The short film is a part of artist Jasmina Cibici’s work from some years ago called Spielraum. It sought to investigate the so-called universal methods and strategies of the use of the so-called soft power, often used to gain some kind of an advantage. The rhetoric of soft power use has always been part of patriotic speech, and art and architecture have often been seen as part of this spectacle. As a work, Spielraum sought to deal with the birth, existence, and death of a (trans)national ideological formation. The film was shot in Belgrade, the capital of the former Yugoslavia and in the large and well-preserved administrative palace from the time of Josip Broz Tito.
Yugoslavia, on the other hand, fell apart because of a very tough war. After all, the author’s birthplace, today’s Slovenia, managed to gain independence without major tragedies. However, the overall narrative of the Balkans and the whole of Europe has been chilling and, in parts, very bloody and cruel.
The four stylish women in the film represent four different professions and, accordingly, different ways of seeing things. They roles or professions are those of the "nation builder", "pragmatist", "conservator" and "architect/artist".
Some of the dialogue might sound very familiar or ring a bell. The reason for this becomes clear when we read about the quotations in the final credit texts of the film.
The film requires very concentrated viewing. It is also rewarding and topical in many ways. Since it has been shot in finely designed spaces and the actresses are clothed in classical elegant dresses that also fit the different rooms in the spatially generous building, it also doesn’t seem to lose its topicality very soon. Both in Europe and the Middle East, ongoing are two exceptionally brutal wars. They tear and destroy both the lives of people and the built environment in a brutal and horrible way.
Tear down and rebuild. 16 min. Jasmina Cibic. 2015