22 July, 2021

The cinematic universe created by Iva Radivojević, encompassing her own feature length and short form work and as an editor of numerous independent films, is rich with curiosity. She is fearless in her practice and fastidious in her process, two wonderful qualities for any artist and especially for an independent maker of moving, feeling, hearing, breathing images.

Iva has described the act and experience of filming as almost like a religious experience - “I enter a zone, a meditative place - a place of presence.”

For the last four years, I’ve worked closely with Iva to produce Aleph, her second feature, a Borges and Barthes inspired/infused travelogue. Ten characters in ten countries and five continents populate a labyrinth of relayed experience as shared stories, desires, musings, memories and the logic of dreams mark psychic and physical territories.

During the making of Aleph, I made a conscious decision not to watch any of Iva’ numerous shorts (about 45 to date, the earliest from 2007, filmed and edited by the artist herself). But once the film was finished, I started to delve into these sly, tender, often humorous, always contemplative and infinitely inquisitive films, which all in their own way testify to the integrity of the fleeting encounter, how shards, hints, suggestions, notations shape the way we move in the world. How to enter a road, a shop, a landscape. How to encounter language, how to displace text. A + B, or a lost lover. How to tell someone’s story without becoming the story. A documentarian’s rigor, to get at the “what” and the “why” merged with an illustrator’s commitment to the malleable contours and lines of the “where”. A practiced camera eye, a poet’s porous gaze in all its generous complexity, roving, fixed. Rested and restless.

We speak of short films these days in perhaps too expansive or tolerant terms, bordering on sloganeering, the hackneyed phrase “Shorts: As Long As It Takes” almost makes a mockery of the form’s inherent temporality. Duration is a decision, the end of a conversation or a camera roll or a journey can be a determinant but in inquisitive and questioning hands, knowing where and when to depart from that ‘ecstatic peace” we encounter in and of the world, with others, with land, and sky and water through song and steel drums. Careening across ice sheets, through evaporating borders, in the diffused light of midday, in the room where the moment is infinite.

This program of Iva’s selected shorts, spanning ten years, from 2011-2021, including the world premiere of a work made during various stages of the 2020 lockdown – Мирно Идем Кривим Путем { Quietly, I Walk The Wrong Way } – is divided into two distinct thematic acts, encompassing particulate conditions, plateaus and portraiture, signals from their maker. Films that envelop, and fracture and transport, making and marking time.

—Madeleine Molyneaux, NY, July 2021