Croatian neologism, a compound of the word “Montage” meaning fusion, film nad video editing as well as working on the assembly line, and the word “Machine”, in the sense of the futuristic ideal from the beginning of the 20th century, applied to all types of art, but also in the sense of order and discipline.
We place artistic production in the focal point of our cultural activity, as a place to juxtapose all cultural paradoxes and raise awareness about them, with the aim of modernizing the cultural and political identity of this area. We wish to inspire necessary interventions in the tepid cultural patterns by posing questions that need to be asked, including in this the wider community in unexpected and provocative ways.
To become the leading independent artistic group, nurturing a model of professional excellence in performing arts in this region. To be up-to-date with the current events on the artistic and political planes, consciously taking risks in questioning all aspects of social reality, and using the power of art to reexamine existing perceptions.
Only somewhat older than the Croatian state itself, MONTAЖ$TROJ was created with the idea of creating a theater in which the Croatian specifics can be expressed through the principles of European art production. Today it enjoys the status of an independent artistic group with the longest past service in Croatia. The economic and political transition marked MONTAЖ$TROJ in an equally strong manner as MONTAЖ$TROJ recorded transition and its effects. New constellations of reality are accepted wholeheartedly by MONTAЖ$TROJ, as a challenge and a space to prove its own values and capabilities. From dealing with the connection of sports fan mentality with national identity, all the way to finding the neuralgic points of Croatian everyday life, MONTAЖ$TROJ offers a contemporary, non-stereotypical and unrelenting commentary on the quotidian life we life.
MADE IN CROATIA
Aside from the success realized on domestic stages, streets and TV screens, MONTAЖ$TROJ quickly became competitive on an international level. In its career, it noted multiple European and American tours, making it one of the few independent artistic groups achieving an extraordinary promotion of Croatian culture and art. Along with international premiers of its plays in Paris and Stockholm, TIMBUKTU and SRCE MOJE KUCA ZA NJU achieved a strong media impact, being reported on by leading global media houses Reuters, AFP and CNN.
Jedinstveni hrvatski kulturni projekt koji objedinjuje različite umjetničke discipline i medijsku kulturu na društveno odgovoran način
The basic programmatic principle of MONTAЖ$TROJ is the creation of a wholesome work of art, realized in different media and their dynamic interplay. MONTAЖ$TROJ’s peculiar artistic expression is constructed through interdisciplinary interventions in music, film, visual, video and digital arts. Although mostly perceived as a theater group, MONTAЖ$TROJ was always more than that – a complex machine to investigate different characteristics of media and pop culture.
MONTAЖ$TROJ follows only one rule in its activity: each project has a particular reason for being created and an innovative mode of implementation. Football, chauvinism, violence, pornography, contemporary transitional mythology, unemployment, terrorism, the protection of otherness… – the rhythm of addressing the public is determined by MONTAЖ$TROJ’s need to only discuss only issues of vital importance. In this manner, each project has a particular and unrepeatable working process, whose aim is to consciously open a space to research and experiment. The final artistic outcome is always unknown beforehand. MONTAЖ$TROJ is positioned on the Croatian artistic stage as a leading innovator in the production sense as well. It is the founder of new cultural patterns that were later adopted by institutional and non-institutional protagonists, as their own strategy of artistic activity. Crossing the limits and bold direction into previously unexplored artistic spaces always went hand in hand with MONTAЖ$TROJ’s work ethic, aiming at refuting taboos and proving the universality of artistic production.
COMUNITY ART PROJECT
MONTAЖ$TROJ bases its profile on persistent experimentation with both expression and content, which is equally recognized and appreciated by the trade, the critique and the wider public. Attractive even to those who have no habit of going to the theater, its work leave no room for indifference. Whether they aim to confuse, amuse, diffuse stereotypes of induce reflection in the visitors, MONTAЖ$TROJ’s intervention have a powerful potential to break down standing rules, and previously known patterns of creating art and the audience’s expectations. In that way, there is a long-term, deep connection between MONTAЖ$TROJ and the environment it works in, a connection made firmer from one project to the next. By being dedicated and disciplined in its own work, MONTAЖ$TROJ established high standards of professionalism and responsibility, surpassing the framework of production at the independent art scene. The extraordinary media acceptance, the number of awards, the trust and testimonial accounts by the audience confirm the quality and appreciation of MONTAЖ$TROJ’s work in the art market.
ATHLETES OF THE HEART - MANIFESTO
We are the children of real-socialism.
We have a fighting and sporting spirit.
We are supporters of Zagreb’s football team Dinamo.
We have a head, we have a hart, we have balls.
We are ready for beauty without God.
We are athletes of the heart.
The basic postulates of each product are to be non-hermetic, accessible and open. This is art which radically transforms the position on the line author – performer – audience, and in its newer work MONTAЖ$TROJ successfully dilutes the limits and conditionality between them. The performers and the viewers are simultaneously witnesses and participants of events, which turn standard rituals attributable to the theater to strictly controlled chaos. This process demystifies the artistic process, and the audience gains a privileged position as a co-creator of a work of art. Also, MONTAЖ$TROJ attempts to reach new, younger audiences by adjusting the theater to new media technologies, by redefining the lines between art production and consummation and by using social networks and their unique performance potentials.
From the sirens and advocating of the nation in 1991, through activating the audience and youth, all the way to abandoned dogs, abandoned people and unemployed women at HNK’s stage – ethics in creating always preceded aesthetic. MONTAЖ$TROJ’s work is led by the idea that art can and must take responsibility in a society and for the society it is created in. MONTAЖ$TROJ deals with socially excluded groups in society not just by addressing the issue, but actively involves them in its work as equal counterparts in projects. The plays TIMBUKTU, SRCE MOJE KUCA ZA NJU or VATROTEHNA 2.0, persons with no professional theatric experience testify firsthand to the contemporary Croatian reality, which always impacts the most vulnerable. The mentioned projects raise social awareness about the issues of social justice allow for an examination of the distribution and circulation of power in a wider sociopolitical context.
Established in the beginning as a strong core made up of several performers, today MONTAЖ$TROJ works in projects through various forms of cooperation and performance creation – a model which can seek its key protagonists in any local community. MONTAЖ$TROJ inaugurated a special mode of work that, depending on the particular needs of a specific project, demands thorough and long-term preparation, and relies on a dynamic organization and rounds up teams of exceptional artists of the most differing profiles and areas of work. The productivity, the aesthetic diversity and the professional standards of the people MONTAЖ$TROJ directly or indirectly gathers around its goals for 20 years, resulted in a number of independent and award-winning artistic biographies, projects and initiatives, which make up the essence of the domestic cultural-art scene.