile past and present. Last year Domanović traveled around the former Yugoslavia to collect idents, the graphical introductory sequences that precede news broadcasts. Her research process involved visits to television stations, national archives, and even peoples’ homes, and resulted in an extensive collection of idents, annotated with historical details. After assembling the collection, Domanović reached out to techno DJs and asked them to use the idents as samples and mix them in their music. ‘19:30’ highlights how the nature of shared experience has changed and unites two disparate models of it. Domanović‘s collection of digitized idents isn’t an archive, a graveyard for dead scraps of history, but an active library, where audible pieces of public memory gain new life. Through remixing and live performance, the old
melodies become free, like bodies given over to dance.”

- Brian Droitcou

Aleksandra Domanović
‘19:30’, 2010/11



Aleksandra Domanović
‘19:30’, 2010/11



Aleksandra Domanović
‘19:30’, 2010/11



Aleksandra Domanović
‘19:30’, 2010/11



Aleksandra Domanović
‘19:30’, 2010/11



Aleksandra Domanović
‘19:30’, 2010/11



Aleksandra Domanović
‘19:30’, 2010/11



Aleksandra Domanović
‘19:30’, 2010/11



Aleksandra Domanović
‘19:30’, 2010/11
Installation view, ‘Les Cadeaux du Présent’, CAN, Neuchâtel, 2011
Photo by Sully Balmassière



Aleksandra Domanović
‘19:30’, 2010/11
Installation view, ‘Les Cadeaux du Présent’, CAN, Neuchâtel, 2011
Photo by Sully Balmassière



Aleksandra Domanović
‘19:30’, 2010/11
Installation view, ‘Free’, New Museum, New York, 2011
Photo by Benoit Pailley



Aleksandra Domanović
‘19:30’, 2010/11
Installation view, ‘based In Berlin’, n.b.k., Berlin, 2011



Aleksandra Domanović
‘19:30’, 2010/11
Installation view, Kunsthalle Basel,
'From yu to me', 1 April, 27 May 2012



Aleksandra Domanović
‘19:30’, 2010/11
Installation view, Kunsthalle Basel,
'From yu to me', 1 April, 27 May 2012