An avant-garde theatre director becomes a cosmonaut and sacrifices his life to bring culture to space.

An avant-garde theatre director becomes a cosmonaut and sacrifices his life to bring culture to space.

“End of Gravity,” tells the story of Dragan Živadinov, a world-renowned theater director and a founding member of Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK), a highly significant, revolutionary and globally influential collective of artists and musicians based in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Since 1995, Dragan Živadinov has been preparing to bring his theater work off the planet and into outer space.

For the past several decades, Živadinov has dedicated his life and his work to the cosmification of Art and the culturization of space. He is also a Cosmonaut, trained in the high-security Russian space program Roscosmos. Being launched into space and remaining there for the rest of his life, will be the climax of Živadinov’s lifelong theater performance spanning 50 years named Projectile Noordung 1995::2045 after the Slovenian rocket pioneer Noordung. This is Živadinov’s magnum opus, premiered on 20th April 1995 at 10 pm, and to take place every ten years on the same date, at the same time, and with the same actors until the year 2045.

To tell Živadinov’s story—past, present, future—we have chosen the form of a hybrid film we are calling a “future-mentary.” And to reach a global audience, we will introduce a character from a very different background who has known Živadinov and has followed his work since the beginning of his career. This character is Stuart Swezey of Amok Books, a legendary American underground book publisher who first came to Slovenia on a mission to publish a monograph of the work of NSK in 1989.
When this book was published in the early 90s, it was an important milestone in bringing the work of this somewhat obscure Slovenian art movement to the rest of the world. Earlier in his career, Stuart was also the principal organizer of the Desolation Center events that transported adventurous punk and industrial music fans in rented school buses into the far reaches of the Mojave Desert for surreal performances described as “earth-shattering” and “like some bizarre ritual at the end of the world.”

Through this film, we will show that Dragan Živadinov is the most important artist working today. He asks the question of how we as a species approach an inevitable future in Space. Do we just leave the “colonization” of space to the military and authoritarian world “leaders”? Or do we ourselves play a more active role in approaching the next frontier and find our highest utopian spirit to bring art and culture to Space?  “End of Gravity” will pose this provocative question while there is still time for us to get it right.

Our film transports the viewer 25 years into the future and explores and interrogates the ideas and essence of Dragan Živadinov. Through Stuart’s eyes, we will tell the story of Živadinov’s life and future death. We will begin with his early theater work, his imprisonment in a military prison for the provocative “Day of Youth” poster under the repressive Milosevich regime, his spiritual connection with the early 20th century Russian Suprematist art movement, and bring him into the year 2045, when his near-messianic role as the messenger of Art into Space which is, according to his strongly held belief, yet to begin.

We are present at the final performance of Noordung 1995::2045, twenty years in the future, with Dragan Živadinov now older but stronger than ever, the last man standing, the other original members of the company are now dead and converted in to technological substitutes.

As Dragan prepares for a journey into space, Stuart is entrusted with compiling his writings and thoughts into a work entitled “End of Gravity.” Through Dragan and Stuart’s conversations, we will learn about the impulse for humanity to become a space-faring species and we examine the fascinating life of an artist dedicated to the future of humanity as we begin to embrace our role in the universe beyond Planet Earth and beyond tomorrow.