Ana Vujanović, TEMPO OF CONSUMERISM: On the film composition Tempo by Marta Popivoda

MARTA POPIVODA (Belgrade, dentist 1982) is film and video maker, global burden of disease but also cultural worker from Belgrade. She is part of the TkH collective of theorists and artists (TkH=Walking Theory), decease which deals with the problematics of performance paradigm in art, culture and theory. TkH is mostly active on the independent art scenes in Belgrade and Paris.

In her solo projects she explores cinema as a medium and format of contemporary art and as a tool of knowledge production. Her most widely known work is illegal_cinema (2007-…), which has been presented in France, Turkey, Spain, Croatia and Serbia. Her stance is of an Eastern European artist who prefers using already existing materials from the history of film and media in (post)producing her own work. Her work was presented in exhibitions of photography, installation art and video. She also collaborates in theatre performances and contemporary opera as video artist. Occasionally publishes theoretical texts and reviews.






At the moment she is completing her Master degree of Film and TV direction at the Faculty of Drama Arts, Belgrade

Besides official education, she participated in and co-created several self-educational programs like Self-managed educational system in art, Knowledge Smuggling and Deschooling Classroom.



2007. RECYCLE BIN – Archiving the performances on the edge of the void, Magacin in Kraljevića Marka St., Belgrade

2000. ROCKING CHAIR, 19 steps Gallery, Youth centre Belgrade



2010. 51st OCTOBER SALOON, side program, Museum of the city of Belgrade, Belgrade / curators: Johan Pousette and Celia Prado

2010. LECTURE PERFORMANCE, Saloon of the Museum of contemporary art, Belgrade / curators: Jelena Vesić, Radmila Joksimović

2009. THE LOW OF CAPITAL: HISTORIES OF OPPRESSION, City Museum, Ljubljana / curators: Marina Gržinić, Sebastjan Leban

2009. LECTURE PERFORMANCE, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Koeln / curators: Kathrin Jentjens, Anja Nathan-Dorn

2009. NEW MEMBERS 2009, Cvijeta Zuzorić, Belgrade / selection: Artistic board of ULUS

2009. NO MORE REALITY: Crowd and Performance [Demonstration, Public space, Use of body], Depo, Istanbul / curators: Claire Staebler, Jelena Vesić

2008. 49th OCTOBER SALOON “Artist – citizen”, Kuća legata, Belgrade / curator: Bojana Pejić

2008. 29th SALOON OF YOUNG ARTISTS “Saloon of revolution”, HDLU, Meštrović’s pavilion, Zagreb / curators: Antonia Majača, Ivana Bago

2006. NO SPACE IS INNOCENT, within Steirischerherbst, Forum Stadtpark, Graz / curators: Marina Gržinić, Margarethe Makovec, Walter Seidl (http://nospaceisinnocent.org)

2005. The critics have selected: LOSE YOURSELF, Gallery of Belgrade cultural centre / curators: Sava Ristović, Gordana Stanišić

2005. ORIENTATION BEYOND GENDER, CZKD – Pavilion Veljković, Belgrade

2005. AMAZONS, SKC Gallery, Belgrade

2000. IV BIENNIAL OF YOUNG ARTISTS, Konkordija, Vršac / curator: Slavko Timotijević

2000. MADE IN HELL, with N. Racković and N. Andrić, Gallery DOB, Belgrade



2010. DESCHOOLING VIDEO CLASSROOM, video installation, Museum of the city of Belgrade, Belgrade

2009. TEMPO, video, City Museum, Ljubljana

2009. ILLEGAL_CINEMA_crowd and performance, live installation, DEPO, Istanbul

2009. for the opera ENFANTS TERRIBLES (Philip Glass), team of authors: Bojan Đorđev, Siniša Ilić, Maja Mirković, Jelena Novak, Marta Popivoda and Ana Vujanović, DOB, Belgrade

2008. ILLEGAL_CINEMA_revolution, HDLU, Meštrović’s pavilion, Zagreb

2008. for the opera DON GIOVANNI (Mozart), director: Bojana Cvejić, BITEF 42

2007. VIDEO KOSOV@: opinions, where are they coming from?, 5-chanel video installation, 49th October saloon, Beograd

2006. RE-DELEGATING: archiving performances on the edge of the void, artistic research and installation, in collaboration with A. Vujanović and B. Cvejic, Forum Stadtpark, Graz

2005. for the opera ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE (Gluck) in collaboration with A. Vujanović, director: Bojana Cvejić, BEMUS 37

2005. ≈ QUEER ≠ ; 11 minutes of repolitization of personal position, video installation, in collaboration with A. Vujanović, CZKD – Pavilion Veljković, Belgrade

2005. for music theatre performance OPERRRRA (is of female gender), director: Bojan Đorđev, BELEF 05

2005. AMAZONS WITHOUT BODY: image and consequences, video installation, Gallery SKC, Belgrade

2005. for theatre performance ”OUT OF GEAR” (Maja Pelevic), director: Slađana Kilibarda, National theatre in Subotica

2004. for theatre performance ESCape (Maja Pelevic), director: Jelena Bogavac, SKC, Belgrade



2010. THE INCIDENT, short fiction, 29 min, in postproduction, production: Faculty of Drama Arts, TkH-centre, DARTfilm, Belgrade

2007. MONSTERS, short fiction, 7 min, production: Faculty of Drama Arts, TkH-centre, Belgrade

2006. SEX, LIES AND GRAMOPHONE RECORDS, documentary film, 21 min, production: Faculty of Drama Arts, Belgrade

2005. HAPTIC IMAGE, short fiction, 15 min, production: Faculty of Drama Arts, Belgrade

2005. TUNNEL, short documentary, 4 min, production: Faculty of Drama Arts, Belgrade

2004. VENUS IN FURS, short fiction, 10 min, production: Faculty of Drama Arts, Belgrade

2004. VIOLET PERFECTION 458, short fiction, 6 min, production: Faculty of Drama Arts, Belgrade

2003. FUCKING KOLO, documentary film, 11 min, production: Centre for visual communications “Kvadrat”, Belgrade

2002. EXAMPLE, short fiction, 5 min, production: Centre for visual communications “Kvadrat”, Belgrade



2010. HYPER-REAL ALLEGORY – atelier of a theoretician in the age of wide capitalism, space installation, Saloon of the Museum of Conteporary Arts, Belgrade

2009. GENERIQUE – the last theoretical performance by TkH, Jugoslav Drama Theater, Belgrade

2007. ART IN THE AGE OF KNAUF – group performance, with Maska (Ljubljana) and Frakcija (Zagreb), Fridricianum, Documenta 12, Kassel


2007. BOXING MATCH – ready-made theatre, artistic research and performance, CZKD – Center for Cultural Decontamination, Belgrade

2007. PRO TRANZIT OFFICE – opening of the filialle ProSFera in Pančevo, performance, with Ana Vilenica and Jelena Knežević, 36. Ex teatar fest, Pančevo

2006. ProTranzit – local office of the Problemarket Company, performance, with Igor Štromajer and Davide Grassi, as collaborator, Erste bank, Belgrade

2005. SMS Guerilla,  a guerrilla TV performance, as collaborator, Belgrade

2005. PROPOSITIONS FOR THE ARTWORK  X 1-10, TkH, no. 9, Belgrade, 2005.



Cultural centre Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers, Paris; 2010-2012

Ana Vujanović: TEMPO OF CONSUMERISM: On the film composition Tempo by Marta Popivoda

Text published in:

2009, drug
Ana Vujanović, Marta Popivoda, DE-LINKING FROM CAPITAL AND THE COLONIAL MATRIX OF POWER, The Law of Capital: Histories of Oppression


Marta Popivoda, Tempo, 2006, video

The vocabulary of music denotes “tempo” (in Italian time) as the cadence in performing a music piece. Marta Popivoda’s short film “Tempo” (2006) employs the term on two levels. On the one hand, “Tempo” is – suggestively enough – one of the largest hypermarkets in Belgrade, coming to us with the transition following the “October 5 Revolution” in 2000. The “plot” (hyper-shopping sequence) is situated in the eponymous hypermarket, perceived as a paradigm of the new social era succeeding “Milošević’s Serbia.” On the other hand, the film/composition engages in a post-production processing of raw documentary footage, focusing on tempo as its basic element. Its documentarism is, accordingly, “spoiled,” and – in a Brechtian fashion – “estranged” in the post-produced speeding up and slowing down of the real-time narrative and action, bringing about artificiality which lays bare their respective ideological dimensions.

The assortment of products for everyday use (sour cream, toilet paper, fruit juices, hygiene accessories…) displayed on the cashier’s desk are fetishized; they are shot in close-up, with largo and adagio slow motion, providing enough time for their (senseless?) contemplation by the viewers. The slow tempo is suddenly broken – accelerando reveals a new image. In the background of the “objects,” merchandise, it is time for people action. The long shot features a multitude of people, possibly signifying a social situation or even, potentially, a revolutionary multitude – however, this is not what they are. In the allegro fast-forward mode, they appear as a sum total of individuals, consumers consumed with shopping. There are no relations or communication between them, that sum total is atomized and depoliticized, reduced to the sole provision of bare necessities. And life goes on at a fast, very fast, ever speeding pace, while the faces of the individuals get effaced in the presto mode of the raving camera failing to maintain its outer point of focalization. Afterwards, the imagery gets pacified, transformed, the liminal moment is missed, and at a walking pace we encounter another image of shopping – the packing of merchandise after passing the cashier, in plastic bags branded “Tempo.” In a social sense, hypermarkets are there to establish normality, amassing merchandise at one spot to provide us – those effaced faces (of social subjects) in the crowd – with a “life,” while sparing our valuable time (The time we had wasted at political rallies throughout the 1990s?).

The image is contaminated by the sound – here we have to return to the basic concept in the filmmaking – that is “tempo.” In the first part of the film, as we are watching an endless stream of products on a conveyor belt, the sound is clearly political (Brane Zorman1). Connoisseurs of the local context will easily recognize the sounds of the “political 1990s”; noise from the anti-regime demonstrations, the opening credits and voices of anchormen of RTS 1 (Radio Television Serbia) prime time evening news – the basic ideological apparatus of Milošević’s regime – namely, the sounds of city streets in turmoil and conflict. As for those who are not acquainted with the specific social situation of Serbia, they are also exposed to the public animato “sound of politics.” The soundtrack counterpoints the action – loud, irritating, excited, the voices mingle, stir, creating tension around the fetishized objects on the belt featured in slow motion. One of the most irritating sounds comes from a telephone ringing, ringing, and ringing the entire time, while no one is there to answer… Perhaps “someone” (me, you, he, she, we…?) will eventually wake up. But, no. The phone keeps ringing, and “someone” is still sleeping…

With the change of imagery and tempo, the soundtrack also changes. The same procedure of contrasting image and sound and their time flow is repeated. In the second part of the film, the accelerating crowd of consumers is counter-posed with the slow tempo of the vintage pop hit Wonderful Life by the British band Black. After a temporary relief of tension by introducing a familiar lyrical pop sound and passing from close-up to long shots, another act of ideological estrangement follows, featuring sound (music) in a key role. The political 1990s were succeeded by the consumer 2000s. They are neither post-political nor post-ideological – quite the contrary. Consumerism does not offer us new social master narratives; nevertheless it does promise us something – something quite palpable, simple, easily acceptable, individual: “wonderful life.” With that discrete ideological maneuver, the neo-liberal capitalism made us – in the strict sense of the word – “idiots.” Endless choice of merchandise as an alternative to freedom of choice about what life might be. Choice about what we can do. What we can do together.

1 The soundtrack is the work of the composer Brane Zorman featured in the performance Ballettikka Internettikka: BEO Guerrиllиkka (Igor Štromajer & Brane Zorman, Belgrade, Serbia, 2005)

Dr. Ana Vujanović is theoretician, lecturer and editor of the journal TkH. She lives and works in Belgrade, Serbia.

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