An artist Joseph Cornell immerses himself in the music of Debussy as he makes his art, watching his creation slowly come alive. At the same time, a dream is visiting Cornell, influencing his thoughts and decisions, and guiding him on how to complete his artwork. The experience leaves the viewer uncertain and unnerved regarding where the real world begins and ends. It’s almost as if there is a parallel universe mirroring our life on Earth—or perhaps it is the other way around—and it is the dream that expands like a bridge to connect those universes.
– Screening KEW GARDENS FESTIVAL OF CINEMA, QUEENS, NEW YORK (2017).
– Best Experimental Film Award at Chandler International Film Festival in Arizona. (2016)
Parallel Dreams – PERFORMANCE
Parallel Dreams was presented on FIGMENT, Governor Island, house #15 in Nolan Park. June 7 & June 8, 2014.
Sometimes I feel like I’m not the person experiencing my own life, like I’m trapped between being awake and asleep – with my body and soul caught in between.This leaves me unsure whether I’m alive and moving through this world, or whether my life is the reflection of a dream occurring somewhere else. My dreams appear so realistic that they leave me uncertain of where I exited them to enter the real world – it’s almost as if there is a parallel universe mirroring this life on Earth, or perhaps even the other way around.
These thoughts inspired me to express these feelings of living in between dreams and reality, and I came up with the idea of creating a live performance and film. I wanted to challenge myself to create a film and live performance at the same time, where the performance could not be produced without scripting and planning of the film. These two elements would have to be different and yet reflect the same thing : a possible life in multiple universes that we maybe experiancing.
Produced & Cinematography by Aleksandar Kostic
Directed & Produced by Vladan Nikolic
As a passionate filmmaker I love exploring and communicating with people through my cinematography.
Allure is a process-driven film, where filmmakers and performers (actors and non-actors) work together through a series of improvisations, character building, and discussions to flesh out the story and protagonists. The camera follows the characters. All dialogue is improvised, as the scene is worked through.
Inspired by true stories, ALLURE focuses on five women in NYC, who have come from different countries and settings. Each one struggles to overcome her personal conflict, set against the backdrop of world economical insecurity. These separate, but intersecting multi-ethnic storylines touch and inform each other, and create a larger narrative, about gender, emigration, power and class.
“…Aleksandar Kostic, who turns New York City into a dreamy melting pot of conflict and yearning.”
“…Aleksandar Kostic’s roving camerawork and grainy, black-and-white cinematography, though the camera’s agile movements often prove more kinetic and engaging…”
“…boasting striking black-and-white, widescreen cinematography by Aleksandar Kostic….”
“…women’s experiences have been strikingly captured by cinematographer Aleksandar Kostic in silvery black-and-white CinemaScope…”
Joan La Barbara presented Aleksandar Kostic with the chance procedures idea, inspired by the collaboration process of composer John Cage and choreographer Merce Cunningham, to create an event in which the film and music would be produced separately and played and projected simultaneously for the first time on opening night in Berlin. The only rules that Joan and Aleksandar set before collaborating on this project were that the film and music should each have a duration of 30 minutes, and that Aleksandar would not even hear Joan’s music nor Joan would see film until the opening night in Berlin.
Experimental film “Persistence of Memory” with Joan La Barbara’s original music premiered in Berlin, Germany on the opening night of MaerzMusic festival 17. march 2012 “Cage and Vonsequences”, celebrating the 100th anniversary of John Cage’s birth, as part of the live performance by Joan La Barbara and Ne(x)tworks.
– World premiere opening night of MaerzMusik festival, 2012, “Cage and Consequences”, Berlin, Germany
The ghost of Mary Kingsbury Simkhovitch returns to Greenwich House, the community settlement she founded over a century earlier, and roams through the musical landscape that now thrives there.
– Screened at Big Apple Film Festival New York, 2012
A Tomb For Boris Davidovich – Short Film
2011, Narated by Miki Manojlovic, HD, 3min
Danilo Kiš (February 22, 1935-October 15, 1989) was a Yugoslavian author and poet whose work was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature. This short film is inspired by Kiš’s story, “A Tomb for Boris Davidovich”.
– Screened at Festival Krokodil, Belgrade, Serbia 2011
Room – Short Film
16 mm, 9 min, 2004
A lonely elderly man confines himself to his tiny one-room apartment, mourning the loss of his beloved wife. Over time, he forges a bond with The Room, bringing into existence a presence that eases the loneliness of his final days. Tenants come and go in the years that follow, but none form a connection with The Room and its spirit fades away.
– Award for Outstanding Conceptual Peace at New School University 2004
– Screened at Anthology Archives, New York City 2004
– Screened at Barcelona International Film Festival 2005
– Screened at Flickering @ Cornerstone Festival, Chicago, IL, 2004
Walk of Life – Short Film
16 mm, 3 min, 2003
This film examines the circle of life and the mystery of our existence.
We struggle to overcome destiny, but in the end our souls return to the same source that first give us a life.
– Screened at Anthology Archives, New York City, NY 2003
Good Day Today – Music by David Lynch
“Good Day Today” Featuring Delfine Bafort
I KNOW – Music by David Lynch
– “I know” Featuring Delfine Bafort
This documentary tells the fascinating story of Vija Vetra, a world-renowned Latvian dancer, choreographer and teacher. At the age of 84, Vetra remains a vital and creative force, and her tale offers inspiration for both artists and lovers of the arts. In a career spanning seven decades, she has mastered diverse styles ranging from ballet to traditional Indian dance, and her talent has won her acclaim as a ‘spirit in human form’ and ‘the bridge between East and West.’ Her life is a celebration of the power and beauty of the art of dance, but is also a powerful story of struggle, loneliness and sacrifice.
– 2010 Silver ACE Award in Las Vegas Film Festival
– 2010 Included in library of Documentary Edge Resource Center Auckland, NZ
– Screened at Asheville Film Festival NC 2009
– Screened at Harvard Independent Film Group, NY 2008
– Screened at Docufest Atlanta GA 2008
– NYC premier Two Boots Pioneer Theatre 2008
– Screened at Flickering @ Cornerstone Festival 2008
STOREFRONT DIVA – Phase One
~ A performance in a theatrical setting inspired by Joseph Cornell’s dreams and our fascination with private lives ~
Concept by Joan La Barbara
This project is a collaboration with composer Joan La Barbara and pianist Kathleen Supové, Marija Plavsic and myself. “Storefront Diva” is inspired by a dream fragment from Joseph Cornell’s Journals, in which he described seeing Debussy playing piano in a store, through the window.
Phase One took place on December 27, 2011 from 4 – 8 pm at 159 Bleecker St. – a pop-up store location directly opposite Le Poisson Rouge, in the heart of Greenwich Village, Manhattan. Supové will perform a composition by La Barbara in a special set and costume designed by Marija Plavšic, accompanied by my video installation. The audience was able to see and hear Supové playing through the store window. Creating a fusion of past and present, and of dream and waking states.
“Storefront Diva” was made possible in part with public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, with addition funding from the New York University Adjunct Faculty Professional Development Fund and American Music Center/Composer Assistance Program. Generous support was also provided by Yamaha Artist Services and Materials for the Arts, DCA.
STOREFRONT DIVA – Phase TWO
was premiere April 25th 2013 at The Flea Theatre, NYC, as a part of Kathleen Supové’s “Digital Debussy”.
“Diva” layers live musical gestures into the “sonic atmosphere”, blending bowed and plucked piano, electronics and vocal winds into an other-worldly environment. Set pieces and video juxtapose time and space, past and present – creating a dream sequence coexisting with life.
This is second phase of Store Front Diva a collaboration with composer Joan La Barbara and pianist Kathleen Supové, Marija Plavsic and myself.
Concept & Music by Joan La Barbara
Video Installation by Aleksandar Kostic
Scenic and Costume Design by Marija Plavsic Kostic
Pianist Kathleen Supové