“Nina Dragičević’s composition “Ma’am, there is no such thing in reality” opens up with a question. A question, or questioning, a doubt, this constitutive moment, this constitutive act of the enlightened subject, was in modern age marked with a generation of new insights, with the search of new knowledge, with widening of intellectual cognition, with thinking. But the intonation of the introductory question – “No, I mean, do you understand me?” – uttered by one of the speakers from Nina’s composition, does not presuppose new knowledge, new cognition. Her question does not presuppose doubt; on the contrary, it presents the incantation of dogma, it presents non-thinking, it confirms the axiom, it strives to confirm the axiom, personal belief, in short, the ideologeme. The question does no longer express a questioning. It is no longer a search for new, but a persistent perpetuation and confirmation of stasis.
Of course Dragičević immediately puts us in suspense. What we should understand, what this axiom is, this ideologeme, confirmed by the speaker through the whole composition, is not known until the end. But it is this ceaselessly declaring that is also important: as if the speaker would like to imprint this dogma on her own perception, as well as on the perception of others. To suture all that is existent.
In this urban operetta, as Nina Dragičević marks her composition, many voices speak and “sing”. Here they are, here we are, contemporaries, sunk in mortgages, hungry, in constant deprivation, and here is theirs, ours, sonority. Dragičević strings sound situations, declarations and voices of people who are solving their specific personal miseries in the context of contemporary capitalism, but – and this is the basic warning of the presented piece – the ways of speaking about misery are at the same time the expressions of strategies of dealing with it. Nina emphasizes: Deprivation is being resolved precisely with tools that have led to deprivation.
The composition “Ma’am, there is no such thing in reality” is a sound representation of this specific madness of people facing misery.”
– Nataša Velikonja
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Nina Dragičević · composition, recording, production
Mina Fina — Grupa Ee · design
Nina Dragičević · illustration/painting
Nataša Velikonja · liner notes
Maruša Hren · USB booklet
Luka Prinčič · executive production
Radio Študent Ljubljana · media support
City of Ljubljana · financial support